The Ethical Responsibility of Orchestras in Contemporary (Multicultural) Societies
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Symphony orchestras in liberal democratic, multicultural countries face a specific set of ethical challenges in the early part of the twenty-first century, due to domestic and international imperatives related to the importance of diversity and inclusion, and to the protecting of Indigenous cultures.
In order to contextualize these challenges, it is helpful to consider the origins and evolution of the symphony orchestra as a vessel of European aurality and aesthetics that can now be found in many parts of the world.
History of the Symphony Orchestra
The Western symphony originated in Europe. The term “symphony,” when used alone, can refer either to the musical ensemble (characterized by a sizeable number of instrumentalists, of which those playing Western bowed string instruments — violins, violas, and cellos—form the core) or to a specific form of musical composition written for the symphony orchestra. Early symphonic music appeared in the sixteenth and seventeenth...
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