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British Journal of Music Education

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Thinking Musically: Experiencing Music, Expressing


Culture by Bonnie C. Wade. Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 2004. 180 pp + CD, no price given, paperback
Teaching Music Globally: Experiencing Music, Expressing
Culture by Patricia Shehan Campbell. Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2004. 258 pp, no price given, paperback

MALCOLM FLOYD

British Journal of Music Education / Volume 22 / Issue 01 / March 2005, pp 95 - 99


DOI: 10.1017/S0265051704216072, Published online: 30 March 2005

Link to this article: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0265051704216072

How to cite this article:


MALCOLM FLOYD (2005). British Journal of Music Education, 22, pp 95-99 doi:10.1017/
S0265051704216072

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B. J. Music Ed. 2005 22:1, 95–107 Copyright 
C 2005 Cambridge University Press
doi:10.1017/S0265051704006072

Book Reviews

Thinking Musically: Experiencing Music, authentic/traditional mother-lode. This


Expressing Culture by Bonnie C. Wade. contemporary reality brings to the fore a set
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. of significant topics (gender, globalisation
180 pp + CD, no price given, and authenticity) to form a strand through
paperback. the series. There is much to be enthusiastic
Teaching Music Globally: Experiencing about here which helps communication and
Music, Expressing Culture by Patricia sharing, but I have reservations about the
Shehan Campbell. Oxford: Oxford framing presented in these two
University Press, 2004. 258 pp, no price books.
given, paperback. Thinking Musically aims to provide a
structure for working with the case studies.
The tag-line for these books is extremely The author, Bonnie Wade, notes a dislike for
attractive, promising a focus on how ‘people comparative study but does not then really
make music meaningful and useful in their seem able to escape from it as she sums up:
lives’. This has been the elusive philosopher’s ‘[comparing] is inevitable when diverse
stone of ethnomusicology and world musics materials are presented in a course’. If that is
in education for at least the past two not an amenable task – and I fully
decades: how to communicate and enable a understand the reluctance to undertake it –
sharing focused around our musicking in its then why spend this book doing precisely
full intertextual richness. Thinking Musically that for much of the time? The case study
and Teaching Music Globally are the two books could stand by themselves, but this
framing books for Oxford University Press’s book aims to establish that there are
‘Global Music Series’. As the frames they are common principles underlying intramusical
closely interlinked, both drawing on the CD organisation across global musics but mostly
attached to Thinking Musically , and then avoids considering how meaning and use
referring to the other case studies forming the might be explored. The very organisation of
rest of the series. They acknowledge that the the book is disappointing in that it reinforces
job of supporting teachers who want their an essentialist, structuralist view of music,
students to engage with some of the world’s dividing it into instruments, rhythm, time,
musics has not always been sufficiently well pitch and structure. There is an introduction
done in the past. It is certainly time that this which considers meaning, and a final
was reconsidered, as my perspective is that chapter which explores issues, but these
the dearth of effective high quality materials should have been the meat of this book:
has led to some lessening of the urge for where is meaning to be made/found, how do
musical inclusivity in school curricula we deal with it having made/found it? There
documentation, delivery and assessment. are very many times when it is asserted that
This series aims to provide materials to allow this is the driving energy: ‘the focus that is
teachers to make choices that suit them and the most significant in ethnomusicology is
their circumstances, where the materials people. People make music what it is, and
draw on the deep knowledge of those who people make music meaningful and useful in
have studied these musics and had the their lives’ (pp. xiv, 1, original emphasis). But
encounters themselves, and there is the book tells us little about ways of thinking
recognition of contemporary reality, rather about how or why people do this. The case
than harking back to a non-existent studies do (from the brief extracts I have

