Exam reforms give ‘dead white Germans’ lead on the classical music syllabus

Originally published 2014

Music lessons will be dominated by “dead white Germans” as a result of the Government’s planned exam reforms, musicians have claimed.

Plans for the future of both GCSE and A-level music exams have singled out Western classical music between 1700 and 1900 as the only compulsory area of study – prompting complaints from the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) that the syllabus is too rigid.

Students will now focus on German composers such as Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn and Schumann at the expense of others, including Holst, Stravinsky and Vaughan Williams who composed their best-known works in the 20th century, said Deborah Annetts, chief executive of .....

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