Dissertation Abstract




Ideologies of Music Education: A Pragmatic, Historical Analysis

of the Concept "Music" In Music Education In The United States


James Scott Goble



Degree:           PH.D.

Year:             1999

Pages:            00497

Institution:      The University of Michigan; 0127

Advisor:          Chair James A. Standifer


Source:           DAI, 60, no. 05A (1999): p. 1493


The influx of students from diverse cultural backgrounds and the appearance of music from many different cultural traditions in the United States have raised a quandary among music educators over what music should be included in the music education curriculum of the nation's public schools. Also, support for public school music classes has been inconsistent throughout the history of the nation, since the varied and changing views held by the nation's citizens concerning the personal and societal importance of music have often made its inclusion in the curriculum difficult to justify. These two problems give rise to the question: What is the societal purpose of public school music education in the United States as an emerging post-modern society?

          Applying the pragmatic philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce to the forms of "musical activity" manifested in different world societies reveals these forms as a diverse cluster of community-specific behaviors or practices involving sound, each of which serves those who meaningfully participate in it as a vital means of psychosocial equilibration relative to the ideology—or ordered conception of Reality—they tacitly embody. It also reveals that awareness of the ideological particularity and the concomitant personal and societal benefit of participation in some form of "musical activity" have been obscured among United States citizens owing to certain factors stemming from the nation's constitutional separation of church and state and its embrace of democratic capitalism as its social system. The progressiveness of this obfuscation is reflected in the changing ways music educators have conceptualized "music" since the European colonization of North America began—first as a means of worship, later as a form of art, and more recently as a mere product of the human mind.

          Modifying music education curricula in United States public schools to introduce students gradually to different cultural forms of "musical activity" as culturally relative means of psychosocial equilibration would resolve the two problems cited above, raising public understanding of the human significance of "musical activity" and confirming the importance of public school music education for maintaining the egalitarian ideals of the nation.



Descriptor:       EDUCATION, MUSIC


Accession No:     AAG9929830

Provider:        OCLC

Database:         Dissertations