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Classical music - racist?
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shellackophile
2020-06-25 18:09:25 UTC
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Classical Music Is Being Cancelled

United States: Is classical music a “privilege” for whites and Asians?

TRIBUNE – In decline in the United States, classical music is criticized by many as “too white”, even though it is favoured by young Americans of Asian descent, analyses Paul May, a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (Uqam)*.

By PAUL MAY

Le Figaro, 21 June 2020

Classical music today is accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the American population.

Certain phenomena, not very publicized and unspectacular, are nevertheless indicative of profound transformations at work in our societies. This is the case of the decline of classical music in the United States. Confronted for several years with a constant decline in its audience, classical music is now accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the country’s population, to such an extent that its long-term survival is being questioned. Sociologically, the stakes are symbolic: one of the major cultural practices of the country’s elite since its foundation is explicitly called upon to change or disappear.

A study by the National Endowment for the Arts reports that the proportion of adults who attended a classical music concert in the previous year had risen from 13 per cent in 1982 to 8.6 per cent in 2017. Between 1982 and 2002, the share of attendees under 30 dropped from 27% to 9%. This is accompanied by a general decline in the number of amateurs in the population: in 1992, 4.2% of adult Americans reported playing a musical instrument, compared to 2% in 2008. In terms of album sales, although the last two years have seen a slight improvement, they do not mask a sharp decline over the long term. While the country still has some of the world’s most renowned orchestras, such as the Chicago Symphony or the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the question of a decline can hardly be avoided.

There are many reasons for this, according to the specialist press: an economic model based mainly on private funding, a decline in school education, and competition from other forms of music that are more popular with the younger generation.

Classical music is inherently racist

– New Music USA

Faced with this observation, classical music is encouraged to renew itself. However, according to professionals in the sector, one of the major challenges is to change the image of a field perceived as “too white”. According to a report published in 2016 by the League of American Orchestras, blacks represent only 1.8% of orchestra members, and Latin Americans only 2.5%. Moreover, the vast majority of the works performed in the concerts were by composers of European origin, which is considered insufficiently “inclusive” in the United States. For example, the San Francisco Chronicle recently expressed regret that the city’s Symphony Orchestra will present almost exclusively compositions created by white men in the 2017-2018 season.

Too white, too old, the classical music sector is accused of being out of step with the country’s changing demographics. Indeed, projections by the US Census Bureau predict that the share of ethnic minorities in the population will increase to become the majority around the middle of the century, and would already represent 45% of the 18-23 age group. As a result, a number of American newspapers have recently denounced the fact that the classical music scene is considered too ethnically homogenous. The New York Times accuses it of being the “least diverse institution in the country” and of masking “a racist problem”, while the Seattle Magazine proclaims that it is necessary to “attack its whiteness”. The specialized press is not to be outdone: the National Public Radioconstate’s website says that the scene is “extremely white and increasingly marginalized,” echoing New Music USA, which for its part believes that “classical music is inherently racist.

These accusations are based on the following logic: if an institution has too small a proportion of people of non-European descent, it is suspected of masking a discriminatory recruitment process, or even a form of “structural racism”. Recently, this beam of criticism has hit a wide variety of fields, such as cinema (with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite), ice hockey (#HockeySoWhite), or the Silicon Valley business community (#SiliconValleySoWhite). In the name of economic performance or the principle of non-discrimination, each institution is thus scrutinized and judged on the basis of its degree of openness to “diversity”.

While classical music was banned during the Cultural Revolution, it is estimated today that about 50 million young Chinese are learning the piano.

In the field of classical music, this leads to prioritizing the recruitment of musicians from diverse ethnic backgrounds, modifying the canon of composers deemed essential to include artists of colour, or transforming the current concert format to offer collaborations with singers appreciated by young audiences, as proposed in the League of American Orchestras’ report entitled “How Diversity Can Help Save Classical Music”.

It is to be hoped that this project of ethnic recalibration will succeed in breathing new life into classical music across the Atlantic. Sceptics, however, will prefer to bank on the extraordinary enthusiasm of the younger generation of Asian Americans for this art form. The latter constitute a growing fringe of amateurs and professionals, contradicting the above-mentioned critics who see classical music as an area that is not easily accessible to ethnic minorities. Indeed, the children of immigrants from China, South Korea, Singapore or Taiwan are over-represented in conservatories, and pushed by their parents, who see this apprenticeship as a school of rigour and excellence. It remains to be seen, however, whether their demographic weight in the population will be sufficient to reverse the current declining trend.

In this regard, the situation in the United States contrasts with that of several Asian countries, such as China, for example. While classical music was banned during the Cultural Revolution, it is estimated today that about 50 million young Chinese are learning the piano, inspired by internationally renowned stars such as Li Yundi, Yuja Wang, or Lang Lang. The country is both the leading consumer and the leading manufacturer of pianos, producing 80% of the world’s supply. The average age of concertgoers is considerably younger than in North America, suggesting a more sustainable audience over the long term, both in auditoriums and on the internet. All these factors led Lorin Maazel, former music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, to say: “We need defenders of our classical music tradition, if classical music is to survive … it may very well be that the most important defenders are in China”.

Optimists will be pleased to find a music-loving public in Asia, eager to take over a neglected artistic heritage. Pessimists will see it as yet another symptom of a West that has forgotten its roots and is indifferent to the transmission of its own cultural treasures. A silent phenomenon, rarely in the headlines… but no less significant for the evolution of our civilization.

* Paul May is notably the author of a remarkable work, “Philosophies of Multiculturalism” (Presses de Sciences Po, 2016).

Translated by DeepL from https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/culture/etats-unis-la-musique-classique-est-elle-un-privilege-des-blancs-et-des-asiatiques-20200621?utm_source=premium&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=%5b20200622_NL_MATINALE%5d&een
Néstor Castiglione
2020-06-25 19:24:59 UTC
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The format of this post is a bit confusing. Was "classical music is inherently racist" a quote from New Music USA? Was that from that op-ed that dweeb wrote some time mid last year? I vaguely recall hearing of that " thinkpiece" making the rounds.

I'll just repeat (and slightly modify) my comment made about this same subject in another thread:

Classical music isn't inherently "racist." As a "BIPOC" myself (ugh, dreadful term!), I never felt that understanding of Beethoven, Webern, and Stravinsky was somehow closed off to me because they were "old white men" and I was not, nor that I required being condescended to for the sake of making their music "accessible." Thinking about music in "racial" terms simply never occurred to me. A young friend of mine, another Latino, also loves classical music and is an avid collector, especially of vintage vocal recordings. Both of us came from rough neighborhoods where access to classical music was limited, at best.

Love of classical music can be encouraged, yes, but it's also one of those things for which there is no "formula." But one common sense step to foster interest among groups that traditionally shy away from classical music would be to drastically cut the price of admission for concerts. Even the cheap seats at Disney Hall, for example, cost the equivalent of, say, a bag of groceries or a family dinner at a take-out restaurant. Some chamber concerts are even more expensive. One series offers "student" pricing at $75! Classical music organizations could also widen accessibility to their concerts via streaming, broadcast, commercial recordings, etc. In the middle of the 20th century, most major American orchestras broadcasted their concerts in real time, allowing an audience larger than was possible to fit in at their respective home concert halls to tune in for free.

Now I'm not necessarily advocating for any of these things. I'm fully aware that such steps would also require widespread commensurate pay cuts and so on. But if those bemoaning the lack of diversity in classical music were really serious about expanding their audience, they could put their money with their mouths are. One thing is certain: Implicitly racist condescension and performative activism aren't the solutions.
Post by shellackophile
Classical Music Is Being Cancelled
United States: Is classical music a “privilege” for whites and Asians?
TRIBUNE – In decline in the United States, classical music is criticized by many as “too white”, even though it is favoured by young Americans of Asian descent, analyses Paul May, a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (Uqam)*.
By PAUL MAY
Le Figaro, 21 June 2020
Classical music today is accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the American population.
Certain phenomena, not very publicized and unspectacular, are nevertheless indicative of profound transformations at work in our societies. This is the case of the decline of classical music in the United States. Confronted for several years with a constant decline in its audience, classical music is now accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the country’s population, to such an extent that its long-term survival is being questioned. Sociologically, the stakes are symbolic: one of the major cultural practices of the country’s elite since its foundation is explicitly called upon to change or disappear.
A study by the National Endowment for the Arts reports that the proportion of adults who attended a classical music concert in the previous year had risen from 13 per cent in 1982 to 8.6 per cent in 2017. Between 1982 and 2002, the share of attendees under 30 dropped from 27% to 9%. This is accompanied by a general decline in the number of amateurs in the population: in 1992, 4.2% of adult Americans reported playing a musical instrument, compared to 2% in 2008. In terms of album sales, although the last two years have seen a slight improvement, they do not mask a sharp decline over the long term. While the country still has some of the world’s most renowned orchestras, such as the Chicago Symphony or the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the question of a decline can hardly be avoided.
There are many reasons for this, according to the specialist press: an economic model based mainly on private funding, a decline in school education, and competition from other forms of music that are more popular with the younger generation.
Classical music is inherently racist
– New Music USA
Faced with this observation, classical music is encouraged to renew itself. However, according to professionals in the sector, one of the major challenges is to change the image of a field perceived as “too white”. According to a report published in 2016 by the League of American Orchestras, blacks represent only 1.8% of orchestra members, and Latin Americans only 2.5%. Moreover, the vast majority of the works performed in the concerts were by composers of European origin, which is considered insufficiently “inclusive” in the United States. For example, the San Francisco Chronicle recently expressed regret that the city’s Symphony Orchestra will present almost exclusively compositions created by white men in the 2017-2018 season.
Too white, too old, the classical music sector is accused of being out of step with the country’s changing demographics. Indeed, projections by the US Census Bureau predict that the share of ethnic minorities in the population will increase to become the majority around the middle of the century, and would already represent 45% of the 18-23 age group. As a result, a number of American newspapers have recently denounced the fact that the classical music scene is considered too ethnically homogenous. The New York Times accuses it of being the “least diverse institution in the country” and of masking “a racist problem”, while the Seattle Magazine proclaims that it is necessary to “attack its whiteness”. The specialized press is not to be outdone: the National Public Radioconstate’s website says that the scene is “extremely white and increasingly marginalized,” echoing New Music USA, which for its part believes that “classical music is inherently racist.
These accusations are based on the following logic: if an institution has too small a proportion of people of non-European descent, it is suspected of masking a discriminatory recruitment process, or even a form of “structural racism”. Recently, this beam of criticism has hit a wide variety of fields, such as cinema (with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite), ice hockey (#HockeySoWhite), or the Silicon Valley business community (#SiliconValleySoWhite). In the name of economic performance or the principle of non-discrimination, each institution is thus scrutinized and judged on the basis of its degree of openness to “diversity”.
While classical music was banned during the Cultural Revolution, it is estimated today that about 50 million young Chinese are learning the piano.
In the field of classical music, this leads to prioritizing the recruitment of musicians from diverse ethnic backgrounds, modifying the canon of composers deemed essential to include artists of colour, or transforming the current concert format to offer collaborations with singers appreciated by young audiences, as proposed in the League of American Orchestras’ report entitled “How Diversity Can Help Save Classical Music”.
It is to be hoped that this project of ethnic recalibration will succeed in breathing new life into classical music across the Atlantic. Sceptics, however, will prefer to bank on the extraordinary enthusiasm of the younger generation of Asian Americans for this art form. The latter constitute a growing fringe of amateurs and professionals, contradicting the above-mentioned critics who see classical music as an area that is not easily accessible to ethnic minorities. Indeed, the children of immigrants from China, South Korea, Singapore or Taiwan are over-represented in conservatories, and pushed by their parents, who see this apprenticeship as a school of rigour and excellence. It remains to be seen, however, whether their demographic weight in the population will be sufficient to reverse the current declining trend.
In this regard, the situation in the United States contrasts with that of several Asian countries, such as China, for example. While classical music was banned during the Cultural Revolution, it is estimated today that about 50 million young Chinese are learning the piano, inspired by internationally renowned stars such as Li Yundi, Yuja Wang, or Lang Lang. The country is both the leading consumer and the leading manufacturer of pianos, producing 80% of the world’s supply. The average age of concertgoers is considerably younger than in North America, suggesting a more sustainable audience over the long term, both in auditoriums and on the internet. All these factors led Lorin Maazel, former music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, to say: “We need defenders of our classical music tradition, if classical music is to survive … it may very well be that the most important defenders are in China”.
Optimists will be pleased to find a music-loving public in Asia, eager to take over a neglected artistic heritage. Pessimists will see it as yet another symptom of a West that has forgotten its roots and is indifferent to the transmission of its own cultural treasures. A silent phenomenon, rarely in the headlines… but no less significant for the evolution of our civilization.
* Paul May is notably the author of a remarkable work, “Philosophies of Multiculturalism” (Presses de Sciences Po, 2016).
Translated by DeepL from https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/culture/etats-unis-la-musique-classique-est-elle-un-privilege-des-blancs-et-des-asiatiques-20200621?utm_source=premium&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=%5b20200622_NL_MATINALE%5d&een
Néstor Castiglione
2020-06-25 19:29:05 UTC
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Permalink
The format of this post is a bit confusing. Was "classical music is inherently racist" a quote from New Music USA? Was that from that op-ed that dweeb wrote some time mid last year? I vaguely recall hearing of that " thinkpiece" making the rounds.

I'll just repeat (and slightly modify) my comment made about this same subject in another thread:

Classical music isn't inherently "racist." As a "BIPOC" myself (ugh, dreadful term!), I never felt that understanding of Beethoven, Webern, and Stravinsky was somehow closed off to me because they were "old white men" and I was not, or that I required being condescended to for the sake of making their music "accessible." Thinking about music in racial terms simply never occurred to me. A young friend of mine, another Latino, also loves classical music and is an avid collector, especially of vintage vocal recordings. Both of us came from rough neighborhoods where access to classical music was limited, at best.

Love of classical music can be encouraged, yes, but it's also one of those things for which there is no "formula." But one common sense step to foster interest among groups that traditionally shy away from classical music would be to drastically cut the price of admission for concerts. Even the cheap seats at Disney Hall, for example, cost the equivalent of, say, a bag of groceries or a family dinner at a take-out restaurant. Some chamber concerts are even more expensive. One series I attend offers "student" pricing at $75! Classical music organizations could also widen accessibility to their concerts via streaming, broadcast, commercial recordings, etc. In the middle of the 20th century, most major American orchestras broadcasted their concerts in real time, allowing an audience larger than was possible to fit in at their respective home concert halls to tune in for free.