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Book Reviews

viewed on the related web site), but there is lines means there is no preparation for the
no substantial frame here. depth of the debate which I assume will be
Chapter 1 explores people first, asking forthcoming in the case studies. There are
who is involved in music, dividing them into then examples of meaning found in
music-makers and listeners. This is perhaps music-and-text before going to music-as-text.
surprising, given the amount of work aiming This is another opportunity to open up the
to persuade that listening is an active excitement of how music works on/with/for
attribute of music, that making meaning and us, but instead this is reduced to the notion
responding to that meaning is a vital role for that meaning is acquired from the situation
music (the work of David Elliott, Christopher in which music is heard. This is an entirely
Small, Keith Swanwick, June Boyce-Tillman appropriate notion, but it is not sufficient.
and many others has explored this There is a vast swathe of aesthetics, poetics,
convincingly). Bonnie Wade does not really physiology and psychology that is not
mean to make this division and develops the revealed. It may be thought that this is
notion at later points, but as the discussion because of the target audience (teachers),
here only lasts for two (small) pages there is who have limited time to get to grips with
scope for much more, and a vital opportunity complex material. However, teachers are
is missed. The chapter then moves on to in the peculiarly complex position of having
consider ‘what is music?’ This fascinating to engage both with a source which has been
topic is effectively and honestly introduced, mediated (in this series doubly mediated
assuring no overarching paradigms are from framework to case study), and with
presented before moving on to ‘Musical the pedagogical/social/cultural imperatives
values’, which mainly deals with issues in of a group of students temporarily inhabiting
aesthetics – here meaning what is regarded an educational system, and enabling a
as beautiful or appropriate in particular fruitful relationship between the two. To do
circumstances and situations – and music’s that they must be supported by materials
expressive capacity. This last aspect is that are clear and straightforward, certainly,
enriched by quotations from students about but also sufficient for each engagement to
musical values. These provide a rich insight, be real.
often strongly felt and clearly articulated. The next section deals with the ‘use’ of
However, they are always students from music. This again is precisely what this book
American institutions (and mostly from the needs to do, to reveal and explore what
author’s own university). This is not wrong, it music does: ‘it defines, represents,
is a source of strength, but it is not enough. It symbolizes, expresses, constructs, mobilizes,
reminds us that this is an American textbook, incites, controls, transforms, unites, and so
setting an American framework for a series much more’ (p. 15), and then move on to
on the world’s musics by other American consider how it does this in its various
academics, designed for use in American contexts. But we are given little more than a
educational systems. The case studies in the brief introduction when the author could
series are much more open and revealing of have introduced the case studies much more
the sources of the world’s musics, but they abundantly and usefully, and given the
are not well served here. The chapter moves reader some tools to engage with them
on to ‘meaning’, and again it is unfortunate enthusiastically and imaginatively. The final
that this is not given more space. The debate section of this chapter deals with
about the location of meaning is fertile, vital transmission. This is secure ground on which
and important. To sum it up in just over nine to be descriptive and comparative, and

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Book Reviews

provides the pattern for the next few chapters the issues and so on. This chapter doesn’t
as we move through ‘Thinking about really make that argument, however. It starts
instruments’ – which presents some models from the point that fieldwork is what
of classification, ‘Thinking about time’ – ethnomusicologists do before going quickly
which deals with rhythm and does make the on to how to do it, again answering the
important point about the physicalisation or answerable ‘how?’ rather than the more
embodiment of rhythm through movement, problematic ‘why?’ I would have then liked
‘Thinking about pitch’ – which leads on to some summary of where the reader will now
melody, polyphony, heterophony and so on be, what skills they might expect to be able
through thinking ‘vertically and to use, how to relate them to other materials
horizontally’. Bonnie Wade acknowledges in the series and beyond (because although
that this is a Western notion but doesn’t the case studies are well spread out
consider alternatives, or just not doing it. geographically, they can never be exhaustive
This may be another instance of the book or responsive to all particular needs or
being aimed at a very culture-specific circumstances).
educational system. In the end I wanted the chapters
The following chapter is ‘Thinking about ‘Thinking about Music’ and ‘Thinking about
Structure’, which starts with the important Issues’ to be expanded, and the others to be
line of reasoning that ‘ethnomusicologists subsumed within them where appropriate or
are interested in exploring not only how left to the specifics of case studies. These two
music is structured but also why it is chapters are the real ethnomusicology, and
structured the way it is’ (p. 108). However, it better than that they are the real music-in-
is mostly the ‘how’ that is explored until the life, but I think they need a fair bit of support.
final short section on ‘Social values’. Teaching Music Globally provides a
‘Thinking about issues’ does an interesting rather more positive encounter. It has a
job well and brings a strong dose of reality different remit in that it is much more
into discussions that are often based on explicitly about suggesting methods for
stereotypes and dogmas. The issues engaging with world musics in the classroom
themselves are well chosen: globalisation, at various stages. The imperatives of the
influences, boundaries, gender, the national American educational system are well to the
community, other group identities, the local, fore here, but there are certainly some ideas
transnationalisation, authenticity, mass that could be developed elsewhere. The
media, and some of the many relationships opening does a good job of enthusing
between these start to be presented. This teachers and of bringing them up to date
chapter is for me one of the principal with the interesting diversity of practice in
strengths of this book: it looks at arguments, music learning and teaching in various
at current discourses which the reader can traditions. This allows teachers to recognise
then follow through into the case study their own skills and practices while opening
books. ideas about alternatives. There is also a good
I am also very taken with the idea of the amount of ‘why?’ being answered here. This
last chapter, ‘Thinking about Fieldwork’. I am takes on some of the history of world musics
entirely convinced that fieldwork (which can and moves on to consider relationships with
of course be very local) is one of the best what children are able to accomplish and
routes into uncovering our own thus how they become engaged. The
musico-contextual authenticities, of finding majority of the book is taken up with
how music functions for us, how we address suggested classroom activities drawing on

