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Re: The piano and homosexuality
GeorgeB #2032000 02/12/13 06:14 PM
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For what it's worth, I had a master class with Earl Wild, who was gay, and he strongly implied (which was all you could do in those days) that Maurice Ravel (who had had met in his younger days) was.


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Re: The piano and homosexuality
Brad Hoehne #2032013 02/12/13 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Brad Hoehne
For what it's worth, I had a master class with Earl Wild, who was gay, and he strongly implied (which was all you could do in those days) that Maurice Ravel (who had had met in his younger days) was.

You will find quite a bit of info about Ravel and other musicians in the book 'Queer Episodes in Music and Modern Identity'. Take a preview here.



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Re: The piano and homosexuality
GeorgeB #2032019 02/12/13 06:45 PM
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I can only speak about my own experiences going to mostly piano recitals in NYC for many decades since I came here for college. A very big percentage of the audience has always the 60+ age group. The main venues I have gone to are Carnegie Hall and Mannes.

I certainly do not think great art will ever die out or become irrelevant, but I do think that the number of young people going to concerts is quite small and perhaps decreasing. Certainly at the schools I taught at for many years the interest in classical music was extremely small.

Hopefully the huge increase in interest in Western classical music in Asia and interest in Europe will make up for what seems to be a lack of interest in the U.S.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 02/12/13 06:51 PM.
Re: The piano and homosexuality
Tim Adrianson #2032039 02/12/13 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
Just to maintain continuity in this thread, I think it WAS unquestionable that, here in the US, classical music WAS seen as the province of homosexuals by a great contingent of the middle-class community;


Tim - where in the world did you get that impression????

Quote
and I think it WAS unquestionable that homosexuality WAS seen as irredeemably evil; at best, a source of shame.
But I emphasize the WAS's because it seems to me that these paradigms have changed completely over my lifetime. Without getting into it, I speak from personal experience here.


I'm not sure that the first paradigm was ever really the case - and I don't think the second paradigm has really changed all that much. There certainly is greater tolerance - but it's not universal - which is unfortunate.


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Re: The piano and homosexuality
JoelW #2032045 02/12/13 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JoelW
I don't even understand why anyone would think that classical music is dying anyway. Just because it isn't pop doesn't mean it's going to die. Ironically, it's the other way around. And besides, classical music and its followers is a sub-culture. Just like any other non-pop genre. The other big one I can think of is jazz.

Classical dying? Hahahaha, no.

Perhaps - but some symphony orchestras in the US are struggling to stay afloat - seeking new business models - and dumbing down their product to appeal to a wider audience. Classical music may indeed be a subculture - but it is challenging to sustain.


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Re: The piano and homosexuality
Pogorelich. #2032049 02/12/13 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Why ... just why have people been saying classical music is dying? That same garbage has been said for the past 70 years. It hasn't happened yet, and it won't happen.



In the US, the most visible and easily verifiable reason is that some orchestras have gone under without being replaced.

And in my experience, the average age of the audience at recitals is getting older and older, and those who aren't old seem to be Asian music students. The broad range of middle-aged people I used to see seems to have almost completely disappeared.

And, in my experience, the percentage of households with a piano and someone who can play a bit of classical music on it is also much lower than it once was. And of the pianos I do see, a certain number of them are purely status symbols that don't get regular use.

So, those are some reasons people say classical music is dying. There are also reasons to say it is not dying, but that wasn't your question.


Re: The piano and homosexuality
Carey #2032058 02/12/13 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by JoelW
I don't even understand why anyone would think that classical music is dying anyway. Just because it isn't pop doesn't mean it's going to die. Ironically, it's the other way around. And besides, classical music and its followers is a sub-culture. Just like any other non-pop genre. The other big one I can think of is jazz.

Classical dying? Hahahaha, no.

Perhaps - but some symphony orchestras in the US are struggling to stay afloat - seeking new business models - and dumbing down their product to appeal to a wider audience. Classical music may indeed be a subculture - but it is challenging to sustain.


I suppose. But the scores will always be there, as well as the recordings. The musicians will always be there too, whether they're playing for a living or not. Concert going is wonderful, but it's definitely not why I love classical music. If the concerts went away, as awful as that'd be, I would still be a devoted fan.

