ENYAN Music leaders decry Guardian’s musical ‘anti-intellectualism’ article

Conductor Simon Rattle and CEO of Sistema England Fiona Cunningham are among signatories to a letter decrying a writer’s ‘patronising’ arguments about musical notation.

Almost 500 music leaders have signed a letter decrying the “anti-intellectualism” of a recently published Guardian feature, which argued children are “locked out” by overly academic music lessons.Conductor Simon Rattle, Artistic Director of English Symphony Orchestra Kenneth Woods, and CEO of Sistema England Fiona Cunningham are among the 485 signatories to the letter labelling freelance writer Charlotte C. Gill’s comments in a feature on musical notation as ‘patronising’.

“While rightly noting the increasing chasm between state and private education in terms of music provision, her conclusions about musical notation and theoretical skills amount to simple anti-intellectualism,” the signatories write.

They continue: “We agree with Gill that aural and other skills are equally important as those in notation. However, through her romanticisation of illiteracy, Gill’s position could serve to make literate musical education even more exclusive through being marginalised in state schools yet further.”

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