The University of Oxford is considering scrapping sheet music for being “too colonial”, after some staff raised concerns about the “complicity in white supremacy” of music curricula.
Documents seen by the publication indicate proposed reforms to target undergraduate courses. University staff said the current curriculum focuses on “white European music from the slave period”. Professors are considering reforming their music courses to move away from classic repertoires, such as those of Beethoven and Mozart.
The university is considering discarding their scores as “too colonial” after some staff expressed concerns about the “white supremacist accomplice”. They argued that teaching notation “doesn’t shake the connection with the colonial past” and would be “a slap in the face” for some students.
It added that musical skills should no longer be compulsory, because the current repertoire’s focus on “white European music” causes “students of colour great distress”.
However, this proposal has caused turmoil among some faculty members, who argue that it is unfair to accuse people who have been teaching music since before 1900 of being interested only in “white” music.
It comes after one Oxford college removed the name of an 18th-century slave trader from its main library earlier this year, although it did defy calls to take down his statue.
The news has caused people to express their views on social media, with one tweeting “this is a national and international true cultural disgrace”, and adding: “We should be ashamed of ourselves for allowing this #woke infiltration of your institutions, traditions and values.”
Another stated: “Musical notation is a universal language that allows musicians from anywhere in the world to get together & play.”
MailOnline is seeking comment from Oxford University on the matter.