Now I'm not necessarily advocating for any of these things. I'm fully aware that such steps would also require widespread commensurate pay cuts and so on. But if those bemoaning the lack of diversity in classical music were really serious about expanding their audience, they could put their money where their mouths are. One thing is certain: Implicitly racist condescension and performative activism aren't the solutions.
Post by shellackophile
Classical Music Is Being Cancelled
United States: Is classical music a “privilege” for whites and Asians?
TRIBUNE – In decline in the United States, classical music is criticized by many as “too white”, even though it is favoured by young Americans of Asian descent, analyses Paul May, a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (Uqam)*.
By PAUL MAY
Le Figaro, 21 June 2020
Classical music today is accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the American population.
Certain phenomena, not very publicized and unspectacular, are nevertheless indicative of profound transformations at work in our societies. This is the case of the decline of classical music in the United States. Confronted for several years with a constant decline in its audience, classical music is now accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the country’s population, to such an extent that its long-term survival is being questioned. Sociologically, the stakes are symbolic: one of the major cultural practices of the country’s elite since its foundation is explicitly called upon to change or disappear.
A study by the National Endowment for the Arts reports that the proportion of adults who attended a classical music concert in the previous year had risen from 13 per cent in 1982 to 8.6 per cent in 2017. Between 1982 and 2002, the share of attendees under 30 dropped from 27% to 9%. This is accompanied by a general decline in the number of amateurs in the population: in 1992, 4.2% of adult Americans reported playing a musical instrument, compared to 2% in 2008. In terms of album sales, although the last two years have seen a slight improvement, they do not mask a sharp decline over the long term. While the country still has some of the world’s most renowned orchestras, such as the Chicago Symphony or the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the question of a decline can hardly be avoided.
There are many reasons for this, according to the specialist press: an economic model based mainly on private funding, a decline in school education, and competition from other forms of music that are more popular with the younger generation.
Classical music is inherently racist
– New Music USA
Faced with this observation, classical music is encouraged to renew itself. However, according to professionals in the sector, one of the major challenges is to change the image of a field perceived as “too white”. According to a report published in 2016 by the League of American Orchestras, blacks represent only 1.8% of orchestra members, and Latin Americans only 2.5%. Moreover, the vast majority of the works performed in the concerts were by composers of European origin, which is considered insufficiently “inclusive” in the United States. For example, the San Francisco Chronicle recently expressed regret that the city’s Symphony Orchestra will present almost exclusively compositions created by white men in the 2017-2018 season.
Too white, too old, the classical music sector is accused of being out of step with the country’s changing demographics. Indeed, projections by the US Census Bureau predict that the share of ethnic minorities in the population will increase to become the majority around the middle of the century, and would already represent 45% of the 18-23 age group. As a result, a number of American newspapers have recently denounced the fact that the classical music scene is considered too ethnically homogenous. The New York Times accuses it of being the “least diverse institution in the country” and of masking “a racist problem”, while the Seattle Magazine proclaims that it is necessary to “attack its whiteness”. The specialized press is not to be outdone: the National Public Radioconstate’s website says that the scene is “extremely white and increasingly marginalized,” echoing New Music USA, which for its part believes that “classical music is inherently racist.
These accusations are based on the following logic: if an institution has too small a proportion of people of non-European descent, it is suspected of masking a discriminatory recruitment process, or even a form of “structural racism”. Recently, this beam of criticism has hit a wide variety of fields, such as cinema (with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite), ice hockey (#HockeySoWhite), or the Silicon Valley business community (#SiliconValleySoWhite). In the name of economic performance or the principle of non-discrimination, each institution is thus scrutinized and judged on the basis of its degree of openness to “diversity”.
While classical music was banned during the Cultural Revolution, it is estimated today that about 50 million young Chinese are learning the piano.
In the field of classical music, this leads to prioritizing the recruitment of musicians from diverse ethnic backgrounds, modifying the canon of composers deemed essential to include artists of colour, or transforming the current concert format to offer collaborations with singers appreciated by young audiences, as proposed in the League of American Orchestras’ report entitled “How Diversity Can Help Save Classical Music”.
It is to be hoped that this project of ethnic recalibration will succeed in breathing new life into classical music across the Atlantic. Sceptics, however, will prefer to bank on the extraordinary enthusiasm of the younger generation of Asian Americans for this art form. The latter constitute a growing fringe of amateurs and professionals, contradicting the above-mentioned critics who see classical music as an area that is not easily accessible to ethnic minorities. Indeed, the children of immigrants from China, South Korea, Singapore or Taiwan are over-represented in conservatories, and pushed by their parents, who see this apprenticeship as a school of rigour and excellence. It remains to be seen, however, whether their demographic weight in the population will be sufficient to reverse the current declining trend.
In this regard, the situation in the United States contrasts with that of several Asian countries, such as China, for example. While classical music was banned during the Cultural Revolution, it is estimated today that about 50 million young Chinese are learning the piano, inspired by internationally renowned stars such as Li Yundi, Yuja Wang, or Lang Lang. The country is both the leading consumer and the leading manufacturer of pianos, producing 80% of the world’s supply. The average age of concertgoers is considerably younger than in North America, suggesting a more sustainable audience over the long term, both in auditoriums and on the internet. All these factors led Lorin Maazel, former music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, to say: “We need defenders of our classical music tradition, if classical music is to survive … it may very well be that the most important defenders are in China”.
Optimists will be pleased to find a music-loving public in Asia, eager to take over a neglected artistic heritage. Pessimists will see it as yet another symptom of a West that has forgotten its roots and is indifferent to the transmission of its own cultural treasures. A silent phenomenon, rarely in the headlines… but no less significant for the evolution of our civilization.
* Paul May is notably the author of a remarkable work, “Philosophies of Multiculturalism” (Presses de Sciences Po, 2016).
Translated by DeepL from https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/culture/etats-unis-la-musique-classique-est-elle-un-privilege-des-blancs-et-des-asiatiques-20200621?utm_source=premium&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=%5b20200622_NL_MATINALE%5d&een
j***@gmail.com
2020-06-25 21:32:59 UTC
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...But one common sense step to foster interest among groups that traditionally shy away from classical music would be to drastically cut the price of admission for concerts.
I wish I thought it were that simple. I live near New Haven, which has far more high-quality, entirely free art than even a glutton like myself can consume, including two top-notch art museums that are always free and many good student theater productions that only require a reservation.

But classical music is what there's most of, thanks to the Yale School of Music, and the great majority of it is entirely free. During the school year, there are recitals more days than not, and the level of performance is outstanding. Whatever the discomfort inherent in being a newcomer to any sort of event, the people attending could hardly be more inclined to embrace youth and diversity. Yet the audience remains overwhelmingly old and white--I've been going for over forty years, and I'm still younger than the median age at most concerts.

What if you created paradise and no one wanted it? The appeal of classical music--and of great art generally--reaches remarkably across time and space, but you still have to come to it, and give yourself over to it. The more the music is dismissed as irrelevant to the experience of a culture or a generation, and the less the works of the past are esteemed and taught, the fewer the chances that an individual will have for the conversion experience that brings the love of an art.

Not quite what I want to say or how I wish I could put it, but windy enough already that I'd better leave it at that!

Joe Markley
Plantsville, Connecticut
Frank Berger
2020-06-25 21:46:18 UTC
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Post by j***@gmail.com
...But one common sense step to foster interest among groups that traditionally shy away from classical music would be to drastically cut the price of admission for concerts.
I wish I thought it were that simple. I live near New Haven, which has far more high-quality, entirely free art than even a glutton like myself can consume, including two top-notch art museums that are always free and many good student theater productions that only require a reservation.
But classical music is what there's most of, thanks to the Yale School of Music, and the great majority of it is entirely free. During the school year, there are recitals more days than not, and the level of performance is outstanding. Whatever the discomfort inherent in being a newcomer to any sort of event, the people attending could hardly be more inclined to embrace youth and diversity. Yet the audience remains overwhelmingly old and white--I've been going for over forty years, and I'm still younger than the median age at most concerts.
What if you created paradise and no one wanted it? The appeal of classical music--and of great art generally--reaches remarkably across time and space, but you still have to come to it, and give yourself over to it. The more the music is dismissed as irrelevant to the experience of a culture or a generation, and the less the works of the past are esteemed and taught, the fewer the chances that an individual will have for the conversion experience that brings the love of an art.
Not quite what I want to say or how I wish I could put it, but windy enough already that I'd better leave it at that!
Joe Markley
Plantsville, Connecticut
I thought you expressed your thoughts very well. I agree
that the explanation is not simple. Even if we could
guarantee exposure to and/or education about CM to all
youth, it's not clear whether that would solve the
"problem." The masses of each generation invent their own
music and only a declining minority clings to early forms.
It's the natural order.
Néstor Castiglione
2020-06-25 21:58:37 UTC
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Permalink
Over here in my area we have a number of excellent chamber concerts series that are free to the public. Few people show up. I recall that last year one of the local colleges had a terrific free recital of music by 20th century Latin American composers. Altogether only about a dozen people filled out this rather large hall⁠—and no "folx of color" (aside from myself) in sight! Where were the "BIPOC" to rep their own?
Post by j***@gmail.com
What if you created paradise and no one wanted it? The appeal of classical music--and of great art generally--reaches remarkably across time and space, but you still have to come to it, and give yourself over to it. The more the music is dismissed as irrelevant to the experience of a culture or a generation, and the less the works of the past are esteemed and taught, the fewer the chances that an individual will have for the conversion experience that brings the love of an art.
Spot on.
Post by j***@gmail.com
...But one common sense step to foster interest among groups that traditionally shy away from classical music would be to drastically cut the price of admission for concerts.
I wish I thought it were that simple. I live near New Haven, which has far more high-quality, entirely free art than even a glutton like myself can consume, including two top-notch art museums that are always free and many good student theater productions that only require a reservation.
But classical music is what there's most of, thanks to the Yale School of Music, and the great majority of it is entirely free. During the school year, there are recitals more days than not, and the level of performance is outstanding. Whatever the discomfort inherent in being a newcomer to any sort of event, the people attending could hardly be more inclined to embrace youth and diversity. Yet the audience remains overwhelmingly old and white--I've been going for over forty years, and I'm still younger than the median age at most concerts.
What if you created paradise and no one wanted it? The appeal of classical music--and of great art generally--reaches remarkably across time and space, but you still have to come to it, and give yourself over to it. The more the music is dismissed as irrelevant to the experience of a culture or a generation, and the less the works of the past are esteemed and taught, the fewer the chances that an individual will have for the conversion experience that brings the love of an art.
Not quite what I want to say or how I wish I could put it, but windy enough already that I'd better leave it at that!
Joe Markley
Plantsville, Connecticut
g***@gmail.com
2020-06-30 03:17:44 UTC
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Post by Néstor Castiglione
Over here in my area we have a number of excellent chamber concerts series that are free to the public. Few people show up. I recall that last year one of the local colleges had a terrific free recital of music by 20th century Latin American composers. Altogether only about a dozen people filled out this rather large hall⁠—and no "folx of color" (aside from myself) in sight! Where were the "BIPOC" to rep their own?
Post by j***@gmail.com
What if you created paradise and no one wanted it? The appeal of classical music--and of great art generally--reaches remarkably across time and space, but you still have to come to it, and give yourself over to it. The more the music is dismissed as irrelevant to the experience of a culture or a generation, and the less the works of the past are esteemed and taught, the fewer the chances that an individual will have for the conversion experience that brings the love of an art.
Spot on...
According to the recent article, "Did You Say High Culture Was Dead?":

- Times have changed, and radically so. Today it is blatantly obvious that popular culture has won the war over cultural hegemony — hands down...Today, audiences want to be entertained rather than intellectually stunned and disturbed, want to escape from their ordinary and, more often than not, mind-numbing, if not depressing, everyday working lives.

https://www.fairobserver.com/culture/high-culture-pop-culture-opera-literature-film-netflix-news-15514/
g***@gmail.com
2020-06-30 21:52:34 UTC
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Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Over here in my area we have a number of excellent chamber concerts series that are free to the public. Few people show up. I recall that last year one of the local colleges had a terrific free recital of music by 20th century Latin American composers. Altogether only about a dozen people filled out this rather large hall⁠—and no "folx of color" (aside from myself) in sight! Where were the "BIPOC" to rep their own?
Post by j***@gmail.com
What if you created paradise and no one wanted it? The appeal of classical music--and of great art generally--reaches remarkably across time and space, but you still have to come to it, and give yourself over to it. The more the music is dismissed as irrelevant to the experience of a culture or a generation, and the less the works of the past are esteemed and taught, the fewer the chances that an individual will have for the conversion experience that brings the love of an art.
Spot on...
- Times have changed, and radically so. Today it is blatantly obvious that popular culture has won the war over cultural hegemony — hands down...Today, audiences want to be entertained rather than intellectually stunned and disturbed, want to escape from their ordinary and, more often than not, mind-numbing, if not depressing, everyday working lives.
https://www.fairobserver.com/culture/high-culture-pop-culture-opera-literature-film-netflix-news-15514/
- Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection, if it means nothing more than freedom to stagnate, to live without dreams, to have no greater aim than a second car and another television set.

Adlai Stevenson II
Rebuild Queens Hall London
2020-07-01 08:05:19 UTC
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Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Over here in my area we have a number of excellent chamber concerts series that are free to the public. Few people show up. I recall that last year one of the local colleges had a terrific free recital of music by 20th century Latin American composers. Altogether only about a dozen people filled out this rather large hall⁠—and no "folx of color" (aside from myself) in sight! Where were the "BIPOC" to rep their own?
Post by j***@gmail.com
What if you created paradise and no one wanted it? The appeal of classical music--and of great art generally--reaches remarkably across time and space, but you still have to come to it, and give yourself over to it. The more the music is dismissed as irrelevant to the experience of a culture or a generation, and the less the works of the past are esteemed and taught, the fewer the chances that an individual will have for the conversion experience that brings the love of an art.
Spot on...
- Times have changed, and radically so. Today it is blatantly obvious that popular culture has won the war over cultural hegemony — hands down...Today, audiences want to be entertained rather than intellectually stunned and disturbed, want to escape from their ordinary and, more often than not, mind-numbing, if not depressing, everyday working lives.
https://www.fairobserver.com/culture/high-culture-pop-culture-opera-literature-film-netflix-news-15514/
- Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection, if it means nothing more than freedom to stagnate, to live without dreams, to have no greater aim than a second car and another television set.
Adlai Stevenson II
Does censoring everything that may be hateful to minorities will make people live longer and benefit their health ?. Of course not so why insist on Communist / Fascist doctrine ?.
dk
2020-07-18 03:30:51 UTC
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Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Over here in my area we have a number of excellent chamber concerts series that are free to the public. Few people show up. I recall that last year one of the local colleges had a terrific free recital of music by 20th century Latin American composers. Altogether only about a dozen people filled out this rather large hall⁠—and no "folx of color" (aside from myself) in sight! Where were the "BIPOC" to rep their own?
Post by j***@gmail.com
What if you created paradise and no one wanted it? The appeal of classical music--and of great art generally--reaches remarkably across time and space, but you still have to come to it, and give yourself over to it. The more the music is dismissed as irrelevant to the experience of a culture or a generation, and the less the works of the past are esteemed and taught, the fewer the chances that an individual will have for the conversion experience that brings the love of an art.
Spot on...
- Times have changed, and radically so. Today it is blatantly obvious that popular culture has won the war over cultural hegemony — hands down...Today, audiences want to be entertained rather than intellectually stunned and disturbed, want to escape from their ordinary and, more often than not, mind-numbing, if not depressing, everyday working lives.
https://www.fairobserver.com/culture/high-culture-pop-culture-opera-literature-film-netflix-news-15514/
- Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection, if it means nothing more than freedom to stagnate, to live without dreams, to have no greater aim than a second car and another television set.
Adlai Stevenson II
Just one of the reasons he lost
two presidential elections to
Dwight Eisenhower. In fairness,
even God could not have won
against Ike! ;-)

dk
g***@gmail.com
2020-07-18 05:36:24 UTC
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Post by dk
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Over here in my area we have a number of excellent chamber concerts series that are free to the public. Few people show up. I recall that last year one of the local colleges had a terrific free recital of music by 20th century Latin American composers. Altogether only about a dozen people filled out this rather large hall⁠—and no "folx of color" (aside from myself) in sight! Where were the "BIPOC" to rep their own?
Post by j***@gmail.com
What if you created paradise and no one wanted it? The appeal of classical music--and of great art generally--reaches remarkably across time and space, but you still have to come to it, and give yourself over to it. The more the music is dismissed as irrelevant to the experience of a culture or a generation, and the less the works of the past are esteemed and taught, the fewer the chances that an individual will have for the conversion experience that brings the love of an art.
Spot on...
- Times have changed, and radically so. Today it is blatantly obvious that popular culture has won the war over cultural hegemony — hands down...Today, audiences want to be entertained rather than intellectually stunned and disturbed, want to escape from their ordinary and, more often than not, mind-numbing, if not depressing, everyday working lives.
https://www.fairobserver.com/culture/high-culture-pop-culture-opera-literature-film-netflix-news-15514/
- Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection, if it means nothing more than freedom to stagnate, to live without dreams, to have no greater aim than a second car and another television set.
Adlai Stevenson II
Just one of the reasons he lost
two presidential elections to
Dwight Eisenhower. In fairness,
even God could not have won
against Ike! ;-)
dk
- Never run against a war hero.

Adlai Stevenson (Response when asked if he had any advice to give to a young politician)
u***@gmail.com
2020-07-20 20:39:03 UTC
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Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by dk
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Over here in my area we have a number of excellent chamber concerts series that are free to the public. Few people show up. I recall that last year one of the local colleges had a terrific free recital of music by 20th century Latin American composers. Altogether only about a dozen people filled out this rather large hall⁠—and no "folx of color" (aside from myself) in sight! Where were the "BIPOC" to rep their own?
Post by j***@gmail.com
What if you created paradise and no one wanted it? The appeal of classical music--and of great art generally--reaches remarkably across time and space, but you still have to come to it, and give yourself over to it. The more the music is dismissed as irrelevant to the experience of a culture or a generation, and the less the works of the past are esteemed and taught, the fewer the chances that an individual will have for the conversion experience that brings the love of an art.
Spot on...
- Times have changed, and radically so. Today it is blatantly obvious that popular culture has won the war over cultural hegemony — hands down...Today, audiences want to be entertained rather than intellectually stunned and disturbed, want to escape from their ordinary and, more often than not, mind-numbing, if not depressing, everyday working lives.
https://www.fairobserver.com/culture/high-culture-pop-culture-opera-literature-film-netflix-news-15514/
- Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection, if it means nothing more than freedom to stagnate, to live without dreams, to have no greater aim than a second car and another television set.
Adlai Stevenson II
Just one of the reasons he lost
two presidential elections to
Dwight Eisenhower. In fairness,
even God could not have won
against Ike! ;-)
dk
- Never run against a war hero.
Adlai Stevenson (Response when asked if he had any advice to give to a young politician)
Bob Dole was a recipient of the purple heart (WW2) while Bill Clinton was a draft dodger.
Frank Berger
2020-07-21 01:17:40 UTC
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Post by u***@gmail.com
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by dk
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by Néstor Castiglione
Over here in my area we have a number of excellent chamber concerts series that are free to the public. Few people show up. I recall that last year one of the local colleges had a terrific free recital of music by 20th century Latin American composers. Altogether only about a dozen people filled out this rather large hall⁠—and no "folx of color" (aside from myself) in sight! Where were the "BIPOC" to rep their own?
Post by j***@gmail.com
What if you created paradise and no one wanted it? The appeal of classical music--and of great art generally--reaches remarkably across time and space, but you still have to come to it, and give yourself over to it. The more the music is dismissed as irrelevant to the experience of a culture or a generation, and the less the works of the past are esteemed and taught, the fewer the chances that an individual will have for the conversion experience that brings the love of an art.
Spot on...
- Times have changed, and radically so. Today it is blatantly obvious that popular culture has won the war over cultural hegemony — hands down...Today, audiences want to be entertained rather than intellectually stunned and disturbed, want to escape from their ordinary and, more often than not, mind-numbing, if not depressing, everyday working lives.
https://www.fairobserver.com/culture/high-culture-pop-culture-opera-literature-film-netflix-news-15514/
- Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection, if it means nothing more than freedom to stagnate, to live without dreams, to have no greater aim than a second car and another television set.
Adlai Stevenson II
Just one of the reasons he lost
two presidential elections to
Dwight Eisenhower. In fairness,
even God could not have won
against Ike! ;-)
dk
- Never run against a war hero.
Adlai Stevenson (Response when asked if he had any advice to give to a young politician)
Bob Dole was a recipient of the purple heart (WW2) while Bill Clinton was a draft dodger.
Times change.
g***@gmail.com
2020-06-30 03:21:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Over here in my area we have a number of excellent chamber concerts series that are free to the public. Few people show up. I recall that last year one of the local colleges had a terrific free recital of music by 20th century Latin American composers. Altogether only about a dozen people filled out this rather large hall⁠—and no "folx of color" (aside from myself) in sight! Where were the "BIPOC" to rep their own?...
- Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.

