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A Brief Overview of Music & Music Education in the History of Ideas --from Antiquity to the Present James F. Daugherty, Ph.D. University of Kansas. Question:. What do Stadium Australia and the 2001Sydney Olympics have to do with the history and philosophy of music education?.
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--from Antiquity to the Present
James F. Daugherty, Ph.D.
University of Kansas
What do Stadium Australia and the 2001Sydney Olympics have to do with the history and philosophy of music education?
Advance Australia Fair
for the Greeks, a combination of music, poetry(text), and dance;
broadly, any human activity
governed by the Muses
--from THE TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT (March 6, 1995):
My daughter was thrilled to try out for Sable Palm Chorus that fourth-and fifth-graders only are allowed to participate. She approached me with the idea a week ago about tryouts, in which I encouraged her. I thought chorus would improve her self-esteem.
Unfortunately, she and others were not accepted for chorus, and she was heartbroken. I’m not aware of the criteria for acceptance in chorus, except for singing abilities. Let’s be reasonable. These are 9- and 10-year old students with singing voices that have not developed, as opposed to teen-agers.
Years ago, when I was in school, whomever was interested in joining the chorus would simply sign up. There wasn’t any such of a thing as tryouts. Chorus is a school activity, which enhances kids to become sociable, to build self-confidence and to learn team effort. Any and every student who desires to join the elementary chorus should be able to, regardless of their singing abilities.
If the issue is about limitation on students in the chorus, then there should be two groups, in addition to other types of activities for students that would perhaps build their confidence.
Carmelita M. Williams
What’s the solution to trouble in
His “influence on the ideas, and thereby on the destiny, of the human race was probably greater than that of any single man before or after him.”
--Arthur Koestler, The Sleepwalkers
The Pythagoreans, as they are called, devoted themselves to mathematics; they were the first to advance this study, and having been brought up in it they thought its principles were the principles of all things. Since of these principles numbers are by nature the first, and in numbers they seem to see many resemblances to the things that exist and come into being; …since, again, they say that the attributes and ratios of the musical scales were expressible in numbers; since, then, all other things seemed in their whole nature to be modeled after numbers, and numbers seemed to be the first things in the whole of nature, they supposed the elements of numbers to be the elements of all things, and the whole heaven to be a musical scale and number.”
Once as Pythagoras was intently considering music, and reasoning with himself whether it would be possible to devise some instrumental assistance to the sense of hearing, so as to systematize it, as sight is made precise by the compass, rule, and surveying instrument, or touch is made reckonable by balance and measure--so thinking of these things Pythagoras happened to pass by a brazier’s shop, where he heard the hammers beating out a piece of iron on an anvil, producing sounds that harmonized, except one. But he recognized in these sounds the concord of the octave, the fifth, and the fourth. He saw that athe sound between the fourth and the fifth, taken by itself, was a dissonance, and yet completed the great sound among them.
X X X
X X X X
1-->unity, identity, equality
2-->dyad; principle of dichotomy
3-->emblem of beginning, middle, end
4-->number of points required to construct a pyramid, the simplest of the perfect solids
Adding together these four numbers=10, the basis of Pythagorean and our mathematics
A young man from Taormina had been up all night partying with friends and listening to songs in the Phrygian mode, a key well known for its ability to incite violence. When the aggravated lad saw the girl he loved sneaking away in the wee hours of the morning from the home of his rival, he determined to go burn her house down.
Pythagoras happened to be out late himself, star-gazing, and he walked in on this violent scene. He convinced the piper to change his tune from the Phrygian mode to a song in spondees, a tranquilizing meter. The young man’s madness instantly cooled, and he was restored to reason.
--from a biography of Pythagoras by Iamblichus
Pythagoras believed that “the motion of bodies that size must produce a noise, since on our earth the motion of bodies far inferior in size and speed of movement has that effect. Also, when the sun and the moon, they say, and all the stars, so great in number and in size, are moving with so rapid a motion, how should they not produce a sound immensely great? Starting from this argument, and the observation that their speeds, as measured by their distances, are in the same ratios as musical concordances, they assert that the sound given forth by the circular movement of the stars is a harmony.”
