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It depends on the age group. I don't see the rationale behind assigning such to elementary school kids, gay, queer, hetero, whatever. Shouldn't the parents have a say?
If the material actually contains explicit sexual material then, sure, it shouldn't be given to kids; if, however, the material is simply mentioning gay, queer, etc. relationships, and includes scenes like these couples kissing, holding hands, etc., then what is the argument for banning them but not similar scenes involving straight couples? As always, I would take this on a case-by-case basis, and my vote/decision wouldn't depend on the sexuality of the people involved in the potentially objectionable scenes.

Personally, I'm generally in favor of educating kids about sex earlier rather than later, especially in the age of an internet where a wealth of sexually explicit material is a click away and likely to lead to more confusion and less healthy or accurate views of sex than what's presented in most literature. I've never actually seen any studies on the supposed harms of teaching kids about sexual matters too early, and most of that view seems to stem from Puritan fears about human sexuality in general and the rather delusional belief that children are completely asexual and innocent creatures.
 

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Eva Yojimbo said:
Personally, I'm generally in favor of educating kids about sex earlier rather than later,
Personally, if you have young children then that's your choice. On the other hand in my opinion you don't really have much say over how anyone else's child is taught about sexuality.
 

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Personally, if you have young children then that's your choice.
Sure, and the last paragraph was an aside as I know it's a relatively unpopular opinion. Of course, education on many topics is an unpopular opinion in some circles. I've never heard an argument (backed up by facts) in which education leads to worse outcomes than ignorance, repression, oppression, the teaching of abstinence, etc. Without that it's difficult for me to respect the "choices" of people who handicap their children by keeping them as ignorant as possible for as long as possible.
 

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Also, the very nature of public schooling is that parents have relatively little say-so in what material is taught to students beyond protestations or arguments at school board meetings or optional classes in which parents can opt to take their kids out of. Sex Ed tends to be one of those courses, and I find it sad for the kids who won't even get the relatively meagre to downright bad sex education that public schools offer.
 

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According to reports:

Cambridge music students are being instructed to “decolonise the ear” and consider the classical canon as “an imperial phenomenon”.
The works of composers such as Mozart and Verdi are being taught in relation to topics including European Imperialism and Orientalism, as the music faculty pursues work on “curricular decolonisation”.
Undergraduates studying for the course, titled Decolonising the Ear, are taught to consider listening to sound in a “postcolonial” way, while a “music, power, empire” module explores how the classical repertoire is a middle-class and imperial phenomenon.
The music faculty has agreed to offer content warnings ahead of teaching “potential disturbing” musical topics, according to internal documents, after they were requested by students.

Do you think record labels should provide content warnings of ‘potentially disturbing’ musical content in Mozart’s music?
Music is always in some relation to the culture of one's time and place - and not always reflecting it but often criticising it.

And so some of Mozart's music is connected to the Austro-Hungarian empire which - hello CRT - was manned by white people who colonised OTHER WHITE PEOPLE.

So, if you want to critique Mozart's music as a device of imperialism, you must do it in relation to the music of the colonised Serbs, Slovaks, Romanians, etc. - whose identity was by then actually not yet formed into national categories, that are themselves a reaction to the dominance of Germanic / Vienese societal structure and culture.

And then what import all these have on Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is utterly unclear - and unlikely.
 

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I've only just discovered this thread and not got time to read every comment so apologies if my points have already been made.
1. Cambridge students' ears don't need decolonising as the chances of any of them not listening to contemporary Western music (i.e. been decolonised organically over the last century) are virtually nil.
2. Just because music was composed during an era of imperialism doesn't make it less valuable.
3. It would be impossible to give equal weight to every form of music from every culture, for obvious practical reasons.
 

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It seems a lot of people offering their opinions are not doing much critical thinking and falling into the knee-jerk reaction that certain media pushers want. It is one course, not the whole degree, that addresses the political and social context of music. That is a perfectly acceptable aspect of critical thinking on the relationship of music and art in its cultural context. It is NOT a sign of indoctrination!
Your quote on "warnings of ‘potentially disturbing’ musical content" I think you have got back to front. It is not warning that Mozart's music is disturbing, but the study of Mozart's music in a wider cultural context could be disturbing. Indeed, the use of cymbals, a symbol of the Turks, in Die Enfuhrung aus dem Serail, points towards the attitudes and relationship between Europe and the Ottoman Empire.
I was kind of with you, until the last sentence. I'm literally laughing out loud at the idea of young people being indoctrinated towards Western imperialism or psychologically harmed by the use of cymbals in Die Enfuhrung aus dem Serail.
 

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Does anyone else find it ironic that the decolonisers tend to be the same people that rail against cultural appropriation? So don't play Mozart because he was a product of white imperialism and don't play reggae (if you're white) because that's stealing another culture.
 

