Magazine article The Canadian Music Educator

Not Knowing Binds an Individual to the Opinions of Others

Magazine article The Canadian Music Educator

Not Knowing Binds an Individual to the Opinions of Others

Article excerpt

There is not enough time allotted to music learning in the classroom. Curriculum and community expectations tend to discourage probings into multiple approaches to music learning; as well, attempts to introduce different materials and ways oflearning. Even so, 10 to 15 minutes of a classroom session devoted to other musical experiences may prove, in the end, to be time well spent.

There are alternative routes to music learning. These may encompass listening, performing, comparing, improvising, composing, critiquing. All contribute to a knowledge base empowering students to connect with other music; as well, to engage in questioning the social/cultural conditioning of peers, media, conventional attitudes, market forces and the like.

With regard to connecting with diverse music, it is helpful to know and recognize musical ideas and procedures related to repetition, variation, patterns of sound, asymmetries in rhythm, musical layering, call and response, dense / transparent textures, unusual timbres, and so forth. WiuS regard to questioning social /cultural conditioning of peers, media, and market forces, it is helpful to have had opportunities to experience substantive works as well as manipulate musical ideas and procedures.

Selections such as, the Court gamelan music from Java; choral polyphony from the Republic of Georgia, the raga from North India, Sacrificial Dance from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring may prove to be somewhat challenging to the ear. To encourage greater receptivity, manipulations resembling some of the procedures employed in the preceding may be incorporated into improvised studies or compositions prior to experiencing the actual music.*

Musical knowledge and experiences may be regarded as links to significant levels of participation in the music of the other. Though participation may not be truly authentic, it is still preferable to doing nothing. Being able to recognize similarities as well as differences may encourage more than a passing interest in extraordinary music making; perhaps, inspire yet further explorations in unique works.

Music can transcend time and culture. African influences, are evident in musk of the Americas, in spirituals, gospel music, blues, jazz, in Afro-Caribbean dances. Choirs sing arrangements of Scottish, Irish, Soudi African, French, and Russian melodies. …

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