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Thread: Diversity and the Concert Hall

  1. #166
    Senior Member Nereffid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    If you blind read a score, what are you taking into consideration?
    But you're blind-reading a score in the knowledge that there has for centuries been systemic discrimination against women and ethnic minorities and that the effects of such discrimination don't vanish overnight just because there's now a general but certainly not universal consensus that discrimination is wrong. Your decision to not take that into consideration *in the wider scheme of things*, outside of judging the quality of an individual piece of music, is a political act.

    This is starting to remind me of the king of Swamp Castle: "Let's not bicker and argue about who killed who..."
    Last edited by Nereffid; Yesterday at 17:39.
    See the results of my polls: most-liked composers and most-liked works.

  2. #167
    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereffid View Post
    But you're blind-reading a score in the knowledge that there has for centuries been systemic discrimination against women and ethnic minorities and that the effects of such discrimination don't vanish overnight just because there's now a general but certainly not universal consensus that discrimination is wrong. Your decision to not take that into consideration *in the wider scheme of things*, outside of judging the quality of an individual piece of music, is a political act.

    This is starting to remind me of the king of Swamp Castle: "Let's not bicker and argue about who killed who..."
    Absolutely, I'm saying that to replace one set of discrimination with another is manifestly wrong, no matter how ideologically "progressive" some people may think this is. It isn't progressive - it's actually repeating the thing you abhorred in the first place. And if you think the sins of the past need to be paid for by people who had nothing to do with that, that's bringing an injustice on innocent people, based upon the fact that they happen to be white males.

    If this is political thinking, so be it. But my political thinking is telling us to let talent win through, regardless of gender or race - and yours is telling us that it should be based on group identities. This is how the old bad ways still linger...
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  4. #168
    Senior Member Nereffid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    I'm saying that to replace one set of discrimination with another is manifestly wrong, no matter how ideologically "progressive" some people may think this is. It isn't progressive - it's actually repeating the thing you abhorred in the first place. And if you think the sins of the past need to be paid for by people who had nothing to do with that, that's bringing an injustice on innocent people, based upon the fact that they happen to be white males.
    But historically, when you look at the bigger picture beyond the world of classical music, the effects of one set of discrimination have been in no way similar to the effects of the other. Of course you don't believe for a second that the world's white male composers finding it harder to make a living is as great an injustice on the innocent as, say, slavery or marital rape. Therefore as far as I'm concerned the moralities of the two types of discrimination aren't equivalent either, on the broad scale or when specifically applied to a small area like classical music.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    If this is political thinking, so be it. But my political thinking is telling us to let talent win through, regardless of gender or race - and yours is telling us that it should be based on group identities.
    A more accurate depiction of my thinking is that talent should win through but that there are deep-seated systemic barriers relating to gender and race that can prevent it from doing so.
    See the results of my polls: most-liked composers and most-liked works.

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  6. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nereffid View Post
    But historically, when you look at the bigger picture beyond the world of classical music, the effects of one set of discrimination have been in no way similar to the effects of the other. Of course you don't believe for a second that the world's white male composers finding it harder to make a living is as great an injustice on the innocent as, say, slavery or marital rape. Therefore as far as I'm concerned the moralities of the two types of discrimination aren't equivalent either, on the broad scale or when specifically applied to a small area like classical music.


    A more accurate depiction of my thinking is that talent should win through but that there are deep-seated systemic barriers relating to gender and race that can prevent it from doing so.
    Good god; life is 'unfair'. Somebody could complain that short people do worse than tall. On and on it goes. Much of this discussion has at its heart the notion of victim hood, which has been inculcated into the population for reasons of political expediency. We could return to the soviet model of 'equality' - yeah, everybody's got a job and nobody's doing anything! Or China where the state listens in to everything and the peoples' every utterance and action is controlled. Under such a system classical music THRIVES. I'm sure the Chinese don't see themselves as victims.

    I'm sorry I started this thread.

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    While I'm opposed to the idea of "quotas" for programming by orchestras or for scheduling operatic repertoire , I do think it's a really good idea to give more composers, living or dead , who are not white males a chance to be heard .
    Like it nor not, "dead white European males " created classical music and are the basis of the repertoire as a whole . But there is absolutely no reason why more music by women composers, ones who are black, Hispanic, Asian or whatever should not be performed more often . And this has definitely been happening in recent years . The world of classical music is big enough to accommodate a wide variety of people and ideas . There is no conflict between old and new, familiar and unfamiliar in classical music . They are not mutually exclusive .

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  9. #171
    Senior Member Flamme's Avatar
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    Oh, no one can escape lashes of a Whip of political correctness...
    'Listen, Mister god!
    Isn't it boring
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    every day, into a jelly of clouds?'