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Do you really think Mozart gets a "free pass"? I have heard Erich Leinsdorf in an interview around the Mozart anniversary 1991 when he said that one had to change the text of Monostatos (weil ein Schwarzer hässlich ist/because a black man is ugly) because nowadays one could not sing such a line. Probably nobody changed that text in Europe 30 years ago but Leinsdorf having worked in the US for so long was more sensitive. It's not a subtle denigration ;)
You could have chosen your words more carefully, lol. You realise that to denigrate means to blacken?
 

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For those recent arrivals who've only read the OP and are responding without further investigation might like to read the following take on the issue. Thanks Eva Yojimbo. There other equally considered responses.

What I think is that articles like this are usually dog whistles meant to provoke knee-jerk reactions in people that have no real idea what the course is, what's being taught, or the extent to which any of it's true. I tend to withhold judgments until I have more information on what exactly is being said and not fall in with the equally mindless woke/anti-woke zombie crowds.

My initial "reaction" (and it's hard to form an educated one given the limited information) is that it's obviously true that Mozart and other classical composers were the products of imperialist cultures that sometimes had an aesthetic fascination with orientalism, and while perhaps that has some significance in regards to a handful of opera librettos I don't know how it would have any relevance to the actual music.
 

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For those recent arrivals who've only read the OP and are responding without further investigation might like to read the following take on the issue. Thanks Eva Yojimbo. There other equally considered responses.
I assume you mean me. I had already read that comment, agree somewhat, and don't see how it negates my comments. I also agree somewhat with another observation (sorry not wading back through to find it) that it's not necessarily a knee-jerk reaction to the Cambridge course because it can be seen within the broader context of the so-called culture war. Please don't ask me to elaborate as there are plenty of forums for discussing politics and this one is for music. I think my first comment is a reasonable and apolitical summary of my thoughts on the matter.
 

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I assume you mean me. I had already read that comment, agree somewhat, and don't see how it negates my comments. I also agree somewhat with another observation (sorry not wading back through to find it) that it's not necessarily a knee-jerk reaction to the Cambridge course because it can be seen within the broader context of the so-called culture war. Please don't ask me to elaborate as there are plenty of forums for discussing politics and this one is for music. I think my first comment is a reasonable and apolitical summary of my thoughts on the matter.
I was actually referring to those who only joined the forum within the last few days.
 

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It seems a lot of people offering their opinions are not doing much critical thinking and falling into the knee-jerk reaction that certain media pushers want. It is one course, not the whole degree, that addresses the political and social context of music. That is a perfectly acceptable aspect of critical thinking on the relationship of music and art in its cultural context. It is NOT a sign of indoctrination!
Your quote on "warnings of ‘potentially disturbing’ musical content" I think you have got back to front. It is not warning that Mozart's music is disturbing, but the study of Mozart's music in a wider cultural context could be disturbing. Indeed, the use of cymbals, a symbol of the Turks, in Die Enfuhrung aus dem Serail, points towards the attitudes and relationship between Europe and the Ottoman Empire.
Actually, my assumption (as good as anyone’s as they all are made without actual knowledge) is that the warnings were more likely to relate to topics like Minstrelsy, a form of musical entertainment grounded in the crudest racial stereotypes.
 

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If anyone is the symbol of decolonization it's the late Nelson Mandela whose favorite music was classical, Handel, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. So how do we process that?

"Music is a great blessing. It has the power to elevate and liberate us. It sets people free to dream."-Nelson Mandela
 

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^ Mandela was a great man but for half of my life I had to listen to my government and most of the press telling me he was a terrorist. You can believe what governments and journalists tell you. You have to look into it for yourself.
 

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^ Mandela was a great man but for half of my life I had to listen to my government and most of the press telling me he was a terrorist. You can believe what governments and journalists tell you. You have to look into it for yourself.
What does that have to do with Mozart and Beethoven? For the first part of my life I had no idea who Mandela was.
 

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^ About as much as or more than half of your posts. The point is that this thread was generated by a dog whistle article aimed at the right wing credulous and misrepresenting the facts. It led to many coming out and condemning a university for offering a music course that they didn't even understand. This sort of thing happens through telling people that Mozart is going to be cancelled just as much as it can by telling people that a saint - albeit one who would change the way his country was governed - is a violent criminal.
 

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^ About as much as or more than half of your posts. The point is that this thread was generated by a dog whistle article aimed at the right wing credulous and misrepresenting the facts. It led to many coming out and condemning a university for offering a music course that they didn't even understand. This sort of thing happens through telling people that Mozart is going to be cancelled just as much as it can by telling people that a saint - albeit one who would change the way his country was governed - is a violent criminal.
Are you kidding? There are calls here for George Washington to be "canceled". Why should I think Mozart wouldn't be among the next? And what is "the right"? Is the whole subject of "decolonisation" a "dog whistle" for "the left"?
 

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Eva Yojimbo said:
and most of that view seems to stem from Puritan fears about human sexuality in general and the rather delusional belief that children are completely asexual and innocent creatures.
It's not really delusional. My experience is that generally holds true for young children unless influenced otherwise. The Puritans among us today are those who demand that everyone of every age group consume, digest and give assent to every bit of their dogma.
 
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