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    Ian Pace Criticizes Philip Ewell

    An article by Ian Pace just appeared in The Spectator: "How the culture wars are killing classical music."

    From the article:

    These various controversies are far from simple disputes between ‘conservatives’ and ‘progressives’ but emblematic of a discipline in which some protagonists lack a sense of its purpose and identity, or any real belief that music has value in and of itself.

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    • 28 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
    • Nicolas said:

      one may deduce that 15.8% of the society's membership is black.

      You can litterally look for yourself, Ewell provides a citation, and see that this is untrue: https://societymusictheory.org/sites/default/files/demographics/smt-demographics-report-2018.pdf

      Page 5 has the race/ethnicity numbers: Black - 0.7% of the society
    • Ewell's claim is simply that "Music theory is white" (this is explicitly what the SMT statistics are used to argue). And also that "Despite good intentions, and whatever intrinsic benefit [SMT's many diversity initiatives] might have had, if their goal was to increase the numbers of POC in SMT, they have clearly failed." Something clearly isn't working, and the article tries to suss out an alternative path forward.

      I wonder, Scott, what you think is the cause for such low representation? Do you think racial equity in the field is a worthy cause to work for, and if so, what do you think is the way to work toward that goal?
    • What thoughts do y'all have?" The nazis, the facists, and the maoists shut down the newspapers when they seized power.

      Or.... maybe the people who wish to engage in a healthy, mature discussion about the state of our field aren't inclined to participate when their interlocutors casually hurl around comparisons to Nazis and Stalinists. Maybe you might want to reconsider your approach here, if you're actually concerned about SMT, and not concern-trolling.

      Also: is SMT-Discuss actually being moderated by anyone these days?

    • The whole article is worth reading. A sample: "Cheng’s passive-aggressive arguments — employing the tropes of victimhood to propound a highly censorious agenda — and some of the extensive praise they have received, are among the most disturbing developments in recent musicology. It is not hyperbolic to compare them to those common under Soviet-style communism, in which academic freedom and integrity were sacrificed in favour of ideological conformity."

      A key point: "if the teaching of specifically musical skills is allowed to decline further, academic music may struggle to survive at all and could at best be relegated to an adjunct of other disciplines — sociology, anthropology, cultural studies — and might then dwindle through lack of a specific raison d’être."  In other words, music theory is destroying itself.

      Another key paragraph: "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. Attempting to understand why this is the case, which inevitably involves a deeper analysis of the music in question, can be immensely enriching for the ears and the mind, sharpening one’s focus and perception. 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."  I couldn't agree more.

    • But Nate, does Ewell demonstrate why this is true? Correlation does not equal causation. In other words, this may have nothing to do with discrimination or racism.

    • Nate. 1. I do not know the cause, and I don't want to speculate. All I know is that the bare statistics are meaningless.

      2. I believe in racial opportunity in the traditional sense of equality of opportunity. I believe that everyone who is interested in music should be welcomed into music with open arms. Music is a gift to mankind, and all those who want to make it and study it should be welcomed. If you want more minorities in music, you need to start in elementary schools. Introduce children to the joys of listening to music.

    • Nate, you are perfectly right and I should have looked further. Yet, as Scott indicates, such statistics are meaningless. Ewell goes on showing that the situation is worse among "full-time employees in music theory" and even worse among "associate and full professors in music theory," which might indicate that the SMT is not so bad after all. So what? A better question might have been whether the SMT refused a higher percentage of POC, which I strongly doubt.

      These figures indeed do show that music theory is white. They apparently indicate that white people are more interested than others in music theory. The real question, then, is why. Ewell describes the attempts made by the SMT to increase diversity, and their failure. He does not question the reasons of this failure.

      I, for one, do believe that all this is because music theory and analysis are more interested in "works" – that is, mainly, in rather late Western written music (as claimed, for instance, by Lydia Goehr). This raises important questions (which seem carefully avoided since Philip Ewell's talk of 2019) concerning the ontology of musical works, their relation with written music, and the relation of music writing to music theory. (Let me remind at this point that music writing is by no means an exclusive characterisc of Western music.)

