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Facing the MusicShaping Music Education from a Global Perspective$

Huib Schippers

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195379754

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195379754.001.0001

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(p.180) Appendix D Five Domains of Musical Sustainability in Contemporary Contexts

(p.180) Appendix D Five Domains of Musical Sustainability in Contemporary Contexts

Facing the Music
Oxford University Press

(p.180) Appendix D

Five Domains of Musical Sustainability in Contemporary Contexts



Systems of learning music

Systems of learning are central to the sustainability of most music cultures. In this domain balances are assessed between informal and formal training, notation‐based and aural learning, holistic and analytical approaches, and emphasis on tangible and less tangible aspects of musicking. It explores contemporary developments in learning and teaching (from master‐disciple relationships to systems based on cutting‐edge Web technology), and how non‐musical activities, philosophies and approaches intersect with learning and teaching. These issues play a key role from the level of community initiatives to the highest level of institutionalized professional training.

Musicians and communities

This domain involves the role and position of musicians and the basis of the tradition within the community. It looks at the everyday realities in the existence of creative musicians, including the role of technology, media, and travel, and issues of remuneration through performances, teaching, portfolio careers, community support, tenured employment, freelancing, and non‐musical activities. Cross‐cultural influences and the role of the diaspora are also examined, as well as the interaction among musicians within the community.

Contexts and constructs

This domain assesses the social and cultural contexts of musical traditions. It examines the realities of and the attitudes to recontextualisation, cross‐cultural influences, authenticity and context, and explicit and implicit approaches to cultural diversity resulting from travel, migration or media, as well as obstacles such as poverty, prejudice, racism, stigma, restrictive religious attitudes, and issues of appropriation. It also looks at the underlying values and attitudes (constructs) steering musical directions. These include musical tastes, aesthetics, cosmologies, socially and individually constructed identities, gender issues, and (perceived) prestige, which is often underestimated as a factor in musical survival.

Infrastructure and regulations

This domain primarily relates to the ‘hardware’ of music: places to perform, compose, practice and learn, all of which are essential for music to survive, as well virtual spaces for creation, collaboration, learning, and dissemination. Other aspects included in this domain are the availability and/or manufacturing of instruments and other tangible resources. Also examined here is the extent to which regulations are conducive or obstructive to a blossoming musical heritage, including artists' rights, copyright laws, sound restrictions, laws limiting artistic expression, and challenging circumstances such as obstacles that can arise from totalitarian regimes, persecution, civil unrest, war or the displacement of music or people.

Media and the music industry

This domain addresses large‐scale dissemination and commercial aspects of music. Most musicians and musical styles depend in one way or another on the music industry for their survival. In the past hundred years, the distribution of music has increasingly involved recordings, radio, television and the Internet (e.g. podcasts, YouTube, MySpace). At the same time, many acoustic and live forms of delivery have changed under the influence of internal and external factors, leading to a wealth of new performance formats. This domain examines the ever‐changing modes of distributing, publicizing, and supporting music, including the role of audiences (including consumers of recorded product), patrons, sponsors, funding bodies, and governments that ‘buy’ or ‘buy into’ artistic product.