Last edited by JoelW; 02/12/13 08:04 PM. Reason: Stupid typos...
Re: The piano and homosexuality
JoelW #2032061 02/12/13 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by JoelW
Originally Posted by carey
Originally Posted by JoelW
I don't even understand why anyone would think that classical music is dying anyway. Just because it isn't pop doesn't mean it's going to die. Ironically, it's the other way around. And besides, classical music and its followers is a sub-culture. Just like any other non-pop genre. The other big one I can think of is jazz. Classical dying? Hahahaha, no.

Perhaps - but some symphony orchestras in the US are struggling to stay afloat - seeking new business models - and dumbing down their product to appeal to a wider audience. Classical music may indeed be a subculture - but it is challenging to sustain.
I supposed. But the scores will always be there, as well as our the recordings. The musicians will always be there too, whether they're playing for a living or not. Concert going is wonderful, but it's definitely not why I love classical music. If the concerts went away, as awful as that'd be, I would still be a devoted fan.


But of course !!!!! grin


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Re: The piano and homosexuality
Whizbang #2032206 02/13/13 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Whizbang
Originally Posted by CWPiano
I think the subject of society's perception of homosexuals and professions associated with it is something we can't ignore as the impact is very real. Allow me to illustrate with my own experience.

...


Geez. A breath of fresh air on this thread.

I think there are most certainly cultural differences. Around the turn of the 20th century, in the US, the piano was definitely view as a girl's instrument--that is, if I'm to believe statements I've read by Gershwin and Morton.

In the US, at least, and to my impression, which may be very flawed, the piano as an instrument no longer has that stigma (say, compared to the flute), though perhaps classical music might. Certainly, music isn't viewed as manly as a pastime as, oh, football, but I never got the sense growing up that it came with a particular effeminate stigma. But I wasn't a part of that music study subculture.

While the plural of anecdote isn't evidence, I find that most of the (predominantly mainland) Chinese people I work with (in tech) want their kids to study an instrument, including piano, regardless of sex.

What, would you posit, is the difference, in this regard, if any, between mainland and HK Chinese culture and Indonesian Chinese culture?


Yes, in Hong Kong and Singapore (where I work now), males are more free to learn piano. This is because the learning in these two cities are very much exam-driven and there are actual academic incentives to learn piano. In Hongkong, grade 8 and Diplomas can be converted to credit to improve one's chances to gain admission into college (similar to UK). In Singapore, being able to play piano at a good standard could make admission into the good schools easier as there is always a shortage of good young pianists for extra curricular activities. So, you see, practicality in the end outweighs social stigma.

Unfortunately though, although males are more free to learn piano, there is still a stigma associated with music profession itself and many parents are still reluctant to let their sons to become a musician because it is regarded as one of the lesser professions. Whenever I attend a seminar or masterclass, majority of teachers attending are still very much females.


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Re: The piano and homosexuality
Pogorelich. #2032225 02/13/13 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Why ... just why have people been saying classical music is dying? That same garbage has been said for the past 70 years. It hasn't happened yet, and it won't happen.

It's people who really believe that bullshit who are contributing nothing but gloomy and untrue words. Instead, do something about it. Produce good quality music, play outreach concerts. Something. Stop dumbing down audiences and calling classical music elitist. What good does that do?


Postivism and Optimism are one thing. But history, reality, current trends and the facts are ignored or manipulated at risk of our own peril.

The factual history of the 1000 years of Western classical music is that it was and is created by and for the elites; the history of the creation, sponsorship, patronage and usage of classical music is in fact littered with often oppressive, unenlightened, anti-social elites.

Much of the classical music that was being commissioned (e.g. operas of John Adams) in the giddy 80's and 90's of the previous century, those years of gross materialism and crass commercialism, was also being paid for by modern day robber barons (venture capitalists) desperately wanting to depict themselves as actually being humane and listened to by affluent audiences.

Any art form that in reality requires 10 years of carefully cultivated attention or study to really appreciate rather than just attending $200 a head concerts in order to " see and be seen " with the right crowds and to sleep through, catching up unobtrusively on nap time after a hard day's work is certainly elitist from the point of view of your average citizen who mostly listens to Sky Radio to and from work on their daily commute and who doens't have $200 to their name at the end of each month.

Last edited by theJourney; 02/13/13 02:28 AM.
Re: The piano and homosexuality
Tim Adrianson #2032232 02/13/13 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Hank Drake
the oldest audience I've seen at Severance lately was for a Roberta Flack concert.