      Ewell himself says [6.1] that "[he] hesitate[s] to get too involved in a discussion of recommendations and solutions because [...] such discussions can be counterproductive." But not getting involved, as seems to be a current attitude in the SMT these days, certainly is the most unproductive. To statistically show that music theoy is white is one thing. To explain why is another.

      I fully agree that music theory today mainly is white. Ewell concludes that it is because it is racist, but I fail to see the logic of such a shift. Ewell adds that "music theoretically inclined POC often decamp from music theory for other fields, musicology and ethnomusicology mainly," but I fail to see how he can consider that ethnomusicologists are not concerned with the theory of the musics they are studying. (To say the truth, I wonder what Ewell might know about music theories outside the West.) My several Arabic PhD students came to work with me with the aim to confront their music theory with my Western one – and that is what we did, to our mutual satisfaction, I hope.

      Music theory is white. It is our duty to discuss why, whether this must be changed and, if so, how. We have no right to avoid this debate.



    • Mr. Lehman has evidently bought into the myth that has grown up around Godwin's Law. Let me state the myth version of Godwin by giving the brief version the way Bart Simpson might shout it: "Ha Ha! You said Hitler! You lose, man!" So, is Godwin an absolute rule? Not quite, but it is insightful. Since Mike Godwin is general counsel for Wikimedia Foundation, let's take Wikipedia's word on this one as found in the Godwin's Law article: "Godwin's law itself can be applied mistakenly or abused as a distraction, diversion or even as censorship, when fallaciously miscasting an opponent's argument as hyperbole when the comparison made by the argument is appropriate." Godwin himself has been asked if it's acceptable to call Trump a fascist & he answered that, as long as you're thoughtful, of course. He did it himself after Charlottesville. This would be great news to millions of people to let loose on Hitler tagging if it were not for the catch phrase, "as long as you're thoughtful." Now, was the comparison made by me and Prof. Fruehwald "thoughtful"? I think so but we were given no invitation or challenge to demonstrate or defend the claim. Was Mr. Lehman's attempt to embarrass us into silence "fallaciously miscasting our argument as hyperbole when the comparison made by the argument is appropriate"? That's not clear. But as Godwin has suggested, ironically Godwin's Law was not intended to stop debate but to encourage it. Mr. Lehman's response, if he were a person who honestly wishes "to engage in a healthy, mature discussion about the state of our field" would have been curiousity and a challenge to us with "that's a heavy charge — what do you mean by it? — can you support it?" But his goal was demonstrably not to continue debate but to shut it down. So he chose the Bart Simpson stopper to shut us off: "Nazis? Stalin? You guys should be ashamed. Ha Ha. I win. Now cash in your chips and leave. It's over. You lose. You're not welcome here."

      Had I been challenged as if you, Mr. Lehman, were genuinely curious or even feigning curiosity, I would have presented a case well beyond this brief mention that the music academy is descending into an American version of Zhdanovism, thus the McCarthy-Stalin comparison leaking into the arts. And this would have (ideally) been followed by back and forth, discussing what Zhdanovism is, and so on. We both would have benefitted — learned something — come away with mutual respect while still probably disagreeing. But — and this is all too familiar — you put your hands over your ears, close your eyes, and keep chanting the contemporary musicology mantra, Na-Na-Na-Na I won't(NB!) hear you. And who the hell am I to bring up Zhdanov, whoever he is?


      There are at least two kinds of games: finite and infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game is played for the purpose of continuing play. (Carse)

      Coming up next: "SMT: The Gathering Storm." Its purpose is to fill in some buried history that may explain, or at least "engage" the continuing ugly trench warfare that has become a kind of weird annual celebration. It will necessarily bring in some names from outside the current musicology/music theory orbit.

      ((PS: I am not 'concern trolling,' Mr. Lehman (a charge that itself is a common troll go-to meant to stop a conversation and based on the troll's delusion that he[sic] can read minds and intentions).  It's pretty lame & I would advise you to stop going to the reader comments in your local newspaper or hanging out on Twitter. But that's your choice. For your edification, believe it or not, what I am is angry.))


      Thank you for your kind attention.


      Now let's continue playing.


    • Had I been challenged as if you, Mr. Lehman

      Hi! Friendly correction, but his title is doctor.  

