University of Oxford considers scrapping sheet music for being 'too colonial'

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  3 weeks ago  •  20 comments

By:   Raven Saunt (Mail Online)

University of Oxford considers scrapping sheet music for being 'too colonial'
Professors are set to reform their music courses to move away from the classic repertoire, which includes the likes of Beethoven and Mozart, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



The University of Oxford is considering scrapping sheet music for being 'too colonial' after staff raised concerns about the 'complicity in white supremacy' in music curriculums.

Professors are set to reform their music courses to move away from the classic repertoire, which includes the likes of Beethoven and Mozart, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

University staff have argued that the current curriculum focuses on 'white European music from the slave period', according to The Telegraph.

The University of Oxford (Merton College pictured) is considering scrapping sheet music for being 'too colonial' after staff raised concerns about the 'complicity in white supremacy' in music curriculums

Documents seen by the publication indicate proposed reforms to target undergraduate courses.

It claimed that teaching musical notation had 'not shaken off its connection to its colonial past' and would be 'a slap in the face' to some students.

And it added that musical skills should no longer be compulsory because the current repertoire's focus on 'white European music' causes 'students of colour great distress'.

It is thought that music writing will also be reformed to be more inclusive.

But the proposals caused upset among some faculty members who argued that it was unfair to accuse those teaching music from before 1900 of being concerned with just 'white'.

MailOnline has contacted the University of Oxford for comment.

It comes after one Oxford college removed the name of an 18th-century slave trader from its main library earlier this year - but has defied calls to take down his statue.

It comes after one Oxford college, All Souls College, removed the name of an 18th-century slave trader from its main library earlier this year - but has defied calls to take down his statue

A marble statue by Edward Cheere of the benefactor has been standing in the library after Codrington bequeathed £10,000 to the college

All Souls College reviewed its link to Christopher Codrington, a Barbados-born colonial governor, in the wake of last year's Black Lives Matter movement.

The former college fellow who died in 1710 bequeathed £10,000 to the library which has since been unofficially known as the Codrington Library.

A marble statue by Edward Cheere of the benefactor has been standing in the library for centuries and the college says it has no plans to take it down despite the clamour from students.

The All Souls governing body said: 'Rather than seek to remove it the College will investigate further forms of memorialisation and contextualisation within the library, which will draw attention to the presence of enslaved people on the Codrington plantations, and will express the College's abhorrence of slavery.'

Their review found that Codrington's wealth 'derived largely from his family's activities in the West Indies, where they owned plantations worked by enslaved people of African descent'.

The college claims it has undertaken a number of measures to address the colonial legacy, including erecting a memorial plaque in memory of those who worked on the Caribbean plantations.


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

I think getting rid of classical music because the pieces were created in the period of European colonialism is taking it too far.

A lot of these people seem to have too much idle time on their hands. 

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
1.1  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 weeks ago
I think getting rid of classical music because the pieces were created in the period of European colonialism is taking it too far.

Absolutely agree with you on this JR!

I love music of all sorts. From classical to heavy metal and gangster rap and everything in between. The only genre that I'm not a fan of is country. I even enjoy folk music from time to time, but country music reminds me of whining dogs... it annoys me. If it's your "cup of tea" then that's fine, it's just not mine.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
2  Nerm_L    3 weeks ago

Those claiming to be woke are still picking the low fruit.  What we are seeing is only the beginning.

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
2.1  JBB  replied to  Nerm_L @2    2 weeks ago

Your sentiment is found in graffiti from ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. The world is always going to hell according the negative nabobs of all times!

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3  TᵢG    2 weeks ago
Professors are set to reform their music courses to move away from the classic repertoire, which includes the likes of Beethoven and Mozart, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

What??

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
3.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  TᵢG @3    2 weeks ago

And this.

It claimed that teaching musical notation had 'not shaken off its connection to its colonial past' and would be 'a slap in the face' to some students.

I don't get it.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3.1    2 weeks ago
I don't get it.

Same here.   Emotions over rationality I suppose.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
4  sandy-2021492    2 weeks ago

I can see adjusting their curricula to become more inclusive of music from areas other than Europe, but to eliminate Beethoven and Mozart?  To stop teaching musical notation?  I'm not sure how one teaches music without including musical notation.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Participates
5  Greg Jones    2 weeks ago

In my opinion, the Russians were the best classical composers. Especially Tchaikovsky.. 

Has any great music come from  BLM?

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
5.1  JBB  replied to  Greg Jones @5    2 weeks ago

I do not know about BLM?, but black Americans are primary due credit for the invention of jazz, rythm and blues, soul, funk, Motown, rock and roll, hip hop and rap which blows up your point, if you had one...

 
 
 
dennis smith
Senior Silent
5.1.1  dennis smith  replied to  JBB @5.1    2 weeks ago

Absolutely agree with you JBB. Grew up in Detroit until the Army called in 1966 and Motown was the greatest music of all. Never equated that music to people of color, it was just great music.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Participates
5.1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  JBB @5.1    2 weeks ago

Don't discount the the contributions of White musicians to most of those genre.

 
 
 
MonsterMash
Sophomore Participates
5.2  MonsterMash  replied to  Greg Jones @5    2 weeks ago

OMG!! Look at all those racist Asians playing Tchaikovsky's Symphony NO 6

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
6  Tacos!    2 weeks ago

Ridiculous. I never once associated this music with colonialism or slavery, and I’ve never heard of anyone who did. It’s just music. There’s nothing about music notation that implies either of those things.

It is thought that music writing will also be reformed to be more inclusive.

How dumb. There is nothing about music notation that is not inclusive.

These people have lost their minds.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Masters Participates
6.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Tacos! @6    2 weeks ago

Agreed.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
6.2  Tacos!  replied to  Tacos! @6    2 weeks ago
It claimed that teaching musical notation had 'not shaken off its connection to its colonial past' and would be 'a slap in the face' to some students.

Just because two things exist at the same time, that does not mean they are connected. Shall we also decide not to use the Gregorian calendar or eat with forks? How about we also do away with the printing press? Steam power? Telescopes? Those things were developed in the same centuries that colonialism and slavery were happening.

At the very least, I guess the school should stop teaching or referencing musical instruments developed during the period - piano, violin, clarinet, oboe. That should make things interesting.

How is it that faculty or administrators at a university can’t be fired for being this dumb?

 
 
 
MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)
Sophomore Principal
6.2.1  MsAubrey (aka Ahyoka)  replied to  Tacos! @6.2    2 weeks ago

And don't forget industrialization. Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, and Carnegie with the trains, oil, and steel industries. All that occurred from the 1760s through 1840s roughly. 

 
 
 
charger 383
PhD Quiet
7  charger 383    2 weeks ago

This silly stuff is going to extremes

 
 
 
r.t..b...
Masters Participates
7.1  r.t..b...  replied to  charger 383 @7    2 weeks ago

Agreed.

We should never conflate the history of any art form to reflect the mores of present day. We should appreciate it in the context of the day it was created.

Likewise, we should never dismiss the art being created today, as it too is a reflection of the times.

That is the eternal beauty of the arts...always a mirror into our collective soul, and thus always subject to appreciation or condemnation...it being in the ‘eye of the beholder’.

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Expert
8  Hallux    2 weeks ago

For a different take:

 
 
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