At the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards last Tuesday, keynote speaker, TV Choirmaster Gareth Malone really got into his stride towards the end of his speech, asserting the superiority of classical music. Here’s the key extract:
“I firmly believe that classical music is best. End Of. It’s better than the rest, I believe. It’s more complex. It’s got a richer history. And It’s just great. There. I said it. It’s better than folk. It’s better than drum ‘n’ bass. And it’s better than rap – er – isn’t it? I think, I think.. What do I know, I’m just some guy off the telly […] I suggest that we send a message of confidence to the public about classical music […] Just letting people know that we lead the world in this.”
This is disappointing – Gareth Malone has done a lot to promote community and social cohesion through music, but the assertion that one kind of music is “better” than another does make me instinctively want to stand up on behalf of the others, those degenerate musicians, or Entartete Musiker, as they were once known.
This extract comes 1’01 into the podcast, which will remain available online on BBC iPlayer until May 19th.