    • Sorry. I'll try to remember. Out here I tend to forget there's a hierarchy that everyone is super sensitive to and often, not knowing a person or their position, I tend to go with a flat but respectful "Mr." or "Ms". There's a flip side to this. Usually humerous to me but probably not to many others. I've had several occasions during conversations or correspondence when people have called me "Prof." and "Dr." I'm sensitive in the other direction. Certainly not because I think it's an insult but because it's an honor I can't claim, and to do so would be a lie. I would be posing as someone I'm not. So the difficulty is always, do I correct them and embarrass them (and possibly even have to go into enough of my life story to explain), or do I let it pass & hope we get to first names quickly (urge them, Please, call me Steve) so it will go away. My apologies to Dr. Lehman for my oversight.

    • For those who are mocking Stephen on Twitter: Please come here and have a substantive debate. Stephen welcomes your substantive comments about his ideas.  I welcome your substantive comments on my posts and comments. If you think there is something wrong with the Pace article, we would like to hear it and have a chance to respond. If you think Ewell's arguments are better than McWhorter's, please say why.

      Scholars engage in scholarly debate, not derision.

    • Thank you, Scott. I think I'll continue to stay away from Donald Trump's old playground. It's not pleasant watching the next generation flush itself down the toilet. But I am pleased to learn I'm on my way to be the next influencer.

    • Dear SMT, and the kids who are sitting around at the cattle call for the role of Jack Merridew in the remake of Lord of the Flies:

      You will be pleased to know — I quit.

      I know my total withdrawal of support will be devastating, but the only thing that might coax me back would be if I learn you have invited Bill Maher to debate Richard Taruskin on "White Racial Frames, Pointwise Periodic Homeomorphisms, Squirrel Shaming, and Drumming Patterns of the Southwestern Ewe Etched on Tiny Bones Recently Discovered under the Peanut Concession near the Bandshell at Grant Park in Chicago" at the next joint AMS/SMT meeting. Seriously, who wouldn't pay big bucks to see that? Who doesn't love squirrels? (I understand that Philip Ewell would be upset at the slight, but Bill Maher is an established public intellectual. He needs a big-name to lure him to accept the challenge, and Ewell hasn't poisoned enough wells yet.

      I'll supply the joints.




    • On second thought, while I will certainly be leaving as I promised (the air around here is bad for my health), I forgot about the brief essay I had meant to share that's  still sitting in my briefcase nearly finished. The one titled "The Gathering Storm." When I realized I hadn't delivered it, at first I just said screw it, it's over, I need fresh air. Then this morning I realized you all will surely be disappointed if I don't deliver. Maybe I should wait a couple more days before I withdraw to my safe space to "spend more time with my family" — I can wait at least enough time to deliver the promised document. So there's one more chapter for the kids to teethe on. It's not the last chapter, but maybe next year in a different, friendlier place. This last deposit for this forum I'll submit in a day or two under the category "new discussion" so the moderator has plenty of time to hold it and wait for a decision from the SMT Discuss control board and probably the SMT Executive Committee since I know they're on pins & needles to see when they can go back to sticking their heads in the sand until it's same place, same time next year. (Congratulations. I no longer have left a drop of the optimism I was born with.)

      If my submission does not meet with their approval, not to worry. I understand. No hard feelings. I will submit it elsewhere as I would any rejected ms. As indicated by Ian Pace, many of our friends in the UK have expressed concerns over similar problems to (y)ours, and an alternative to publishing it here would be to send it to, say, Slipped Disc. I think Norman would be interested in sharing it with his audience on his platform. If not there are many other places. It's a hot topic, as you may have heard. (C'est la vie.)

      Below is my "Instead of an Abstract" (Apologies to Anna Akhmatova). The "Hero without a Poem" (Apologies again, Anna) in  Gathering Storm first appears in "Instead of an Abstract" as the mysterious stranger. I will leave it to you all to guess who he/she/they/it may be. Here we go ....