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Thinking Musically and its accompanying children are often most able to perform with
CD. It starts with schedule suggestions, and stylistic authority from listening: a recent
the notion of comparative studies is infant school harvest festival in Hampshire
prominent, but there are also suggestions for included a song sung by Year 2 which
planning some depth studies which I am copied exactly the Highlands Scots tone and
inclined to think is a more secure way of pronunciation of their teacher.
enabling meaningful engagement. The end There is another issue, and that is the
of each chapter takes the form of three CD samples provided. They are often very
‘Problems to probe’. I think these have been short, and while the author recognises that
well chosen to assist the teacher who is this is the case (p. 194), she suggests that
thinking about developing this work make they are sufficient. I am not so sure, as there
sense of things and grapple with some of the is virtually nothing of depth in this initial CD,
major concepts at an appropriate stage. and teachers will need to look for other
Chapter 2 deals with ‘Sound Awareness’ and exemplar material. There is also some
takes some well-known activities and technical confusion: for example, track 25 is
develops them to get students engaged with credited on page 104 as being ‘Aruh li min’
the musicking going on in their own from Egypt, but on page 163 is given as being
communities. These are also very good at for ‘Segah Sarki’ from Turkey. It seems in fact
starting to raise interesting questions at an to be the former, but it is most obviously
early stage, for example, what is needed to related to the musical notation on pages
recognise musical beauty? Once it gets on to 146–7 rather than to the melodic extract
musical structures I am less convinced by the given on page 104. I am also hard pressed to
choices as they start moving away from the make clear links between the notation of
intention of the series by considering music ‘Feng Yang Hua Ge’ on page 164 and track
only through Western structural concepts 20, certainly in terms of using the activity
rather than music in its own life – so with it. This may certainly be the result of my
comparison of human vocal concepts (p. 42) own ignorance and incapacity but I suspect
draws, implicitly, on Alan Lomax’s others may share my difficulties.
cantometrics project, leaving value-laden Additionally, it would have been very useful
descriptive terms such as ‘raspy’ and for a book of this sort to include at least
‘nasalized’. However, there are lots of types some material in visual format, to make
of activities here to allow discerning teachers notions of the impact of context concrete for
to considerably enrich their own portfolios. teachers and their students. Nevertheless,
The next three chapters move forward from there remains a wealth of material here to
‘Attentive Listening’, which is ‘directed draw on for the enterprising teacher in terms
listening’, that is, focused on musical of the ways activities might be structured,
elements and structured, through ‘Engaged developed progressively and differentiated.
Listening’ (the active participation by the ‘Creating World Music’ is the title of the
listener in some extent of music-making) and next chapter, which does a particularly good
‘Enactive Listening’ (the stylistically accurate job of attending to some of the anxieties that
performance of the work). I am taken with have existed in this field for decades, such as
this way of making the music live through the anguish over authenticity, respect, and so
participating in aspects of performance as on. Patricia Shehan Campbell comes up with
soon as possible. My surprise is that they are a pragmatic approach which I think works
presented as developmental phases, whereas very well. For example, she makes the point
my expectation would be that the youngest that ‘culture-bearers’ are generally positive

