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Thread: famous youtuber and jazz musician adam neely claims music theory is racist

  1. #16
    Senior Member julide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by norman bates View Post
    I don't get what the fact that music for a big orchestra had to be performed in a concert hall should give it more universality. Or why it should assume centrality pedagogically.
    When I watched the video I thought that Adam Neely was absolutely right when he said that a person that wants to learn spanish would learn the modern version of it, not the spanish that was talked centuries ago. And that's exactly what happens with music. He even mentioned Rimksy Korsakov that said basically the same thing more than a century ago.
    Anyone can go to a concert hall to listen to a symphony or a recital. It doesn't have to be a huge orchestra. My point is thats inclusivity. Not church music like bach's or ritualistic local music. Does that mean common practice era music is superior to them no. They just have universality which makes them pedagogically more important in academia. If you cant see why secular and humanistic music is priviliged by secular and humanistic institutions and call everything racist ... thats on you

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    Senior Member norman bates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by julide View Post
    now the practices of music theory might be experienced as racism by some jazz musician or some minority who might feel alienated by schenkerian analysis or whatever.... but calling the common practice era music inherently racist white and male is just incredibly vile......
    I don't think he said that. He (and more than him the professor he interviewed) said that TODAY, the fact that common practice harmony is still held in the highest regard (like even classical music didn't went beyond it) and it's still so central when the musical language of today is often very different can be explained in terms of racism.
    What time is the next swan?

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    Senior Member norman bates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by julide View Post
    Anyone can go to a concert hall to listen to a symphony or a recital. It doesn't have to be a huge orchestra. My point is thats inclusivity. Not church music like bach's or ritualistic local music. Does that mean common practice era music is superior to them no. They just have universality which makes them pedagogically more important in academia. If you cant see why secular and humanistic music is priviliged by secular and humanistic institutions and call everything racist ... thats on you

    again I don't understand what should make the concert hall more universal. Jazz too has been played in concert halls, and I suspect other genres too. If I'm not wrong maqam music has been played in concert halls. I don't know about indian music or gamelan or other stuff. And the fact that the same classical music of the twentieth century that is played in concert halls is often dramatically different from common practice music with incorporation of non functional harmony, modality, polytonality, atonality and serialism, microtonality, noise, concrete music, spectralism and other techniques.
    What time is the next swan?

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    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by norman bates View Post
    I don't think he said that. He (and more than him the professor he interviewed) said that TODAY, the fact that common practice harmony is still held in the highest regard (like even classical music didn't went beyond it) and it's still so central when the musical language of today is often very different can be explained in terms of racism.
    CP's high regard can also be explained by the benefits that learning it bestow on the musician and composer, even in todays musical multiverse. It functions as a solid foundation that can withstand any amount of aesthetic and technical building upon.

    As pedagogy, CP learning is sometimes misunderstood by those who haven't been through it and do not understand how it contributes to the growth of a developing composer wanting to be versed in the best practice of the great canon of musical achievement.
    Last edited by mikeh375; Sep-09-2020 at 10:49.
    New website and some new music......www.mikehewer.com

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    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    Not liking jazz is no more inherently racist than preferring waffles to french toast might be. Personal taste is not necessarily a sign of racism, even if our preferences may be influenced by a broader context. Claims to the contrary do not make jazz any more appealing to me.
    Last edited by JAS; Sep-09-2020 at 10:21.

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    Senior Member HenryPenfold's Avatar
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    I think we need to think clearly about the hideous behaviour of Dvorak when he swept into the US, enjoyed white privalige, and indulged in some of the most blatant cultural appropriation that the world has ever seen. Perhaps the Czechs could lead by example and pull down all statues, plaques, paintings of him. I've done my bit; I've destroyed all my Dvorak CDs and burned the two books on him that I bought years ago. We must #kick racism and white supremacy out of music.

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAS View Post
    Not liking jazz is no more inherently racist than preferring waffles to french toast might be. Personal taste is not necessarily a sign of racism, even if our preferences may be influenced by a broader context. Claims to the contrary do not make jazz any more appealing to me.
    True. But claiming that Western Classical Music is superior to Jazz is not merely stating a personal opinion.

    I think all negative opinions are in large part based on ignorance. Limited exposure to possibly mediocre examples of a genre we are unfamiliar with could easily give the listener an inaccurate idea of the scope of that genre. Only with extended listening experience can anyone hope to delve into the complexities and richness of any genre.

    It is my belief that the best Jazz is equal to the best Classical Music, in complexity, beauty, and musical invention.

    However, if Jazz is not for you, saying simply that is vastly better than trying to claim that the music you happen to like is just better.

