Introduction to Forte
BY GRACE CHAI '23
Hello, and welcome to the first installment of Forte, a column dedicated to uplifting the voices of Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) musicians and their work. Before I delve into music history and debunk myths though, I want to briefly introduce myself and the work I hope to achieve with this column.
My name is Grace Chai, and I’m a classically trained Chinese American flutist (flutist, flautist, don’t come at me, classical music purists). I’m obsessed with all things music, whether it be ethnomusicology, representation in the music industry today, or the psychology of music—the list is endless, and I’m very excited to explore new topics with you, my audience!
Anyway, my vision for Forte began with a desire to learn more about music outside of the Western canon, which fueled a passion to create more visibility around BIPOC artists’ achievements and call out the stereotypes that exist in the music industry today. The defiance, courage, and artistry of BIPOC music is represented in the title, Forte, which means “loud” or “with force” in Italian.
On another note (ha, see what I did there?), while I’m still educating myself (and learning from my mistakes), I aim to provide a more complete narrative of the diversity and beauty of music worldwide, minus the musical jargon. Just have an open mind when reading, and I guarantee that you’ll learn something along the way.
Stick around for this musicophile’s take on all things music-y, from classical commentary to modern musings. New articles will come out every issue!
Yours in music geekery,