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

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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    I have made no "critique and expose of classical music" - especially concerning its "whiteness and blackness." I have rejected the premise of the video linked in the OP and think the whole idea of that aspect of this thread to be hogwash, which I have expressed in this thread more than once.

    So I don't know what your gripe is with music from the US and Americans, but your accusations concerning me are way off the mark.
    The secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions. Good luck Mr. Phelps. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Nov-26-2020 at 20:47.

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    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annaw View Post
    I guess they do but I think that Austrians would point out both that Mozart was an Austrian and that Beethoven wanted to be an Austrian, or something along the lines.
    I think Mozart was Bavarian, no matter what the Austrians say. The same way Chopin wasn't French, Brahms wasn't Austrian.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozart%27s_nationality
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Nov-26-2020 at 16:30.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    I think Mozart was Bavarian, no matter what the Austrians say. The same way Chopin wasn't French, Brahms wasn't Austrian.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozart%27s_nationality
    Yes, but this kind of discussion itself is exactly the reason why I doubt that the idea of German cultural supremacy is as widespread as MR says it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by annaw View Post
    I think AB or some other Brit would certainly be able to answer whether, deep in their hearts, Britons know that Germans are actually superior, although they don't say it out loud.

    I think you should come to Europe and encounter some stereotypes Europeans have about each other - you'd understand rather quickly what I mean.



    I guess they do but I think that Austrians would point out both that Mozart was an Austrian and that Beethoven wanted to be an Austrian, or something along the lines. Being half Finnish, I talked with a Swedish friends about Sibelius - he said that we should consider Sibelius to be a Swedish composer for some biographical reasons (). I'm sure you'd encounter rather many Britons who prefer Handel to Händel and argue that he should be considered British not German (I'm not saying that he shouldn't). These are perfect examples of the cultural competition Europeans tend to engage in.

    And in my music history classes I don't even recall hearing anything about "the three Bs". No, no, we talked about the First Viennese School. In Estonian the three Bs are substituted with "the Viennese Classicists" - Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn. Yes, Viennese, not German.
    There's been so many foreign occupations, wars, and migrations throughout Europe that I don't think there's anyone who can claim to be a pure-bred European of any one ethnicity/nationality. My mother's family came to America from a southern Italian province called "Calabria" at the toe of the boot of Italy, and have had Greek friends who told me that I'm Greek like them, that Calabria was in the hands of the Greeks for so long that Calabrian Italians might as well be Greek. And I had Albanian friends tell me that I'm not Italian but Albanian, that there are so many Albanians in southern Italy that people from Calabria might as well be Albanian.

    When I traveled to Spain, I saw Spaniards that were dark like the days when Spain was occupied by Arab conquerors. Then again, I saw an old Spaniard on the bus who looked just like my late Italian grandfather, possibly a descendant from the Roman conquerors, and finally our blond, blue-eyed, tour guide who I thought must have been German, or was she a Spaniard who descended from the Visigoth invasion?

    When I was visiting China I met a young lady on the Great Wall with Asian features. I asked her if she was Chinese, she said, "No, I'm Russian, and all Russians don't look the way you think."

    Then she asked me, with my dark Italian features, "Are you from India?"

    I said, "No, I'm an American. All Americans don't look the way you think."

    As I see it there no such thing as as race, just about 1,000 shades of brown.

    DNA testing confirms we're all seem to carry the so-called "melting pot" within us.

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    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    This is the third post I've seen of yours in which you disparage Americans, without explaining yourself. I get the feeling you don't like the USA and its people and culture, but you just drive by with these little insults and then disappear.

    A little strange.
    I'm American, always have been.

    Overall, We (Americans) ARE bullies, boors, and ignoramuses.
    Last edited by pianozach; Nov-26-2020 at 17:13.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    I think that's incorrect, especially when we consider the white framing of an area as large and universal as music theory. Besides, my argument has always been that European classical music by white males now needs reexamination. That this is only an American problem is a conceit.
    I hate that you turn music into a political/social construct to buttress your off-the-wall notions. Instead of respecting music, you exploit it.

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    Senior Member Flamme's Avatar
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    Atm I think the OP might be MRs sock puppet account!!!
    'Listen, Mister god!
    Isn't it boring
    to dip your puffy eyes,
    every day, into a jelly of clouds?'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    I hate that you turn music into a political/social construct to buttress your off-the-wall notions.
    Yes, but it makes answering questions almost automatic, because the answers are predetermined.

    Instead of respecting music, you exploit it.
    I don't ask music to do anything it's not comfortable doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    I think Mozart was Bavarian, no matter what the Austrians say. The same way Chopin wasn't French, Brahms wasn't Austrian.
    That's like saying "I'm not an American; I'm a Texan."

