Hello again!! Welcome back 🙂 Firstly a disclaimer. I don’t hate any of my classes, however, we started this week off with some content that I am not great with, and as a result, I don’t really enjoy doing it. This was sightreading. The activity for me was very interesting and quite difficult in my opinion. It was the first time I had the experience of being able to play different parts in an ensemble with different key signatures. It was tough for me, I wasn’t able to get the hang of it and it took our group quite a few go’s before we were able to begin to play what was written on the score. After this, we began looking at mensural canons, another concept that was very alien to me but the exercise we did revolving around it was quite fun. I was able to use inspiration from one of my favourite songs ‘Runaway’ by Kanye West to create my own mensural canon!
After this activity, we would spend the rest of the lesson on some really thought-provoking discussions relating to societal norms and musical standards. We discussed as a class some of Anna Bull’s work. Anna Bull has specific categories in rewards that seem to correlate directly to race, gender, and socio-economic position (Bull, 2019). These categories included “bright futures”, “the masters of the musical universe” and “humble and hardworking”(Bull, 2019). James started to ask us which of these categories we most identify with and it got me thinking. For me, it’s hard to quantify because it can be so subjective. Music means different things to different people. Being a master of the musical universe can have different meanings. I know countless tunes and generally wouldn’t have an issue getting on stage and performing a 3hr set with a band. But does that make me the “MOMU” (did I just create an acronym? Okay I did, we are accepting this acronym and moving forward thank you very much). And what constitutes hard work? am I a hard worker if I only practice for an hour a day? Because I know many musicians who would disagree with that. What is a bright future?? Is it for me the fact that I’m following my passion for teaching? Because a lot of people would think that a bright future would entail some grand and luxurious life and plan. Essentially what I’m trying to say is that it’s not always so cut and dry and we shouldn’t treat it as such. This lesson opened my eyes quite a bit to the class and gender gaps that are present in the music industry. Learning about the little number of women in electronic music to me was shocking and puzzling. James would go on to talk about the idea of “positive discrimination” which is the term used to describe the use of special measures with an aim to foster greater equality by supporting groups of people who face, or have faced, entrenched discrimination so they can have similar access to opportunities as others in the community. (AHRC, 2022). All in all, it was an eye-opening lesson and one that will stick with me long term.
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