MUSICOLOGY COLLOQUIUM - William Cheng, The Colordeaf Crucible: Symphony Orchestras, Blind Auditions, and the Case of the “Grotesque” Japanese Musician Whose Face Wasn’t Viennese Enough

16 Apr 2018 - 5:00pm

Drawing on recent controversies surrounding the Vienna Philharmonic (a preeminent classical orchestra) and the American Musicological Society (a preeminent musical-scholarly organization), this talk contemplates how relying too blithely on adjudicatory blindfolds—for measuring beauty, intellect, and other facets of human production—may render us both complacent with and complicit in the unjust relationships, arrangements, and policies that sustain the demands for blind evaluations in the first place.
William Cheng is Assistant Professor of Music at Dartmouth College and coeditor of the Music & Social Justice series by University of Michigan Press. He is the author of Sound Play: Video Games and the Musical Imagination (Oxford, 2014) and Just Vibrations: The Purpose of Sounding Good (Michigan, 2016).