Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Snohomish County, WA - Music Is Censored

In Snohomish County, WA, a school refused to let a woodwind ensemble play the music they wanted for graduation. The ensemble was chosen for the ceremony, and they decided to play an instrumental version of Ave Maria by Franz Biebl. The school traditionally allows the top ensemble to perform a piece from their repertoire, but this time they told the group they had to play something else. The school would not allow religion at the graduation ceremony. The group was not planning to include the words to the song in the program and no one would be singing it.

I have two degrees in music, and I can tell you the obvious: if you omit music with any reference to religion or any tradition in religion, you take out some of the greatest works in music history. Such would not be a complete or even satisfactory music education. You would even eliminate such works as Beethoven's 9th Symphony because of its use of Ode to Joy.

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