British newspaper The Telegraph I got a report from the University of Oxford claiming that undergraduate classical music classes are extremely white and colonial …
Try to read the following sentences without laughing … and without choking on your coffee.
Too many white notes?
Oxford University’s School of Music is studying the possibility of revising its curricula to address white supremacy.
University staff consider the college course “complicit in white supremacy” in the wake of the # Black-LivesMatter movement.
Professors consider the musical pieces “colonial” and believe that the content of lessons should be “decolonized”.
The professors claim that the method of transcribing music “did not break its connection with its colonial past” and that keeping it in its current state would be “a slap in the face to students of color.” Musical writing must be reformed to become more “inclusive”.
Oxford professors say the classes focus heavily on “the music of white European men from the days of slavery”, such as Beethoven and Mozart.
Some teachers have also suggested that we stop requiring mastery of some classical music techniques, such as piano or playing, because these lessons focus heavily on “European white music” and “cause great distress for students of color.”
Professors are calling for the deletion of certain courses in Schubert or Guillaume de Machaut in favor of lessons in African or folk music. “
No, these sentences are not from a comic magazine or science fiction novel.
I remind you that the University of Oxford is one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
- Listen to Sophie Doroucher’s column with Pierre Nantel on QUB Radio:
The only question we must ask ourselves when talking about music is the question of excellence. Is this composer cool or ordinary, has he brought something new to the music?
That his music was composed in the middle of slavery tells us what about the composer’s talent?
We still listen to Beethoven, Mozart and Bach because their music goes beyond the ages!
Is Mozart less genius because he’s white? Is his music any less great because he was born in Salzburg on January 27, 1756?
If he was born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, in 1983, he is Piano Concert No. 23 Could it have been taught in Oxford? Would that reduce the “distress” of “students of color”?
We will end up wondering whether “culture” has awakened as “culture”.
When I read articles related to classical music that are considered very white and colonial, I had pictures of Mao’s Cultural Revolution in China.
In 1966, Grand Helmsman banned all Western music on Chinese soil, until his death in 1976, because this music represents “imperialism and capitalism”.
What would Mao say to see that in 2021, Westerners themselves are reporting themselves?