Much worry and tut tutting about the way in which the younger generation just aren’t as interested in the Fine Arts as earlier generations.

Are you concerned about the future of the fine arts? New research from Norway suggests you have every right to fret.

A study just published in the journal Poetics suggests art forms such as literature and classical music “are becoming increasingly more irrelevant for most students’ cultural lives.” This points to “an increasingly precarious position for traditional highbrow culture,” according to a trio of researchers led by the University of Bergen’s Jostein Gripsrud.

I’m afraid that this is nonsense, nonsense that has been repeated since Aristotle’s grandfather first pointed out that society was going to the dogs.

The common culture has always been, well, common. An 18 th century Englishman did not wander around singing Handel arias, despite the great man being in the country and writing them at the time. The actual songs that were sung were drear things like God Save the King (originally from a musical!). Or the usual “I Had my Mangles Wurzled by the Milkmaid” common to all rural societies when drink has been taken and sex is being alluded to.

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