George Carlin
g***@gmail.com
2020-06-25 19:51:09 UTC
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Post by shellackophile
Classical Music Is Being Cancelled
United States: Is classical music a “privilege” for whites and Asians?
TRIBUNE – In decline in the United States, classical music is criticized by many as “too white”, even though it is favoured by young Americans of Asian descent, analyses Paul May, a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (Uqam)*.
By PAUL MAY
Le Figaro, 21 June 2020
Classical music today is accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the American population.
Certain phenomena, not very publicized and unspectacular, are nevertheless indicative of profound transformations at work in our societies. This is the case of the decline of classical music in the United States. Confronted for several years with a constant decline in its audience, classical music is now accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the country’s population, to such an extent that its long-term survival is being questioned. Sociologically, the stakes are symbolic: one of the major cultural practices of the country’s elite since its foundation is explicitly called upon to change or disappear.
A study by the National Endowment for the Arts reports that the proportion of adults who attended a classical music concert in the previous year had risen from 13 per cent in 1982 to 8.6 per cent in 2017. Between 1982 and 2002, the share of attendees under 30 dropped from 27% to 9%. This is accompanied by a general decline in the number of amateurs in the population: in 1992, 4.2% of adult Americans reported playing a musical instrument, compared to 2% in 2008. In terms of album sales, although the last two years have seen a slight improvement, they do not mask a sharp decline over the long term. While the country still has some of the world’s most renowned orchestras, such as the Chicago Symphony or the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the question of a decline can hardly be avoided.
There are many reasons for this, according to the specialist press: an economic model based mainly on private funding, a decline in school education, and competition from other forms of music that are more popular with the younger generation.
Classical music is inherently racist
– New Music USA
Faced with this observation, classical music is encouraged to renew itself. However, according to professionals in the sector, one of the major challenges is to change the image of a field perceived as “too white”. According to a report published in 2016 by the League of American Orchestras, blacks represent only 1.8% of orchestra members, and Latin Americans only 2.5%. Moreover, the vast majority of the works performed in the concerts were by composers of European origin, which is considered insufficiently “inclusive” in the United States. For example, the San Francisco Chronicle recently expressed regret that the city’s Symphony Orchestra will present almost exclusively compositions created by white men in the 2017-2018 season.
Too white, too old, the classical music sector is accused of being out of step with the country’s changing demographics. Indeed, projections by the US Census Bureau predict that the share of ethnic minorities in the population will increase to become the majority around the middle of the century, and would already represent 45% of the 18-23 age group. As a result, a number of American newspapers have recently denounced the fact that the classical music scene is considered too ethnically homogenous. The New York Times accuses it of being the “least diverse institution in the country” and of masking “a racist problem”, while the Seattle Magazine proclaims that it is necessary to “attack its whiteness”. The specialized press is not to be outdone: the National Public Radioconstate’s website says that the scene is “extremely white and increasingly marginalized,” echoing New Music USA, which for its part believes that “classical music is inherently racist.
These accusations are based on the following logic: if an institution has too small a proportion of people of non-European descent, it is suspected of masking a discriminatory recruitment process, or even a form of “structural racism”. Recently, this beam of criticism has hit a wide variety of fields, such as cinema (with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite), ice hockey (#HockeySoWhite), or the Silicon Valley business community (#SiliconValleySoWhite). In the name of economic performance or the principle of non-discrimination, each institution is thus scrutinized and judged on the basis of its degree of openness to “diversity”.
While classical music was banned during the Cultural Revolution, it is estimated today that about 50 million young Chinese are learning the piano.
In the field of classical music, this leads to prioritizing the recruitment of musicians from diverse ethnic backgrounds, modifying the canon of composers deemed essential to include artists of colour, or transforming the current concert format to offer collaborations with singers appreciated by young audiences, as proposed in the League of American Orchestras’ report entitled “How Diversity Can Help Save Classical Music”.
It is to be hoped that this project of ethnic recalibration will succeed in breathing new life into classical music across the Atlantic. Sceptics, however, will prefer to bank on the extraordinary enthusiasm of the younger generation of Asian Americans for this art form. The latter constitute a growing fringe of amateurs and professionals, contradicting the above-mentioned critics who see classical music as an area that is not easily accessible to ethnic minorities. Indeed, the children of immigrants from China, South Korea, Singapore or Taiwan are over-represented in conservatories, and pushed by their parents, who see this apprenticeship as a school of rigour and excellence. It remains to be seen, however, whether their demographic weight in the population will be sufficient to reverse the current declining trend.
In this regard, the situation in the United States contrasts with that of several Asian countries, such as China, for example. While classical music was banned during the Cultural Revolution, it is estimated today that about 50 million young Chinese are learning the piano, inspired by internationally renowned stars such as Li Yundi, Yuja Wang, or Lang Lang. The country is both the leading consumer and the leading manufacturer of pianos, producing 80% of the world’s supply. The average age of concertgoers is considerably younger than in North America, suggesting a more sustainable audience over the long term, both in auditoriums and on the internet. All these factors led Lorin Maazel, former music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, to say: “We need defenders of our classical music tradition, if classical music is to survive … it may very well be that the most important defenders are in China”.
Optimists will be pleased to find a music-loving public in Asia, eager to take over a neglected artistic heritage. Pessimists will see it as yet another symptom of a West that has forgotten its roots and is indifferent to the transmission of its own cultural treasures. A silent phenomenon, rarely in the headlines… but no less significant for the evolution of our civilization.
* Paul May is notably the author of a remarkable work, “Philosophies of Multiculturalism” (Presses de Sciences Po, 2016).
Translated by DeepL from https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/culture/etats-unis-la-musique-classique-est-elle-un-privilege-des-blancs-et-des-asiatiques-20200621?utm_source=premium&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=%5b20200622_NL_MATINALE%5d&een
Today hibernating bears; tomorrow classical music lovers:

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.music.classical.recordings/XL0BLcnWXNM
Tassilo
2020-06-26 11:12:42 UTC
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THIS IS NOTHING BUT THE WOKE MENTALITY DETERMINED TO DESTROY THE WHOLE OF WESTERN CULTURE. On the non-destructive side of reality we have this:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/08/arts/music/baltimore-symphony-orchkids.html?fbclid=IwAR1OIr_5iG98U-pDR9KaH36D67-uIHIrTBHyaU9uF-EVSIVaAkKtUEXL3_k
Andy Evans
2020-06-26 11:27:26 UTC
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Most of classical music was written well before multi-ethnic societies, so I don't think the composers are to blame (with some exceptions). In fact a number introduced elements from other countries and societies into their work.

But I can easily see the perception of the current CM scene as older, white and monied. Given that a love of CM has to come from somewhere - usually family or school - I imagine that the early exposure to CM that fires up a child is gradually dying. This has all been discussed so often we know the narrative.

It's just one of those facts that brilliant pieces of art may end up as very minority interests. How many people have actually read James Joyce's Ulysses, or the works of Kafka, for instance, not to mention any book on philosophy one can think of?
Frank Berger
2020-06-26 13:00:11 UTC
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Post by Andy Evans
Most of classical music was written well before multi-ethnic societies, so I don't think the composers are to blame (with some exceptions).
Then perhaps people who grew up in an environment that
accepted slavery, even those who owned slaves or traded in
slaves were blameness as well.


In fact a number introduced elements from other countries
and societies into their work.
Cultural misappropriation.
Post by Andy Evans
But I can easily see the perception of the current CM scene as older, white and monied. Given that a love of CM has to come from somewhere - usually family or school - I imagine that the early exposure to CM that fires up a child is gradually dying. This has all been discussed so often we know the narrative.
It's just one of those facts that brilliant pieces of art may end up as very minority interests. How many people have actually read James Joyce's Ulysses, or the works of Kafka, for instance, not to mention any book on philosophy one can think of?
There is a difference between racism and statistical
differences that arise between racial groups as a result of
socal and economic differences (albeit these are due to past
racism).
r***@gmail.com
2020-07-22 10:31:07 UTC
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On Friday, June 26, 2020 at 7:27:29 AM UTC-4, Andy Evans wrote:
. . . How many people have actually read James Joyce's Ulysses, or the works of Kafka, for instance, not to mention any book on philosophy one can think of?
I have, for one.
I grew up in Birmingham England. Working class, but my mother wanted me to have opportunities she and her siblings had never had. Instead of going to the local school with class sizes up to 60 (that is, per room), she worked to send me to a private school which cost, at then exchange rates, about $140 per year. She kept a shop to make the money needed, and had noticed the children coming in to buy sweets could neither tell the time nor read most of the labels on sweets.
I did well, and passed the exams needed for an academic secondary education at one of the 3 best schools for boys in the country. (King Edward's School, Birmingham for those interested, founded in 1552.) That cost $3500 per year in 1961, but the City of Birmingham paid for it. At the time my parents' joint income was about $2500.
That exposed me to classical music for the first time. Another boy going to King Edward's who commuted into Birmingham on the same train was a musician. He played piano, and sometimes the organ for the morning assembly hymns. I learnt to listen to it from him, and subsequently the BBC. My parents gave me a tape recorder and a basic stereo for my 16th birthday, and I was set.
My grandfather, who had been the sole support of his family since he was 12, had read widely. He had various books from 'The Thinker's Library' and the works of Dickens and other classic British novelists. In terms of current Florida children, he was well read, despite no school since he was 12. My grandmother took me to my first concert when I was 13, IIRC. It was Hugo Rignold conducting the CBSO in the Town Hall, with Hans Richter-Haaser playing a Beethoven concerto.
I did well in school, and took the A and S level exams in maths, further maths, and physics, then the Oxford University entrance exams, and was admitted in 1968.
I've read Kafka, Ulysses was too boring to finish. I felt the same way about some American classics too, to be fair. Melville for one, Cooper for another. I'd recommend a modern American classic to anybody with a sense of humour: ' A Confederacy of Dunces'
Definitions of philosophy vary. Berkeley, Locke, Hume, J S Mill, Marx and Engels, Ayer, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Machiavelli. . . were on my lists. Marx was stupendously boring but I supposed that was a German way of writing, until I read Nietzsche.
If you like Kafka you may find other Central European writers of interest. I'd strongly recommend 'The Good Soldier Schweik'.
I've responded to your provocative remark because it seemed dismissive of most of the public. It maybe true that most of the public dismiss classical music and its public in much the same way. It's easy to dismiss interests you don't share, as I do professional sports of all kinds, but it's still unwise.
Bob Harper
2020-07-22 15:36:57 UTC
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Post by r***@gmail.com
. . . How many people have actually read James Joyce's Ulysses, or the works of Kafka, for instance, not to mention any book on philosophy one can think of?
I have, for one.
I grew up in Birmingham England. Working class, but my mother wanted me to have opportunities she and her siblings had never had. Instead of going to the local school with class sizes up to 60 (that is, per room), she worked to send me to a private school which cost, at then exchange rates, about $140 per year. She kept a shop to make the money needed, and had noticed the children coming in to buy sweets could neither tell the time nor read most of the labels on sweets.
I did well, and passed the exams needed for an academic secondary education at one of the 3 best schools for boys in the country. (King Edward's School, Birmingham for those interested, founded in 1552.) That cost $3500 per year in 1961, but the City of Birmingham paid for it. At the time my parents' joint income was about $2500.
That exposed me to classical music for the first time. Another boy going to King Edward's who commuted into Birmingham on the same train was a musician. He played piano, and sometimes the organ for the morning assembly hymns. I learnt to listen to it from him, and subsequently the BBC. My parents gave me a tape recorder and a basic stereo for my 16th birthday, and I was set.
My grandfather, who had been the sole support of his family since he was 12, had read widely. He had various books from 'The Thinker's Library' and the works of Dickens and other classic British novelists. In terms of current Florida children, he was well read, despite no school since he was 12. My grandmother took me to my first concert when I was 13, IIRC. It was Hugo Rignold conducting the CBSO in the Town Hall, with Hans Richter-Haaser playing a Beethoven concerto.
I did well in school, and took the A and S level exams in maths, further maths, and physics, then the Oxford University entrance exams, and was admitted in 1968.
I've read Kafka, Ulysses was too boring to finish. I felt the same way about some American classics too, to be fair. Melville for one, Cooper for another. I'd recommend a modern American classic to anybody with a sense of humour: ' A Confederacy of Dunces'
Definitions of philosophy vary. Berkeley, Locke, Hume, J S Mill, Marx and Engels, Ayer, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Machiavelli. . . were on my lists. Marx was stupendously boring but I supposed that was a German way of writing, until I read Nietzsche.
If you like Kafka you may find other Central European writers of interest. I'd strongly recommend 'The Good Soldier Schweik'.
I've responded to your provocative remark because it seemed dismissive of most of the public. It maybe true that most of the public dismiss classical music and its public in much the same way. It's easy to dismiss interests you don't share, as I do professional sports of all kinds, but it's still unwise.
Great story. I finished Ulysses, but only out of compulsion. I greatly
prefer Homer's original :).

I'm with you on Cooper (if you have not read Mark Twain's takedown you
have a treat in store, It is one of the great literary dismissals). And
I am happy to see you mention A Confederacy of Dunces. One of the truly
great classics of humor. The story of how it came to be published
through his mother's advocacy and Walker Percy's appreciation is a happy
if unlikely one. If you've not rread Percy, I urge you to do so.

Bob Harper
Owen
2020-07-22 18:01:02 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Post by r***@gmail.com
. . . How many people have actually read James Joyce's Ulysses, or the
works of Kafka, for instance, not to mention any book on philosophy
one can think of?
I have, for one.
I grew up in Birmingham England. Working class, but my mother wanted
me to have opportunities she and her siblings had never had. Instead
of going to the local school with class sizes up to 60 (that is, per
room), she worked to send me to a private school which cost, at then
exchange rates, about $140 per year.  She kept a shop to make the
money needed, and had noticed the children coming in to buy sweets
could neither tell the time nor read most of the labels on sweets.
I did well, and passed the exams needed for an academic secondary
education at one of the 3 best schools for boys in the country. (King
Edward's School, Birmingham for those interested, founded in 1552.)
That cost $3500 per year in 1961, but the City of Birmingham paid for
it. At the time my parents' joint income was about $2500.
That exposed me to classical music for the first time. Another boy
going to King Edward's who commuted into Birmingham on the same train
was a musician. He played piano, and sometimes the organ for the
morning assembly hymns. I learnt to listen to it from him, and
subsequently the BBC.  My parents gave me a tape recorder and a basic
stereo for my 16th birthday, and I was set.
My grandfather, who had been the sole support of his family since he
was 12, had read widely. He had various books from 'The Thinker's
Library' and the works of Dickens and other classic British
novelists.  In terms of current Florida children, he was well read,
despite no school since he was 12.  My grandmother took me to my first
concert when I was 13, IIRC. It was Hugo Rignold conducting the CBSO
in the Town Hall, with Hans Richter-Haaser playing a Beethoven concerto.
I did well in school, and took the A and S level exams in maths,
further maths, and physics, then the Oxford University entrance exams,
and was admitted in 1968.
I've read Kafka, Ulysses was too boring to finish.  I felt the same
way about some American classics too, to be fair. Melville for one,
Cooper for another. I'd recommend a modern American classic to anybody
with a sense of humour: ' A Confederacy of Dunces'
Definitions of philosophy vary. Berkeley, Locke, Hume, J S Mill, Marx
and Engels, Ayer, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Machiavelli. . . were on my
lists.  Marx was stupendously boring but I supposed that was a German
way of writing, until I read Nietzsche.
If you like Kafka you may find other Central European writers of
interest. I'd strongly recommend 'The Good Soldier Schweik'.
I've responded to your provocative remark because it seemed dismissive
of most of the public.  It maybe true that most of the public dismiss
classical music and its public in much the same way. It's easy to
dismiss interests you don't share, as I do professional sports of all
kinds, but it's still unwise.
Great story. I finished Ulysses, but only out of compulsion. I greatly
prefer Homer's original :).
I'm with you on Cooper (if you have not read Mark Twain's takedown you
have a treat in store, It is one of the great literary dismissals). And
I am happy to see you mention A Confederacy of Dunces. One of the truly
great classics of humor. The story of how it came to be published
through his mother's advocacy and Walker Percy's appreciation is a happy
if unlikely one. If you've not rread Percy, I urge you to do so.
Bob Harper
"Dunces" is a great and hilarious book, but be aware that some of it is
low humor. My boss dismissed it after a chapter saying he didn't want
to read anymore about that disgusting person.