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Book Reviews

about the engagement of others with their Minds: Towards Embodied Teaching and
musics, and notes that this can happen Learning , Bresler both informs and provokes
effectively when there is respect and time questions about how we should understand
given to studying the particular music. the dualism of and relationship between
However, this does highlight again one of mind and body and how this is played out in
the difficulties of the comparative approach processes of education. This exciting book
apparent in some of the schedules suggested not only unveils a range of philosophical
at the start of the book. What is needed is perspectives and ‘reconstructions of our
some depth, and this book might have aided notion of the body’ (p. 10), it essentially
that further by referring to the other books in provides understandings about the nature
the series more fully. Another fundamental and role of the body in the processes of
issue in the book which I would support is education. It achieves this by providing some
the need to work with culture-bearers answers to questions about the uniqueness
(pp. 198, 212), with those who are best of the human body–mind connection as it is
placed to inform and help develop our work. manifested in different communities of
This again talks of depth rather than survey. practice, cultures and pedagogies within arts
As with Thinking Musically , I would like education settings in particular.
some chapters to be expanded, and others to This book forms volume 3 of a series
be subsumed or related to the case studies. called ‘Landscapes: The Arts, Aesthetics and
In the end I welcome the approach Education’, which aims to provide
taken by this series, I acknowledge much conceptual and empirical research in arts
careful work done in trying to bring vital education (including music, visual arts,
issues in world musics/ethnomusicology into drama, dance, media and poetry). As its title
the classroom more convincingly, and I am suggests, Knowing Bodies, Moving Minds
grateful for a wealth of ideas for activities has as its theme the experience of and
with which to negotiate in constructing my relationships between body–mind
teaching. But I am left wanting much more. connections as conceived by a
These may be the right books for their multidisciplinary team of leading scholars in
particular market but I think others may be various arts disciplines and human sciences.
disappointed. Its target audience is in the fields of
MALCOLM FLOYD educational research (including
University College, Winchester methodology and method), arts theory, arts
education, pedagogy and practice. This
timely and much welcomed book is destined
Knowing Bodies, Moving Minds: Towards to become influential in that it explores the
Embodied Teaching and Learning edited possibilities of the body in education at a
by Liora Bresler. London: Kluwer time when education is having to take on
Academic Publishers, 2004. xiii + 223 board potentially disembodied forms of
pp, £66, hardback. interaction in relation to technology.
Understanding the nature of bodily knowing
Intuitively, the importance of the bodily and its potential in teaching and learning
realm in education, and arts education in encounters, its presence and
particular, is obvious. And yet discourse interdependence across arts disciplines, in
about the role of the body is often marked by cross-cultural contexts and educational
its absence from the central areas of settings, are issues vigorously addressed
schooling. In Knowing Bodies, Moving throughout this book. The question of how

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schools, colleges and universities might shift The second section, ‘The Body in
a focus to the bodily experience in ways Educational Settings’, represents perspectives
other than through a respect for and on body and mind as applied within
cognisance of the body’s role in embodied chapters which are particularly valuable in
knowledge is perhaps less clear. situating the focus on curriculum
The aim of the book is to reverse the applications relating to dance education
Cartesian legacy and to rethink the role of (Liora Bresler, Susan Stinson, Judith
the cognitive or knowing body in classroom Davidson), and learning environments
education sites. Liora Bresler’s experience as ranging from classrooms to prisons (Janice
a performer, musicologist, arts writer, Ross). In addition, the richness of embodied
educator, ethnographer and university knowledge is seen through the interaction of
professor gave her the vision and passion to the body–mind of Taiko drumming
assemble a multidisciplinary, cross-cultural ensembles (Kimberly Powell) and school
team of scholars, each of whom writes curriculum and instruction in arts education
passionately about the implications of a new ( Judith Davidson) and moreover as a means
understanding of and insight into the for connecting theoretical interpretations and
centrality of embodied knowing. our teaching.
The book is organised in two sections. Taken as a whole, this book
In the first section, ‘Cultural and demonstrates the power of anchoring
Philosophical Contexts for Embodied research in the theoretical paradigms
Knowledge in Education’, a cluster of writers emanating from sociocultural studies –
discuss and theorise about bodily paradigms that embrace education and
knowledges and disciplinary practices using institutions as social, cultural and political
a range of theoretical and cultural lenses. sites of struggle, power and possibilities, all
Perspectives from phenomenology (Michael of which shape our body–mind engagement
Peters), somaesthetics (Richard Shusterman), with the world. The conclusions presented
ethnomusicology (Minette Mans), cultural across the book are well summarised by
psychology (Daniel Walsh) and early Davidson in the final chapter, where she
childhood education (Joseph Tobin) are calls us all to stop decoupling action from
introduced. These writers address critical content and to argue against the
aspects of what we take to be the central dichotomous view of mind and body that
problems of arts education, including the pervades the traditional ‘anti-body
nature of knowledge, of knowing, of orientation of schooling’ (p. 208).
learning, of thinking, of doing, of performing Knowing Bodies, Moving Minds offers
and, importantly, cross-cultural views of personal accounts, conceptions and
embodied knowledge in school and outside theorisations of knowing the work through
institutions. Although not all writers locate our bodies, as embodied and encoded
whatever they are writing about in relation to understanding through which our learning is
teaching and learning issues, and some transformed, enriched and deepened. And it
readers may feel themselves not ‘up to’ the requires of us the same demand for
level of philosophical discussion presented, awareness and the same will to seize the
we are invited to consider critically what meaning of our own personal experience of
kind of bodily knowledges and different body–mind connections as that meaning
body–mind constructions and experiences comes into being. It is a complex book in its
we promote and experience within our own diversity and in the profound topics
educational practices and applications. presented. However, this complexity shows

