Music & Practice, Volume 3, 2017


‘Future musicianship and present educational practices’: Eight questions on the future of the conservatoire as an institution

by Erlend Hovland | Read Full Text

Survey: Responses

Stefan Gies

AEC Chief Executive, former rector of Hochschule für Musik Dresden | Read Full Text

Jeremy Cox

Former AEC Chief Executive and former Dean of the Royal College of Music in London | Read Full Text

Stephen Broad

Head of Research and Knowledge Exchange at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland | Read Full Text

Daniel Leech-Wilkinson

Emeritus Professor of Music at King’s College London | Read Full Text

Tanja Orning

Cellist and postdoctoral research fellow at the Norwegian Academy of Music | Read Full Text


On Education, Drumming and Strumming

by Christina Kobb | Read Full Text


Tertiary musical performance education: An artistic education for life or an out-dated concept of musicianship?

by Esther Bishop and Martin Troendle | Read Full Text

Fundamental changes within the sphere of classical music have raised the question of how institutions of higher education in music, especially performance programmes, are reacting to these changes. This study evaluates the kinds of careers in classical music available today, and the knowledge and skills needed by music performance graduates to succeed. 319 graduates from German conservatories completed an online questionnaire. The results are consonant with an internationally observed tendency towards freelance and ‘portfolio careers’ among musicians, rather than permanent employment with state funded orchestras. The results of this study support the hypothesis that there is a discrepancy between the non-musical skills acquired during education and those necessary for their professional occupations in Germany. The results also show a reluctance to include contextual subjects, such as audience development, music sociology and cultural policy in the music curriculum.

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Becoming a musician in practice: a case study

by Brit Ågot Brøske and Jon Helge Sætre | Read Full Text

This article presents results from a case study exploring forms of professional work placement in specialist higher music education. The aim is to understand what and how students learn in and from two different placement settings, and to discuss work placement in the light of value, relevance and learning. Empirical data is collected through focus group interviews with students taking part in a multi-activity project week and in a professional orchestra placement programme, both parts of a Master’s programme at the Norwegian Academy of Music. The findings indicate that both of these contexts of practice are perceived valuable and relevant by the students. The contexts are different in the sense that they stimulate different sets of questions, and offer different ways of learning. The multi-activity week seems to open and expand perspectives on future musicianship, while the orchestra placement programme is a more focussed entry into understanding orchestra cultures. A common finding is however important interconnections between learning and social relations.

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Embodied experience of rock drumming

by Gareth Dylan Smith | Read Full Text

This paper discusses embodiment in performance of rock music at the drum kit in an ensemble context. An autoethnographic account of playing rock drums is framed with reference to theoretical constructs of aesthetic experience and eudaimonia, as the author locates understanding and knowledge of the rock drumming domain between body and mind, between feeling, listening and knowing. The article focuses on the process and personal experience of rock music practice, including recollections from rehearsals, personal practice and performance. It draws together theoretical, mental, emotional and somatic aspects of rock drumming, arguing that music scholars ignore bodily knowledge at our peril.

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Fantasizing at the guitar: Remarks on the compositional practice of Hector Berlioz

by Erlend Hovland | Read Full Text

This article argues that not only did Berlioz use the guitar as a compositional tool, he also improvised or fantasized at the guitar during his compositional process. In the first part, I look closely at written sources that have been largely ignored by scholars, which may confirm the active use of the guitar in composing and extemporizing. In the second part I examine two crucial passages from the Symphonie fantastique for which the facsimile of the autograph luckily preserves highly different versions. Playing these passages on and transcribing them for the guitar makes the composer’s dependence on the instrument clear. Interestingly, the rewriting of these passages, effectuated after the first performance in 1832, inscribes musical figurations in the orchestra that could not have been conceived on any other instrument.

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Issue editors

Dr. Erlend Hovland, Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo, Editor-in-chief
Christina Kobb, Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo, Issue Editor