      There are two guys sitting in a very very old used clunker at the top of the entry ramp to a six lane highway. The engine is running but they're going nowhere. The guy in the driver's seat, Prof. Musicology, tries to go. He holds the accelerator to the floor until the tachometer reads 7000 RPM. The engine is screaming for mercy but they're going nowhere. Finally Dr. Theory, sitting in the passenger seat, yells, "Let up,  fool. Your gonna throw a rod. Can't you tell your foot's on the brake??" They both look down and, no, his foot is not on the brake, just on the gas. Musicology tries again. Same thing. The temperature gauge is starting to read very hot. Theory finally bellows, "You don't know what you're doing. I'll drive." He gets out of the car, stomps to the other side and roughly shoves Musicology out of the way. He stumbles in, steps on the gas, and the same thing: the engine starts to scream, and they're going nowhere. The two start to push and shove each other in frustration, then (of course) it comes to blows. Musicology has a broken nose, Theory has a tooth knocked out. Finally, there's a stirring in the dark in the back seat from this hitchhiker, a mysterious stranger they forgot they had picked up an hour back before they stopped on the ramp. The stranger leans forward. The two stop fighting each other and, forgetting their own fight for a moment, turn on him together. Musicology yells, "Butt out. You have no idea how to drive let alone fix a car."  Theory chimes in, "And by the looks of the filthy rags you're wearing you couldn't afford one anyway." Then a shiny new red Mazerati Ghibli comes screaching to a stop beside them. A guy in greasy overalls hops out, glances back lovingly at this miracle of Italian engineering. he was driving, and starts to walk back toward his friend driving the pickup that was following him. Back in the clunker, the mysterious stranger in the back seat leans forward a bit more, flashes a grin, and says, quietly, "Have either of you two ever driven a stick before?" He gets out, tips his hat and says, "Buon viaggio!" He walks toward the Mazerati. The guy in overalls looks back and says, "Glad I caught up with you, sir. Sorry the oil change took a bit longer than usual." The mysterious stranger hops in the Mazerati. He hears the two in the clunker have gone back to screaming at each other. Their engine sounds ready to explode. He squeels off down the ramp. He hears an explosion. He looks in the rear view mirror & sees a cloud of thick black smoke.

      [[I have to give credit for the seed idea behind my fantasy to a very different tale Arnold Schoenberg's children told in an interview they gave together. Supposedly this is true (and it's certainly believable). The gist, as best I can remember their story: ... The family was on a trip up the coast in California. Arnold was driving. They pulled into a service station for gas & sandwiches - whatever. While they were waiting for whoever was sent into the store, the engine was running. Arnold became engrossed in his notebook with some music he was composing (and not to be interrupted). The engine was revving erratically and the family became concerned there was a mechanical problem. One of them alerted a station attendant who walked around to Arnold's side and said, "Sir, would you take your foot off the gas pedal." Maybe Larry or Randy can retell the correct version some day if you ask them, or provide a link to the interview if its on line.]]

    • The issue of whether third-wave anti-racism should be tauight in music programs has now been specifically raised by Arizona State University's hiring of a critical race theorist to teach music.

      The Heritage Foundation, a conservative group, has discussed this issue in a recent commentary on music education at Arizona State University: Arizona State University and Offerings at the Temple of the Woke. https://www.heritage.org/education/commentary/arizona-state-university-and-offerings-the-temple-the-woke

      "The hiring of a critical race theorist to teach music is yet another offering from academics at the temple of the woke. Little good it will do students or individuals and communities interested in rejecting racial prejudice."

      "In July, Arizona State University officials hired a music professor to train K-12 music teachers, emphasizing that the new professor is a specialist in critical race theory. Music instruction is secondary—the university’s press release announcing the new hire stresses that the instructor wants to give future music teachers “reliable tools beyond teaching the music,” and she is committed to “progressive work” on how the issues of “race, class and culture impact educational equity in music education.”

      "Using critical race theory to teach music will not help efforts to fight racial bias, however, because so-called “antiracists’” goal is racial discrimination." [By antiracist, they meaning the type of anti-racism found in the writings of Ibram X. Kendi, which was the foundation of Ewell's plenary talk.]

      "Music joins a long list of academic subjects, professions, government agencies, and private enterprises from which critical race theorists demand penance; otherwise participants are labeled racist."

      "Critical race theory is not simply a historical perspective on race and law in America. The theory is a worldview rooted in Marxism whose advocates want to “[provoke] anger, disquiet, anxiety, and even fear in those with a settled understanding of who they are and where they belong,” writes critical race theorist Angela Harris."