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Book Reviews

us that it is necessary to think in the various Bluebirds and Crows: Developing a Singing
dimensions involved, simultaneously, in the Culture In and Out of School edited by
teaching profession. The complexity of the Anice Paterson and Eileen Bentley.
book is a result of the complexity of the Matlock: National Association of Music
landscape of arts and education. We need to Educators (NAME), 2003. 55 pp, no
navigate among these different topics to price given, A4 paperback.
understand both the institution and its
teachers and our own practice at our The wide-ranging work of the National
institutions. Association of Music Educators (NAME) has
Teachers, students and researchers alike become ever more established over the last
may utilise this book as an extremely useful decade through dedicated leadership and
resource. They may ponder and reflect on enthusiastic involvement from a wide range
possibilities of embodied knowledge, of professionals. Its success and growing
perspectives on learning and teaching and impact on practice lies in making
about what they think and experience of our connections with the day-to-day work of
own embodied understanding of the world. music educators across a variety of contexts
This is an important reflection for all of us and notably those working in classrooms,
engaged in arts education in particular and drawing them out of potential isolation,
education in general, not only in providing practical support and opportunity
conservatories, academies and studios, but for fresh thinking.
in primary and secondary schools as well. Bluebirds and Crows, one of their
The manner in which we define who we are latest publications, represents an important
and how we see our profession is a facet of their work: the dissemination of the
primordial aspect in the determination of experience and knowledge of their
what we choose to do with our students in members. The book is presented as a
our classrooms. This book stimulates us to ‘mixture of research-based study and
reflect upon our relationship to the ways thoughtful practical experience’. It is not
knowledge is embodied and the forms by intended to supplement the ever expanding
which this knowledge is expressed in our library of teaching materials and vocal
own teaching. It raises interesting questions repertoire.
with regard to the opportunities we provide There are 13 contributions, ranging from
to explore and reflect on the body–mind the scholarly to the enthusiastic, and it is this
connection in learning and teaching, for in blend that makes for an engaging read. The
order to inform and provoke changes in the 55 A4 pages are set out in generous style and
institutions we must change ourselves first. It at times with some luminosity where grey
is therefore hoped that Knowing Bodies, print on red background may prove a
Moving Minds will serve as a catalyst for challenge for the reader. No single
change, for further research, and for contribution runs to more than 1,500 words
honouring the uniqueness of the human and one is a mere 300. Underpinning all
body–mind connection in education and arts contributions is the conviction that there
education. needs to be a culture of singing in all our
PAMELA BURNARD schools and that there is value in thinking
University of Cambridge about what we do and how we do it. Thus,
we find insight into the developing voice,
PENELOPE BEST guidance on the selection of repertoire, how
University of Surrey, Roehampton material is presented to learners and

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ultimately how to secure their enduring love Heyler writes on vocal health, Eileen Bentley
of singing. on achieving good tone quality, Patrick Allen
Graham Welch’s opening contribution on finding the perfect song. The publication
draws upon current research knowledge is rich in teaching strategies and bubbles
particularly applied to developing along with enthusiastic advocacies for
competency in the early stages of learning. singing.
There is the reminder that ‘much out-of-tune The work overall, while not addressing
singing is the product of asking children to the way vocal activity might relate to the
sing music that is inappropriate’. He wider music curriculum, including the
helpfully takes the reader inside the interface between ICT and the voice, or
‘body–mind’ of the young child grappling calling on the most expert witness in all this,
with managing words and pitch the perspective of the pupil, does much to
simultaneously. The contribution is an stimulate and encourage and is a useful
excellent example of practical wisdom addition to the growing library of
emanating from high quality research publications that seek to draw together the
counterpointed with a firm advocacy free whole community of British music educators.
from overwrought rhetoric. A second major JOHN FINNEY
contribution is made by Michael Stocks University of Cambridge
drawing on the legacy of Kodály and offering
principles of practice. Conscious of Instrumental Teaching in Nineteenth-
presenting the potentially alienating Century Britain by David J. Golby.
methodological orthodoxy that easily Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004. xvii + 380
emanates from the great music educators of pp, £55, hardback.
the past, Stocks underlines key principles
that lead to mind-making practices. The The historical study of instrumental
unfashionable notion of teaching children to pedagogy is relatively new, and, according
‘think music with the voice’ (might this not to the author, this is the first dedicated
be ‘thinking and feeling music with the account to focus on Britain. The problem for
voice’?) is central here, as is the maxim of the researcher is that there is a paucity of
voice before instrument. Yet, and almost contemporary descriptions of music lessons
predictibly, the argument at times falls into which might have provided the nitty gritty of
dogmatics. While convincing the reader of what was actually taught or learnt from the
the importance of sequencing learning, is it perspective of the teacher or pupil. Instead
really essential for the teacher to work in Golby deals with extant, published material
simple time before compound time? Taken such as treatises and tutors, supplemented by
out of a particular and closed private diaries and correspondence.
methodological framework such injunctions The first part of the book deals with the
feel uncomfortable. A third contribution of contextual background of music in Britain in
note is Malcolm Goldring’s review of the the nineteenth century. Music engendered
role of the vocal animateurs. He helpfully ambivalent feelings about whether it was an
sets out their working practices, bringing intellectual or mechanical skill, and there
valuable understanding to music teachers in was a huge gap between amateur and
school wishing to draw upon this expanding professional status. After 1850 there was a
resource. massive increase in the consumption of
Other contributors offer advice drawn music and practical instruction among
from personal working contexts. Mary middle-class girls and young women.