--Aristotle, On the Heavens
Musica speculativa reflected still today in curricula of such institutions as
University of Virginia
A Case Study of Interactions Between Ethos & Symbolism
“Let vocal Music be examined by this standard….
Morally: There is,-- who has not felt it--, a mysterious connection, ordained undoubtedly for wise purposes, between certain sounds and the moral sentiments of man….It is an ultimate law of man’s nature….Now it is a curious fact, that the natural scale of musical sound can only produce good, virtuous, and kindly feelings….And, if such be the case,, if there be this necessary concordance between certain sounds and certain trains of moral feeling, is it unphilosophical to say that exercises in vocal Music may be so directed and arranged as to produce those habits of feeling of which these sounds are types….These qualities are connected intimately with the moral government of the individual. Why should they not, under proper management, be rendered equally efficient in the moral government of the school?”
--from THE NEW YORK TIMES (February 9, 1997):
To the Editor:
Bernard Holland in “Listening Is Either/Or. Or Is It? (Feb. 2), asks, “Does one turn the pages of ‘A Man Without Qualities’ while making love?” Perhaps this would indeed require being in a sexual position unknown to Masters and Johnson, but where is the lover who is not carried away, whose ardor is not enhanced, by the sound of a violin or a guitar? Where is the soldier who is not encouraged by the military march or patriotic anthem? Where is the pious man unmoved by the sound of the organ or choir?
Music has always been an accompaniment to other activities, and, far from lowering the status of music, this situation has usually raised it.
Old governments that understood their purpose to be the formation of human character rather than the protection of rights knew that certain kinds of music lend themselves to certain kinds of activities and to certain forms of soul or character. Therefore, they took music seriously and even practiced censorship.
Mr. Holland’s real complaint is that classical music is now an accompaniment to shopping rather to other, more serious activities, and, with this, Mr. Holland makes a fair point about the silliness of modern life. But I wonder if he would prefer to return to political orders in which the question of character (and, therefore, music) is of primary importance and in which consumerism does not exist. If Mr. Holland likes liberal democracy, then he must stop whining about Mozart being piped into Bloomingdale’s for democracy and consumerism are concomitant.
Music as Art
Music as Fine Art
“Pythagoras’ discovery of the arithmetical basis of musical intervals was not just the beginning of music theory; it was the beginning of science. For the first time, man (sic) discovered that universal truths could be explained through systematic investigation and the use of symbols such as mathematics.”
-J. James, The Music of the Spheres
Emergence of “aesthetic” philosophy
Opposite of “anaesthetic,” or non-feeling
“Aesthetic” not a term in the human vocabulary until Baumgarten in the mid 1700’s.
Is the Music Education Division at the University of Kansas better lodged in the School of Education, or the School of Fine Arts?
Is the Department of Music more appropriately lodged in the School of Fine Arts or the College of Arts and Sciences?
Conclusion to his study of practical music in German elementary schools, 1600-1750:
the more “practical music was cultivating an agenda of its own,” the more “music sowed the seeds of its ultimate demise as a fundamental element of education”
John Butt, Music Education and the Art of Performance in the German Baroque (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 13.
Largely modern, but with some obvious historical roots
“…a spark of perfection, just a glimpse, remains with man (sic) enough so that he may recognize his Creator. It comes in different shapes and forms. One of those forms is the gift of music. It’s the only form of art that will exist in heaven. God gave it to us so that we can praise Him.”
--Eph Ehly, UMKC, as interviewed in Quest for Answers, ed. Carole Glenn (Chapel Hill, NC: Hinshaw, 1991), 125-126.
“For music, despite the saw about its being an international language, is many things to many people, places, and times.”
--James R. Oestreich, The New York Times, Sunday, January 22, 2001, p 30 Arts & Leisure (on why the 1980 edition of Grove’s decided not to have an entry on music).
We “could find no one person who could have written on ‘music’ and the changing significance of the term through the ages.”
--Editor of TheNew Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians
--Lawrence A. Cremin