      "Among the theory’s many inconsistencies is that while they believe racism is the primary source of oppression in society, the only way to resolve this oppression is with more discrimination. The goal for these postsecondary pursuits is no longer the pursuit of truth but the critical goal of activism."  [This is a central tenet of Kendi's writings.  Present discrimination is necessary to make up for past discrimination.]

      "The theory has become a hot-button political issue of late as Americans have tried to make sense of the new antiracist ideas based on critical theory, which, and it cannot be stressed enough, are racially prejudiced. According to the purveyors of antiracism like Boston University professor Ibram X. Kendi, the “language of color blindness—like the language of ‘not racist’—is a mask to hide racism,” Kendi says in How to Be an Antiracist.

      Critical race theory and antiracism created the perfect trap: If you admit to being racist, you are racist; if you deny you are racist, that means you are racist."

      "The goal for these postsecondary pursuits is no longer the pursuit of truth but the critical goal of activism. Critical race theorists’ obsession with “equity” and activism demonstrates how the theory combines the Marxist ideas of oppression based on class and a perspective on the world based on race."

      "We are right to ask what is happening on campus when professors and students are taking barbaric ideas such as perpetuating racial discrimination seriously. That college officials are ambiguous to, oblivious of, or—hopefully not—allied with, critical race theory is a sign of cultural regression: School officials and professors are leading us back to an era marked by prejudice. Generations of Americans had been living with the understanding that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the civil rights movement led Americans away from racially discriminatory policies, attitudes, and behaviors.

      If ASU wants “to be welcoming,” the university should encourage the pursuit of truth, not skew every course with a perspective based on skin color.

      For now, university officials have found scholars from many disciplines, including music, to lead the march back to prejudice."

      This is the issue for discussion here: Should music theory programs be teaching third-wave anti-racism as an essential part of music theory education?

      I agree with the article. Music departments should be teaching music, not ideology.  By this, I don't mean that music theorists and musicologists should just teach the music with no context. Context is often important to understand a piece of music.  For example, the transition from patronage of courts and nobles to public concerts supported by the middle class greatly affected music during the 18th century.  Similarly, the depression, socialist movements, and the WPA are necessary background for the "Cradle Will Rock."

      Rejection of third-wave anti-racisim does not mean rejecting fairness for all races and the advancements of the Civil Rights movement.  Third-wave anti-racism is an extreme version of  CRT, which has been influenced by the Frankfurt School, the Critical Race School, Neo-Marxists, Post-Modernists, and racial separatists.  One can reject post-modernists, but strongly support civil rights.  (In fact, it is hard to defend rights in a system based on relativism, as Post-Modermism is.)

    • In addition, a new study has concluded that "An analysis of student test-score data shows that employing a chief diversity officer (CDO) in K–12 school districts does not contribute to closing achievement gaps and is even likely to exacerbate those gaps."  https://www.heritage.org/education/report/equity-elementary-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-staff-public-schools

      In other words, as John McWhorter has argued extensively in his new book, diversity programs can hurt minority students instead of helping them.

    • "Should music theory programs be teaching third-wave anti-racism as an essential part of music theory education?"

      Of course they shouldn't. But one of the indicators of the religious character of Woke-ism is that it sets itself above and before all other fields of study; it alone must be the ultimate concern to which "every knee should bow . . . and every tongue should confess." As it is in recent Christian fundamentalism so it is here that every branch of knowledge must, as much as possible, be seen and understood from the Christian position. Do you have psychology? It must be Christian psychology. Do you have education? It must be Christian education. 

      And so, regrettably, music education at ASU will be about making disciples of anti-racism to go forth and spread its gospel--which is anything but good news for music.

    • Here is an excellent interview with Ian Pace that expands on his article.

    • Since Scott Fruehwald & I have received an identical message from the moderator preventing us from starting any new discussion, and since this message hasn't been posted publicly that I know of, and since it affects anyone wanting to start a new discussion right now, I thought I should help Brent by sharing it with everyone:

      SMT is in the process of swapping servers and updating software right now. In porting over the content of SMT Discuss to the new server, it seems that its underling platform (Vanilla Forums) is no longer supported and we are looking for a replacement. In the meantime, all new posts are on hold – previous discussions are being archived for future research. In addition, my time as moderator is coming to an end and they will appoint a new moderator at the business meeting next week. Sorry for the confusion. More will be announced within a week’s time.