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    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    Claiming that any particular form of art is inherently superior (as opposed to merely a matter of taste) is pretty much always a lost cause. It wins no converts and serves no real purpose.

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAS View Post
    Claiming that any particular form of art is inherently superior (as opposed to merely a matter of taste) is pretty much always a lost cause. It wins no converts and serves no real purpose.
    True, and yet I've heard that kind of claim made about Western Classical Music for as long as I can remember. And it is that kind of statement that renders the claimant vulnerable to a charge of racism or bigotry, IMO.

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    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    True, and yet I've heard that kind of claim made about Western Classical Music for as long as I can remember. And it is that kind of statement that renders the claimant vulnerable to a charge of racism or bigotry, IMO.
    I think that, for the most part, that may be more snobbery than racism, although individual cases may qualify for that. I have also heard similar claims made in favor of Jazz, Rock and Hip-Hop, without it ever occurring to me that it is a matter of racism or bigotry.

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    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAS View Post
    I think that, for the most part, that may be more snobbery than racism, although individual cases may qualify for that. I have also heard similar claims made in favor of Jazz, Rock and Hip-Hop, without it ever occurring to me that it is a matter of racism or bigotry.
    Not to belabor the point, but while I have heard that kind of thing said about Classical Music by a Rock fan (for one example), I have interpreted it as a statement of personal preference, they just like Rock better and find Classical Music boring for one reason or another. However, I've never heard a Rock fan try to make a case that Rock is on a higher plane of creativity or musical quality than Classical Music.

    Whereas that is exactly the kind of argument I've heard made countless times on behalf of Classical Music vis a vis other genres.
    Last edited by SanAntone; Sep-09-2020 at 11:12.

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  17. #27
    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    Well, I have heard the identical claim made for each of the forms noted. Classical Music has a pedigree of several centuries (and probably a larger bank of snobs to draw from), which probably makes it more prone to that sort of thing. Except in particular instances, I don't think any of this is properly denoted as racism, and saying so undermines credibility of better claims of actual racism (which is a serious problem).
    Last edited by JAS; Sep-09-2020 at 11:24.

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  19. #28
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAS View Post
    Well, I have heard the identical claim made for each of the forms noted. Classical Music has a pedigree of several centuries, which probably makes it more prone to that sort of thing. Except in particular instances, I don't think any of this is properly denoted as racism, and saying so undermines credibility of better claims of actual racism (which is a serious problem).
    This is where we depart. Unconscious racism is a phrase I've heard a lot recently, but I understand it to mean someone who doesn't even know their cultural biases. To think that Western European Classical Music is inherently superior to say, West African music - could imply that the speaker harbors an unconscious cultural bias that African culture is inferior to European culture. I cannot tolerate that kind of thinking. One can only say something like that with a large dose of arrogance and hubris.

    And I've never heard a Blues musician (for one example) claim that his music is superior to Classical Music. Partly, because Classical Music is largely an undiscovered island for him - but more importantly, that kind of broad claim would never occur to him to make.

    BTW, I have been a professional musician, and I've interacted with many musicians from a variety of genres: Jazz, Classical, Country and Rock. I can tell you in my experience the most arrogant were some Classical musicians, although some Jazz guys run a close not too distant second. But they are almost always making the claim for Jazz being superior to Rock, or other Pop genres.

    But the most arrogant are Classical Music fans.
    Last edited by SanAntone; Sep-09-2020 at 11:36.

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  21. #29
    Senior Member JAS's Avatar
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    I don't think this is necessarily unconscious racism as I don't think that it is necessarily racism at all. Racism is a deeply rooted and serious problem, and we must be mindful of it in evaluating our own thoughts and actions, but not everything can be explained by or as racism.

    While racism = bad is true (in my mind), bad = racism is not necessarily true.
    Last edited by JAS; Sep-09-2020 at 13:00.

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    Quote Originally Posted by julide View Post
    Can you elaborate on why do you think citizens have been "played" by the powers that be and how that came about and to what purpose. I'm not agreeing or disagreeing i was just intrigued by your reply.
    I'll elaborate more on that after I finish reading this book.

    Quote Originally Posted by julide View Post
    now the practices of music theory might be experienced as racism by some jazz musician or some minority who might feel alienated by schenkerian analysis or whatever.... but calling the common practice era music inherently racist white and male is just incredibly vile......
    Yes, it is, but it's not on purpose, or with bad intent. Like all racism and supremacy, it's unconscious, a cultural "given," an assumption.

    This is the same as white people being told they are racist. All human beings are "racist" in a sense. It's all unconscious, so we have to "wake up" to see it.


    Last edited by millionrainbows; Sep-09-2020 at 15:07.

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