In yet another TikTok video for which it is difficult to determine whether it’s a parody/satire of wokeism or is meant to be taken literally or seriously, a woman claims that classical music is racist.
“The fact that classical music, which is really the music of 18th century Western European straight white male composers, is valued as the highest form of art music in America, is an example of white supremacy,” she declares with the familiar uptalk intonation.
The young woman who herself may be a music instructor goes on to claim that music students spend a disproportionate amount of time on classical music history, theory, and other related topics while “world music” gets short shrift.
She then seems to recommend that a revision for the standard music major curriculum is in order to make it “actively anti-racist,” citing certain task forces that are purportedly trying to address this lack of inclusivity.
“Woefully unprepared” music teachers are thus on notice, she continues.
“In the meantime, those who are music educators have to struggle and wrestle with the question ‘how can I be actively anti-racist in teaching music in a system that values white supremacy’…”
Watch the video embedded below that was shared by Twitter user @libsoftiktok and form your own conclusions:
Teaching classical music is a form of white supremacy pic.twitter.com/SpTpmW0W1j
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) June 22, 2021
Among other things, the TikTok user seems to exclude the possibility of free choice among people from all walks of life and backgrounds in what mode or modes of music to study (or enjoy). Or perhaps whether the music education system might be responding to the level of interest in broadly applicable training in the classical genre.
Back in April, another TikTok user claimed that eating meat is a form of racism.
As alluded to above, classical music as racism has previously popped up in far-left academia and in the race- and identity-politics-obsessed liberal media. For example, a Washington Post music critic wrote, in part, about a year ago that “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.”
Most Twitter users, including music lovers, implied that the TikTok video started and ended on a sour note. Here is a sampling of the representative response (warning for language):
And this is coming from a guy who extensively studied West African, Afro-cuban, Brazilian, Trinidadian, Korean music, etc on top of classical music from people who are at the highest levels of these forms of music.
— austin choi (@Choi__Jr) June 22, 2021
Classical composers set the stage for all modern music. Basically everything you hear on the radio is a rip off of classical chord progressions.
Give credit where credit is due, not where it makes people feel warm & fuzzy inside.
— Masculine Soul (@masculinesoul) June 22, 2021
But wouldn’t it be cultural appropriation if students of fair skin tone ( like her ) were taught “world music”?
— blitzem 👽👁🍁♐ (@blitzem5) June 22, 2021
She discriminates Chopin, Tchaikovsky because they weren’t western europeans and they didn’t compose in the 18th century
— Jorge de Burgos (@jorgdburgos) June 23, 2021
That’s what CRT sounds like
— Zen (@zenp412) June 22, 2021
I consider it discrimination against the disabled…Beethoven was def after all. In all seriousness though it is impossible to apply logic to the cult thinking of the eternally outraged white liberal college kid on TikTok. They need real education instead of indoctrination.
— Me (@Me81788366) June 23, 2021
This kind of pseudo-intellectual garbage is a gift to the right. Looks like we’re getting a Republican Congress in 2022, & Trump in 24.
— Ryan Clark (@BugRib) June 23, 2021
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