Mark Twain is always a great read. Should read "Huckleberry Finn"
before it is completely banned.

-Owen
Oscar
2020-07-22 19:59:55 UTC
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Post by Owen
Mark Twain is always a great read. Should read "Huckleberry Finn"
before it is completely banned.
I plan to again _after_ I finished Ben Shapiro's new book, How To Destroy America In Three Easy Steps, in good book shops everywhere as of yesterday.
dk
2020-07-23 00:12:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Oscar
Post by Owen
Mark Twain is always a great read.
Should read "Huckleberry Finn"
before it is completely banned.
I plan to again _after_ I finished Ben
Shapiro's new book, How To Destroy
America In Three Easy Steps, in
good book shops everywhere as
of yesterday.
Do you think one really needs Ben's
or anyone else's advice on how to
destroy anything? ;-)

dk
Bob Harper
2020-07-23 16:20:41 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Owen
Post by Bob Harper
Post by r***@gmail.com
. . . How many people have actually read James Joyce's Ulysses, or
the works of Kafka, for instance, not to mention any book on
philosophy one can think of?
I have, for one.
I grew up in Birmingham England. Working class, but my mother wanted
me to have opportunities she and her siblings had never had. Instead
of going to the local school with class sizes up to 60 (that is, per
room), she worked to send me to a private school which cost, at then
exchange rates, about $140 per year.  She kept a shop to make the
money needed, and had noticed the children coming in to buy sweets
could neither tell the time nor read most of the labels on sweets.
I did well, and passed the exams needed for an academic secondary
education at one of the 3 best schools for boys in the country. (King
Edward's School, Birmingham for those interested, founded in 1552.)
That cost $3500 per year in 1961, but the City of Birmingham paid for
it. At the time my parents' joint income was about $2500.
That exposed me to classical music for the first time. Another boy
going to King Edward's who commuted into Birmingham on the same train
was a musician. He played piano, and sometimes the organ for the
morning assembly hymns. I learnt to listen to it from him, and
subsequently the BBC.  My parents gave me a tape recorder and a basic
stereo for my 16th birthday, and I was set.
My grandfather, who had been the sole support of his family since he
was 12, had read widely. He had various books from 'The Thinker's
Library' and the works of Dickens and other classic British
novelists.  In terms of current Florida children, he was well read,
despite no school since he was 12.  My grandmother took me to my
first concert when I was 13, IIRC. It was Hugo Rignold conducting the
CBSO in the Town Hall, with Hans Richter-Haaser playing a Beethoven
concerto.
I did well in school, and took the A and S level exams in maths,
further maths, and physics, then the Oxford University entrance
exams, and was admitted in 1968.
I've read Kafka, Ulysses was too boring to finish.  I felt the same
way about some American classics too, to be fair. Melville for one,
Cooper for another. I'd recommend a modern American classic to
anybody with a sense of humour: ' A Confederacy of Dunces'
Definitions of philosophy vary. Berkeley, Locke, Hume, J S Mill, Marx
and Engels, Ayer, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Machiavelli. . . were on
my lists.  Marx was stupendously boring but I supposed that was a
German way of writing, until I read Nietzsche.
If you like Kafka you may find other Central European writers of
interest. I'd strongly recommend 'The Good Soldier Schweik'.
I've responded to your provocative remark because it seemed
dismissive of most of the public.  It maybe true that most of the
public dismiss classical music and its public in much the same way.
It's easy to dismiss interests you don't share, as I do professional
sports of all kinds, but it's still unwise.
Great story. I finished Ulysses, but only out of compulsion. I greatly
prefer Homer's original :).
I'm with you on Cooper (if you have not read Mark Twain's takedown you
have a treat in store, It is one of the great literary dismissals).
And I am happy to see you mention A Confederacy of Dunces. One of the
truly great classics of humor. The story of how it came to be
published through his mother's advocacy and Walker Percy's
appreciation is a happy if unlikely one. If you've not rread Percy, I
urge you to do so.
Bob Harper
"Dunces" is a great and hilarious book, but be aware that some of it is
low humor.  My boss dismissed it after a chapter saying he didn't want
to read anymore about that disgusting person.
Mark Twain is always a great read.  Should read "Huckleberry Finn"
before it is completely banned.
-Owen
Clearly your boss has a defective humor appreciation gene :).

Bob Harper
Frank Berger
2020-07-22 18:10:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Post by r***@gmail.com
On Friday, June 26, 2020 at 7:27:29 AM UTC-4, Andy Evans
. . . How many people have actually read James Joyce's
Ulysses, or the works of Kafka, for instance, not to
mention any book on philosophy one can think of?
I have, for one.
I grew up in Birmingham England. Working class, but my
mother wanted me to have opportunities she and her
siblings had never had. Instead of going to the local
school with class sizes up to 60 (that is, per room), she
worked to send me to a private school which cost, at then
exchange rates, about $140 per year.  She kept a shop to
make the money needed, and had noticed the children coming
in to buy sweets could neither tell the time nor read most
of the labels on sweets.
I did well, and passed the exams needed for an academic
secondary education at one of the 3 best schools for boys
in the country. (King Edward's School, Birmingham for
those interested, founded in 1552.)  That cost $3500 per
year in 1961, but the City of Birmingham paid for it. At
the time my parents' joint income was about $2500.
That exposed me to classical music for the first time.
Another boy going to King Edward's who commuted into
Birmingham on the same train was a musician. He played
piano, and sometimes the organ for the morning assembly
hymns. I learnt to listen to it from him, and subsequently
the BBC.  My parents gave me a tape recorder and a basic
stereo for my 16th birthday, and I was set.
My grandfather, who had been the sole support of his
family since he was 12, had read widely. He had various
books from 'The Thinker's Library' and the works of
Dickens and other classic British novelists.  In terms of
current Florida children, he was well read, despite no
school since he was 12.  My grandmother took me to my
first concert when I was 13, IIRC. It was Hugo Rignold
conducting the CBSO in the Town Hall, with Hans
Richter-Haaser playing a Beethoven concerto.
I did well in school, and took the A and S level exams in
maths, further maths, and physics, then the Oxford
University entrance exams, and was admitted in 1968.
I've read Kafka, Ulysses was too boring to finish.  I felt
the same way about some American classics too, to be fair.
Melville for one, Cooper for another. I'd recommend a
' A Confederacy of Dunces'
Definitions of philosophy vary. Berkeley, Locke, Hume, J S
Mill, Marx and Engels, Ayer, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche,
Machiavelli. . . were on my lists.  Marx was stupendously
boring but I supposed that was a German way of writing,
until I read Nietzsche.
If you like Kafka you may find other Central European
writers of interest. I'd strongly recommend 'The Good
Soldier Schweik'.
I've responded to your provocative remark because it
seemed dismissive of most of the public.  It maybe true
that most of the public dismiss classical music and its
public in much the same way. It's easy to dismiss
interests you don't share, as I do professional sports of
all kinds, but it's still unwise.
Great story. I finished Ulysses, but only out of compulsion.
I greatly prefer Homer's original :).
I'm with you on Cooper (if you have not read Mark Twain's
takedown you have a treat in store, It is one of the great
literary dismissals). And I am happy to see you mention A
Confederacy of Dunces. One of the truly great classics of
humor. The story of how it came to be published through his
mother's advocacy and Walker Percy's appreciation is a happy
if unlikely one. If you've not rread Percy, I urge you to do
so.
Bob Harper
Several years ago, I got hold of a list of the 100 greatest
works in the English language and started working my way
through the many I had not ever read. But I skipped #1,
Ulysses, because I was afraid I could not get through it and
I have never, ever started a book without finishing it.
I've read some other Joyce, but not that one. When I get
through the list maybe I'll come back to it.
Raymond Hall
2020-07-22 20:06:23 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I've read Kafka about twice, Castle, Trial, Metamorphosis, America, etc. Wonderful, frustrating, and horrifyingly funny. How much is lost in the translation, I don't know. I am aware that K. must be stupid, and hopelessly optimistic. Very macabre.
As for Twain, a real master. As for Ulysses? - first few pages and then realised there were better things to do.

Ray Hall, Taree
g***@gmail.com
2020-07-27 11:52:34 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I've read Kafka about twice, Castle, Trial, Metamorphosis, America, etc. Wonderful, frustrating, and horrifyingly funny. How much is lost in the translation...
https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/kafka-translated-9781441149916/
g***@gmail.com
2020-07-27 11:53:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I've read Kafka about twice, Castle, Trial, Metamorphosis, America, etc. Wonderful, frustrating, and horrifyingly funny. How much is lost in the translation...
https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/kafka-translated-9781441149916/
Bob Harper
2020-07-23 16:19:44 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Post by r***@gmail.com
. . . How many people have actually read James Joyce's Ulysses, or
the works of Kafka, for instance, not to mention any book on
philosophy one can think of?
I have, for one.
I grew up in Birmingham England. Working class, but my mother wanted
me to have opportunities she and her siblings had never had. Instead
of going to the local school with class sizes up to 60 (that is, per
room), she worked to send me to a private school which cost, at then
exchange rates, about $140 per year.  She kept a shop to make the
money needed, and had noticed the children coming in to buy sweets
could neither tell the time nor read most of the labels on sweets.
I did well, and passed the exams needed for an academic secondary
education at one of the 3 best schools for boys in the country. (King
Edward's School, Birmingham for those interested, founded in 1552.)
That cost $3500 per year in 1961, but the City of Birmingham paid for
it. At the time my parents' joint income was about $2500.
That exposed me to classical music for the first time. Another boy
going to King Edward's who commuted into Birmingham on the same train
was a musician. He played piano, and sometimes the organ for the
morning assembly hymns. I learnt to listen to it from him, and
subsequently the BBC.  My parents gave me a tape recorder and a basic
stereo for my 16th birthday, and I was set.
My grandfather, who had been the sole support of his family since he
was 12, had read widely. He had various books from 'The Thinker's
Library' and the works of Dickens and other classic British
novelists.  In terms of current Florida children, he was well read,
despite no school since he was 12.  My grandmother took me to my
first concert when I was 13, IIRC. It was Hugo Rignold conducting the
CBSO in the Town Hall, with Hans Richter-Haaser playing a Beethoven
concerto.
I did well in school, and took the A and S level exams in maths,
further maths, and physics, then the Oxford University entrance
exams, and was admitted in 1968.
I've read Kafka, Ulysses was too boring to finish.  I felt the same
way about some American classics too, to be fair. Melville for one,
Cooper for another. I'd recommend a modern American classic to
anybody with a sense of humour: ' A Confederacy of Dunces'
Definitions of philosophy vary. Berkeley, Locke, Hume, J S Mill, Marx
and Engels, Ayer, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, Machiavelli. . . were on
my lists.  Marx was stupendously boring but I supposed that was a
German way of writing, until I read Nietzsche.
If you like Kafka you may find other Central European writers of
interest. I'd strongly recommend 'The Good Soldier Schweik'.
I've responded to your provocative remark because it seemed
dismissive of most of the public.  It maybe true that most of the
public dismiss classical music and its public in much the same way.
It's easy to dismiss interests you don't share, as I do professional
sports of all kinds, but it's still unwise.
Great story. I finished Ulysses, but only out of compulsion. I greatly
prefer Homer's original :).
I'm with you on Cooper (if you have not read Mark Twain's takedown you
have a treat in store, It is one of the great literary dismissals).
And I am happy to see you mention A Confederacy of Dunces. One of the
truly great classics of humor. The story of how it came to be
published through his mother's advocacy and Walker Percy's
appreciation is a happy if unlikely one. If you've not rread Percy, I
urge you to do so.
Bob Harper
Several years ago, I got hold of a list of the 100 greatest works in the
English language and started working my way through the many I had not
ever read.  But I skipped #1, Ulysses, because I was afraid I could not
get through it and I have never, ever started a book without finishing
it. I've read some other Joyce, but not that one.  When I get through
the list maybe I'll come back to it.
To be honest, I wouldn't bother. If that convicts me of philistinism, so
be it.

Bob Harper
g***@gmail.com
2020-07-27 11:45:42 UTC
Reply
Permalink
. . . How many people have actually read James Joyce's Ulysses..
Could this apply to U. and to not a few other 'modern' works of art?:

- Atonality was the great barrier reef on which modern music shattered, as the stream-of-consciousness was the torpedo that sank the novel and abstraction the anesthetic that put painting to sleep.

Bernard Levin
g***@gmail.com
2020-07-27 11:56:05 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by g***@gmail.com
. . . How many people have actually read James Joyce's Ulysses..
- Atonality was the great barrier reef on which modern music shattered, as the stream-of-consciousness was the torpedo that sank the novel and abstraction the anesthetic that put painting to sleep.
Bernard Levin
https://archive.org/stream/NewsUK1983UKEnglish/Dec%2017%201983%2C%20The%20Times%2C%20%2361715%2C%20UK%20%28en%29_djvu.txt
g***@gmail.com
2020-07-30 02:38:43 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by g***@gmail.com
. . . How many people have actually read James Joyce's Ulysses..
- Atonality was the great barrier reef on which modern music shattered, as the stream-of-consciousness was the torpedo that sank the novel and abstraction the anesthetic that put painting to sleep.
Bernard Levin
https://archive.org/stream/NewsUK1983UKEnglish/Dec%2017%201983%2C%20The%20Times%2C%20%2361715%2C%20UK%20%28en%29_djvu.txt
Don't many 'modern' works of art represent a "...disintegration of the traditional order of values..."?:

https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Frame_and_the_Mirror/H9fbTcN_WbQC?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=%22Modern%20art%20has%20its%20origin%20in%20the%20disintegration%20of%20the%20traditional%20order%20of%20values%22%20%22with%20the%20death%20of%20god%22%20%22death%20of%20god%20leaves%22
dk
2020-07-23 00:09:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Andy Evans
How many people have actually read James Joyce's Ulysses,
or the works of Kafka, for instance, not to mention any
book on philosophy one can think of?
I did -- as well as tons of "major" literature and
philosophy works. I now regret the time I wasted on
them instead of chasing girls! ;-)

