Already breaking my episodic post claim, but that’s alright.
I just finished watching episode one of Hyouka, and I must say, KyoAni’s use of classical music really struck me. Let me preface this post by saying that before I started studying engineering, I was a musician for the majority of my life thus far. Classical music really is under-appreciated nowadays, but that’s why we have things called trends. We may not all enjoy what is currently considered popular, but that’s what’s being listened to in the present. As good as something may be, it will inevitably be pushed away to make room for the newer hits.
That being said, I can’t say I like the way KyoAni just threw classical music into Hyouka. The Beethoven being played on the piano is understandable since it was part of the story being told, but having Bach in the background was just completely random. Yes, classical music is stereotypically considered “tasteful” when used in cinematography in general, but I really object to it being treated as plain bgm. If you think you’re doing it a service by using it that way, let me tell you that you are not. People who truly enjoy classical music will listen to classical music, not watch an anime with classical music in the background.
That’s not to say that I don’t like hearing classical (or jazz) styled bgm though. If something has been composed for the sole purpose of being bgm, there’s no problem with it being used as such. If a scene takes place with musicians playing in the background, that’s also acceptable. It’s part of the setting and not just gratuitous classical music. Just don’t do a disservice to centuries of great music by using it in an attempt to appear classy. That’s just an insult to its legacy.
If you really need something to fill the silence, go play something like this instead.