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Instrumental teaching (particularly the piano) and by 1910 a massed orchestra of several
became a secure and regular source of thousand elementary school children playing
income for the incoming army of women violins performed at the Crystal Palace.
teachers, and it created a kind of There is some consideration of other
semi-professionalism. In fact by the end of instruments in the book. Brass tuition in
the century teachers dominated the music particular is interesting as it was associated
profession and self-employed teachers with lower middle- and working-class males.
(mainly women) became the largest single Their progress was far more rapid than that
group within it. Hand in hand with the of their fellows in the lettered classes largely
burgeoning of this sector came the because in their music-making they moved
development of music colleges, ever ready, from home straight into the band, which
according to Golby, to cater for amateur immediately focused on public performance
consumerism rather than professional rather than on nurturng a polite, sheltered
demand. The level of diploma ‘mania’ did and largely self-gratifying accomplishment.
not help to encourage teacher quality. There Golby reckons it was this group of men who
is a later discussion in the book about the became the real achievers of instrumental
early years of the Royal Academy of Music, music in 19th-century Britain.
‘a preserve of mediocrity’, the Royal College The book ends with a warning: there is a
of Music, which was more practical and danger that current trends signal a return to
professional, and Kneller Hall, whose the priorities and prejudices of two centuries
success was achieved through a ago. It is far too easy for a ‘non-essential’
concentration upon centralisation, subject like music to suffer from high levels
specialisaton, standardisation and of ambivalence, particularly when funding
professionalism. issues come to the fore and it achieves
The main focus of the book is on the ‘luxury’ status.
teaching of the violin. It was Geminiani and This is an admirably researched and
Spohr who provided the models which authoritative study which has broken new
came to represent the technical and ground and will provide future researchers in
expressive ideas specific to British violin the field with valuable information,
playing. The benchmark was tasteful particularly regarding the plethora of the
performance epitomising order, refinement principal British instrumental treatises,
and control, all at one with Victorian ideas 1780–1900. Whilst the book might have
of progress. The distinction between benefited from some judicious editing with
virtuoso and artist characterised English regard to the mass of detail presented, it is
taste to a large extent: there was little undoubtedly a most significant contribution
concern for the latest technical devices. to the history of music education.
Although the latter nineteenth century saw GORDON COX
the increased involvement of women University of Reading
violin students, there were two general issues
which militated against this: the instrument’s Des représentations d’enseignants de
associations with sin, death and Satan, and musique relatives a l’évaluation des
its ascribed feminine gender in voice and performances musicales: Enquête sur
shape, but male-defined mode of les conceptions du Diplôme d’Études
performance. By the early years of the Musicales by Cédricia Maugars.
twentieth century, however, violin classes Brittany: Musiques et Danses en
were introduced into elementary schools, Bretagne. 192 pp, paperback, no price