dk
Todd Michel McComb
2020-07-24 02:05:23 UTC
Reply
Permalink
I did -- as well as tons of "major" literature and philosophy
works. I now regret the time I wasted on them instead of chasing
girls! ;-)
Maybe not regret, but I tend to agree....
Rebuild Queens Hall London
2020-06-30 09:14:03 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by shellackophile
Classical Music Is Being Cancelled
United States: Is classical music a “privilege” for whites and Asians?
TRIBUNE – In decline in the United States, classical music is criticized by many as “too white”, even though it is favoured by young Americans of Asian descent, analyses Paul May, a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (Uqam)*.
By PAUL MAY
Le Figaro, 21 June 2020
Classical music today is accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the American population.
Certain phenomena, not very publicized and unspectacular, are nevertheless indicative of profound transformations at work in our societies. This is the case of the decline of classical music in the United States. Confronted for several years with a constant decline in its audience, classical music is now accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the country’s population, to such an extent that its long-term survival is being questioned. Sociologically, the stakes are symbolic: one of the major cultural practices of the country’s elite since its foundation is explicitly called upon to change or disappear.
A study by the National Endowment for the Arts reports that the proportion of adults who attended a classical music concert in the previous year had risen from 13 per cent in 1982 to 8.6 per cent in 2017. Between 1982 and 2002, the share of attendees under 30 dropped from 27% to 9%. This is accompanied by a general decline in the number of amateurs in the population: in 1992, 4.2% of adult Americans reported playing a musical instrument, compared to 2% in 2008. In terms of album sales, although the last two years have seen a slight improvement, they do not mask a sharp decline over the long term. While the country still has some of the world’s most renowned orchestras, such as the Chicago Symphony or the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the question of a decline can hardly be avoided.
There are many reasons for this, according to the specialist press: an economic model based mainly on private funding, a decline in school education, and competition from other forms of music that are more popular with the younger generation.
Classical music is inherently racist
– New Music USA
Faced with this observation, classical music is encouraged to renew itself. However, according to professionals in the sector, one of the major challenges is to change the image of a field perceived as “too white”. According to a report published in 2016 by the League of American Orchestras, blacks represent only 1.8% of orchestra members, and Latin Americans only 2.5%. Moreover, the vast majority of the works performed in the concerts were by composers of European origin, which is considered insufficiently “inclusive” in the United States. For example, the San Francisco Chronicle recently expressed regret that the city’s Symphony Orchestra will present almost exclusively compositions created by white men in the 2017-2018 season.
Too white, too old, the classical music sector is accused of being out of step with the country’s changing demographics. Indeed, projections by the US Census Bureau predict that the share of ethnic minorities in the population will increase to become the majority around the middle of the century, and would already represent 45% of the 18-23 age group. As a result, a number of American newspapers have recently denounced the fact that the classical music scene is considered too ethnically homogenous. The New York Times accuses it of being the “least diverse institution in the country” and of masking “a racist problem”, while the Seattle Magazine proclaims that it is necessary to “attack its whiteness”. The specialized press is not to be outdone: the National Public Radioconstate’s website says that the scene is “extremely white and increasingly marginalized,” echoing New Music USA, which for its part believes that “classical music is inherently racist.
These accusations are based on the following logic: if an institution has too small a proportion of people of non-European descent, it is suspected of masking a discriminatory recruitment process, or even a form of “structural racism”. Recently, this beam of criticism has hit a wide variety of fields, such as cinema (with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite), ice hockey (#HockeySoWhite), or the Silicon Valley business community (#SiliconValleySoWhite). In the name of economic performance or the principle of non-discrimination, each institution is thus scrutinized and judged on the basis of its degree of openness to “diversity”.
While classical music was banned during the Cultural Revolution, it is estimated today that about 50 million young Chinese are learning the piano.
In the field of classical music, this leads to prioritizing the recruitment of musicians from diverse ethnic backgrounds, modifying the canon of composers deemed essential to include artists of colour, or transforming the current concert format to offer collaborations with singers appreciated by young audiences, as proposed in the League of American Orchestras’ report entitled “How Diversity Can Help Save Classical Music”.
It is to be hoped that this project of ethnic recalibration will succeed in breathing new life into classical music across the Atlantic. Sceptics, however, will prefer to bank on the extraordinary enthusiasm of the younger generation of Asian Americans for this art form. The latter constitute a growing fringe of amateurs and professionals, contradicting the above-mentioned critics who see classical music as an area that is not easily accessible to ethnic minorities. Indeed, the children of immigrants from China, South Korea, Singapore or Taiwan are over-represented in conservatories, and pushed by their parents, who see this apprenticeship as a school of rigour and excellence. It remains to be seen, however, whether their demographic weight in the population will be sufficient to reverse the current declining trend.
In this regard, the situation in the United States contrasts with that of several Asian countries, such as China, for example. While classical music was banned during the Cultural Revolution, it is estimated today that about 50 million young Chinese are learning the piano, inspired by internationally renowned stars such as Li Yundi, Yuja Wang, or Lang Lang. The country is both the leading consumer and the leading manufacturer of pianos, producing 80% of the world’s supply. The average age of concertgoers is considerably younger than in North America, suggesting a more sustainable audience over the long term, both in auditoriums and on the internet. All these factors led Lorin Maazel, former music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, to say: “We need defenders of our classical music tradition, if classical music is to survive … it may very well be that the most important defenders are in China”.
Optimists will be pleased to find a music-loving public in Asia, eager to take over a neglected artistic heritage. Pessimists will see it as yet another symptom of a West that has forgotten its roots and is indifferent to the transmission of its own cultural treasures. A silent phenomenon, rarely in the headlines… but no less significant for the evolution of our civilization.
* Paul May is notably the author of a remarkable work, “Philosophies of Multiculturalism” (Presses de Sciences Po, 2016).
Translated by DeepL from https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/culture/etats-unis-la-musique-classique-est-elle-un-privilege-des-blancs-et-des-asiatiques-20200621?utm_source=premium&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=%5b20200622_NL_MATINALE%5d&een
Are the first casualties of racial performing censoring going to be Mozart's Seraglio and Gershwin's Porgy ?.
Damian R
2020-06-30 10:31:55 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Rebuild Queens Hall London
Post by shellackophile
Classical Music Is Being Cancelled
United States: Is classical music a “privilege” for whites and Asians?
TRIBUNE – In decline in the United States, classical music is criticized by many as “too white”, even though it is favoured by young Americans of Asian descent, analyses Paul May, a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (Uqam)*.
By PAUL MAY
Le Figaro, 21 June 2020
Classical music today is accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the American population.
Certain phenomena, not very publicized and unspectacular, are nevertheless indicative of profound transformations at work in our societies. This is the case of the decline of classical music in the United States. Confronted for several years with a constant decline in its audience, classical music is now accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the country’s population, to such an extent that its long-term survival is being questioned. Sociologically, the stakes are symbolic: one of the major cultural practices of the country’s elite since its foundation is explicitly called upon to change or disappear.
A study by the National Endowment for the Arts reports that the proportion of adults who attended a classical music concert in the previous year had risen from 13 per cent in 1982 to 8.6 per cent in 2017. Between 1982 and 2002, the share of attendees under 30 dropped from 27% to 9%. This is accompanied by a general decline in the number of amateurs in the population: in 1992, 4.2% of adult Americans reported playing a musical instrument, compared to 2% in 2008. In terms of album sales, although the last two years have seen a slight improvement, they do not mask a sharp decline over the long term. While the country still has some of the world’s most renowned orchestras, such as the Chicago Symphony or the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the question of a decline can hardly be avoided.
There are many reasons for this, according to the specialist press: an economic model based mainly on private funding, a decline in school education, and competition from other forms of music that are more popular with the younger generation.
Classical music is inherently racist
– New Music USA
Faced with this observation, classical music is encouraged to renew itself. However, according to professionals in the sector, one of the major challenges is to change the image of a field perceived as “too white”. According to a report published in 2016 by the League of American Orchestras, blacks represent only 1.8% of orchestra members, and Latin Americans only 2.5%. Moreover, the vast majority of the works performed in the concerts were by composers of European origin, which is considered insufficiently “inclusive” in the United States. For example, the San Francisco Chronicle recently expressed regret that the city’s Symphony Orchestra will present almost exclusively compositions created by white men in the 2017-2018 season.
Too white, too old, the classical music sector is accused of being out of step with the country’s changing demographics. Indeed, projections by the US Census Bureau predict that the share of ethnic minorities in the population will increase to become the majority around the middle of the century, and would already represent 45% of the 18-23 age group. As a result, a number of American newspapers have recently denounced the fact that the classical music scene is considered too ethnically homogenous. The New York Times accuses it of being the “least diverse institution in the country” and of masking “a racist problem”, while the Seattle Magazine proclaims that it is necessary to “attack its whiteness”. The specialized press is not to be outdone: the National Public Radioconstate’s website says that the scene is “extremely white and increasingly marginalized,” echoing New Music USA, which for its part believes that “classical music is inherently racist.
These accusations are based on the following logic: if an institution has too small a proportion of people of non-European descent, it is suspected of masking a discriminatory recruitment process, or even a form of “structural racism”. Recently, this beam of criticism has hit a wide variety of fields, such as cinema (with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite), ice hockey (#HockeySoWhite), or the Silicon Valley business community (#SiliconValleySoWhite). In the name of economic performance or the principle of non-discrimination, each institution is thus scrutinized and judged on the basis of its degree of openness to “diversity”.
While classical music was banned during the Cultural Revolution, it is estimated today that about 50 million young Chinese are learning the piano.
In the field of classical music, this leads to prioritizing the recruitment of musicians from diverse ethnic backgrounds, modifying the canon of composers deemed essential to include artists of colour, or transforming the current concert format to offer collaborations with singers appreciated by young audiences, as proposed in the League of American Orchestras’ report entitled “How Diversity Can Help Save Classical Music”.
It is to be hoped that this project of ethnic recalibration will succeed in breathing new life into classical music across the Atlantic. Sceptics, however, will prefer to bank on the extraordinary enthusiasm of the younger generation of Asian Americans for this art form. The latter constitute a growing fringe of amateurs and professionals, contradicting the above-mentioned critics who see classical music as an area that is not easily accessible to ethnic minorities. Indeed, the children of immigrants from China, South Korea, Singapore or Taiwan are over-represented in conservatories, and pushed by their parents, who see this apprenticeship as a school of rigour and excellence. It remains to be seen, however, whether their demographic weight in the population will be sufficient to reverse the current declining trend.
In this regard, the situation in the United States contrasts with that of several Asian countries, such as China, for example. While classical music was banned during the Cultural Revolution, it is estimated today that about 50 million young Chinese are learning the piano, inspired by internationally renowned stars such as Li Yundi, Yuja Wang, or Lang Lang. The country is both the leading consumer and the leading manufacturer of pianos, producing 80% of the world’s supply. The average age of concertgoers is considerably younger than in North America, suggesting a more sustainable audience over the long term, both in auditoriums and on the internet. All these factors led Lorin Maazel, former music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, to say: “We need defenders of our classical music tradition, if classical music is to survive … it may very well be that the most important defenders are in China”.
Optimists will be pleased to find a music-loving public in Asia, eager to take over a neglected artistic heritage. Pessimists will see it as yet another symptom of a West that has forgotten its roots and is indifferent to the transmission of its own cultural treasures. A silent phenomenon, rarely in the headlines… but no less significant for the evolution of our civilization.
* Paul May is notably the author of a remarkable work, “Philosophies of Multiculturalism” (Presses de Sciences Po, 2016).
Translated by DeepL from https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/culture/etats-unis-la-musique-classique-est-elle-un-privilege-des-blancs-et-des-asiatiques-20200621?utm_source=premium&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=%5b20200622_NL_MATINALE%5d&een
Are the first casualties of racial performing censoring going to be Mozart's Seraglio and Gershwin's Porgy ?.
Well if we could get rid of the blackface portrayals of Monostatos in the Magic Flute (still happening at the Romanian Comic Opera for Children in 2017 - https://www.instagram.com/p/BRg8Ey9gQdo/) it would be a start. (It'd also be good of course if the singers there didn't need microphones, but that's a different issue!)
Andrew Clarke
2020-07-04 15:00:03 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by shellackophile
Classical Music Is Being Cancelled
United States: Is classical music a “privilege” for whites and Asians?
TRIBUNE – In decline in the United States, classical music is criticized by many as “too white”, even though it is favoured by young Americans of Asian descent, analyses Paul May, a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (Uqam)*.
By the same "logic", the Great American Songbook is too white also. Down with the Gershwins, Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter, Rogers and Hart, Irving Berlin.

We could have more jazz, blues and R&B except young black Americans don't listen to this any more.

That leaves ... what, exactly?

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Oscar
2020-07-17 22:48:06 UTC
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As of 3:30 p.m. PDT on Friday, July 17th, this article has 540 comments appended to the article. Point yr web browser to this link and scroll to bottom of article to view: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/that-sound-youre-hearing-is-classical-musics-long-overdue-reckoning-with-racism/2020/07/15/1b883e76-c49c-11ea-b037-f9711f89ee46_story.html


From The Washington Post:

<< That sound you’re hearing is classical music’s long overdue reckoning with racism
By Michael Andor Brodeur
July 16, 2020

“Racism is so pervasive in this country and in the world at large that it has, in many instances, become unconscious. It can slip into the daily discourse and go unrecognized, even by people who clearly ought to know better.”

The late, great soprano Jessye Norman reserved just one chapter of her 2014 memoir, “Stand Up Straight and Sing!” for discussion of the discrimination she faced so often throughout her career, even as one of the most decorated performers on the international opera stage.

But it’s safe to assume race was a running theme in her magnificent life. A dissonant motif that emerged again and again in the form of careless slurs and slights from conductors, TV roles that would have reduced her from Dido onstage to the maid on screen, offensive questions from bumbling critics, and nosy security guards challenging her right to exist in the hotel pool. She once committed to recording accounts of these micro- and macro-aggressions in a journal titled “Racialism as she is spoke,” but abandoned the project after a few months, when her journal grew too thick.

Those who would imagine that the rarefied realms of classical music or opera are removed somehow from the rancor of racism would be, as Norman put it, “mistaken. Sadly mistaken.” And so, too, would those who imagine that our nation’s intensifying reckoning with racial injustice merely marches past the concert hall.

As the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and others have come to light, and amid the rise of anti-racism as a cultural imperative spurred by the activism of the Black Lives Matter movement, the rifts and inequalities that define American culture since its inception have become more visible than ever. And the call to improve institutions from criminal justice to arts organizations to newsrooms is extending to the stages (and offices) of the classical world.

Data collected from 500 American orchestras for a 2016 study by the League of American Orchestras paints a starkly white picture when it comes to diversity in classical organizations. Its key finding: the “proportion of nonwhite musicians represented in the orchestra workforce — and of African American and Hispanic/Latino musicians in particular — remains extremely low.”

The proportion of Hispanic and Latino musicians grew from just 1.8 percent in 2002 to 2.5 percent in 2014; while over the same 12-year period, the proportion of black musicians languished at around 1.8 percent. Meanwhile, since 2010, when the league started examining organizational metrics, the percentage of nonwhite staff of American orchestras has hovered at around 14 percent, with black staff accounting for just 5 to 7 percent. And between 2010 and 2016, black conductors and music directors have accounted for just 2 to 6 percent of the field.

The league will analyze updated data in 2022, but the urgency of the cultural moment, along with the expectation that those growth curves will stay flat, inspired them to post a statement on the league’s website in early June that feels more like a call to action: “There is an urgent need for White people and predominantly White organizations to do the work of uprooting this racism,” it says. “We recognize that for decades, in our role as a national association and voice for orchestras, we have tolerated and perpetuated systemic discrimination against Black people, discrimination mirrored in the practices of orchestras and throughout our country.”

The systemic racism that runs like rot through the structures of the classical music world exists somewhere between broad statistical data and intimate personal disclosure. And right now, in what seems like a promising turn, a range of responses to it — individual, artistic and institutional — feels, at long last, audible.

On the individual level, many in the classical community are turning to anonymously operated social media accounts as a way to air personal experiences with racism in the classical world, from the conservatory classroom to the orchestra pit.

Anecdotal testimonies like these carry a certain potency as well as a pronounced risk. On the one hand, they lay bare the kinds of racial micro- and macro-aggressions regularly faced by musicians, students and administrators of color. On the other, these anonymous disclosures — many of which publicly name institutions and individuals — exist without the scrutiny of journalistic or legal vetting. And as quickly as they’ve amassed followers, they’ve also alienated members of the classical community who believe accountability must be achieved through accountability. If the anonymity of these accounts makes anything clear, it’s that too many of these necessary conversations and confrontations aren’t happening out in the open.

One need not be behind that barrier of entry to experience routine discrimination in the classical world. Even well-established performers, like the soprano Lauren Michelle, have taken to voicing their experiences. In Italy, Michelle was scheduled to sing the role of Violetta in ­­“La Traviata” to open the season at La Fenice, where it debuted in 1853. But when she wanted to perform in the States? “I sang on ‘Empire,’ ” she says. “I sang on television.”

“My best was never enough for the United States,” Michelle adds. “The truth is I am an award-winning international opera singer who has only been hired once at an A-house in the United States.”

That one hire was for the role of Irina in Washington Opera’s 2016 production of Kurt Weill’s “Lost in the Stars.” Her broader experience with racially biased casting echoes that of Jessye Norman, who wrote that “history has proven Europe to be more receptive of diversity in artistic presentation than America, and, indeed, of the artists themselves.”

“I believe in my heart and soul that classical music heals, and that opera is for everyone,” Michelle says. “But there is real work that needs to be done in the classical musical community.”

Some of that work is being done in the form of music itself. The bass-baritone and composer Jonathan Woody recently teamed with the countertenor Reginald Mobley (who also serves as a programming consultant for Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society) for a collaborative choral piece entitled “Nigra Sum Sed Formosa: A Fantasia on Microaggressions.”

Composed for five singers, keyboard and viola, the piece assembles accounts of assorted racial microaggressions — including the time Mobley was mistaken for a janitor and asked to open the hall for his own performance — and sets them in a haunting baroque choral arrangement.

“It’s a way of sharing that emotional labor,” says Mobley in a Zoom call with Woody, “and giving an idea of just how much of what people say to us behind the stage, on the stage, in the audience and other places — how it really kind of reinforces white supremacy and issues of racism in the arts.”

“So much of what needs to change in classical music is what needs to change in the country writ large,” Woody says. “So much is about a more consistent valuing of the lives of the people in this country. The reason that someone like me or someone like Reggie are classical musicians is because this music, which we’re certainly taught to think of as European music, just spoke to us and made us want to do it. Which for me means that is 100 percent plausible to be true for any kid in America — if they are given the exposure, the welcome, a sense that they can be a part of this.”

While art can shine much-needed light on the problem, it’s up to institutions to correct the imbalances that keep the classical stage so habitually tilted and tinted white. And the conversations required for this task must have concrete goals, including full accountability, a broad range of community stakeholders and an understanding of not just what the problem is but why fixing it is so essential to the survival and development of the art form.