LOL

Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
Just to maintain continuity in this thread, I think it WAS unquestionable that, here in the US, classical music WAS seen as the province of homosexuals by a great contingent of the middle-class community; and I think it WAS unquestionable that homosexuality WAS seen as irredeemably evil; at best, a source of shame. But I emphasize the WAS's because it seems to me that these paradigms have changed completely over my lifetime. Without getting into it, I speak from personal experience here.


Hmmm. Well, from friends, acquaintances and relatives living in small farming communities today, what I can say is is that playing Star Wars medleys on the trombone in marching band during half time because you are too small to be a linebacker anyway is OK. Tinkling out Haydn sonatas on your grandmother's spinet is definitely NOT OK and is GAY.

Re: The piano and homosexuality
theJourney #2032240 02/13/13 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by theJourney

Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
Just to maintain continuity in this thread, I think it WAS unquestionable that, here in the US, classical music WAS seen as the province of homosexuals by a great contingent of the middle-class community; and I think it WAS unquestionable that homosexuality WAS seen as irredeemably evil; at best, a source of shame. But I emphasize the WAS's because it seems to me that these paradigms have changed completely over my lifetime. Without getting into it, I speak from personal experience here.


Hmmm. Well, from friends, acquaintances and relatives living in small farming communities today, what I can say is is that playing Star Wars medleys on the trombone in marching band during half time because you are too small to be a linebacker anyway is OK. Tinkling out Haydn sonatas on your grandmother's spinet is definitely NOT OK and is GAY.


It certainly was MORE THAN OK and not considered GAY back when I taught piano at a Nebraska college in the 1970's to scores of small town farm kids who performed in the marching band in addition to tinkling the ivories. Many of them went back to their small communities and enjoyed successful careers as school music teachers. Perhaps the residents of Nebraska are more enlightened than those of other mid-western states. grin



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Re: The piano and homosexuality
Carey #2032251 02/13/13 04:16 AM
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Originally Posted by carey
It certainly was MORE THAN OK and not considered GAY back when I taught piano at a Nebraska college in the 1970's to scores of small town farm kids who performed in the marching band in addition to tinkling the ivories. Many of them went back to their small communities and enjoyed successful careers as school music teachers. Perhaps the residents of Nebraska are more enlightened than those of other mid-western states. grin



My impression was always that Iowa and Minnesota were more progressive than Nebraska....and all kids were above average....

Well, you don't say how many of those budding pianists were girls versus how many were straight boys versus something more ambiguous....

Aren't near as many decent music teacher jobs these days what with school district consolidations, elimination of music teaching in curricula, use of temps and state-employee and national teacher union bashing, etc. etc....some of the same concerns as mentioned by CWPiano are in play here as well...

One explanation could be that the piano has even less acceptance today than in the 1970's in many of these communities where during the past 40 years five hours of passive television per day and computer games and social media gossiping have taken over from community activities. School sports have been elevated to an even more exalted position above everything else, including academics...if you can't hit it, throw it, kick it, bounce it or sink it ( or smoke it, sniff it, snort it or swallow it ) then for too many rural boys it is not important...

My impression is that the word " gay " is also devolving to refer to something else than (exclusively) " homosexual ". "That is so gay!" seems to be slang for "not socially desirable, different"

Re: The piano and homosexuality
theJourney #2032254 02/13/13 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by theJourney
Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Why ... just why have people been saying classical music is dying? That same garbage has been said for the past 70 years. It hasn't happened yet, and it won't happen.

It's people who really believe that bullshit who are contributing nothing but gloomy and untrue words. Instead, do something about it. Produce good quality music, play outreach concerts. Something. Stop dumbing down audiences and calling classical music elitist. What good does that do?


Postivism and Optimism are one thing. But history, reality, current trends and the facts are ignored or manipulated at risk of our own peril.

The factual history of the 1000 years of Western classical music is that it was and is created by and for the elites; the history of the creation, sponsorship, patronage and usage of classical music is in fact littered with often oppressive, unenlightened, anti-social elites.

Much of the classical music that was being commissioned (e.g. operas of John Adams) in the giddy 80's and 90's of the previous century, those years of gross materialism and crass commercialism, was also being paid for by modern day robber barons (venture capitalists) desperately wanting to depict themselves as actually being humane and listened to by affluent audiences.

Any art form that in reality requires 10 years of carefully cultivated attention or study to really appreciate rather than just attending $200 a head concerts in order to " see and be seen " with the right crowds and to sleep through, catching up unobtrusively on nap time after a hard day's work is certainly elitist from the point of view of your average citizen who mostly listens to Sky Radio to and from work on their daily commute and who doens't have $200 to their name at the end of each month.


