New Music Education Resources

Some Great Music Education Resources

Every so often, some visitor or another to the Music Library holds something up and says to us: “Well, people really ought to know about this” or “I wish I’d known earlier that you had something like this.” New and old resources alike await their advocates, so in that spirit, what you have here is an attempt to hold a few things up ourselves.

The Music Library is home to a wide-ranging array of materials on the history, philosophy, and practice of music education. But the first item on the agenda should probably be an announcement that the Libraries now provide access to the online version of RILM Abstracts of Musical Literature. A veritable powerhouse of support for research into all aspects of music, RILM is a comprehensive annotated bibliography, which includes indexing from 3,700 journals, documents monographs, catalogues, conference proceedings, and other publications. Current UArts faculty and students with up-to-date accounts will find not only materials surveyed since RILM began indexing contributed abstracts in 1967, but also a growing body of full-text options, owing to RILM’s recent integration into the family of EBSCOhost databases (scroll down the list here http://library.uarts.edu/eresources/articledb.html). (The Music Library also has the full run of hard copy volumes of RILM Abstractsfrom 1967-1999, should anyone prefer to browse print.) It is the most comprehensive attempt to organize the entire published record of literature about human music-making.

Of particular interest to music educators will be several Oxford “handbook” entries, including The Oxford Handbook of Music EducationThe Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Music EducationThe Oxford Handbook of Children’s Musical Cultures and The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies. A generation’s thought and experience are summarized from fields investigating musical creativity, community music-making, technologies of music teaching and learning, listening and playing in special needs contexts, music therapy, to say nothing of the moving target that is school music in our time.

Saint-Saëns started composing at the age of three, Chopin at the age of seven, Beethoven at the age of 12. Bach and Stravinsky were late bloomers, first writing music in their teens. Mary Lou Williams improvised at age five, Bix Beiderbecke at age seven, and Buddy Rich led his first band from the drumset at eleven. There have been many child composers and improvisers. For a long time now a successful pedagogical philosophy has developed based on the premise that the bric-a-brac of theory serves as an obstacle, not an avenue, to musical understanding. Learning by doing—creating sound sources, devising notation, playing ex tempore—was advocated as a classroom strategy as long ago as Brian Dennis’s Experimental Music in Schools of 1970  and Murray Schafer’s “Composer in the Classroom” (reprinted in The Thinking Ear).  Another Canadian, Rena Upitis, got enthusiastic results teaching composition to students in inner-city schools, and documented some of them in Can I Play You My Song?. MENC has gotten into the act with Why and How to Teach Music Composition, but perhaps the most in-depth analysis of methods for introducing such creativity into pre-K-8 classrooms is Joanna Glover’s Children Composing, 4-14.

There’s no shortage of ideas for lesson plans, and it’s certainly not up to those of us on the sidelines to recommend the best route to take. But it does seem like everyone can sometimes use a reminder of where the peg is to hang your hat: creativity happens because it’s rewarding (also known as fun). Just something appealing about these: Michiko Yurko’s Music Mind Games, addressed to all ages and skill levels ; and Mary Mazzacane’s Music Education Through Puppetry, which relates music lesson planning to the history of musical instruments, basic music concepts, and events in American history. Oh, and how to get your hands into puppetry—(it had to be said)—too.

The Oxford Handbook of Music Education Music Open Stacks MT 1 .O93 2012

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Music Education Music Open Stacks MT 1 .O94 2012

The Oxford Handbook of Children’s Musical Cultures Music Open Stacks ML 83 .O94 2013

The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies Music Open Stacks QC 225 .o94 2012

Experimental Music in Schools Music Open Stacks MT 1 .D445E9 1970

The Thinking Ear: Complete Writings on Music Education Music REF MT 1 .S3T4 1986

Can I Play You My Song? Music REF MT 155 .U65C2 1992

Why and How to Teach Music Composition. Music Open Stacks MT155 .W59 2003

Children Composing, 4-14. Music REF MT155 .G56 2000

Music Mind Games Music MERA MT948 .Y87 1992

Music Education through Puppetry Music Open Stacks MT10 .M39M8 1984

Questions? Comments? Recommendations? We’d love to hear from you! Please contact Mark Germer, UArts Music Librarian, at 215-717-6293 or mgermer@uarts.edu.