The Kennedy Center, for instance, last week used a Zoom call attended by dozens of community arts leaders to launch programs designed to commission anti-racism works, expand opportunities for black artists and audiences, and otherwise grow the reach of the center’s social impact division, led by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, vice president and artistic director of social impact.

“We have to earn our relationship to community,” Joseph said on the call. “We have to labor. And the culture of the Kennedy Center has to be steeped in the dignity of this labor.” The goal, he said, is to “make anti-racism systemic.”

“I think there is now beginning to be a recognition that this is not about a program or a Martin Luther King Day concert, or even a [diversity] committee,” says League of American Orchestras president and CEO Jesse Rosen. “Programmatic responses to diversity and equity, inclusion, and racism are of limited impact if they don’t emerge out of some organizational understanding and commitment, conviction, and alignment around why they even care about this. Why does this matter? . . . Frankly, it’s a lot easier to start a program than to have those conversations.”

For its part, the league has recently teamed with an arts diversity advocacy group, the Sphinx Organization, and Miami’s New World Symphony to create the National Alliance for Audition Support, an initiative involving 80-plus American orchestras to provide “long-term support to Black and Latinx orchestral musicians, identifying their unique needs and working in partnership with them over time with a shared end goal of orchestral placement.”

It has also launched the Catalyst Fund, which this month awarded grants of $12,000 to $25,000 to 28 U.S. orchestras “to strengthen their understanding of equity, diversity, and inclusion and to help transform organizational culture.”

Initiatives, statements and studies, call-outs, cancellations and cantatas — they’re all pieces of the work that has to be done. But at the heart of both the music we love and the problems seemingly written into it is the importance of actively listening — a responsibility to truly hear one another, that falls upon every one of us.

Or as Norman, a self-described eternal optimist, put it: “Society will, inevitably, come to the understanding that racism is mindless, lacking in all the light that is within us.” >>
Oscar
2020-07-17 22:54:42 UTC
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Meanwhile, over at The New York Times, staff critic calls for the elimination of blind auditions. Of course, Tommasini says that. He wants to keep _his_ job. Maybe young black kids are just more interested in hip-hop? Can't say that.


<< CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK

To Make Orchestras More Diverse, End Blind Auditions
If ensembles are to reflect the communities they serve, the audition process should take into account race, gender and other factors.

By Anthony Tommasini
July 16, 2020

During the tumultuous summer of 1969, two Black musicians accused the New York Philharmonic of discrimination. Earl Madison, a cellist, and J. Arthur Davis, a bassist, said they had been rejected for positions because of their race.

The city’s Commission on Human Rights decided against the musicians, but found that aspects of the orchestra’s hiring system, especially regarding substitute and extra players, functioned as an old boys’ network and were discriminatory. The ruling helped prod American orchestras, finally, to try and deal with the biases that had kept them overwhelmingly white and male. The Philharmonic, and many other ensembles, began to hold auditions behind a screen, so that factors like race and gender wouldn’t influence strictly musical appraisals.

Blind auditions, as they became known, proved transformative. The percentage of women in orchestras, which hovered under 6 percent in 1970, grew. Today, women make up a third of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and they are half the New York Philharmonic. Blind auditions changed the face of American orchestras.

But not enough.

American orchestras remain among the nation’s least racially diverse institutions, especially in regard to Black and Latino artists. In a 2014 study, only 1.8 percent of the players in top ensembles were Black; just 2.5 percent were Latino. At the time of the Philharmonic’s 1969 discrimination case, it had one Black player, the first it ever hired: Sanford Allen, a violinist. Today, in a city that is a quarter Black, just one out of 106 full-time players is Black: Anthony McGill, the principal clarinet.

The status quo is not working. If things are to change, ensembles must be able to take proactive steps to address the appalling racial imbalance that remains in their ranks. Blind auditions are no longer tenable.

This well-intentioned but restrictive practice has prevented substantive action when it comes to the most essential element of maintaining an orchestra: hiring musicians. Musicians’ unions, which have in many ways valiantly worked to protect their members in an economically tenuous industry, have long been tenacious defenders of blind auditions, asserting that they are the best way to ensure fairness.

But in sticking so stubbornly to the practice, unions may be hurting themselves, their orchestras and their art form. Hanging on to a system that has impeded diversity is particularly conspicuous at a moment when the country has been galvanized by revulsion to police brutality against Black Americans — and when orchestras, largely shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic, are brainstorming both how to be more relevant to their communities and how to redress racial inequities among their personnel when they re-emerge.

If the musicians onstage are going to better reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, the audition process has to be altered to take into fuller account artists’ backgrounds and experiences. Removing the screen is a crucial step.


Blind auditions are based on an appealing premise of pure meritocracy: An orchestra should be built from the very best players, period. But ask anyone in the field, and you’ll learn that over the past century of increasingly professionalized training, there has come to be remarkably little difference between players at the top tier. There is an athletic component to playing an instrument, and as with sprinters, gymnasts and tennis pros, the basic level of technical skill among American instrumentalists has steadily risen. A typical orchestral audition might end up attracting dozens of people who are essentially indistinguishable in their musicianship and technique.

It’s like an elite college facing a sea of applicants with straight A’s and perfect test scores. Such a school can move past those marks, embrace diversity as a social virtue and assemble a freshman class that advances other values along with academic achievement. For orchestras, the qualities of an ideal player might well include talent as an educator, interest in unusual repertoire or willingness to program innovative chamber events as well as pure musicianship. American orchestras should be able to foster these values, and a diverse complement of musicians, rather than passively waiting for representation to emerge from behind the audition screen.

Some leaders in the field I’ve spoken with over the years have argued that the problem starts earlier than auditions. They say racial diversity is missing in the so-called pipeline that leads from learning an instrument to summer programs to conservatories to graduate education to elite jobs. In this view, even that strong pool of equally talented hypothetical auditioners might have few, if any, Black or Latino players in it.

Yet Afa S. Dworkin, the president of the Sphinx Organization, which is dedicated to encouraging diversity in classical music by fostering young artists, argues that the pipeline is not the problem, and that talented musicians of color are out there and ready.

“As we speak,” she said in a recent online roundtable discussion among leading Black musicians, “about 96 Black and brown students who were competitively selected from hundreds who auditioned for Sphinx’s summer programs are going to go through intensive solo and chamber music training.”

She added that any of those young artists would soon be worthy of entrance to an elite conservatory and, in just a few years, ready for top-tier auditions.

Sphinx has been attempting to change the auditions landscape. Two years ago, alongside the New World Symphony, a prestigious — and notably diverse — training orchestra for post-college musicians, and the League of American Orchestras, a trade group, Sphinx began a program to train musicians for auditions by pairing them with mentors, giving them performance opportunities and awarding them stipends to travel to auditions. (The heavy costs associated with auditions disproportionately affect younger musicians of color; if you can’t afford to buy many flights and hotel rooms each year, it doesn’t matter how well you play.)

But orchestras must be a part of changing the landscape, too, by getting rid of blind auditions.

Change can be unnerving. Might the gains female players have made be reversed if the screen comes down? Might old habits of favoring the students of veteran players return? Orchestras will need to be transparent about their goals and procedures if they are to move forward with a new approach to auditions — one that takes race and gender into account, along with the full spectrum of a musician’s experience.

I put the question to Mr. McGill, the Philharmonic’s principal clarinet since 2014, who was more ambivalent about blind auditions than I am.
“I don’t know what the right answers are,” he said, adding that the screen has proved effective at eliminating the coziness that can creep into the auditions process when members of the jury have worked with the person playing.

Yet, he added, “representation matters more than people know.” He recalled how crucial it was to his early development as a clarinetist, growing up on the South Side of Chicago, to be part of the Chicago Teen Ensemble, a small group of young Black musicians who worked with a coach, made their own musical arrangements and toured the city giving concerts. It gave Mr. McGill, he said, a sense that classical music “is very normal,” the same sense his presence could give to a young Black person watching the Philharmonic.

“Is slow and steady change fast enough?” he asked. “The world has changed around us.”

When the Philharmonic plays, Mr. McGill stands out, not just for his magnificent playing but also as the kind of role model he looked to as a young artist. Yet, now more than ever, the spectacle of a lone Black musician on a huge, packed stage at Lincoln Center is unbearably depressing. Slow and steady change is no longer fast enough. >>


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/16/arts/music/blind-auditions-orchestras-race.html?auth=login-email&login=email
Néstor Castiglione
2020-07-17 23:02:03 UTC
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It's amusing to be lectured on "diversity" and "racism" by... rich white people. We never made it past the "post-racial" stage it seems, but every day it becomes more apparent that we're living in post-ironic America.
Post by Oscar
Meanwhile, over at The New York Times, staff critic calls for the elimination of blind auditions. Of course, Tommasini says that. He wants to keep _his_ job. Maybe young black kids are just more interested in hip-hop? Can't say that.
<< CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK
To Make Orchestras More Diverse, End Blind Auditions
If ensembles are to reflect the communities they serve, the audition process should take into account race, gender and other factors.
By Anthony Tommasini
July 16, 2020
During the tumultuous summer of 1969, two Black musicians accused the New York Philharmonic of discrimination. Earl Madison, a cellist, and J. Arthur Davis, a bassist, said they had been rejected for positions because of their race.
The city’s Commission on Human Rights decided against the musicians, but found that aspects of the orchestra’s hiring system, especially regarding substitute and extra players, functioned as an old boys’ network and were discriminatory. The ruling helped prod American orchestras, finally, to try and deal with the biases that had kept them overwhelmingly white and male. The Philharmonic, and many other ensembles, began to hold auditions behind a screen, so that factors like race and gender wouldn’t influence strictly musical appraisals.
Blind auditions, as they became known, proved transformative. The percentage of women in orchestras, which hovered under 6 percent in 1970, grew. Today, women make up a third of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and they are half the New York Philharmonic. Blind auditions changed the face of American orchestras.
But not enough.
American orchestras remain among the nation’s least racially diverse institutions, especially in regard to Black and Latino artists. In a 2014 study, only 1.8 percent of the players in top ensembles were Black; just 2.5 percent were Latino. At the time of the Philharmonic’s 1969 discrimination case, it had one Black player, the first it ever hired: Sanford Allen, a violinist. Today, in a city that is a quarter Black, just one out of 106 full-time players is Black: Anthony McGill, the principal clarinet.
The status quo is not working. If things are to change, ensembles must be able to take proactive steps to address the appalling racial imbalance that remains in their ranks. Blind auditions are no longer tenable.
This well-intentioned but restrictive practice has prevented substantive action when it comes to the most essential element of maintaining an orchestra: hiring musicians. Musicians’ unions, which have in many ways valiantly worked to protect their members in an economically tenuous industry, have long been tenacious defenders of blind auditions, asserting that they are the best way to ensure fairness.
But in sticking so stubbornly to the practice, unions may be hurting themselves, their orchestras and their art form. Hanging on to a system that has impeded diversity is particularly conspicuous at a moment when the country has been galvanized by revulsion to police brutality against Black Americans — and when orchestras, largely shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic, are brainstorming both how to be more relevant to their communities and how to redress racial inequities among their personnel when they re-emerge.
If the musicians onstage are going to better reflect the diversity of the communities they serve, the audition process has to be altered to take into fuller account artists’ backgrounds and experiences. Removing the screen is a crucial step.
Blind auditions are based on an appealing premise of pure meritocracy: An orchestra should be built from the very best players, period. But ask anyone in the field, and you’ll learn that over the past century of increasingly professionalized training, there has come to be remarkably little difference between players at the top tier. There is an athletic component to playing an instrument, and as with sprinters, gymnasts and tennis pros, the basic level of technical skill among American instrumentalists has steadily risen. A typical orchestral audition might end up attracting dozens of people who are essentially indistinguishable in their musicianship and technique.
It’s like an elite college facing a sea of applicants with straight A’s and perfect test scores. Such a school can move past those marks, embrace diversity as a social virtue and assemble a freshman class that advances other values along with academic achievement. For orchestras, the qualities of an ideal player might well include talent as an educator, interest in unusual repertoire or willingness to program innovative chamber events as well as pure musicianship. American orchestras should be able to foster these values, and a diverse complement of musicians, rather than passively waiting for representation to emerge from behind the audition screen.
Some leaders in the field I’ve spoken with over the years have argued that the problem starts earlier than auditions. They say racial diversity is missing in the so-called pipeline that leads from learning an instrument to summer programs to conservatories to graduate education to elite jobs. In this view, even that strong pool of equally talented hypothetical auditioners might have few, if any, Black or Latino players in it.
Yet Afa S. Dworkin, the president of the Sphinx Organization, which is dedicated to encouraging diversity in classical music by fostering young artists, argues that the pipeline is not the problem, and that talented musicians of color are out there and ready.
“As we speak,” she said in a recent online roundtable discussion among leading Black musicians, “about 96 Black and brown students who were competitively selected from hundreds who auditioned for Sphinx’s summer programs are going to go through intensive solo and chamber music training.”
She added that any of those young artists would soon be worthy of entrance to an elite conservatory and, in just a few years, ready for top-tier auditions.
Sphinx has been attempting to change the auditions landscape. Two years ago, alongside the New World Symphony, a prestigious — and notably diverse — training orchestra for post-college musicians, and the League of American Orchestras, a trade group, Sphinx began a program to train musicians for auditions by pairing them with mentors, giving them performance opportunities and awarding them stipends to travel to auditions. (The heavy costs associated with auditions disproportionately affect younger musicians of color; if you can’t afford to buy many flights and hotel rooms each year, it doesn’t matter how well you play.)
But orchestras must be a part of changing the landscape, too, by getting rid of blind auditions.
Change can be unnerving. Might the gains female players have made be reversed if the screen comes down? Might old habits of favoring the students of veteran players return? Orchestras will need to be transparent about their goals and procedures if they are to move forward with a new approach to auditions — one that takes race and gender into account, along with the full spectrum of a musician’s experience.
I put the question to Mr. McGill, the Philharmonic’s principal clarinet since 2014, who was more ambivalent about blind auditions than I am.
“I don’t know what the right answers are,” he said, adding that the screen has proved effective at eliminating the coziness that can creep into the auditions process when members of the jury have worked with the person playing.
Yet, he added, “representation matters more than people know.” He recalled how crucial it was to his early development as a clarinetist, growing up on the South Side of Chicago, to be part of the Chicago Teen Ensemble, a small group of young Black musicians who worked with a coach, made their own musical arrangements and toured the city giving concerts. It gave Mr. McGill, he said, a sense that classical music “is very normal,” the same sense his presence could give to a young Black person watching the Philharmonic.
“Is slow and steady change fast enough?” he asked. “The world has changed around us.”
When the Philharmonic plays, Mr. McGill stands out, not just for his magnificent playing but also as the kind of role model he looked to as a young artist. Yet, now more than ever, the spectacle of a lone Black musician on a huge, packed stage at Lincoln Center is unbearably depressing. Slow and steady change is no longer fast enough. >>
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/16/arts/music/blind-auditions-orchestras-race.html?auth=login-email&login=email
Oscar
2020-07-17 23:25:06 UTC
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It's amusing to be lectured on "diversity" and "racism" by... rich white people. <snip>
Those aren't 'people'...those are [voice of impending doom] allies.
(Say like Han Solo in Millennium Falcon approaching Death Star for first time.)
Frank Berger
2020-07-18 00:04:17 UTC
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Post by Oscar
It's amusing to be lectured on "diversity" and "racism" by... rich white people. <snip>
Those aren't 'people'...those are [voice of impending doom] allies.
(Say like Han Solo in Millennium Falcon approaching Death Star for first time.)
In the same vein, a black Portland copy says:

“It says something when you’re at a Black Lives Matter
protest, you have more minorities on the police side than
you have in a violent crowd...."
msw design
2020-07-23 19:16:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Oscar
It's amusing to be lectured on "diversity" and "racism" by... rich white people. <snip>
Those aren't 'people'...those are [voice of impending doom] allies.
(Say like Han Solo in Millennium Falcon approaching Death Star for first time.)
“It says something when you’re at a Black Lives Matter
protest, you have more minorities on the police side than
you have in a violent crowd...."
You know quite well that the proportion of racial representation in protesters and cops means absolutely nothing in connection to whatever is motivating each group. I do wonder whether you and Bob and Oscar have even the foggiest notion of what racism is besides some label the peopel you hate like to use, but I think you are smart enough to get this one right.
Frank Berger
2020-07-23 19:37:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by msw design
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Oscar
It's amusing to be lectured on "diversity" and "racism" by... rich white people. <snip>
Those aren't 'people'...those are [voice of impending doom] allies.
(Say like Han Solo in Millennium Falcon approaching Death Star for first time.)
“It says something when you’re at a Black Lives Matter
protest, you have more minorities on the police side than
you have in a violent crowd...."
You know quite well that the proportion of racial representation in protesters and cops means absolutely nothing in connection to whatever is motivating each group. I do wonder whether you and Bob and Oscar have even the foggiest notion of what racism is besides some label the peopel you hate like to use, but I think you are smart enough to get this one right.
You are wrong. I'm not smart enough.
Bob Harper
2020-07-23 20:06:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by msw design
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Oscar
It's amusing to be lectured on "diversity" and "racism" by... rich white people. <snip>
Those aren't 'people'...those are [voice of impending doom] allies.
(Say like Han Solo in Millennium Falcon approaching Death Star for first time.)
“It says something when you’re at a Black Lives Matter
protest, you have more minorities on the police side than
you have in a violent crowd...."
You know quite well that the proportion of racial representation in protesters and cops means absolutely nothing in connection to whatever is motivating each group. I do wonder whether you and Bob and Oscar have even the foggiest notion of what racism is besides some label the peopel you hate like to use, but I think you are smart enough to get this one right.
I know what racism is, having grown up on the edge of the South in the
1950s and seen it in my home town. It is, in the words of an
acquaintance. an "emotionally held personal hatred, a sin, and a
character flaw." Does it still exist? Yes. Is it pervasive? No. But what
there is occurs in both directions, and at its most absurd is some well
off white girl telling a black Portland police officer that he's either
1) a racist or 2) an Uncle Tom. Believe me, in that situation she's the
racist, not the officer.