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    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superhorn View Post
    While I'm opposed to the idea of "quotas" for programming by orchestras or for scheduling operatic repertoire , I do think it's a really good idea to give more composers, living or dead , who are not white males a chance to be heard .
    Like it nor not, "dead white European males " created classical music and are the basis of the repertoire as a whole . But there is absolutely no reason why more music by women composers, ones who are black, Hispanic, Asian or whatever should not be performed more often . And this has definitely been happening in recent years . The world of classical music is big enough to accommodate a wide variety of people and ideas . There is no conflict between old and new, familiar and unfamiliar in classical music . They are not mutually exclusive .
    But this will happen as a natural matter of course. As you say, in recent years people are trying out different composers. Looking for different things. Some people are tired of the old white male default setting - and they’re searching for newness, even in the neglected past. This is how the market works. You can’t force people to like anything. But when you force them to listen to music because it’s the PC thing to do, you set music in chains, and stifle creativity...
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

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    Senior Member Selby's Avatar
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    I read this whole thread. I would like to take a moment to express gratitude for Woodduck's even tempered and thoughtful responses.
    "I propose to create a heroic, monumental style of composition simple enough to inspire all people; completely free from fads, artificial mannerisms and false sophistications; direct, forceful, sincere, always original but never unnatural."

    "I am always interested in finding out what keeps mankind in such random movement, cutting himself off from nature as if in a blind rage. I want to try to understand the great change that is about to take place without our even noticing it."

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  13. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    If you thought Shoenberg was a great composer simply because you racially profiled him, well, I'd hate to be your neighbour..
    I'm open to the idea that I may have given Schonberg more of a chance because he was from Vienna, because he was a teacher, a painter, a "Renaissance man"; an uncompromising artist who challenged everyone's notion of what music should be. I also have had always had, as part of my personal make-up, a certain empathy for the underdog, and in a way I saw Schonberg as a man against the world.

    I gave his music a chance because I wanted to like his music even though most of it made no sense to me for years. If that disqualifies me from being your neighbor, then I admit I'm not a perfect person.

    Did you ever want to like or dislike someone based upon a first impression?

    If not, then you're my hero, and I can longer debate your level of human, nay, God-like, perfection.

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    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Charlie View Post
    I'm open to the idea that I may have given Schonberg more of a chance because he was from Vienna, because he was a teacher, a painter, a "Renaissance man"; an uncompromising artist who challenged everyone's notion of what music should be. I also have had always had, as part of my personal make-up, a certain empathy for the underdog, and in a way I saw Schonberg as a man against the world.

    I gave his music a chance because I wanted to like his music even though most of it made no sense to me for years. If that disqualifies me from being your neighbor, then I admit I'm not a perfect person.

    Did you ever want to like or dislike someone based upon a first impression?

    If not, then you're my hero, and I can longer debate your level of human, nay, God-like, perfection.
    You’re confusing me now, regarding Schoenberg: you say you considered him to be a great composer because he fit the stereotype of privileged white Viennese male musician. He was from that caste. He looked every inch the insider.

    Now you’re saying you really had a soft spot for him because he was a bit of an underdog?

    I’ve often made mistakes of judgment too, I’m nobody’s hero, but aren’t your posts regarding Schoenberg proof that maybe letting talent prove itself is better than making huge career-shaking decisions based upon extra factors which have nothing to do with music, and which maybe similarly erroneous?
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    You’re confusing me now, regarding Schoenberg: you say you considered him to be a great composer because he fit the stereotype of privileged white Viennese male musician. He was from that caste. He looked every inch the insider.

    Now you’re saying you really had a soft spot for him because he was a bit of an underdog?
    Could it have been a bit of both, is or is that not allowed in your world view?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    I’ve often made mistakes of judgment too, I’m nobody’s hero, but aren’t your posts regarding Schoenberg proof that maybe letting talent prove itself is better than making huge career-shaking decisions based upon extra factors which have nothing to do with music, and which maybe similarly erroneous?
    My point is that it's human nature to prejudge. We prejudge all the time based upon gender, race, mannerisms, religion, clothing, looks and so-forth. Isn't it better that we realize it, understand it, and try to do something to expand our view?

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    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Charlie View Post
    We prejudge all the time based upon gender, race, mannerisms, religion, clothing, looks and so-forth. Isn't it better that we realize it, understand it, and try to do something to expand our view?
    Totally agree. Prejudging based on gender, race, etc, is bad. We should always try to do better. Now tell that to the BBC Proms before they set a terrible precedence in 2022...
    Last edited by Kieran; Yesterday at 21:04.
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    Totally agree. Prejudging based on gender, race, etc, is bad. We should always try to do better. Now tell that to the BBC Proms before they set a terrible precedence in 2022...
    I feel as though I've expressed my point as clearly as was possible. Thanks to "Woodduck" and "Enthusiasm" for their balanced, and I think, enlightened points of view, on this matter. Life's to short to take another turn at this, I'm going to have to let Kieran have the last word.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    Totally agree. Prejudging based on gender, race, etc, is bad. We should always try to do better. Now tell that to the BBC Proms before they set a terrible precedence in 2022...
    The thing about these progressive ideologies is that the people promulgating them think everybody else feels the same as they do. They actually don't. The majority of people are quietly conservative and don't want victim-mongering as part of their lives. Far from its general acceptance, these kinds of initiatives are formulated by outliers who want to make a name for themselves.

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