Summary of Music Theory and White Supremacy

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In the video, the author discusses how music theory is rooted in white supremacy and how it only became a secret when white supremacy became untenable in the mid 20th century. The author also discusses the relationship between music theory and class and race.

  • 00:00:00 In this video, Philip Ewell discusses the white racial frame of music theory, which posits that the music and music theories of white persons represent the best framework for music theory. Ewell argues that this perspective is part of everything that white people do, including in music theory classes. He also discusses the importance of figured bass, which is a system used by musicians to read off of figured bass charts and improvise their parts. Ewell argues that figured bass is something that white people love and understand intimately, and that it should be included in music theory textbooks.
  • 00:05:00 In this video, Nikkolai Rimsky-Korsakov discusses the history and usefulness of figured bass, a practice which is outdated and no longer necessary for understanding music. He also introduces the concept of zamzama, a rhythm found in North Indian classical music.
  • 00:10:00 Anuja discusses how western music theory and North Indian classical music have similar concepts, but also have different approaches. She then introduces the concept of ragas and how they are used in both types of music. She compares and contrasts the two examples, Florence Price and Kathleen Battle, to show how ragas can be used to create similar sounding melodies in different cultures.
  • 00:15:00 The video discusses the importance of music theory and white supremacy. Music theory is a subset of the major pentatonic scale, but rag shoulda calian is more specific. The rag it has means from saar to dhar and portugal that is the essential identity of rag so sadhana portamento is more an expressive technique in the west it's not quite as foundational. You can have the pentatonic scale without the bending. In traditional north indian classical music, different rocks are associated with different times of the day and shirakawyan is an evening rock. Ningeninge is a lullaby and lullabies are traditionally sung in the evening although the pentatonic scale doesn't really have that kind of temporal relationship in the west. Scales don't have to be performed at certain times of day, but that is kind of an interesting coincidence many different peoples have taken the idea of rhythm and meter and pitch and scale for example and done many different things with it. George Russell was a teacher as well as a composer and you are associated specifically with the adventures in tonality, george russell was a mixed-race jazz musician who wrote a very influential jazz education method, the lydian chromatic concept, otherwise known
  • 00:20:00 This video discusses the perspectives of female music theorists in different music cultures. Russian music theory has a tradition of female music theorists, while in America, the push to make music theory more objective erased any trace of a white European cultural perspective. This has led to a situation in which the perspectives of different cultures, ethnicities, and races are not taken into account when discussing music. Dr. Kofi Agawu points out that this problem exists in the West African bell pattern example, in which a new world order in which African approaches to rhythm education predominate in the American academy would not allow for a musician to be granted a music degree who could not dance.
  • 00:25:00 In this video, philosopher Robin James discusses the importance of white supremacy and music theory. He points out that, although racist arguments about black music have been around for centuries, they are still commonly seen in the academic world. James also discusses the influential theories of Heinrich Schenker, who developed a unique musical notation to help identify the deep structure of great works of tonal music. Finally, David Carson Berry discusses the popularity of Shanker's ideas in America in the 1930s and how they reflect the influence of white supremacist ideology in today's music criticism.
  • 00:30:00 In the video, music theorist Jacob Gran discusses the theory of henrikh shanker and how it has been used to promote white supremacy. He also points out that while schanker may have been wrong in some of his views, other music theorists such as Carl Schachter agree with him.
  • 00:35:00 The video discusses the history of white supremacy and how it is rooted in music theory. It interviews Dr. Everett Wells, who suggests that ignoring Shanker's racist ideas is not an option. Leon Bostein also suggests this in his essay "Schenker's notion of superior culture as an instrument for civilizing the rest of the world." In response to Dr. Wells' speech at the Journal of Shankarian Studies at the University of North Texas, 15 papers were published. One of these, by Timothy Jackson, quotes extensively from a Wikipedia article on misogyny and rap music. Dr. Wells accuses Dr. Wells of black anti-semitism and patronizingly dismisses the work of black musicians. Fox News has decided that this is part of the culture war, and the National Review has described Timothy Jackson's paper as a serious critique of that scholar's work based on archival research within his highly specialized field. While Dr. Wells does not actually say "Cancel Schubert," his quotes from Wikipedia about black musicians raise concerns about his academic credibility. Schubert is a composer that Dr. Wells likes, but he wants to address difficult issues directly and forthrightly, without Cancelling anyone.
  • 00:40:00 In this video, the author discusses how music theory is historically rooted in white supremacy and how it only became a secret when white supremacy became untenable in the mid 20th century. The author also discusses the relationship between music theory and class and race.

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