‘Fullnaming’ Mozart and Beethoven to fight sexism and racism? Twitter squabbles over Slate article

SoldierMan

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‘Fullnaming’ Mozart and Beethoven to fight sexism and racism? Twitter squabbles over Slate article

Twitter is having a meltdown over a Slate article which encourages the “fullnaming” of canonic composers in an effort to end sexism and racism in the classical music industry.

Referring to Mozart and Beethoven by their full names, as we might Florence Price or Scott Joplin, is the “only path to social justice in classical music” – so argues a new piece in US magazine Slate, known for its contrarian views, called Stop Calling Famous Composers by Their Last Names.

The author Chris White, an assistant professor of music theory at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, argues: “When we say, ‘Tonight, you’ll be hearing symphonies by Brahms and Edmond Dédé,’ we’re linguistically treating the former as being on a different plane than the latter, a difference originally created by centuries of systematic prejudice, exclusion, sexism, and racism.”

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SoldierMan

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Liberals please would you kindly just **** off. Just for one day, just take a break with your politically correct bullcrap.

You're screwing things up for the rest of us with your idiotic nonsense.

What about Pele and famous black people, should we full name him as well? Idiots.
 

Fulcrum29

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There will be a time when we’ll go to concerts again. We will buy our tickets, shuffle shoulder to shoulder down the aisle, and find our seats. The lights will dim, and the conductor will walk onto the stage to introduce the program. They might talk about Beethoven, Schumann, and Bartók. And they might talk about Alma Mahler, Florence Price, Henry Burleigh, and Caroline Shaw. Many of us, used to the conventions of classical performance, will hardly notice the difference: “traditional” white male composers being introduced with only surnames, full names for everyone else, especially women and composers of color.

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Going forward, we need to “fullname” all composers when we write, talk, and teach about music. If mononyms linguistically place composers in a canonical pantheon, fullnaming never places them there to begin with. When we say, “Tonight, you’ll be hearing symphonies by Johannes Brahms and Edmond Dédé,” we’re linguistically treating both composers as being equally worthy of attention. And while fullnaming might seem like a small act in the face of centuries of harm and injustice, by adopting a stance of referential egalitarianism, fullnaming at least does no more harm.

To be sure, the idea of fullnaming is not entirely new. Scholarship and pedagogy concerning women composers, especially those married to other composers (Clara Schumann and Alma Mahler, for instance), have called out the unsavory practice of reserving the mononymic surname for the husband while referring to the equally-if-not-more-accomplished wife by her full name. And it’s also important to remind ourselves that fullnaming a composer does not mean we’re respecting their compositions any less. Canonic composers made great music. But by using everyone’s full names, we can focus more on their music rather than on the past cultural practices that elevated straight white men at the expense of everyone else.

Musicians, academics, and teachers have a lot of work ahead to confront the racist and sexist history of classical music. Fullnaming composers, especially those who have been elevated to mononymic status by this complicated history, will challenge us to at the very least afford the same respect to all of the individuals whose music we talk and write about. When we do return to the concert halls, let’s return to concerts that play Ludwig Beethoven alongside Florence Price, and Edmond Dédé alongside Johannes Brahms.
 

STS

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Liberals please would you kindly just **** off. Just for one day, just take a break with your politically correct bullcrap.

You're screwing things up for the rest of us with your idiotic nonsense.

What about Pele and famous black people, should we full name him as well? Idiots.

What's wrong with someone voicing their opinion?
 

Fulcrum29

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But, what about the real Snoop?


'Beethoven was black': why the radical idea still has power today
 

Mekon

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People really need to start ignoring these morons and their opinions. Because all this bullshit doesn't get ignored you now get stupid bullshit like "drag queen story time" and other barnyard oddities that are forcing their way into being normalised. Thank god my kids are grown up because kids of today face a shitty world in the future.
 

Fulcrum29

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You're most welcome to go give Jessica Yaniv a Brazilian, just count me out. Guess I am a bad conservative that way that I don't want beauticians to be forced to do that either.

To be honest, I chuckled at his post. Conservatives, liberals, no matter which winger or centre, people generally don’t agree with any views contrary to their own. This is why we have a debate, and not a ‘dialogue’, and this is why a society like ours has a parliamentary procedure, an assembly. Ignoring that the largest group is the loudest.

To quote, White,

Fullnaming composers, especially those who have been elevated to mononymic status by this complicated history, will challenge us to at the very least afford the same respect to all of the individuals whose music we talk and write about.

but this mononymic status isn't unique to sexism and racism, and it is obvious to which race this sexism and racism applies. Maybe White's issue is being called White.

Modern society as being moulded should stop intervening with past histories. We are ever sliding the narrative to the views which are our own ;)
 
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