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Michael Walsh, a fan of really great and enduring music otherwise known as Classical Music concedes that Oxford University’s European-hating zealots do have a point.
‘Years ago, I had a very good American friend; the photographer who took the iconic photographs of me when I was leading the British Movement (1968-1983).
‘Bob had served in the U.S. Army and had been stationed at U.S. bases in American-Occupied Germany. Bob recollected that in bars used by servicemen there were times when Black servicemen would outnumber the Whites and the incomers would play Black ‘music’ such as reggae and rap and suchlike.
‘We White GIs had a very simple way of getting rid of the Blacks,’ Bob smiled. ‘Going to the jukebox we would drop a few dimes in and select classical tracks, Beethoven, Mozart, Verdi or Puccini opera arias. This ruse cleared the bar of Blacks in minutes,’ he laughed.
Fast forward 50-years: Teaching music at Oxford may soon be less about writing notation and conducting orchestras, and more about which artistes hated Donald Trump’s use of their works without permission, proposed reform reportedly suggests.
Once a prestigious university, Oxford intends to overhaul its music courses for undergraduates to steer them away from elements of ‘colonialism’ and ‘white supremacy, the Telegraph reported.
The newspaper cited internal documents. The supposedly problematic parts of the curriculum include the study of musical notation, described as a ‘colonialist representational system.’
Many ways of writing down music have been invented throughout history, but the system developed in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries laid the foundation for the most used form today. It’s not set in stone, of course, and is constantly developed. Alternatives specific to certain instruments and genres exist as well.
Self-hating left-wing zealots at Oxford believe that teaching notation rooted in the colonial past is a ‘slap in the face’ for some (black) students, according to the newspaper.
Also deemed problematic are skills such as playing the piano keyboard or conducting orchestras. The proposed change would make learning such musical matters should be optional since the repertoire used in the process ‘structurally centres white European music,’ which causes ‘students of colour great distress.’
The current classical repertoire was criticised for focusing on ‘white European music from the slave period.’ Presumably works by Mozart and Beethoven will have a diminished place in a rethought ‘decolonized’ curriculum. Time may instead be devoted to new topics focusing on musical diversity. Or, as another suggestion proposes, students could be taught about signature pop culture events, including ‘Dua Lipa’s Record Breaking Livestream’ and ‘Artists Demanding Trump Stop Using Their Songs.’
The proposed change is meant to address concerns that came to the forefront in the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests. Oxford University has already taken some steps to supposedly move it away from the colonialist past, like agreeing to remove a statue of Cecil Rhodes from the Oriel College campus. The Victorian-era diamond magnate and prime minister of the Cape Colony was dubbed the ‘father of apartheid (separate ethnic development)’ in South Africa for his imperialist beliefs and policies. The fate of the statue is expected to be decided this spring.
Meanwhile, Oxford’s All Souls College dropped the name Christopher Codrington, a Barbados-born 17th-century colonial governor and slave-owner, from its library. The school refused to remove the statue of Codrington, an All Souls fellow and generous donor, whose money helped build the library. Source
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