Monthly Archives: October 2018

An Unpopular Opinion

I don’t believe culture can appropriated as easily as people say.

If you played music, would you begrudge anyone who loved what you played the opportunity to re-imagine it as best they could because they didn’t look like you? Imitation is the truest form of flattery. So, while I believe in giving credit where credit is due, I do not personally think liking something and adapting into your own culture is tantamount to stealing. Miller said, “Listeners construct individual and collective musical worlds out of sounds that they make themselves and sounds that they do not (pg. 17, Segregating Sound). If is is enjoyable to any given individual, but foreign are you allowed only to enjoy it from afar.

I come from multiple ethnic and racial backgrounds. So I got a proverbial free pass on “white people stuff” and “black people stuff.” I was allowed to be both and neither. Depending on the situation and what was convenient to whoever else was involved. So perhaps I have a distorted image of how the world is supposed to work.

But I say if it is beautiful, then may it never die.

Great pieces of music, fabric pattern, art, dance, or whatever it may be should be able to be born and born again anew in the world as many times by as many different people as it can.

Sound should never be segregated. Just as people should never have been. I believe we should learn and grow from each other.