I'm sorry, but there's a lot of blah blah blah in there that simply holds no water. You've swallowed the pill wholly, Journey. As a result, you're part of the problem.



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Re: The piano and homosexuality
stores #2032256 02/13/13 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by theJourney
Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Why ... just why have people been saying classical music is dying? That same garbage has been said for the past 70 years. It hasn't happened yet, and it won't happen.

It's people who really believe that bullshit who are contributing nothing but gloomy and untrue words. Instead, do something about it. Produce good quality music, play outreach concerts. Something. Stop dumbing down audiences and calling classical music elitist. What good does that do?


Postivism and Optimism are one thing. But history, reality, current trends and the facts are ignored or manipulated at risk of our own peril.

The factual history of the 1000 years of Western classical music is that it was and is created by and for the elites; the history of the creation, sponsorship, patronage and usage of classical music is in fact littered with often oppressive, unenlightened, anti-social elites.

Much of the classical music that was being commissioned (e.g. operas of John Adams) in the giddy 80's and 90's of the previous century, those years of gross materialism and crass commercialism, was also being paid for by modern day robber barons (venture capitalists) desperately wanting to depict themselves as actually being humane and listened to by affluent audiences.

Any art form that in reality requires 10 years of carefully cultivated attention or study to really appreciate rather than just attending $200 a head concerts in order to " see and be seen " with the right crowds and to sleep through, catching up unobtrusively on nap time after a hard day's work is certainly elitist from the point of view of your average citizen who mostly listens to Sky Radio to and from work on their daily commute and who doens't have $200 to their name at the end of each month.


I'm sorry, but there's a lot of blah blah blah in there that simply holds no water. You've swallowed the pill wholly, Journey. As a result, you're part of the problem.


Au contraire. I would say that knowledge makes us more capable of shaping the future. After all, "Those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it." -- Edmund Burke


Re: The piano and homosexuality
theJourney #2032257 02/13/13 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by theJourney
Originally Posted by stores
Originally Posted by theJourney
Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Why ... just why have people been saying classical music is dying? That same garbage has been said for the past 70 years. It hasn't happened yet, and it won't happen.

It's people who really believe that bullshit who are contributing nothing but gloomy and untrue words. Instead, do something about it. Produce good quality music, play outreach concerts. Something. Stop dumbing down audiences and calling classical music elitist. What good does that do?


Postivism and Optimism are one thing. But history, reality, current trends and the facts are ignored or manipulated at risk of our own peril.

The factual history of the 1000 years of Western classical music is that it was and is created by and for the elites; the history of the creation, sponsorship, patronage and usage of classical music is in fact littered with often oppressive, unenlightened, anti-social elites.

Much of the classical music that was being commissioned (e.g. operas of John Adams) in the giddy 80's and 90's of the previous century, those years of gross materialism and crass commercialism, was also being paid for by modern day robber barons (venture capitalists) desperately wanting to depict themselves as actually being humane and listened to by affluent audiences.

Any art form that in reality requires 10 years of carefully cultivated attention or study to really appreciate rather than just attending $200 a head concerts in order to " see and be seen " with the right crowds and to sleep through, catching up unobtrusively on nap time after a hard day's work is certainly elitist from the point of view of your average citizen who mostly listens to Sky Radio to and from work on their daily commute and who doens't have $200 to their name at the end of each month.


I'm sorry, but there's a lot of blah blah blah in there that simply holds no water. You've swallowed the pill wholly, Journey. As a result, you're part of the problem.


Au contraire. I would say that knowledge makes us more capable of shaping the future. After all, "Those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it." -- Edmund Burke



You are quite correct about knowledge, however, this sentence... "The factual history of the 1000 years of Western classical music is that it was and is created by and for the elites"... should stop every reader and make them question your "knowledge". I'll not reply further. I no longer debate on this forum (have neither the time nor the interest), but when I see something that's wrong then I will say so.



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Re: The piano and homosexuality
stores #2032258 02/13/13 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by stores
You are quite correct about knowledge, however, this sentence... "The factual history of the 1000 years of Western classical music is that it was and is created by and for the elites"... should stop every reader and make them question your "knowledge". I'll not reply further. I no longer debate on this forum (have neither the time nor the interest), but when I see something that's wrong then I will say so.


You might want to read a good text on the History of Western Music. Richard Taruskin's The Oxford History of Western Music would be a good start.

