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Thread: Did you know that "Classical Music is Inherently Racist?"

  1. #211
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    It's true - classical music is white supremacist in nature. Everyone just keep nodding and maybe they'll shut up about it.

  2. #212
    Senior Member Dimace's Avatar
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    In this great forum we are writing / conversating for music and not for conspiracy theories and crazy opinions. I really can't write something more…
    „Es gibt drei Arten von Pianisten: jüdische Pianisten, homosexuelle Pianisten -- und schlechte Pianisten.“ V. Horowitz

  3. #213
    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by science View Post
    Except obviously it was.
    In the long run and indirectly, yes. But only because civil rights and equality movements eventually increase the exposure of the general population to cultures formerly unknown and alien to them. Then the art of those new cultures must then succeed on its own merit, which takes time. The Arab-American author of the blog cited by the OP sees his Lebanese Arab cultural heritage insufficiently acknowledged in the West. But in due time he may see a different story unfold.

  4. #214
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluteman View Post
    In the long run and indirectly, yes. But only because civil rights and equality movements eventually increase the exposure of the general population to cultures formerly unknown and alien to them. Then the art of those new cultures must then succeed on its own merit, which takes time. The Arab-American author of the blog cited by the OP sees his Lebanese Arab cultural heritage insufficiently acknowledged in the West. But in due time he may see a different story unfold.
    To me the whole thing is ridiculous. It is a misapplication of the word racist which we are unfortunately seeing too much in a politically correct society. A racist is someone who looks down on another race and deliberately tries to demean someone else’s race. By writing western music for Westerners we do not try and demean anybody else but rather cater for ourselves. By serving fish and chips a British restaurant is not being racist any more than an Indian restaurant is being racist by serving tikka masala. About time we started using words properly instead of putting sinister meanings into them.
    Last edited by DavidA; Dec-31-2019 at 08:41.

  5. #215
    Senior Member MacLeod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    To meet the whole thing is ridiculous. It is a misapplication of the word racist which we are unfortunately seeing too much in a politically correct society. A racist is someone who looks down on another race and deliberately tries to demean someone else’s race. By writing western music for Westerners we do not try and demean anybody else but rather cater for ourselves. By serving fish and chips a British restaurant is not being racist any more than an Indian restaurant is being racist by serving tikka masala. About time we started using words properly instead of putting sinister meanings into them.
    To meet what whole thing?
    "I left TC for a hiatus, but since no-one noticed my absence, I came back again."

  6. #216
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    To meet what whole thing?
    Sorry auto text error. ‘To me the whole thing....’

  7. #217
    Senior Member MacLeod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Sorry auto text error. ‘To me the whole thing....’
    Ah, ok, that makes sense.

    To me, the last 15 pages have shed as much light on the issue of "racism in music" as it has on the anatomy of horses. My only reason for hanging around has been to fend off some of the odder comments and ideas about racism - I long since lost interest in the article itself, and I'm not sure that many other posters here have spent much time on it either. Having said that, there is a point to consider in the quote in the OP - but as was pointed out very early on, that says more about the culture than the music itself. So, if there is any mileage left in this discussion, it should be expended on whether the culture and institutions connected with 'CM' are racist, as explained in the article.
    "I left TC for a hiatus, but since no-one noticed my absence, I came back again."

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  9. #218
    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    To me the whole thing is ridiculous. It is a misapplication of the word racist which we are unfortunately seeing too much in a politically correct society. A racist is someone who looks down on another race and deliberately tries to demean someone else’s race. By writing western music for Westerners we do not try and demean anybody else but rather cater for ourselves. By serving fish and chips a British restaurant is not being racist any more than an Indian restaurant is being racist by serving tikka masala. About time we started using words properly instead of putting sinister meanings into them.
    Chicken tikka masala is not an authentic native Indian dish, but rather was invented by Indian immigrants working in Indian restaurants in Britain, where it became and remains hugely popular. (I notice there is some dispute about this, according to Wikipedia. However, the owners and chefs I have chatted with in some of my favorite Indian restaurants, who are originally from India and ought to know, are firm that this is the case.)

