Monday, 21 March 2011

When Historical Memory Fails

There is a slightly bizarre quotation from Stephen Layton in today's Telegraph: "when it comes to choral singing," he claims, "we are the best in the world, with a tradition stretching back to the Reformation". Is he really claiming that there was no decent choral singing in England before the Reformation? 

It seems hard to believe but we see much the same with literature. As far as many schools and exam boards are concerned we have a great tradition stretching back to the Reformation. But before that English Literature wasn't worth bothering with. And anyway it's too difficult to read. And we weren't taught it ourselves at university.

Fortunately, there are some good resources out there to help us cope with this failure of historical memory.

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