Bob Moog Inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame

At the end of March 2013 Bob Moog was honored with an invitation to become a 2013 National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The honor is given to individuals who have “conceived, patented, and advanced” technologies affecting change in the modern world. The invention holds the Patent No. 3475623 and is usually referred to as the Moog Ladder Filter, the first voltage-controlled filter. It is this basic version of dynamic filter controlled at the keyboard—and pioneered in the Minimoog Synthesizer—that enables the electric pulse beating through nearly all modern mass-commercial popular music, from Kraftwerk and Michael Jackson to Brian Eno and Dr. Dre. For the announcement and more information, go to <http://moogmusic.com/news/bob-moog-inducted-inventors-hall-fame>. Also, see the Music Library’s holdings relating to Bob Moog and his synthesizers.

Music and … — A Note on Our Underrecognized Journals

by Geoff Belforti, UArts Music Library

Collaborative and interdisciplinary by nature, music is a socially powerful and adaptable art form. The ubiquity of Anglo-American popular music testifies to its functionality as a reinforcement mechanism for communal belonging and individual identity. Music is readily co-opted by religious and political movements, as aural landscape for personal reflection, and as continuity stream for dance and cinema. That music tends to “show up” in the mix became the inevitable observation when we tried to find a peg upon which to hang a discussion about some of our best—but too little appreciated—scholarly journals. Far more current, and often more provocative than what we find in droller books, the journal literature provided by the University Libraries can lean toward the genuinely juicy and be as unpredictable as the wandering scholars who pause to polish and parade their pearls therein. Because the UArts Music Library subscribes to the print version, some of these journals are also available online.

By way of undisguised self-promotion, herewith is a random sampling of articles from the Music Library’s periodicals on music and … —

— dance anthropology

Yearbook for Traditional MusicGiurchescu, Anca and Speranţa Rădulescu. “Music, dance, and behaviour in a new form of expressive culture: the Romanian manea,” Yearbook for Traditional Music 43 (2011), 2-36. (ML26 .I63 v. 43 2011 – the call number is for the bound issues in the Music Library.)

This article from the venerable Yearbook for Traditional Music traces the roots, influences, and transformations of a highly popular form of Roma protest music in Romania known as manea. Originating in Ottoman aristocratic music of the early 19th century, in the 1960’s the manea first became a genre of protest music, with gypsy musicians (mostly from poor communities and neighborhoods around the southeastern Danube) lamenting their plight as a marginalized people in Romania. By incorporating musical elements from genres as diverse and disparate as hip-hop, disco, pop, techno, and house music, as well as pan-Balkan and Arabic-Turkish music, manea has somewhat paradoxically come to appeal to everyone from lower class Romanian audiences to the nouveaux riches of the country.  Read the full article to find out how manea has adapted so well to modern society and remained a powerful form of protest.

— landscape design

Leonardo Music JournalFowler, Michael. “Transmediating a Japanese garden through spatial sound design,” Leonardo Music Journal 21 (2012), 43-49. (ML1 .L46 v. 21 2012)

Inspired in part by John Cage’s composition Ryoanji (a recording is available on CD6786 in the UArts Music Library), the artist Michael Fowler, writing for the Leonardo Music Journal, has developed schemata for “transmediating” landscape and sound at the ancient Sesshutei garden-temple complex at Joei-ji, Yamaguchi, Japan. The garden was originally designed and planted by a 15th-century Zen Buddhist painter and priest, who modeled it after one of his most famous paintings—one that playfully distorts viewers’ senses of scale and perception. Taking cues from Sesshu’s design, Fowler employs methods developed by the mathematicians Georgy Voronoy and Boris Delaunay to map the layout of the garden. He then transforms recordings from nature (of bird song, running water) combined with those of traditional instruments (rin, or singing bowl; mokugyo, or woodblock; and daiko drums) into a sound installation that complements—diagrammatically emulates—Sesshu’s original garden design.

 

 

–evolutionary psychology

Music PerceptionVuoskoski,  Jonna, et al. “Who enjoys listening to sad music and why?” Music Perception 29 (2012), 311-315. (ML3830 .M765 v. 29 2012) Thoroughly superficial assumptions pervade whatever understanding most of us have regarding so-called “happy” and “sad” music. Most discussions founder on the shores of cultural indoctrination. Here, in the journal Music Perception, several researchers from Finland and Australia attempt a more deeply analytical approach to this deceptively puzzling issue. Contrary to feelings of increased sadness elicited by certain life events, the psychologists found that those participants who self-identify as appreciators of “sad” music were more like to report feelings of “peacefulness”, “wonder”, and “nostalgia” after hearing selected musical compositions. They further discovered that certain personality traits typically associated with “positive” emotions correlate with the enjoyment of sad music. As is the case with much of the burgeoning field of music psychology, the proposals concluding this article are worth the effort it takes to monitor journal literature such as this, where extraordinary developments in a host of disciplines are often first presented.