    • It may be useful for SMT, in order to take the best decision for the future of SMT Discuss, to know that contrarily to what they seem to believe, Vanilla forums by no means is "no longer supported." See https://vanillaforums.com/en/ for more information, and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla_Forums for an easier reference.

      Of course, SMT might have other reasons.

      There have been most interesting dicussions in the past (and in the not so distant past), and SMT Discuss members migh do well to download them before they are lost.




    • I would strongly urge the SMT executive committee & entire board, outgoing & incoming, at their business meeting this coming week, to revisit the SMT bylaws re discrimination - especially the brief toss-off mention of bullying. (It states there that the entire discrimination policy was, in effect, taken wholesale from AMS — not a comforting thought.) I highly recommend the following article as a background for further discussion of this topic by the board and everyone in and out of SMT:

      The law of workplace bullying: an international overview by Katherine Lippel, Canada Research Chair in Occupational Health & Safety Law, University of Ottawa, Canada (Originally pub. in Comp Labor Law Policy J 32 no1 Fall 2010)

      The article (as well as the other articles in this issue edited by Lippel) is an excellent overview of approaches to bullying and mobbing in countries around the world. We still use 'bullying' in the U.S. as the cover-all term, but 'mobbing', which has been more in use in Germany, is probably now more accurate in that it suggests the action of moving individual & local level (e.g. academic or administrative) bullying/mobbing into low-level gossip & faculty/student social platforms such as Twitter, a platform which has become the very definition of (human) mobbing as a form of gladiator entertainment.

      My argument: The biggest problem in the U.S. is that there is no cover-all bullying law as in other countries. Our sausage-grinder style of legislation means that passing a law almost always depends on developing a critical mass of special interest lobbying. With regard to discrimination and human rights in general, this means that we have a patchwork of laws aimed at redressing the (nearly always initially) valid grievances of separate special interests — sometimes overlapping, sometimes not. After reading the linked article I'm calling this 'slotting', because if you happen to have a human rights grievance such as being bullied and do not fit into one of the legally defined slots, you have approximately zero chance of being heard — unless or until it results in injury or death, often by suicide as occasionally reported in the news.*

      But there is another problem with slotting - the one that has now appeared in the context of the current discussion. Since bullying is really all about power and domination (with a healthy dose of hate & fear), there is a temptation for certain people to use their particular slot to assert personal power with little or no justification other than their membership in a slot in order to attack and dominate those outside that slot. Something like 'music' (let alone 'music theory') is simply an occasion. It is difficult to believe that anyone who attacks from the slot has any actual interest in music. But it is often very difficult to determine when an attack on, say, interpretation or analysis is sincere or a power play coming from someone hiding in a slot. The only way to tell is that when it comes from a slot, the attack and the attacker are treated as untouchable: to offer a counter-argument is immediately seen as anti-slot, even by bystanders not themselves in the slot. In this world we are now creating, to disagree is to lose. The effect of slotting in our legal system is tantamount to stopping free speech in its tracks. The article does not give any universal legal solution to this problem beyond a tort approach, but it does point the finger at NGOs (such as SMT) as being responsible for developing policies aimed at prevention of bullying/mobbing. This will take, first, some genuine concern and recognition of the problem on the part of those elected to office in SMT. It will then take some creative, original thinking (please stop with the 'we "brainstormned it" & we've thought of everything & can't do anything' crap) on how to sort acceptable academic freedom & treatment of students & grad assistants from unacceptable bullying & hiding inside slots. University administations have demonstrated they have little interest in even recognizing such problems (not unrelated to their notorious hard line position in pay disputes & recognition of graduate student unions), but SMT is — in theory? — an independent professional organization that has every right, after due internal debate, to submit a public 'amicus' opinion in any actions affecting its members' status... if SMT can manage to work up the guts to flex its own 1st amendment rights (I'm sure your lawyers will disagree - but still think about what you can do to stand by your members).

