Well, most of what I listen to is popular music. Cutting edge music. But we all tend to think of historical music as "classical." Venerable. Revered. Even stodgy and dull. What we all forget is that the music we now think of as stodgy and dull was the popular, cutting edge music back in its day.
Think of the waltz? Boring dance right? Well, maybe compared with modern gyrations on the dance floor it might be, but when it first appeared it was scandalous. Men and women in each others arms, pelvises together mimicking...sex. It was popular. It was cutting edge. And everybody was doing it - even if they only did it behind closed doors.
Now think of the musicians creating that music. Creating scandal. As today, they were the bad boys that all the women and girls probably watched with baited breath whether they admitted it or not.
What do we think of when we think of Mozart? He's the epitomy of classical music today. But when he was making music, he was a scandal. He was rude, crude and obnoxious (if the play/movie Amadeus can be believed). Yet the women went nuts for him. Well, if he really looked like the portrait to the left, I can guess why. There's a wicked twinkle in his eye that women respond to. He's not bad looking and dang, he created some amazing music. How could he not attract the chicks? He was the Elvis of his day. And I bet the dads hated the guy and kept their little girls far, far away.
I'm sure the antipathy between dads and musicians go back far longer than that. After all, the Middle Ages featured the troubadours. Young men who traveled from place to place with their instruments and made a living off their music. Secular music. Music about love. Courtly love. Forbidden love. Oh my...more sex. How delightfully wicked.
Imagine Nickelback (or fill in your favorite rock band with appropriately hot lead singer) showing up at your front door offering to play their music while you eat dinner. What's not hot about that?
In the image I've added here (painted by Edmund Blair Leighton) I don't know if the dude with the fancy hat is the father or the husband, but either way...he looks worried. And well he should. Musicians are and were the hot bad boys we'd all love to dally with in our deepest fantasies. And back in the day, their music was the scandalous, cutting edge stuff that rock music or hip hop is today. Keep it in mind when you're writing because it can help you create a useful and/or funny scene for a historical romance you write in the future.
What's your favorite historical music? Do you think the composer or performer was stodgy or a bad boy back when he wrote it?