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Book Reviews

given. Limited edition – available from specialist education in music outside the
Musiques et Danses en Bretagne, 1 rue school system, using either independent
du Prieuré, BP55 35410 Châteaugiron. teachers or as part of a music school or
conservatoire curriculum. The research
This is an interesting volume which would investigates the role of both examinations
not normally find its way into most music and evaluation in the preparation and
education libraries. It is a research report presentation of candidates for the diploma,
commissioned by the organisation Musiques and interviews were undertaken with 49
et Danses en Bretagne (Music and Dance in music teachers who presented candidates for
Brittany) which looks at particular issues the examination during one particular
surrounding the examination known as the academic year.
Diplôme d’Études Musicales, or DEM The whole assignment is unusual in that
(Diploma in Music Studies). In the United there is little or no tradition of research into
Kingdom, it is likely that such a report would the professional training of musicians in
have been used to inform the commissioning France and so a large proportion of the
organisation, and those involved in the references and research frameworks are
research and the limited edition of this drawn from the anglophone world, the
volume suggests that the same is true in United Kingdom, the United States and
Brittany. Australia being the principal sources. The
Why might the report be of interest to report recognises that this is the case and
those in the anglophone world? It is written suggests that many teachers and musicians
in French and at first sight might seem to be would benefit from careful examination of
of limited relevance to those working in their own systems to try to ensure that the
music education generally. French traditions current schemes and systems provide
of reporting, researching and publishing are appropriate training and assessment for the
perhaps different from those across the future development of professional
Channel, although in recent years musicians in France.
francophone writers in music education have Some of the major issues are that
become more prolific and have begun to courses in music at this level are optional,
infiltrate their near neighbours in ways that that is, they do not form part of the school
would have been unthinkable in the past. and further education compulsory
To understand this research report you curriculum and are taught in separate
need to know that there is a national institutions. However, in the classical
network of music and dance ‘schools’ tradition and for entry into conservatoires,
(further and higher education institutions) achievement of the DEM is a prerequisite.
and that the network in Brittany is formed in Another major point of discussion is that
collaboration with the local conservatoire. levels of achievement, although required, are
Regional conservatoires in France are more not nationally standardised, so although
numerous than in the UK, as are local music entry into conservatoires requires the award
schools, and they, rather than local authority of the diploma, it is hard to say whether (or
music services, offer much of the specialist not) standards are the same, or at least
teaching and training of musicians that equivalent, across the different regions of
occurs in France. France.
The report examines the experience of It was indeed brave of the Breton music
teachers and their students being presented and dance organisation to commission such
for the DEM. The DEM forms part of research to investigate the validity and

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Book Reviews

relevance of the examination and in the development of music over the past
approaches to it, since it was likely that 100 years.
many involved would find fault with some of In common with other volumes in the
the procedures and processes. In the end, the series, this Companion opens with a succinct
outcome was less controversial than might chronology, detailing salient events in the
have been anticipated and it has caused history of black Americans and their music,
many of those involved to question the aims, starting in 1619, the year the first African
methods and structures used in order to try to slaves disembarked on American soil. Allan
ensure a more impartial system of assessment Moore’s preface and introductory chapter,
and to consider new ways to evaluate surveying the present state of scholarship in
performance. A number of teachers have the field of blues and gospel, set the tone of
been introduced to the concept of formative lucid exposition and infectious love of the
evaluation as part of the assessment process, music that pervades the volume.
rather than relying on a ‘sudden death’ final Moore draws on a wide pool of
performance examination conducted by a contributors – scholars, historians and
jury whose motives may not always be as musicians – to convey a comprehensive
impartial as should be expected. It is clear picture of how these musics developed and
that Cédricia Maugars was able, through this what makes them distinctive. Writing on the
research, to present a number of alternative development of the blues, David Evans sums
modes of assessment and that these will be up the form: ‘it was [the African Americans’]
considered seriously by those working with music for dance and recreation, humor,
candidates in future. philosophy, courtship, even at times
This research report may signal the start approaching the status of a religious cult and
of some important changes in the systems of a way of life’. Evans shows how the words of
professional education in music in France, the blues intertwined with instrumental
and for that reason it is worth reading. accompaniments in call-and-response
JANET HOSKYNS patterns to create structures of extraordinary
University of Central England durability: ‘Ultimately blues would outlast
many of the genres and styles that it
influenced’. He is particularly good at
The Cambridge Companion to Blues and showing how a variety of literary and
Gospel Music edited by Allan Moore. musical tributaries flowed into the blues. He
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, sees a similarity between blues prosody and
2002. 208 pp, £45.00 hardback; £16.99 the iambic metre of English verse, while
paperback. stressing how ‘its accents would be
displaced, giving life and strength to the
Hard on the heels of the Cambridge syllables . . . This sort of improvisational
Companion to Jazz , reviewed last year in this variation is typical of African singing’. In a
journal, comes the present volume, edited by parallel chapter on the development of
Allan Moore. Like the jazz Companion, the gospel, Dom Cusic stresses the timelessness
Cambridge Companion to Blues and Gospel of the best spirituals and gospel songs: ‘They
Music is a stimulating and informative book are songs that can inspire joy or comfort in
that should be read by teachers, musicians sorrow, a verbalizing of people’s feelings
and anyone else interested in how the and thoughts. Within these songs are the
culture of African-American people has roots of blues, country, modern gospel and
proved such a positive and dominating force rock’n’roll’.

