‘I fear for those who are made to feel guilt or shame for loving Western classical music’main
The pianist and scholar Ian Pace has written an excellent piece in the Spectator on the present critical state of academic musicology, where everything goes … except music. Ian is co-convenor of a forthcoming 2022 conference on ‘Music and the University’
I fear for those in education who are made to feel guilt or shame for loving Western classical music, or those who one American educator asked to undertake an especially demeaning ritual in which students had to step forward to check their privilege if they were taught music theory, cared about notated music, or could read more than one clef.
Moreover, if the teaching of specifically musical skills is allowed to decline further, academic music may struggle to survive at all ..
It is time to reassert the value of the study of music in its own right, as something one loves or finds fascinating, regardless of whether it has achieved mass-market commercial success. Listening to the music of Bach, Mozart or Beethoven alongside some of their now all-but-forgotten contemporaries is the surest way to appreciate just why such canonical figures are so extraordinary…. The relationship of this music to its social and ideological contexts is a vital area of study, but this should be the subject of continuous critical inquiry, not dogmatic platitudes.
Read the full article here.