Bob Harper
Frank Berger
2020-07-17 23:08:47 UTC
Reply
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Post by Oscar
Meanwhile, over at The New York Times, staff critic calls for the elimination of blind auditions. Of course, Tommasini says that. He wants to keep _his_ job. Maybe young black kids are just more interested in hip-hop? Can't say that.
I saw this and was revolted, of course. Putting aside the
morality of passing over a more qualified non-black musician
to hire a black one in order to achieve diversity in
orchestras, someone explain to me how I, the
listener/watcher/payer of the bills, benefit from the
orchestra being diverse (and a little worse sounding). What
we should be doing is educating our children so that no one
notices the color of the performers. Come to think of it,
that's how they start out. I think I mentioned this once -
my father used to say that in business or social settings he
did not notice what race a person was. I don't know if that
was literally true, but I think that's what we should be
aspiring to.
Bob Harper
2020-07-18 00:02:44 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Oscar
Meanwhile, over at The New York Times, staff critic calls for the
elimination of blind auditions. Of course, Tommasini says that. He
wants to keep _his_ job. Maybe young black kids are just more
interested in hip-hop? Can't say that.
I saw this and was revolted, of course.  Putting aside the morality of
passing over a more qualified non-black musician to hire a black one in
order to achieve diversity in orchestras, someone explain to me how I,
the listener/watcher/payer of the bills, benefit from the orchestra
being diverse (and a little worse sounding).  What we should be doing is
educating our children so that no one notices the color of the
performers.  Come to think of it, that's how they start out. I think I
mentioned this once - my father used to say that in business or social
settings he did not notice what race a person was.  I don't know if that
was literally true, but I think that's what we should be aspiring to.
I do as well, Frank, but you must surely know that in the land of the
woke a desire for a colorblind society is now taken as proof that you
are a racist. And yes, I know that's nuts.

Bob Harper
Andrew Clarke
2020-07-19 03:46:34 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Bob Harper
Post by Oscar
Meanwhile, over at The New York Times, staff critic calls for the
elimination of blind auditions. Of course, Tommasini says that. He
wants to keep _his_ job. Maybe young black kids are just more
interested in hip-hop? Can't say that.
I saw this and was revolted, of course. Putting aside the morality of
passing over a more qualified non-black musician to hire a black one in
order to achieve diversity in orchestras, someone explain to me how I,
the listener/watcher/payer of the bills, benefit from the orchestra
being diverse (and a little worse sounding). What we should be doing is
educating our children so that no one notices the color of the
performers. Come to think of it, that's how they start out. I think I
mentioned this once - my father used to say that in business or social
settings he did not notice what race a person was. I don't know if that
was literally true, but I think that's what we should be aspiring to.
I do as well, Frank, but you must surely know that in the land of the
woke a desire for a colorblind society is now taken as proof that you
are a racist. And yes, I know that's nuts.
Bob Harper
But what are all these non-racist non-sexist orchestras going to play? The number of Alberta Hunter and Gertrude Rainey compositions is not large, and besides the latter sometimes wrote for jug band, which would not improve the Chicago Symphony's fabled brass tone.

Mind you, this might play in Detroit:



Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Todd Michel McComb
2020-07-19 04:22:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Andrew Clarke
But what are all these non-racist non-sexist orchestras going to
play?
I actually agree that this is the relevant question.
Ricardo Jimenez
2020-07-21 02:04:00 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Fri, 17 Jul 2020 19:08:47 -0400, Frank Berger
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Oscar
Meanwhile, over at The New York Times, staff critic calls for the elimination of blind auditions. Of course, Tommasini says that. He wants to keep _his_ job. Maybe young black kids are just more interested in hip-hop? Can't say that.
I saw this and was revolted, of course. Putting aside the
morality of passing over a more qualified non-black musician
to hire a black one in order to achieve diversity in
orchestras, someone explain to me how I, the
listener/watcher/payer of the bills, benefit from the
orchestra being diverse (and a little worse sounding). What
we should be doing is educating our children so that no one
notices the color of the performers. Come to think of it,
that's how they start out. I think I mentioned this once -
my father used to say that in business or social settings he
did not notice what race a person was. I don't know if that
was literally true, but I think that's what we should be
aspiring to.
Those who watched the Live From the Met Porgy and Bess this weekend
heard the results of such a "colorseen" philosophy. An all black
chorus was hired to take the place of the excellent Met chorus. Does
anybody have a complaint about the musical results?
Frank Berger
2020-07-21 03:17:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ricardo Jimenez
On Fri, 17 Jul 2020 19:08:47 -0400, Frank Berger
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Oscar
Meanwhile, over at The New York Times, staff critic calls for the elimination of blind auditions. Of course, Tommasini says that. He wants to keep _his_ job. Maybe young black kids are just more interested in hip-hop? Can't say that.
I saw this and was revolted, of course. Putting aside the
morality of passing over a more qualified non-black musician
to hire a black one in order to achieve diversity in
orchestras, someone explain to me how I, the
listener/watcher/payer of the bills, benefit from the
orchestra being diverse (and a little worse sounding). What
we should be doing is educating our children so that no one
notices the color of the performers. Come to think of it,
that's how they start out. I think I mentioned this once -
my father used to say that in business or social settings he
did not notice what race a person was. I don't know if that
was literally true, but I think that's what we should be
aspiring to.
Those who watched the Live From the Met Porgy and Bess this weekend
heard the results of such a "colorseen" philosophy. An all black
chorus was hired to take the place of the excellent Met chorus. Does
anybody have a complaint about the musical results?
I personally have no problem casting all black actors in a
show about the black experience. Does that apply to the
chorus? Who knows.

We've seen woke (or intimidated) white actors of late
withdraw from roles in which they portray a minority person.
Have they forgotten that acting is all about pretending to
be something they are not?
Ricardo Jimenez
2020-07-21 13:07:11 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Mon, 20 Jul 2020 23:17:57 -0400, Frank Berger
Post by Frank Berger
Post by Ricardo Jimenez
Those who watched the Live From the Met Porgy and Bess this weekend
heard the results of such a "colorseen" philosophy. An all black
chorus was hired to take the place of the excellent Met chorus. Does
anybody have a complaint about the musical results?
I personally have no problem casting all black actors in a
show about the black experience. Does that apply to the
chorus? Who knows.
We've seen woke (or intimidated) white actors of late
withdraw from roles in which they portray a minority person.
Have they forgotten that acting is all about pretending to
be something they are not
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/arts/music/porgy-bess-gershwin-metropolitan-opera.html

"And has the Gershwins’ insistence that “Porgy” be performed only by
black artists — originally aimed at keeping it from being done in
blackface — helped generations of black singers by giving them the
opportunity to perform on some of the world’s great stages?"

"When the Hungarian State Opera staged “Porgy and Bess” with a white
cast earlier this year, against the wishes of the Gershwin brothers’
estates, it asked its singers to sign declarations that
African-American origins and spirit formed part of their identity, a
Hungarian news site reported."

This situation can't last. I think that the MET and other American
opera companies will do interracial Porgies in the near future. There
is just too glaring a contrast with the now common casting of blacks
in operas about the white European experience.
Bob Harper
2020-07-21 18:59:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Ricardo Jimenez
On Fri, 17 Jul 2020 19:08:47 -0400, Frank Berger
Post by Oscar
Meanwhile, over at The New York Times, staff critic calls for the
elimination of blind auditions. Of course, Tommasini says that. He
wants to keep _his_ job. Maybe young black kids are just more
interested in hip-hop? Can't say that.
I saw this and was revolted, of course.  Putting aside the
morality of passing over a more qualified non-black musician
to hire a black one in order to achieve diversity in
orchestras, someone explain to me how I, the
listener/watcher/payer of the bills, benefit from the
orchestra being diverse (and a little worse sounding).  What
we should be doing is educating our children so that no one
notices the color of the performers.  Come to think of it,
that's how they start out. I think I mentioned this once -
my father used to say that in business or social settings he
did not notice what race a person was.  I don't know if that
was literally true, but I think that's what we should be
aspiring to.
Those who watched the Live From the Met Porgy and Bess this weekend
heard the results of such a "colorseen" philosophy.  An all black
chorus was hired to take the place of the excellent Met chorus.  Does
anybody have a complaint about the musical results?
I personally have no problem casting all black actors in a show about
the black experience.  Does that apply to the chorus? Who knows.
We've seen woke (or intimidated) white actors of late withdraw from
roles in which they portray a minority person.  Have they forgotten that
acting is all about pretending to be something they are not?
They have not forgotten; they are afraid of the Twitter Mob.

Bob Harper
wkasimer
2020-07-23 17:45:15 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Oscar
Meanwhile, over at The New York Times, staff critic calls for the elimination of blind auditions.
Here's a response related to Tommasini's piece:

https://www.commentarymagazine.com/christine-rosen/now-theyve-come-for-the-talented/
Andrew Clarke
2020-07-31 02:36:08 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by shellackophile
Classical Music Is Being Cancelled
United States: Is classical music a “privilege” for whites and Asians?
TRIBUNE – In decline in the United States, classical music is criticized by many as “too white”, even though it is favoured by young Americans of Asian descent, analyses Paul May, a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (Uqam)*.
By PAUL MAY
Le Figaro, 21 June 2020
Classical music today is accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the American population.
Certain phenomena, not very publicized and unspectacular, are nevertheless indicative of profound transformations at work in our societies. This is the case of the decline of classical music in the United States. Confronted for several years with a constant decline in its audience, classical music is now accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the country’s population, to such an extent that its long-term survival is being questioned. Sociologically, the stakes are symbolic: one of the major cultural practices of the country’s elite since its foundation is explicitly called upon to change or disappear.
"Well, when I went on stage, the kids in the front rows were going "Boooo, Boooo" and the reason that they were doing that was because they knew I was going to play the blues. Well that hurt me a lot. Later on, we were booked to do a show at the Fillmore, but when we got there, I could see this long queue of white people with long hair, going all the way around the block. So I said to my driver, "This can't be it, we must have come to the wrong place". So we drove around some more, and he said to me, "No, this is the address I've got here". So I sent in my road manager, and when he came back, he said, "Yes, this is it". And when I went on stage, I got the shortest introduction I've ever had: "Ladies and gentlemen, the Chairman of the Board, B. B. King". And they gave me a standing ovation - I think I got six standing ovations in all. Well, I wish I could tell you how I felt then ... "

-- B. B. King in the film "The Road to Memphis".

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
g***@gmail.com
2020-07-31 03:49:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Andrew Clarke
Post by shellackophile
Classical Music Is Being Cancelled
United States: Is classical music a “privilege” for whites and Asians?
TRIBUNE – In decline in the United States, classical music is criticized by many as “too white”, even though it is favoured by young Americans of Asian descent, analyses Paul May, a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (Uqam)*.
By PAUL MAY
Le Figaro, 21 June 2020
Classical music today is accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the American population.
Certain phenomena, not very publicized and unspectacular, are nevertheless indicative of profound transformations at work in our societies. This is the case of the decline of classical music in the United States. Confronted for several years with a constant decline in its audience, classical music is now accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the country’s population, to such an extent that its long-term survival is being questioned. Sociologically, the stakes are symbolic: one of the major cultural practices of the country’s elite since its foundation is explicitly called upon to change or disappear.
"Well, when I went on stage, the kids in the front rows were going "Boooo, Boooo" and the reason that they were doing that was because they knew I was going to play the blues. Well that hurt me a lot. Later on, we were booked to do a show at the Fillmore, but when we got there, I could see this long queue of white people with long hair, going all the way around the block. So I said to my driver, "This can't be it, we must have come to the wrong place". So we drove around some more, and he said to me, "No, this is the address I've got here". So I sent in my road manager, and when he came back, he said, "Yes, this is it". And when I went on stage, I got the shortest introduction I've ever had: "Ladies and gentlemen, the Chairman of the Board, B. B. King". And they gave me a standing ovation - I think I got six standing ovations in all. Well, I wish I could tell you how I felt then ... "
-- B. B. King in the film "The Road to Memphis".
Andrew Clarke
Canberra
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.music.opera/fdnamo6WKRg
Andrew Clarke
2020-07-31 12:46:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by Andrew Clarke
Post by shellackophile
Classical Music Is Being Cancelled
United States: Is classical music a “privilege” for whites and Asians?
TRIBUNE – In decline in the United States, classical music is criticized by many as “too white”, even though it is favoured by young Americans of Asian descent, analyses Paul May, a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (Uqam)*.
By PAUL MAY
Le Figaro, 21 June 2020
Classical music today is accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the American population.
Certain phenomena, not very publicized and unspectacular, are nevertheless indicative of profound transformations at work in our societies. This is the case of the decline of classical music in the United States. Confronted for several years with a constant decline in its audience, classical music is now accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the country’s population, to such an extent that its long-term survival is being questioned. Sociologically, the stakes are symbolic: one of the major cultural practices of the country’s elite since its foundation is explicitly called upon to change or disappear.
"Well, when I went on stage, the kids in the front rows were going "Boooo, Boooo" and the reason that they were doing that was because they knew I was going to play the blues. Well that hurt me a lot. Later on, we were booked to do a show at the Fillmore, but when we got there, I could see this long queue of white people with long hair, going all the way around the block. So I said to my driver, "This can't be it, we must have come to the wrong place". So we drove around some more, and he said to me, "No, this is the address I've got here". So I sent in my road manager, and when he came back, he said, "Yes, this is it". And when I went on stage, I got the shortest introduction I've ever had: "Ladies and gentlemen, the Chairman of the Board, B. B. King". And they gave me a standing ovation - I think I got six standing ovations in all. Well, I wish I could tell you how I felt then ... "
-- B. B. King in the film "The Road to Memphis".
Andrew Clarke
Canberra
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.music.opera/fdnamo6WKRg
This commentator appears to be saying that the only reason that certain books, musical works and films were regarded as classics is because an elite said they were. So now we've stopped listening to elites, we can enjoy what we like. There's no difference between "Ulysses" - which I have read, several times - andthe latest Kobo romance novel, all of which seem to consist of about 180 pages of mundane meanderings in which can be found about four pages of soft porn.

It doesn't surprise me that a large percent of romance novel readers are university graduates. These days, they'll read anything, or indeed believe anything.

A classic is not necessarily a piece of classical music of course. Howlin' Wolf's 'Smokestack Lightening" is a classic. Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man" is a classic. So, perhaps is Theodosia Stiga singing rebetika:



Also, what are we to think of a commentator who thinks that Alain Delon, Francois Truffaut, Eric Rohmer, Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Rivette were all doing much the same thing? But then why should we go to the trouble of watching - repeatedly - a wonderful film like Rivette's "Va savoir" when we can join 99% of college graduates and watch "The devil wears Prada" instead?

