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Classical Music CRT Comes for Mozart

Racially obsessed Arizona State professor has a radical axe as her instrument.

A professorial devotee of critical race theory (CRT) as it pertains to the teaching of music in higher education is doubling down on her highly personal struggle against the systemic oppressiveness of Beethoven and Mozart.

Arizona State University sparked controversy in July 2021 by hiring Dr. Joyce McCall to bring her particularly discordant campaign of “racial justice” to its campus. One year later, McCall gave an expansive interview to British national radio station Classic FM, and the quotes revealed her brand of classical music CRT. As exotic as she may sound, McCall’s words highlighted the crucial factor at the core of the progressive assault on education. CRT is designed to transform a culture on a full-spectrum level. Nothing that occurs in the realm of human activity is to be excluded. Even the roses must be trampled.

‘Who’s Benefiting From’ Beethoven?

“Critical Race Theory is a tool that was conceptualized and born out of critical legal studies as a means to analyze, critique, and to help dismantle racism,” McCall told Classic FM. “I’m one of these scholars that plugs Critical Race Theory into music education and asks ‘What does systemic racism look like in this field?’ ‘What’s the impact?’ ‘Who’s benefiting from it?’ and ‘Who’s not?’”

One of the telling signs of racism in college music departments is expecting students to know how to read sheet music, the professor explained, highlighting how classical music CRT aims to destroy foundational principles. “Notes aren’t racist. A [quaver], a [semibreve], they aren’t racist, but it’s how we use those things,” McCall asserted. “We weaponize Western notation to keep some people out, and to welcome others in. Because if you can’t read notation, you can’t get into the music schools.”

Instead of considering the ability to read music notation a desirable skill that can enrich a young person’s life in ways that go beyond merely seeking a career in the field, the progressive social warrior portrayed it as a barrier. It’s akin to taking the old saw about “teaching a man to fish” and declaring that the fishing pole is a deliberate tool of repression. Forget about feeding the soul. Just give him the fish.

Classical Music CRT War

New banner Critical Race Theory Uncovered 2McCall is featured in the 2018 book Marginalized Voices in Music Education, where she contributed a chapter titled “Speak No Evil: Talking Race as an African American in Music Education.”

Her extremely cumbersome essay centered around meanderings on personal grievances, which are all perceived through a racial lens. McCall’s stated intention is to “awaken the consciousness of the music education profession by sharing my own personal stories, illustrating how specific structures and social actors (i.e., professors, peers and colleagues) in our profession perpetuate and ‘legitimize an oppressive social order.’” She attributed “institutionalized whiteness” as the driver of this malevolent musical construct.

“I’ve never played the Mozart Clarinet Concerto,” McCall proudly exclaimed in her Classic FM interview. “That’s something I tell students a lot. As a student, as you move through the ranks at a university, there are certain pieces you have to play. For the clarinet, that’s the Mozart, and I thought, ‘everyone and their mama has played these tunes. By [only focusing on this music], we’re just emphasizing and saying explicitly and implicitly, that only this music is good enough,” she continued.

That this credentialed music authority figure at one of the largest state universities in America asked the following may reveal the utter poverty of knowledge on our nation’s campuses today:

GettyImages-113493524 Mozart -- Classical music CRT

(Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images)

“We can keep teaching Brahms and Beethoven and Stravinsky and, you know, a whole lot but we have to be critical of that music and ask, ‘Well, why do we put it on this pedestal?’ That’s something we should be asking about regardless of the genre of music.”

The intrinsic desire to elevate greatness – to nurture, savor, and extol it – is one of the hallmarks of any advanced civilization. The answer to McCall’s query is simple: We put high artistic achievement on a pedestal because it is good.

For the societal levelers of cultural Marxism, the explanation can never suffice. The brilliance of others is not a gift for the world to share. It is a provocation and a threat. Rather than praise a Thomas Edison for inventing the light bulb, they would choose to remain in the dark.

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