The media have been ablaze this week
with news of a new film espousing the completely discredited theory that Anna Magdalena Bach actually composed the Bach Cello Suites and a number of other important works by Bach.
BS is the food, water and air of the mass media, so should we be surprised or disappointed that so many major newspapers and media outlets covered such a patently false theory in such detail?
Everything in this headline and the following bullet points is either completely false or wildly misleading.
Here’s a comparison that makes me just a little cross.The number of national newspapers which ran either features or reviews of last week’s ESO “Wall of Water” project in London, which included fantastic works by four leading, living, women composers? NONE. (See the excellent ClassicalSource review here)
The number of national newspapers which wasted space talking about a completely bogus and fraudulent theory that Anna Magdalena Bach wrote the Bach Cello Suites? APPARENTLY MOST OF THEM?The rationale? That this bogus, completely and totally baseless theory “raised important questions about female composers, and had huge implications that could ‘transform’ the confidence of young women hoping to make it today.” Huh????
If the national papers cared at all about female composers, they’d be discussing music written by women. They aren’t because they don’t.
Women, young and old, are writing great music by the bucketload right now. They don’t need a “transformation of their confidence” via a transfusion of BS. They need opportunity and recognition. Same goes for the blokes.
The Pope himself this week pointed
out that covering “Creationism” as having any sort of basis in fact, reason or knowledge is a disservice to both religion and science. When the media spends a lot of time and energy lending street cred to ideas they know to be false they’re doing great damage to the fabric of society by blurring the lines between knowledge and belief, between fact and fiction, between research and fantasy, and between reporting and inventing.