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
g***@gmail.com
2020-07-31 13:46:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Andrew Clarke
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by Andrew Clarke
Post by shellackophile
Classical Music Is Being Cancelled
United States: Is classical music a “privilege” for whites and Asians?
TRIBUNE – In decline in the United States, classical music is criticized by many as “too white”, even though it is favoured by young Americans of Asian descent, analyses Paul May, a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (Uqam)*.
By PAUL MAY
Le Figaro, 21 June 2020
Classical music today is accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the American population.
Certain phenomena, not very publicized and unspectacular, are nevertheless indicative of profound transformations at work in our societies. This is the case of the decline of classical music in the United States. Confronted for several years with a constant decline in its audience, classical music is now accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the country’s population, to such an extent that its long-term survival is being questioned. Sociologically, the stakes are symbolic: one of the major cultural practices of the country’s elite since its foundation is explicitly called upon to change or disappear.
"Well, when I went on stage, the kids in the front rows were going "Boooo, Boooo" and the reason that they were doing that was because they knew I was going to play the blues. Well that hurt me a lot. Later on, we were booked to do a show at the Fillmore, but when we got there, I could see this long queue of white people with long hair, going all the way around the block. So I said to my driver, "This can't be it, we must have come to the wrong place". So we drove around some more, and he said to me, "No, this is the address I've got here". So I sent in my road manager, and when he came back, he said, "Yes, this is it". And when I went on stage, I got the shortest introduction I've ever had: "Ladies and gentlemen, the Chairman of the Board, B. B. King". And they gave me a standing ovation - I think I got six standing ovations in all. Well, I wish I could tell you how I felt then ... "
-- B. B. King in the film "The Road to Memphis".
Andrew Clarke
Canberra
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.music.opera/fdnamo6WKRg
This commentator appears to be saying that the only reason that certain books, musical works and films were regarded as classics is because an elite said they were. So now we've stopped listening to elites, we can enjoy what we like. There's no difference between "Ulysses" - which I have read, several times - andthe latest Kobo romance novel, all of which seem to consist of about 180 pages of mundane meanderings in which can be found about four pages of soft porn.
It doesn't surprise me that a large percent of romance novel readers are university graduates. These days, they'll read anything, or indeed believe anything.
http://youtu.be/_8jBV7Wt9oo
Also, what are we to think of a commentator who thinks that Alain Delon, Francois Truffaut, Eric Rohmer, Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Rivette were all doing much the same thing? But then why should we go to the trouble of watching - repeatedly - a wonderful film like Rivette's "Va savoir" when we can join 99% of college graduates and watch "The devil wears Prada" instead?
Andrew Clarke
Canberra
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/rec.music.classical.recordings/barenboim%7Csort:date/rec.music.classical.recordings/_ARMSTsbJIY/fAkCU_g1BgAJ
g***@gmail.com
2020-07-31 13:55:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Andrew Clarke
Post by g***@gmail.com
Post by Andrew Clarke
Post by shellackophile
Classical Music Is Being Cancelled
United States: Is classical music a “privilege” for whites and Asians?
TRIBUNE – In decline in the United States, classical music is criticized by many as “too white”, even though it is favoured by young Americans of Asian descent, analyses Paul May, a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (Uqam)*.
By PAUL MAY
Le Figaro, 21 June 2020
Classical music today is accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the American population.
Certain phenomena, not very publicized and unspectacular, are nevertheless indicative of profound transformations at work in our societies. This is the case of the decline of classical music in the United States. Confronted for several years with a constant decline in its audience, classical music is now accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the country’s population, to such an extent that its long-term survival is being questioned. Sociologically, the stakes are symbolic: one of the major cultural practices of the country’s elite since its foundation is explicitly called upon to change or disappear.
"Well, when I went on stage, the kids in the front rows were going "Boooo, Boooo" and the reason that they were doing that was because they knew I was going to play the blues. Well that hurt me a lot. Later on, we were booked to do a show at the Fillmore, but when we got there, I could see this long queue of white people with long hair, going all the way around the block. So I said to my driver, "This can't be it, we must have come to the wrong place". So we drove around some more, and he said to me, "No, this is the address I've got here". So I sent in my road manager, and when he came back, he said, "Yes, this is it". And when I went on stage, I got the shortest introduction I've ever had: "Ladies and gentlemen, the Chairman of the Board, B. B. King". And they gave me a standing ovation - I think I got six standing ovations in all. Well, I wish I could tell you how I felt then ... "
-- B. B. King in the film "The Road to Memphis".
Andrew Clarke
Canberra
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.music.opera/fdnamo6WKRg
This commentator appears to be saying that the only reason that certain books, musical works and films were regarded as classics is because an elite said they were. So now we've stopped listening to elites, we can enjoy what we like. There's no difference between "Ulysses" - which I have read, several times - andthe latest Kobo romance novel, all of which seem to consist of about 180 pages of mundane meanderings in which can be found about four pages of soft porn.
It doesn't surprise me that a large percent of romance novel readers are university graduates. These days, they'll read anything, or indeed believe anything.
http://youtu.be/_8jBV7Wt9oo
Also, what are we to think of a commentator who thinks that Alain Delon, Francois Truffaut, Eric Rohmer, Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Rivette were all doing much the same thing? But then why should we go to the trouble of watching - repeatedly - a wonderful film like Rivette's "Va savoir" when we can join 99% of college graduates and watch "The devil wears Prada" instead?
Andrew Clarke
Canberra
- The more you pander to what is, presumably, the taste of young people, the more you corrupt.

Ruth Rendell

- The good displeases us when we have not yet grown up to it.

Nietzsche

Immaturity of youth culture and A CLOCKWORK ORANGE:

Burgess parodies his contemporary British youth culture of the 1950s and
60s through a terrifying projection of them. In lieu of conventional youth
slang, the teens have adapted an almost entirely new language with which
Alex narrates the novel, nadsat. While influenced by Russian, which
complements the socialistic world of A Clockwork Orange (see The
oppression of Socialism, above), nadsat is also at times infantile; the
words "appy polly loggy" (for "apology"), "eggiweg" (for "egg"), and
"moloko" (for "milk") sound like they issued from the mouths of babes.

Burgess's decisions for which words become nadsat words are rarely
incidental. These three examples, for instance, pertain directly to youth
and free will. Eggs and milk are symbolic of birth and infancy (note, too,
that the teenage hoodlums drink milk laced with drugs, and Alex,
especially, seems fascinated by breasts). Moreover, Alex never delivers a
heartfelt, willful apology throughout the novel; since he never fully
chooses his actions, but immaturely and rashly heads into them, he does
not have the adult capacity for remorse.

Alex matures in Part Three, Chapter 7, the 21st chapter of the novel and
one symbolic of maturity (at the time, the voting age in England was 21,
and is considered a rite of passage into adulthood). He also overcomes the
Oedipal tensions in the novel: F. Alexander temporarily becomes Alex's
father figure, and since Alex raped (and killed) F. Alexander's wife, it
is as though he had sex with his own mother. In the 21st chapter, Alex
decides he wants to have his own son, a sign that he is through with his
Oedipal fascination with violence, breasts, and milk.

https://www.gradesaver.com/a-clockwork-orange/study-guide/themes
Andrew Clarke
2020-07-31 19:30:37 UTC
Reply
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Post by Andrew Clarke
Also, what are we to think of a commentator who thinks that Alain Delon, Francois Truffaut, Eric Rohmer, Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Rivette were all doing much the same thing? But then why should we go to the trouble of watching - repeatedly - a wonderful film like Rivette's "Va savoir" when we can join 99% of college graduates and watch "The devil wears Prada" instead?
Andrew Clarke
Canberra
For Alain Delon, read Alain Resnais ...

AC
Oscar
2020-07-31 21:04:11 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Andrew Clarke
"Well, when I went on stage, the kids in the front rows were going "Boooo, Boooo" and the reason that they
were doing that was because they knew I was going to play the blues. Well that hurt me a lot. Later on, we
were booked to do a show at the Fillmore, but when we got there, I could see this long queue of white
people with long hair, going all the way around the block. So I said to my driver, "This can't be it, we must
have come to the wrong place". So we drove around some more, and he said to me, "No, this is the address
I've got here". So I sent in my road manager, and when he came back, he said, "Yes, this is it". And when I
went on stage, I got the shortest introduction I've ever had: "Ladies and gentlemen, the Chairman of the
Board, B. B. King". And they gave me a standing ovation - I think I got six standing ovations in all. Well, I
wish I could tell you how I felt then ... "
God bless him. He seemed like a great man, and for certain he was a trailblazer of the electric blues. Music that means a lot to _me_.
number_six
2020-07-31 22:30:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Oscar
Post by Andrew Clarke
"Well, when I went on stage, the kids in the front rows were going "Boooo, Boooo" and the reason that they
were doing that was because they knew I was going to play the blues. Well that hurt me a lot. Later on, we
were booked to do a show at the Fillmore, but when we got there, I could see this long queue of white
people with long hair, going all the way around the block. So I said to my driver, "This can't be it, we must
have come to the wrong place". So we drove around some more, and he said to me, "No, this is the address
I've got here". So I sent in my road manager, and when he came back, he said, "Yes, this is it". And when I
went on stage, I got the shortest introduction I've ever had: "Ladies and gentlemen, the Chairman of the
Board, B. B. King". And they gave me a standing ovation - I think I got six standing ovations in all. Well, I
wish I could tell you how I felt then ... "
God bless him. He seemed like a great man, and for certain he was a trailblazer of the electric blues. Music that means a lot to _me_.
BB /Crusaders /RPO doing The Thrill is Gone is a fave of mine
Andrew Clarke
2020-08-02 10:54:16 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by number_six
BB /Crusaders /RPO doing The Thrill is Gone is a fave of mine
Turning to another rich vein of black American music, have you seen the Tamla-Barrytown soul performances in "The Commitments"? "The Dark End of the Street" I think is particularly moving:



I remember once seeing a doco about Tamla Motown, which included a contribution from one of The Supremes. "They taught us a lot before they let us go on tour," she said. "They showed us how to walk, how to dress, how to make-up. And how to talk - (little smile) - we were all from the *projects*."

What that record company gave those young black women from the projects was, IMO, worth a million times more than all the placard-waving on earth. It gave them confidence. It gave them the possibility of a future.

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
number_six
2020-08-02 15:45:31 UTC
Reply
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Post by number_six
BB /Crusaders /RPO doing The Thrill is Gone is a fave of mine
I did not see that picture, but may now do so. Thanks!
Andrew Clarke
2020-08-02 11:13:52 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Oscar
Post by Andrew Clarke
"Well, when I went on stage, the kids in the front rows were going "Boooo, Boooo" and the reason that they
were doing that was because they knew I was going to play the blues. Well that hurt me a lot. Later on, we
were booked to do a show at the Fillmore, but when we got there, I could see this long queue of white
people with long hair, going all the way around the block. So I said to my driver, "This can't be it, we must
have come to the wrong place". So we drove around some more, and he said to me, "No, this is the address
I've got here". So I sent in my road manager, and when he came back, he said, "Yes, this is it". And when I
went on stage, I got the shortest introduction I've ever had: "Ladies and gentlemen, the Chairman of the
Board, B. B. King". And they gave me a standing ovation - I think I got six standing ovations in all. Well, I
wish I could tell you how I felt then ... "
God bless him. He seemed like a great man, and for certain he was a trailblazer of the electric blues. Music that means a lot to _me_.
The events he was describing marked an enormous change in his career. Previously his audiences had been 90% black, 10% white. Now it was the other way round. And this change saved a lot of black musicians from penury. That was the time when Muddy Waters would stand up for the white college kids *listening* to his music, and when Willie Dixon organised those tours of Europe. Referring to one of these tours, one of Howlin' Wolf's daughters remarked that "they were treated like big stars over there" at a time when their stars were waning in places like Chicago and Memphis.

Here is Sunny Boy Williamson, fresh from another visit to his favourite London tailor:



and Howlin' Wolf singing to a youthful British audience:



So where's the racism?

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Todd Michel McComb
2020-08-02 21:54:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Andrew Clarke
So where's the racism?
You've already demonstrated enough willful stupidity for an entire
orchestra & more, so have at it. Enjoy your race baiting, asshole.
Andrew Clarke
2020-08-02 22:31:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Todd Michel McComb
Post by Andrew Clarke
So where's the racism?
You've already demonstrated enough willful stupidity for an entire
orchestra & more, so have at it. Enjoy your race baiting, asshole.
I admit that black Americans don't listen to the blues or soul music any more. They're all tuned into Bandcamp.

Andrew Clarke
Canberra

g***@gmail.com
2020-07-31 15:57:46 UTC
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Post by shellackophile
Classical Music Is Being Cancelled
United States: Is classical music a “privilege” for whites and Asians?
TRIBUNE – In decline in the United States, classical music is criticized by many as “too white”, even though it is favoured by young Americans of Asian descent, analyses Paul May, a professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (Uqam)*.
By PAUL MAY
Le Figaro, 21 June 2020
Classical music today is accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the American population.
Certain phenomena, not very publicized and unspectacular, are nevertheless indicative of profound transformations at work in our societies. This is the case of the decline of classical music in the United States. Confronted for several years with a constant decline in its audience, classical music is now accused of being unsuited to the growing ethnic diversity of the country’s population, to such an extent that its long-term survival is being questioned. Sociologically, the stakes are symbolic: one of the major cultural practices of the country’s elite since its foundation is explicitly called upon to change or disappear.
A study by the National Endowment for the Arts reports that the proportion of adults who attended a classical music concert in the previous year had risen from 13 per cent in 1982 to 8.6 per cent in 2017. Between 1982 and 2002, the share of attendees under 30 dropped from 27% to 9%. This is accompanied by a general decline in the number of amateurs in the population: in 1992, 4.2% of adult Americans reported playing a musical instrument, compared to 2% in 2008. In terms of album sales, although the last two years have seen a slight improvement, they do not mask a sharp decline over the long term. While the country still has some of the world’s most renowned orchestras, such as the Chicago Symphony or the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the question of a decline can hardly be avoided.
There are many reasons for this, according to the specialist press: an economic model based mainly on private funding, a decline in school education, and competition from other forms of music that are more popular with the younger generation.
Classical music is inherently racist
– New Music USA
Faced with this observation, classical music is encouraged to renew itself. However, according to professionals in the sector, one of the major challenges is to change the image of a field perceived as “too white”. According to a report published in 2016 by the League of American Orchestras, blacks represent only 1.8% of orchestra members, and Latin Americans only 2.5%. Moreover, the vast majority of the works performed in the concerts were by composers of European origin, which is considered insufficiently “inclusive” in the United States. For example, the San Francisco Chronicle recently expressed regret that the city’s Symphony Orchestra will present almost exclusively compositions created by white men in the 2017-2018 season.
Too white, too old, the classical music sector is accused of being out of step with the country’s changing demographics. Indeed, projections by the US Census Bureau predict that the share of ethnic minorities in the population will increase to become the majority around the middle of the century, and would already represent 45% of the 18-23 age group. As a result, a number of American newspapers have recently denounced the fact that the classical music scene is considered too ethnically homogenous. The New York Times accuses it of being the “least diverse institution in the country” and of masking “a racist problem”, while the Seattle Magazine proclaims that it is necessary to “attack its whiteness”. The specialized press is not to be outdone: the National Public Radioconstate’s website says that the scene is “extremely white and increasingly marginalized,” echoing New Music USA, which for its part believes that “classical music is inherently racist.
These accusations are based on the following logic: if an institution has too small a proportion of people of non-European descent, it is suspected of masking a discriminatory recruitment process, or even a form of “structural racism”. Recently, this beam of criticism has hit a wide variety of fields, such as cinema (with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite), ice hockey (#HockeySoWhite), or the Silicon Valley business community (#SiliconValleySoWhite). In the name of economic performance or the principle of non-discrimination, each institution is thus scrutinized and judged on the basis of its degree of openness to “diversity”.
While classical music was banned during the Cultural Revolution, it is estimated today that about 50 million young Chinese are learning the piano.
In the field of classical music, this leads to prioritizing the recruitment of musicians from diverse ethnic backgrounds, modifying the canon of composers deemed essential to include artists of colour, or transforming the current concert format to offer collaborations with singers appreciated by young audiences, as proposed in the League of American Orchestras’ report entitled “How Diversity Can Help Save Classical Music”.
It is to be hoped that this project of ethnic recalibration will succeed in breathing new life into classical music across the Atlantic. Sceptics, however, will prefer to bank on the extraordinary enthusiasm of the younger generation of Asian Americans for this art form. The latter constitute a growing fringe of amateurs and professionals, contradicting the above-mentioned critics who see classical music as an area that is not easily accessible to ethnic minorities. Indeed, the children of immigrants from China, South Korea, Singapore or Taiwan are over-represented in conservatories, and pushed by their parents, who see this apprenticeship as a school of rigour and excellence. It remains to be seen, however, whether their demographic weight in the population will be sufficient to reverse the current declining trend.
In this regard, the situation in the United States contrasts with that of several Asian countries, such as China, for example. While classical music was banned during the Cultural Revolution, it is estimated today that about 50 million young Chinese are learning the piano, inspired by internationally renowned stars such as Li Yundi, Yuja Wang, or Lang Lang. The country is both the leading consumer and the leading manufacturer of pianos, producing 80% of the world’s supply. The average age of concertgoers is considerably younger than in North America, suggesting a more sustainable audience over the long term, both in auditoriums and on the internet. All these factors led Lorin Maazel, former music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, to say: “We need defenders of our classical music tradition, if classical music is to survive … it may very well be that the most important defenders are in China”.
Optimists will be pleased to find a music-loving public in Asia, eager to take over a neglected artistic heritage. Pessimists will see it as yet another symptom of a West that has forgotten its roots and is indifferent to the transmission of its own cultural treasures. A silent phenomenon, rarely in the headlines… but no less significant for the evolution of our civilization.
* Paul May is notably the author of a remarkable work, “Philosophies of Multiculturalism” (Presses de Sciences Po, 2016).
Translated by DeepL from https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/culture/etats-unis-la-musique-classique-est-elle-un-privilege-des-blancs-et-des-asiatiques-20200621?utm_source=premium&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=%5b20200622_NL_MATINALE%5d&een
Once upon a time, people felt the need to seek guidance.

Not anymore:

https://www.google.com/books/edition/Where_Have_All_the_Intellectuals_Gone/W6dGBAAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=%22a%20culture%20that%20exists%20in%20order%20to%20help%20people%20find%20themselves%22
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