Stating that it is your opinion that something is wrong while hastily pre-announcing that it is your intention to " hit and run " on the thread without explaining yourself is not the same thing as providing evidence or cogent arguments for why you believe that something is wrong.

Re: The piano and homosexuality
theJourney #2032364 02/13/13 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by theJourney


Postivism and Optimism are one thing. But history, reality, current trends and the facts are ignored or manipulated at risk of our own peril.

The factual history of the 1000 years of Western classical music is that it was and is created by and for the elites; the history of the creation, sponsorship, patronage and usage of classical music is in fact littered with often oppressive, unenlightened, anti-social elites.

Much of the classical music that was being commissioned (e.g. operas of John Adams) in the giddy 80's and 90's of the previous century, those years of gross materialism and crass commercialism, was also being paid for by modern day robber barons (venture capitalists) desperately wanting to depict themselves as actually being humane and listened to by affluent audiences.

Any art form that in reality requires 10 years of carefully cultivated attention or study to really appreciate rather than just attending $200 a head concerts in order to " see and be seen " with the right crowds and to sleep through, catching up unobtrusively on nap time after a hard day's work is certainly elitist from the point of view of your average citizen who mostly listens to Sky Radio to and from work on their daily commute and who doens't have $200 to their name at the end of each month.


I'm sorry, but what was 1,000 years ago was 1,000 years ago. Sure, it may have been created for the "elites" back then, but some things have changed by now wouldn't you say? Are all of us elite? I live in a basement, for god's sake, with 3 other people, can't afford a car or to own a piano. Thank god I have full scholarship, otherwise I wouldn't be able to go to school either. I try to play somewhat decently... classical music. I don't own any designer clothes. The most expensive thing I own is probably my leather jacket. Am I elite? If so, that's a whole new definition for me, hahaha!

It requites 10 years of careful study or you won't enjoy it? How can you not see what's wrong with that statement? I've played for SO many audiences without a classical background who absolutely LOVED the concerts. And love going to concerts. There are a lot of things being done now, for audiences to have a more meaningful musical experience at concerts. Talking, short examples from the piece, etc. Not even mentioning the "light classics" or "pop's concerts", where they play a movement of something or only play Gershwin.................................

I agree that yes, sometimes people only go to be seen there and for a chance to wear that prada dress, and probably don't enjoy the concert at all, but it's not always like that. I played concerts in Europe that were sold out, and for some of them I can't even remember seeing anyone past 60. In North America, too - there are a lot of music lovers, and they don't have to fit into your two stereotypical categories - either filthy rich or with extensive musical background.

As a stereotype, yes it's there.. no one can argue with that. But there are stuffy, elitist people in every field. So what?



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Re: The piano and homosexuality
theJourney #2032371 02/13/13 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by theJourney

My impression is that the word " gay " is also devolving to refer to something else than (exclusively) " homosexual ". "That is so gay!" seems to be slang for "not socially desirable, different"


Well - if so - then that's an entirely different discussion.



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Re: The piano and homosexuality
theJourney #2032401 02/13/13 11:41 AM
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And a reading of Taruskin (or Grout, or any other music history text) will reveal that in various eras, music was created:

For the church.
For the court.
For the people.

In fact, that last category is rather large and doesn't cater to elites. For example:

The public Bach/Abel subscription concerts in England.

The choral tradition championed by Handel, Mendelssohn, and Brahms.

The enormous amount of music written by 19th century composers for amateur musicians (including Schumann and Mendelssohn, as well as lesser-known composers like Kirchner, Gurlitt, Turk, Gade, Heller, etc...) All of this in response to the rise of the middle class in the wake of the French revolution and the access to instruments made less expensive by better manufacturing techniques as a part of the industrial revolution.

As for music being made "by" the elites, some of the greatest did not come from elite stock. Beethoven and Brahms come to mind. Even Schoenberg came from a rather humble family.

Originally Posted by theJourney
Originally Posted by stores
You are quite correct about knowledge, however, this sentence... "The factual history of the 1000 years of Western classical music is that it was and is created by and for the elites"... should stop every reader and make them question your "knowledge". I'll not reply further. I no longer debate on this forum (have neither the time nor the interest), but when I see something that's wrong then I will say so.


You might want to read a good text on the History of Western Music. Richard Taruskin's The Oxford History of Western Music would be a good start.

Stating that it is your opinion that something is wrong while hastily pre-announcing that it is your intention to " hit and run " on the thread without explaining yourself is not the same thing as providing evidence or cogent arguments for why you believe that something is wrong.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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