      * Documented health risks associated with bullying/mobbing include PTSD. See: "Mobbing at Workplace — Psychological Trauma and Documentation of Psychiatric Symptoms"  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6427074/




    • To Stephen and others. Although I (as the moderator) have sent private messages to those submitting new posts, a broad statement to the community will not be posted until additional decisions are made in SMT committee meetings preceding the annual conference. I can, however, reassure readers that they do not need to download or backup personal copies of SMT Discuss posts. These will be preserved and will remain accessible. 

      Regarding Nicolas's point: yes, Vanilla Forums as a whole is still supported. However, the code customizations made for SMT Discuss will no longer work on the new server (due to updated code versions and more secure plugins). Currently SMT Discuss is running on an old server as decisions are being made regarding the next steps to take. 

      SMT Discuss Manager
      Somewhere in the Universe
    • This interview with John McWhorter on ABC clearly lays out the problems with CRT and antiracism, which are the foundation of Philip Ewell's work. https://abcnews.go.com/US/video/author-john-mcwhorter-wokeness-hurts-black-communities-society-80915974

    • Here is the key sentence in the Pace article: "Invoking Dante, Shakespeare, Beethoven, Virginia Woolf or Pierre Boulez primarily in order to indict them for a range of ideological crimes reveals more about those making the indictments than about these artists."

    • Philip Ewell writes (MTO 26.2, [1.1]): "Music theory is white. According to the Society for Music Theory’s “Annual Report on Membership Demographics” for 2018, 84.2% of the society’s membership is white (Brown 2018, 5)."

      He does not say how he defines "white" people, but if that means "non black", one may deduce that 15.8% of the society's membership is black. From the United States Census, it appears that black people in the USA represent 12 to 13% of the population.



    • I put up my post on Ewell because the foundation of his thought is the anti-racist writings of Ibram X. Kendi. You need to understand what Kendi anti-racism stands for.

      Kendi believes that all inequalities beween races are due to racism.  Kendi writes,

      “The defining question is whether the discrimination is creating equity or inequity. If discrimination is creating equity, then it is antiracist. If discrimination is creating inequity, then it is racist.”

      “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination."

      Kemdi's anti-racist principles have been put into practice by the Art Institute of Chicago. The Art Institute fired its docents (unpaid volunteers) because the group wasn't diverse. https://whyevolutionistrue.com/2021/10/09/the-art-institute-of-chicago-fires-all-122-of-its-unpaid-and-volunteer-docents-because-they-arent-sufficiently-diverse/ "The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC), one of the world’s finest art museums, harbors (or rather, harbored) 122 highly skilled docents, 82 active ones and 40 “school group greeters.” All are volunteers and are all unpaid. Their job is to act as guides to the Museum’s collection of 300,000 works, which they explain to both adults and schoolchildren. I’ve seen them in action at the Museum, and they’re terrific.

      Despite the lack of remuneration—they do this to be helpful and because they love art—their training to be docents is extremely rigorous. First, they have to have two training sessions per week for eighteen months, and then “five years of continual research and writing to meet the criteria of 13 museum content areas” (quote from the docents’ letter to the Director of the AIC). On top of that, there’s monthly and biweekly training on new exhibits. Then there are the tours themselves, with a docent giving up to two one-hour tours per day for 18 weeks of the year and a minimum of 24 one-hour tours with adults/families.  Their average length of service: 15 years."

      Many of the volunteers—though not all—are older white women, who have the time and resources to devote so much free labor to the Museum. But the demographics of that group weren’t appealing to the AIC, and so, in late September, the AIC fired all of them..."

      We need fairness and inclusion in music theory. All people and all music need to be represented.  But, Kendi anti-racism through Philip Ewell is not what music theory needs.

    • Writing from my privileged position outside the academy:

      Re my reference to Pace's article & Fruehwald's latest comment referencing the firing of 121 docents at AIC: This is one of the loudest & longest G.P.'s I've ever heard.

      Here's another quote:

      "Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?" — Joseph Welch to Joseph McCarthy

      A lot of good, talented, creative people lost their careers forever before a single lawyer had the guts to call out a guy whose only talent to attain recognition & advancement in his profession was 'red-baiting' (a technique which, due to its more diverse purge applications since McCarthy, has since earned a permanent place in the debate lexicon as reductio ad Stalinum).