Musical culture and education (thematic issue of Music Education Research journal vol. 18 issue 4)

Stakelum, M. and Barrios Manzano, P. and Gómez-Ullate, U., eds. (2016) Musical culture and education (thematic issue of Music Education Research journal vol. 18 issue 4). Music Education Research 18 (4). Taylor & Francis.


Editorial: Throughout history and since time immemorial, there has been discussion and debate on music education. debate on music education. In the quest for greater understanding, the conception of music has taken various forms, and has been predicated on different notions of education and modes of transmission. In recent times, although there has been an emphasis on processes of musical learning informed by systematic historical musicology. Arguably, in its early iteration, it could be said that music education as a field of knowledge held a more modest status than theoretical musicological research. This may have arisen from methodological approaches to music education of the mid-twentieth century, with their focus on musical training in childhood and on a teaching–learning process with links to psycho-evolutionary development. Among the proponents of these approaches were pedagogues such as Edgar Willems (1890–1978), Zoltan Kodaly (1882–1967) and Justine Ward (1879–1975), whose interest was in good intonation and the place of singing in education, Carl Orff (1895–1982) and Shinichi Suzuki (1898–1998) who contributed to the foundation of principles of instrumental practice and Jacques Dalcroze (1865–1950) who emphasised the importance of movement. Whilst each worked from their own perspective, theirs was a common objective: to educate persons to express themselves in and through music, and to position this education in a global perspective within which music could become an integral part of a fulfilled life. These pedagogies are now well established and continue to be appropriated by contemporary technologies, and to appear in ever increasing sites of online learning. Since the latter part of the twentieth century, however, critical voices have emerged which call some of the methodologies into question, labelling them classical and obsolete: they deal only with musical language and conventional notation of the western world, are directed towards children’s musical initiation, thereby neglecting a broad spectrum in the sound world, discarding migration, multicultural societies and failing to acknowledge a place for intercultural approaches in education.

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