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ERIC Number: EJ804718
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec
Pages: 31
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 65
ISSN: ISSN-1545-4517
The Sounds of Silence: Talking Race in Music Education
Bradley, Deborah
Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, v6 n4 p132-162 Dec 2007
Writing from the perspective of anti-racist theory, the author is hopeful that the newfound interest in social justice may make lasting differences in the ways music education is conceived and practiced; and yet she is understandably wary, pointing to the numerous and serious misunderstandings often associated with altruistic but naive approaches to the problem. One such misunderstanding occurs when social justice is misconstrued as an act of charity, such that the study or performance of music from another culture is inadvertently portrayed as exotic, primitive, or underdeveloped--and the people whose music is studied require "rescue" or salvation in some sense. The point, the author's concern, is that putatively "multicultural" curricula and instruction may often perpetuate or exacerbate the very concerns they presume to be addressing. She asserts that music educators need to be wary of charity masquerading as social justice, and of the smugness to which such efforts often lead, compromising the cause of social justice rather than advancing it. One of the author's primary concerns is to eliminate what she refers to as color-muteness: talk that exacerbates social injustice by evading uncomfortable topics like white privilege. (Contains 11 notes.)
MayDay Group. Brandon University School of Music, 270 18th Street, Brandon, Manitoba R7A 6A9, Canada. Tel: 204-571-8990; Fax: 204-727-7318; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A