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    That's like saying "I'm not an American; I'm a Texan."
    Plenty of Texans do say that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach G View Post
    There's been so many foreign occupations, wars, and migrations throughout Europe that I don't think there's anyone who can claim to be a pure-bred European of any one ethnicity/nationality. My mother's family came to America from a southern Italian province called "Calabria" at the toe of the boot of Italy, and have had Greek friends who told me that I'm Greek like them, that Calabria was in the hands of the Greeks for so long that Calabrian Italians might as well be Greek. And I had Albanian friends tell me that I'm not Italian but Albanian, that there are so many Albanians in southern Italy that people from Calabria might as well be Albanian.

    When I traveled to Spain, I saw Spaniards that were dark like the days when Spain was occupied by Arab conquerors. Then again, I saw an old Spaniard on the bus who looked just like my late Italian grandfather, possibly a descendant from the Roman conquerors, and finally our blond, blue-eyed, tour guide who I thought must have been German, or was she a Spaniard who descended from the Visigoth invasion?

    When I was visiting China I met a young lady on the Great Wall with Asian features. I asked her if she was Chinese, she said, "No, I'm Russian, and all Russians don't look the way you think."

    Then she asked me, with my dark Italian features, "Are you from India?"

    I said, "No, I'm an American. All Americans don't look the way you think."

    As I see it there no such thing as as race, just about 1,000 shades of brown.

    DNA testing confirms we're all seem to carry the so-called "melting pot" within us.
    It's not a question of race; it's about an attitude of cultural superiority.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    It's not a question of race; it's about an attitude of cultural superiority.
    So how does the "cultural superiority" (if it exists) make a difference in when it comes to oppressed minority groups? What does any of it have to with certain racial ethnic groups not being given the same educational/economic/housing/job opportunities, the same treatment by law enforcement and the judicial system, and the same health care, as the others in a given society?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach G View Post
    So how does the "cultural superiority" (if it exists) make a difference in when it comes to oppressed minority groups?
    It excludes other cultures. It's also male-oriented.

    What does any of it have to with certain racial ethnic groups not being given the same educational/economic/housing/job opportunities, the same treatment by law enforcement and the judicial system, and the same health care, as the others in a given society?
    It does affect the way music theory is taught.

    The rest of it? I'm not sure. I think a black man driving around in a car listening to Mozart at 2 AM Saturday night is less likely to be pulled over by police than if he were listening to rap. That's only my theory, though.

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    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach G View Post
    So how does the "cultural superiority" (if it exists) make a difference in when it comes to oppressed minority groups? What does any of it have to with certain racial ethnic groups not being given the same educational/economic/housing/job opportunities, the same treatment by law enforcement and the judicial system, and the same health care, as the others in a given society?
    Yes, that is the question I've tried to ask, numerous times and in numerous ways, since this thread began. The OP linked to an article written by a non-heterosexual son of Druze Lebanese immigrants who, surprise, surprise, finds himself marginalized, and no doubt discriminated against by many, in American society. The mistake he makes is to confuse the challenge of any musician, even a serious, talented musician, with or without a non-Western cultural heritage, of trying to have an impact on the Western musical tradition, with the challenges he in particular faces arising from hostility and discrimination due to his personal situation. While understandably angry and frustrated, he doesn't appreciate that an artist and his art ultimately are two separate things.

    John Cage is a different kettle of fish. His point (or at least one way of putting it) is if the purpose of music is to sober and quiet the mind, thus making it susceptible to divine influences, and to do by imitating nature, there are more ways of doing so than those of Mozart and Beethoven, and we should all be a little less smug about the superiority of European music of the 18th and 19th centuries, and keep our mind open to other possibilities. The anger and defensiveness he provokes only proves his point, as it reveals a discomfort in the possibility of own's own narrowmindedness. The music of Mozart and Beethoven certainly doesn't need our help in mounting a defense against the attacks of John Cage. He would laugh harder at that idea than anyone here.

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluteman View Post
    John Cage is a different kettle of fish. His point (or at least one way of putting it) is if the purpose of music is to sober and quiet the mind, thus making it susceptible to divine influences, and to do by imitating nature, there are more ways of doing so than those of Mozart and Beethoven, and we should all be a little less smug about the superiority of European music of the 18th and 19th centuries, and keep our mind open to other possibilities. The anger and defensiveness he provokes only proves his point, as it reveals a discomfort in the possibility of own's own narrowmindedness. The music of Mozart and Beethoven certainly doesn't need our help in mounting a defense against the attacks of John Cage. He would laugh harder at that idea than anyone here.
    While I agree with most of your post, I don't think John Cage was interested in "attacking" anything, especially not music, Mozart or otherwise. Maybe his concept of a composer offered an alternative to the hero/genius Romantic idea of a composer, which might be something fans of classical music don't want to have undermined.

    This, "we should all be a little less smug about the superiority of European music of the 18th and 19th centuries" - wise words.

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