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  • Chris Anderson

Musical Snobbery

Part of my goal when I started my orchestra and choirs was to try and eliminate musical snobbery. Sadly in all the years I’ve been playing music with other groups there’s been an element of snobbery in that people were being dismissive of certain genres or devaluing artists and putting themselves on a pedestal because they had “award winning soloists” or a minor celebrity performing with them. This snobbery is of course based on subjective preferences or perceived cultural hierarchy - not to mention certain amount of ego. At SSOCs we always welcome musicians and singers from all walks of life with different levels of experience, I just ask that instrumentalists can read music and are adept on their instrument. Whilst I’m not completely turning my back on Classical music I want us to be a contemporary orchestra and choir. Here are my thoughts on other ways we can all work to try and eliminate musical snobbery.

  • Embrace Diversity:

  • Encourage a diverse range of musical experiences. Appreciate and explore different genres, styles, and cultural influences. Attend concerts or events featuring music that you may not be familiar with.

  • Respect Individual Preferences:

  • Recognise that musical taste is highly subjective, and people connect with different genres for various reasons. Respect others' preferences and avoid making value judgments based on personal taste.

  • Educate and Share:

  • Share your passion for music with others, but do so in a way that promotes understanding rather than superiority. Introduce people to new music without implying that one genre is inherently better than another.

  • Challenge Stereotypes:

  • Challenge stereotypes associated with specific genres or artists. Just because a genre is often associated with certain cultural or social groups doesn't mean it's the only audience for that music. Appreciate the diversity within genres.

  • Explore Cross-Genre Collaborations:

  • Seek out and appreciate collaborations between artists from different genres. Many musicians are breaking down genre boundaries by collaborating with artists from diverse backgrounds, resulting in innovative and exciting fusions of styles.

  • Open-Minded Listening:

  • Approach music with an open mind. Listen to a wide range of genres and be willing to discover hidden gems in unexpected places. Understand that each genre has its own unique qualities and artistic merits.

  • Encourage Musical Exploration:

  • Encourage others to explore music beyond their comfort zones. Suggest playlists or introduce them to artists and genres they might not have considered before.

  • Promote Inclusivity:

  • Support initiatives that promote inclusivity in the music industry. This includes advocating for diverse representation in festivals, awards, and other music-related events.

By fostering a culture of inclusivity and respect for diverse musical tastes, we can contribute to a more open and positive musical community. Remember, there is no "right" or "wrong" when it comes to musical preferences—everyone's taste is valid but it must also be remembered to be respectful of another’s tastes whether they’re in your wheelhouse or not!

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