    This is actually a good example of the way art and other customs and ideas spread to different cultures. First, beginning in the days when India was still a British colony, Indians had the opportunity to immigrate to Britain and open businesses there. They opened restaurants, in some cases modifying Indian cuisine to attempt to appeal to British tastes. They were successful, and more Indian restaurants opened.

    All that didn't happen because the original, white British residents were utterly non-racist and welcomed all dark-skinned immigrants with joy and open arms. Far, far from it. But given the opportunity, Indian immigrants ultimately made their mark on British culture.

    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    To me, the last 15 pages have shed as much light on the issue of "racism in music" as it has on the anatomy of horses. My only reason for hanging around has been to fend off some of the odder comments and ideas about racism - I long since lost interest in the article itself, and I'm not sure that many other posters here have spent much time on it either. Having said that, there is a point to consider in the quote in the OP - but as was pointed out very early on, that says more about the culture than the music itself. So, if there is any mileage left in this discussion, it should be expended on whether the culture and institutions connected with 'CM' are racist, as explained in the article.
    Unlike you, I did find the article interesting, but not because of the incendiary use of word "racist", which makes people mad and tends not to lead to productive discussion. It turns out the author is a Western-trained American musician and composer with non-Western roots who feels his native music is ignored in, and excluded by the world of, Western classical music.

    I find his anger misplaced, however. As an Arab-American, he no doubt feels the impact of discrimination and hostility, but Western music generally is much more open to the influence of other cultures than are most other Western cultural, political or social institutions. Popular music is usually where that outside influence is reflected first and foremost, but major trends in popular music are reflected in classical music eventually.
    Last edited by fluteman; Dec-31-2019 at 20:20.

  10. #219
    Senior Member MacLeod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluteman View Post
    Unlike you, I did find the article interesting
    I didn't say I didn't find it interesting. I said I lost interest in it. I was referring to the fact that I commented on the article back in June when the OP was first posted. At the time, I said, "A mildly interesting article which has a fair point to make,"
    "I left TC for a hiatus, but since no-one noticed my absence, I came back again."

  11. #220
    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    I didn't say I didn't find it interesting. I said I lost interest in it. I was referring to the fact that I commented on the article back in June when the OP was first posted. At the time, I said, "A mildly interesting article which has a fair point to make,"
    OK, no worries. For me, finding anything currently being written on the internet or elsewhere that is even "mildly interesting", as I agree this was, is unusual and worth noting. (Alas.) In general, I find bickering over whether something or someone is or isn't racist seldom even mildly interesting. Here, however, we have the much more interesting underlying theme of the influence of music from non-Western cultures on Western music. I'll be looking for more music from this young composer to see if he is able to resolve his inner conflicts, or at least make good use of them, and create something worthwhile.

  12. #221
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluteman View Post
    OK, no worries. For me, finding anything currently being written on the internet or elsewhere that is even "mildly interesting", as I agree this was, is unusual and worth noting. (Alas.) In general, I find bickering over whether something or someone is or isn't racist seldom even mildly interesting. Here, however, we have the much more interesting underlying theme of the influence of music from non-Western cultures on Western music. I'll be looking for more music from this young composer to see if he is able to resolve his inner conflicts, or at least make good use of them, and create something worthwhile.
    Please look at the title of the thread then

  13. #222
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    So weird! There used to be talk of the Anglo-Saxon "race", the Slavic "race", etc., thus confusing language groups with "racial" groups. Then, when talk of race became "scientific", the classifiers came up with the classic five races: Congoid, Capoid, Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Australoid. There has been an effort to also link these "races" to very early linguistic groups as well as skull shapes, etc. I am not aware of a Lebanese Arab "race" as an identifiable post-mortem entity. In flamenco circles, there are even today people asserting that it is "racist" to deny that gypsies (gitanos) created flamenco, and also "racist" to assert the same thesis. Nobody really knows who created flamenco, or when. There does exist Tribalism, and it is alive and well.

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  15. #223
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Well, you know, every positive has a negative. The positives are when we ignore the negatives, and transcend the differences. But this means we have to eat everything, not just tamales. Although tamales are good.

    Western Classical music is culturally biased, because of its roots. That's why Gustav Dudamel wants to be a conductor, so his country can be "Westernized" and enter the 21st century. Who cares about pan flutes and corn?
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Jan-14-2020 at 20:42.

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