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Book Reviews

Later in the book, in what for me was (1995) in his guide to listening to jazz
the most delightful and enlightening chapter recordings, Graeme Boone selects 12 key
of all, Guido van Rijn draws attention to the recordings for detailed discussion. While
richness of imagery to be found in the lyrics Boone’s text is musically enlightening and
of both blues and gospel songs. Throughout perceptive (his analysis of Muddy Waters’s
their history, African-American people have ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’ could hardly be
consistently displayed an amazing knack of bettered), I felt his diagrams added little to
making the familiar strange by drawing on the insights already offered in his text. Why
the everyday with such economy and poetic not use conventional staff notation, a form of
precision. The lyrics of blues and gospel analysing and communicating musical ideas,
songs exemplify an almost infallible ear for in whatever idiom, that has been developed
the beauty of words, whether drawn from and refined over hundreds of years? For
contemporary life or derived from the example, a staff-notated transcription of the
sonorous cadences of the King James Bible. Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet’s a capella
Having now read several Cambridge performance of the ‘Golden Gate Gospel
Companions, I find that the present volume Train’ would have communicated the
does sometimes raise a question that the essence of the wonderfully intricate rhythmic
others also seem to pose: who is the web spun by the voices. Boone’s diagram, on
intended readership? Is it the general public the other hand, comes over as prosaic and
or a more specialist audience? (Judging by somewhat confusing.
some of the more arcane contributions to Three chapters concentrate on the
two recently published Companions on foremost vocal and instrumental media for
classical composers, I get the impression that blues and gospel: voice, guitar and
these are chapters written by professors to keyboard. Barb Jungr’s detailed chapter on
impress other professors!) To be fair, the vocal expression leaves the reader in no
Cambridge Companion to Blues and Gospel doubt that the vocal production, nuance and
Music does keep a general readership in finesse that go into black vocal styles are
mind and does not contain an excess of responsible for musical expression of infinite
over-specialised writing. However, when the power and subtlety. Matt Backer sees the
subject matter under consideration is music guitar as the prime medium for sonic
orally transmitted and aurally assimilated, it experimentation, from the ‘grooves etched in
does make the act of compiling a book stone’ created by Robert Johnson and the
about it somewhat problematic. Without early use of amplification by artists such as
recorded illustrations to support points made B. B. King. These paved the way for the
in the text (in many ways much of it would experiments in amplification and sound
come over better as a series of radio modification practised from the late 1960s
broadcasts), the writers do sometimes find onwards by musicians such as Jimi Hendrix
themselves having to resort to specialised and Eric Clapton. Where the keyboard is
language and, in places, diagrams when concerned, Adrian York, himself active in the
addressing musical issues directly. UK in promoting young people’s
Given the willingness of contributors to performance and musicianship skills in pop
use this terminology, it is surprising that there and rock, gives a wide-ranging account of
is a seeming reluctance to use conventional the impact of barrelhouse, gospel and
musical notation. Using a methodology boogie piano styles which eventually led to
reminiscent of Ian MacDonald in his book the development of the rhythmic basis for
on the Beatles (1994) and of Barry Kernfeld early rock’n’roll.

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Book Reviews

In the concluding chapter, Dave Steve Tracy’s account of the changing


Headlam writes on appropriations of blues performance conditions for blues and gospel
and gospel in popular music. More than any artists might have made a more suitable
other contributor, Headlam comes armed closing chapter. Tracy writes vividly of the
with an agenda that is quick to criticise the lives of itinerant musicians and the hardships
commercialisation and mass production of they had to endure to get their music
styles that originated in communities where performed in their communities, and out to
simple survival came before even the wider world through the medium of the
considering any form of profit motive. concert hall and the recording studio. The
However, I am somewhat uneasy about his accounts of the racial discrimination they
sweeping condemnation of white endured are appalling; yet, as one musician
appropriations of black culture. He says put it, the quiet persistence of black
rather sniffily of the Rolling Stones and other musicians in getting their voices heard
British bands of the 1960s: ‘Along with eventually had its impact not just in
the riff and guitar timbre, they substituted the America, but across the globe: ‘I’ll tell you
banalities of American advertising for the the major contribution. Without getting up
blues male macho sentiments of the [Muddy on the soap box, without having marches,
Waters] original. This loss of meaning in we brought blacks and whites together with
British reworkings of American blues was a music’. Indeed, this statement could
necessary part of the reason for its success epitomise the entire book and the cultures
with white audiences in the U.S’. While that it celebrates.
David Evans concluded earlier in the book
that ‘although its stylistic development has
References
slowed, blues has increased and broadened
its audience, until today it is more popular KERNFELD, B. (1995) What to Listen for in Jazz.
than ever’, Headlam claims that ‘with the rise Yale: Yale University Press.
of rap, blues has become largely a historical MACDONALD, I. (1994) Revolution on the Head:
The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties. London:
form’. Headlam’s polemic is interesting and
Fourth Estate.
provocative, but I wonder if it really forms an
appropriate conclusion to an otherwise PIERS SPENCER
balanced and enlightening volume. University of Exeter

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