Mozart Symphonies And Social Knowledge

Mozart Symphonies And Social Knowledge

By Bob Small

The program notes from an April 29 Swarthmore College student concert noted that Mozart had written over 50 Symphonies.  My previous understanding, from my first attempt at a college education, was that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had written 41 Symphonies, no more and no less!  I understood this the same way that I understood our universe had a total of nine planets.

However, prior to sending an angry email to the Chair of the Swarthmore Music Department, it was time to use Duck Duck Go for some independent research.  

What I found was that Brittanica lists “50 odd” symphonies, while Wikipedia says there were sorta 56.

Neither of these agreed with my understanding of 41 Symphonies.  Then again, in August 2006, Pluto was “deplanetized”.  

Assuming this is not “wokery”.  Could Mars, the planet of war, be next to be removed? Shouldn’t we all support peace?

Seriously, some of what was “social knowledge” of half a century ago, has changed.  For one instance, though many of us had a permanently single relative, we may have thought the term “queer” but rarely used it, in my family at least, as that would be “impolite”.  Now we acknowledge Gays and Lesbians do exist, and have a right to.

However, social knowledge wise, we still do not “normalize”  pedophiles, despite NAMBLA as the general agreement that minors do not have the maturity to make this decision.

This leads to the question of what other commonly accepted social knowledge of 2023 will have been reconsidered in say 2033 and how do we decide what should and shouldn’t be?  All responses welcome.

Back to Mozart, Patricia Johnson of Curtis, one of four Musicologists who I contacted, said “it’s unlikely we’ll ever have a definitive answer”. As to the number of symphonies.

Which leads to the question of will there ever be a definitive commonly accepted social knowledge?

And should there be?

Mozart Symphonies And Social Knowledge

Mozart Symphonies And Social Knowledge

4 thoughts on “Mozart Symphonies And Social Knowledge”

  1. Someday we will learn that Mrs Mozart wrote all of the symphonies and Wolfgang was just pretending to write!

  2. The Motzart issue is interesting, since he composed what he composed, which has to be a finite number, ending when died and began decomposing. The rest is more complicated except for one part that has a universal and unchangeable answer: Pedophilia is not, cannot an will not ever be acceptable or normal. There is a major effort under way to change that and if we lose that battle, humanity is surely doomed.

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