Frequently Asked Questions
- Is FoR3 purely a classical music group?
- What is the range of programmes that FoR3 supports?
- Does the music include jazz?
- What about world music?
- What about other musical styles?
- But you would like to see the amount of classical music on Radio 3 increased?
- Are you campaigning for any type of programme to get more coverage or less coverage, or for any programmes to be dropped?
- Where do you stand on the 'elitist'/'anti-elitist' argument?
Is FoR3 purely a classical music group?No. Most, if not all, individual FoR3 supporters are classical music enthusiasts and Radio 3's remit states that classical music and its related speech programmes constitute the station's 'core proposition'; however the group supports a range of music and speech programmes. Top
What is the range of programmes that FoR3 supports?It corresponds in broad content with the scope of the old Third Programme, including the spoken arts (drama and poetry), features, and discussion about the arts, ideas and cultural issues, as well as music. Top
Does the music include jazz?Yes. Jazz has had a regular slot on Radio 3 for forty-five years; over the decades the amount of jazz has increased from the original thirty-minute weekly programme to the current 5-6 hours per week. We find that jazz enthusiasts have much in common with classical music lovers and we support the presence of serious jazz programmes on Radio 3. We believe popular jazz coverage should continue on Radio 2 with Radio 3 supporting classic jazz, contemporary and experimental forms and in-depth discussion with specialist presenters. Top
What about world music?We take the view that global traditional musics (folk and classical) should feature on Radio 3 and that currently there could be more in-depth, specialist programming. We would welcome more expert coverage of these areas. However, in our view the current world music output is balanced in favour of commercially available new releases of the contemporary styles promoted by the music industry. We think this should be reduced in favour of traditional musics and critical content. Top
What about other musical styles - music theatre, film music and cabaret - which have had regular slots on Radio 3 in the past?Our principle is that the manner of presentation is a more important consideration than the musical genre. A Radio 3 programme about hiphop should differ from a Radio 1 programme. Radio 3 should feature specialist programmes with critical content rather than easy listening sequences. Any programme consisting of music which falls outside Radio 3's remit and is presented in a way that would command a larger audience on another station should probably be on that station rather than on Radio 3; but there are always grey areas on which it is pointless to legislate. Top
But you would like to see the amount of classical music on Radio 3 increased at the expense of other musical genres?When FoR3 was launched in 2003, by our calculation the amount of time devoted to non-classical music in regular weekly slots had tripled in just two or three years. We raised our concerns at that time because there was no indication as to whether this would continue at the same rate of increase. In the event there has been a decrease since then. Although there is still twice the amount of regular non-classical music compared with 1998, we feel that balance is acceptable. Top
Are you campaigning for any type of programme to get more coverage or less coverage, or for any programmes to be dropped?
We do not campaign for individual programmes to be dropped; we do campaign for a balance to be maintained which reflects Radio 3 priorities. Over the last few decades the amount of speech/spoken arts programming has been reduced and we would welcome a reversal of this. As already mentioned we feel global traditional musics should be treated more seriously and systematically. Top
Where do you stand on the 'elitist'/'anti-elitist' argument?If we were to use the terms - and we try to avoid them - we would not interpret them as 'elitist-bad, anti-elitist-good'. We see 'elitism' as appealing to those who want to deepen their understanding, and this applies no matter what knowledge level they are starting from. Minority pursuits are not, by definition, inclusive but should be available to all who want to opt in. 'Anti-elitism' involves well-intentioned but unnecessary simplification; it underestimates the intelligence of the general public in reducing the need for intellectual engagement.
It is the role of Radio 3 to enable listeners to pursue their interests ambitiously. In the last ten years two major surveys have shown that more than half those questioned believed that the BBC had 'dumbed down'. That should indicate that intellectual targets have been set too low. Top