In praising the Guardian for prom coverage, it was disappointing to see Colin Bradbury’s use of the outdated distinction that classical music is “real” music as opposed to popular music (Letters, Aug. 31). That was the view when I was in school in the 1960s when a teacher said to us, “What you hear is rubbish. It’s good. Listen to it. “What self-respecting teenager would not rebel at such an order? It has prejudiced my view of classical music for many years.

Today’s enlightened teacher embraces all types of music, and teenagers often refer to pop music to the classics. I made sure the music in the car mixed up the Beatles and the Human League with Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony during our family vacation, and I was thrilled when my 12-year-old daughter asked if she was “that beautiful piece of music you did last time.” have played “wanted to hear we drove through this forest”. Beethoven, Mahler and Sibelius are frequent companions in my car these days, but so are Del Shannon, Walter Trout and Dua Lipa. It’s all music, Mr. Bradbury.
Ron Fosker
Witham, Essex

As much as I admire Colin Bradbury as a musician and agree with him about the Guardian’s neglect of classical music, his defense of real music, mirroring that of real ale, is unlikely to resonate with many readers. The diversity of creativity that we normally group under the classical roof emerged from the music of the Christian Church, which had codified music in a unique way through early notation. The advancement of notation gave music the opportunity to develop into a kaleidoscope of forms of expression. Many centuries of evolution and divergence have brought us a vast collection of music that reflects our complex history and expresses myriad cultural identities. It is also a false analogy for Nigel Turner (Letters, September 1) to claim that it is another genre besides ska, pop, samba, bhangra or R&B. Unfortunately, music journalism seems to routinely reinforce this blatant categorization.
Paul’s heart
Brentwood, Essex

Perhaps it was a mistake to call classical music real music instead of Nicola Benedetti’s description of “long-form” music, as it distracts the reader from the real issue of the newspapers’ neglect. Classical music is not only “preferred by the ruling classes of Europe”, as Nigel Turner put it, but loved by many people of all walks of life and ages. In addition, all moods can be found in classical music, including “fun”.
Marie Paterson
Nuneaton, Warwickshire

The job of the Proms is to explore what could be described as western art music over the past 400 years. It does this brilliantly and with more than one nod to the music of other genres and cultures. There are festivals dedicated to jazz, rock, pop and folk. As far as I can tell, they don’t contain any classical music. That’s okay. I can’t understand why other standards should be applied to the proms. Classical music is not posh. Prom concerts are not posh. The Proms allow everyone to access the best classical musicians for around £ 7. Fifty years ago, as a working-class boy, prom concerts opened a world of cheap and wonderful music. If all is well, it will continue to be so for anyone who is open-minded and has open ears.
Paul Michell
Bristol

Who could contradict Colin Bradbury when he says that art coverage of classical or real music is secondary to pop music. This can often be proven by comparing obituaries. When David Bowie died, the Guardian’s tributes were multiple pages. However, Pierre Boulez, a dominant post-war classical music figure who died that same week, received much less attention.
Alastair Mcleish
Edinburgh

While I agree with Nigel Turner that it is wrong to claim that Western classical music is real music as opposed to other forms, she can claim to achieve human emotions and imagination in ways that are different from other forms of music. It can be appreciated by any class of people, as I’ve found time and again throughout my long career as a classical musician and teacher.
Luciano Iorio
London

I was amused to hear from Nigel Turner that Western classical music is the preferred form of the “European ruling classes”. I’m afraid that in my 33 years with the BBC Symphony Orchestra I haven’t met many of them at our concerts. They were usually much more at home at pop music festivals. I think if at some point (and not just on the last evening) he tried to join the Prommers, maybe he would not only enjoy the real thing, but also find that a Haydn symphony is a lot more fun than a pop song.
Colin Bradbury
Ealing, London

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