Skip To Content

    An Open Letter To Music Streaming Services On Behalf Of Classical Music Fans

    FIX IT.

    Hello there, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, and other streaming services!

    Metropolitan Opera / youtube.com

    We need to talk about how you stream classical music because, well, it sucks. It really, REALLY sucks.

    Metropolitan Opera / youtube.com

    First, there's the ongoing difficulty of determining who's the "artist" in classical music.

    If Anna Netrebko sings Puccini arias, which one goes in the artist category? It makes labeling and searching for classical music incredibly difficult.

    So let's say you're listening to Lang Lang and an unfamiliar piece comes up. How do you know who it's by if the composer isn't listed anywhere?

    Apple

    "Concerto No. 1 in E minor" is not an easy thing to search for.

    Maybe if you guys realized that classical doesn't necessarily fit into standards set by pop, we could start fixing this shit.

    Why can't streaming services get classical music right? Because they try to squeeze it into pop music templates. http://t.co/tdKtpXttg3

    A lot of this could be solved by simply adding a "composer" column. That way, the performer could fill the "artist" category without any confusion.

    Hey @AppleMusic, how about a field for "composer"? The classical music genre would appreciate that. http://t.co/OzCsxZ2krk @alexrossmusic

    Look! So simple.

    Nina Mohan / Apple

    You are driving us CRAZY.

    Opera Australia

    Oh, and classical music fans do not enjoy the fact that bigger works, like symphonies and operas, are split up and appear randomly in playlists.

    Why Can't Streaming Services Get Classical Music Right? by @anastasiat http://t.co/5pXuac2AKV

    It'd be like reading one chapter of a bunch of novels to get a sense of great literature.

    "A Tale of Two Cities", Chapter 1 "Being There", Ch 4 "Infinite Jest", Ch 7 "Moby Dick", Ch 13 "Lolita", Ch 2 Classical music streaming.

    You can't just give us one movement of a symphony and then go on to something else. Most of us want to hear whole pieces!

    Most classical music fans don't like streaming music services like @Spotify because we can't listen to a symphony in its entirety

    And if you do keep them together, there's gotta be a better way to differentiate the tracks.

    @Spotify is terrible at displaying classical music. These are all different tracks:

    Yeah, we know track titles are long. You could start with the movement instead of the title, or maybe even just have a "hover to reveal" function.

    The @Spotify UI is terrible for long track/artist labels e.g. classical music. Nothing fits, no reveal on hover!

    So please work on that, because we DO NOT LIKE IT.

    Metropolitan Opera / youtube.com

    Maybe you guys could just focus on fixing the little things, like the artwork for this piece played by Solomon.

    He actually looks like this.

    Erich Auerbach / Getty Images

    There's quite a bit of mistaken identity in streaming services, too. Kim Kashkashian is a lovely lady, but she's not quite at Kim KarDASHian levels.

    Just Google this shit. Seriously. It's an easy fix.

    You guys need to start actually catering to classical music fans. Who is actively seeking out music for their elevator rides?!

    Why, Apple Music? Please don't compare a musical tradition that spans hundreds of years and styles to Muzak.

    If you truly knew the classical audience, you'd know that fans don't want people to pigeon hole classical music as "boring" and use it to fall asleep.

    Goodnight 😴✌️ #ClassicalMusic #Spotify #Sleep

    Composers intended for people to be AWAKE while they listen!

    And Apple Music, your starter selection of classical composers and artists is somewhat questionable. Why are they including The Piano Guys alongside greats like Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma?

    Apple

    Also, there's a distinct lack of female composers and performers in these options. What if you want to listen to your favs Clara Schumann and Kathleen Battle?

    Spotify, you list ~Sandstorm~ in the classical section. WHY?!?!?!

    No Spotify, Sandstorm is not classical music and should not be played along side Yo-Yo Ma

    Whoever curated that needs to be fired yesterday.

    Maybe y'all can make a separate category called "Classical Lite" for casual fans who want the most watered down version of classical music.

    It could feature all the Piano Guys and Sarah Brightman tracks you'd ever need.

    An easy fix would be to get an actual human expert to curate this stuff. Maybe even someone who enjoys classical music and actually knows what they're talking about!

    When curated by humans, choose experts in the specified music type... @applemusic playlists in Classical music are just another nonsense!

    Because if you do that, you can avoid ridiculous errors. You know, like how the first track of the "Intro to Jessye Norman" playlist DOESN'T HAVE JESSYE NORMAN ON IT.

    Apple

    A real human would never let a Brubaker piece into the "Intro to John Cage" playlist.

    Apple

    It's by Philip Glass and is included on a CD called Glass Cage, which includes both of their music.

    It's so fucking frustrating!

    Metropolitan Opera / youtube.com

    So please guys, take our suggestions, lest we resurrect Beethoven just so he can pull a Taylor Swift and remove all his tracks.

    Beethoven, changing horses mid-stream... http://t.co/dyvKlqwcQa

    We're begging you!

    Metropolitan Opera / youtube.com

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form