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Philip Ewell has criticized American music theory for its "white racial frame." Other observers have disagreed. The issue for discussion in this post is whether Ewell or one of his critics, John McWhorter, has the beter argument concerning music theory.
Liberal Black linguist, John McWorter has published an article on the excesses of cancel culture. He noted that "woke" culture has gone from a diversity of viewpoints to a "religion." You can find the article at https://www.dw.com/en/criticizing-cancel-culture-as-a-woke-author/a-59165136.
He also discussed the work of music theorist, Philip Ewell:
"The entire cultural canon is being reviewed through this simplified framing, points out the professor, mentioning one recent example: Beethoven was merely an above-average composer, according to musicologist Philip Ewell.
In Ewell's interpretation, it's only because Beethoven was a white male that we have come to know him as a "master" who wrote "masterpieces" — incidentally, terms which, as Ewell points out, carry "both racist (master/slave) and sexist (master/mistress) connotations."
These are all ideas worth discussing, said McWhorter. But he finds that "things get disturbing when it's no longer one perspective among many, but a religion."
Anyone who does not agree with the ideology will be viewed as a "white supremacist" who deserves to be tarred on social media and excluded from the public sphere."
He continued, ""The Elect are the 'hyper woke,' or more to the point, the Elect are the woke who are mean," he explains, seeing them as part of a third-wave of anti-racism." He added, "Third-wave anti-racism, which became mainstream in the 2010s, is actually for him a new form a racism."
He concluded that ""It is not revolutionary, it is anti-intellectual," says McWhorter. "We're being asked to abjure complexity."
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