This is the 100th blog post (woohoo!) on Composer’s Toolbox, and for this, I would like to ask a question: What does being a musician in the Trump era hold? What challenges, opportunities, and surprises await us? I encourage you to chime in by commenting on this, as many things are uncertain with this shift in U.S. power.
Here are my 5 most pressing thoughts, in order:
- Music in America has recently been a vehicle for LGBTQ, racial, gender (and sex), environmental, and socioeconomic progress (among others). I believe that in an era of discrimination and intolerance that will likely ensue under a Trump presidency, based on his obscene remarks during his campaign, musicians will be pressured not to voice our opinions on these topics. That only leaves us one option: voice our opinions louder and spread even more empathy.
- As America becomes more violent through hate crimes, gun proliferation, and unchecked police brutality, music must become a peaceful outlet for us to protest nonviolently towards those who are violent.
- As the planet becomes less and less conducive to life through inescapable climate change, war, injustice, and oppression, musical life may become an afterthought to many who are struggling to survive. We must ensure that musical progress, and music’s integral role in society and culture, do not fade, but rather flourish.
- As the global economy impoverishes more of us and leaves high concentrations of wealth in the richest few, music must not be used to serve the wishes of rulers, but must become the music of those who are oppressed, as apolitically as possible. We cannot allow music to become propaganda.
- This all started because America became divided. Division is driving the world’s people into more polarized factions. Music has to unite us, breed empathy, and foster open, frank, and constructive dialogue, if we are ever to prevent the Trump era from causing the aforementioned calamities.
Let’s just say, I hope none of the doom and gloom I foresee come to pass. But, I fear the world is re-living the 20th century, and we are in for a time of parallels that many don’t recognize right now, but will suffer immensely during.
Please tell me what you think, and urge me to reconsider my opinions. I hope I am wrong.