An article in Varsity by music undergrad Alvo von Cossel has set the dovecotes all a-flutter. Alvo describes the different colleges and their choirs are impossibly snobbish and destructively competitive.
He writes: There’s something inherent in classical music and music education that causes a snootiness which has nothing to do with Cambridge: it’s full of ‘foreign’ words… This engenders an artificial rift between the ‘musical literati’ and the ‘laypeople’, according to these bizarre criteria. Those ‘in the know’ often seem to give the ‘great musical unwashed’ a patronising pat on the back. I, as a former ‘muso’, oddly count as somebody in the know: an authority on Händel (fat) and Mozart (wrote songs about poo), despite specialising in Middle Eastern popular music – a subject remote from Mozart’s 41 symphonies. Maybe I perfected the art of quietly listening to something that ‘sounds really complicated’ (read: atonal music) while looking thoughtful.
This snobbery is seen nowhere more than in the odd Cambridge pastime of ranking college choirs.
Read on here.