This week, Twitterverse caused a stir after American composer (Spencer Arias) shared a letter he received from an alleged organization called the Society for the Preservation of Western Music (SPWM).
The tweet included a caption: “Tell me again that classical music is not #racist.”
In the letter, he called him a “respected voice in our quest for good faith” and invited him to collaborate on a new monthly online publication.
Only when the letter outlines their mission does it begin to become strange.
The letter hints that the new publication is a response to “… the malicious spread of identity-based concert programs.”
It goes on to say that they seek to “actively promote the canonical masterpieces of the Western classical tradition from antiquity to the present day.”
See full letter [HERE]
Twitter hastened to identify the letter as blatantly racist.
The identity of the author is a mystery …
… Everything we know is that it was sent on behalf of a group of more than 100 Canadian and American teachers of composition and theory who describe themselves as “… outstanding defenders of the foundations of our traditionally Western artistic practices.”
If there is nothing left but the name of the organization, a search by name on the Internet yields nothing.
Several comments on Twitter suggested that the letter was too outrageous to be real. Some have suggested that he was sent by an internet troll who wants to harass and / or provoke an angry response.
According to Ben Liberator, a graduate student at Columbia University, most of the recipients were BIPOC, queer and / or women.
“It seems that most of the musicians and musicologists who have received this are BIPOC, queer and / or women, which makes this particular variation on the irreversible” death of the West “not only desperate in its meanness and fragility, but also purposeful persecution.”
Someone registered the domain spwesternmusic.com and redirected it to www.andwewereheard.org, an organization that provides a platform for underrepresented composers.
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