Hey there! Here's a little post about music!
Most of the "classical" music as a tradition today lost its connection with the general public/audience around the 1950s, because it became "too weird". But there's really a lot of great contemporary music out there, people just don't know about it, because it's a small "genre" (but it's not only one "genre", there are dozens of genres of contemporary music).
So, to all of you who have open ears and want to listen to some new/strange/unknown music, and maybe even like it; here's my list of contemporary music I would recommend you to try listening to!
György Ligeti: Lux Aeterna
This is a choir piece written in 1966, for 16 singers. It's been used as a soundtrack in a number of movies, most famously in "2001: A Space Odyssey" by Stanley Kubrick. It has no melody, no rhythm, that's not the focus of the piece. It's process piece; going from one constant state to another. All they basically sing is long notes, but these notes are very beautiful!
Steve Reich: "Music for winds, strings and keyboards" (just the opening of the piece)
Reich writes music within the genre called Minimalism, where the philosophy is "less is more", and music is written on the basis of as little material as possible. If you just listen to this music halfhearted, you will hear nothing but a little melody that is constantly repeated, over and over again. But if you listen closely, you can hear all the small details that change all the time, and those small changes are the ones who drive the pieces forward. I also recommend Music for a Large Ensemble, by the same composer! It's basically classical music's equivalent to "trance music".
Iannis Xenakis: Metastasis
This is a piece for a giant symphony orchestra, and it's a great piece of music, even though some might call think of it more as an effect soundtrack than as music in the traditional sense - nonetheless it's played by actual musical instruments, like violins and trumpets etc. etc. It certainly has a clear musical form, but it mostly consists of contrasts between different types of sounds.
Krzysztof Penderecki: Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (hard to spell his name)
Ok, I now warn you, this piece is hard-core! It's written for a huge orchestra of string players (I think 106 is the number), and, as the title says, it's written in memory of the innocent civilians who died in the nuclear bombings in 1945. There are lots of strong emotions in this piece, you can literally hear the sounds of alarms, crying, death and general horror. It's a nice contrast to the cliché pop-songs about war.
John Adams: Short Ride in a Fast Machine
A quite famous orchestral fanfare. It's also within the genre of minimalist music, but it's on the other end of the spectrum. I think it has been used in a lot of other settings. I also recommend "Phrygian Gates", by the same composer, which is a quiet piano piece.
Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring (just an excerpt)
This is probably one of the most famous contemporary classical pieces. This is also written for orchestra, and it's based upon an old pagan history of a young virgin who is offered to the Gods to please them - she is forced to literally dance to death. It's an example of "primitivism" - the music is extremely complex (if you look at the sheet music), but still it's intended to sound like a primitive ritual.
So that's a little intro to what the world of contemporary classical music has to offer - but it's way too short to give an adequate picture of what's going on in this area of music. I hope some of you will listen to it and maybe find it a bit interesting, at the least!