Oxford music professors say sheet music is white supremacy

Sheet music can be linked to a “colonialist representational system,” the faculty alleged.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

After months of global unrest and rioting sparked by the killing of George Floyd in May 2020, universities and companies throughout the world have rolled out critical-race theory inspired programs.

Many of these initiatives, which are ostensibly meant to inspire tolerance, have come under fire for promoting extreme ideas, including anti-white racism.

Now, Oxford University has joined the trend, by launching a revamp of their music department in an effort to make the program “less white.”

According to a report from The Telegraph, professors are striving to make a number of dramatic changes to “decolonize” the department’s syllabi.

Internal documents seen by The Telegraph included a claim from the faculty that sheet music, also known as musical notation, has not “shaken off its connection to its colonial past.”

Sheet music can be linked to a “colonialist representational system,” the faculty alleged.

Continuing to teach sheet music would be a “slap in the face” for non-white students, the faculty wrote, so the practice should be dropped entirely.

The document suggested that by teaching European-focused music and fundamental practices like sheet music, the department was guilty of being “complicit in white supremacy.”

Although Oxford’s music department offers multiple courses focused on non-European music, faculty said the current curriculum focuses too much on “white European music from the slave period.”

Traditionally, undergraduate students pursuing a degree in music were required to take courses in practical application, such as learning to play the piano or conduct orchestras.

The faculty explained that these skills “structurally center [around] white European music” and cause “students of color great distress,” so they should no longer be required.

A spokesperson from Oxford told music website Classic FM, “We are exploring ways to enhance our students’ opportunities to study a wider range of non-western and popular music from across the world than is currently on offer, as well as music composition, the psychology and sociology of music, music education, conducting, and much more.”