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A Historical Report: Music Appreciation and Music Listening

The rise and fall of praxial music, the present dichotomy between teachers and students, and hopes for the future of music listening and appreciation in Amercia

Martina Vasil

on 13 September 2011

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Transcript of A Historical Report: Music Appreciation and Music Listening

Historical Report:
Music Listening
Appreciation Listening: "to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing" and "to pay attention; heed" Music appreciation: "cultivation of an understanding and sensitive awareness of music, esp. as taught in schools" Therefore, this report will explore:
How and why people have historically paid attention and heeded music (listening)
How they have cultivated their understanding and awareness of music (appreciation)
Developments that have impacted the role of music listening and appreciation in American education: past to present. ("Music appreciation", n.d.) ("Listening," n.d) 650 B.C. 1700 Industrial Revolution (1820-1870) Two Developments in Technology Progressive Education Movement More diverse content in music appreciation

Partly because of wide immigration of the time
Francis Elliot Clark supported folk music along with classical music

A dichotemy still existed: folk vs classical
Music appreciation text: chronologically progresses from folk music to the classical music period: indicates moving from simple to complex
Folk music should be understood and appreciated: not comparable to the works of prominent composers
Folk songs help students fully grasp of the classics: these works sometimes incorporated folk material (as cited in Hardesty, 2011) New wave of working class people and immigrants
Cultural patrons were attempting to elevate artistic tastes above the common people
Patrons of culture and social elite began make criteria and institutions for high art to teach people how to appreciate art and how to behave
Must listen to music with reverence shown through disciplined seriousness Music appreciation movement
Followed this development of institutions
School became one of the institutions to put the appreciation of the classics against other musics Phonograph: early 20th century 1900-1920 (Hardesty, 2011)
New opportunities for listening to music (Mark & Gary, 2007)
Beginnings of a true study of music appreciation and listening (Hardesty, 2011)
Large focus on the classics of Western art music
Used to prepare students for music listening contests, music memory contests at height 1910-early 1920s (Hardesty, 2011)

Frances Elliot Clark:
taught music appreciation classes
became the authority in using the phonograph and supervised the preparation of recordings for materials
Clark established the Education Department for the Victor Talking Machine Company (Mark & Gary, 2007)
In America, some developments in music listening and appreciation paralleled those in Europe, while other trends were new. Historically, music listening and appreciation has been tied to social purposes (Regelski, 2006) Greeks
religious ceremonies
to develop loyalty to state
accompany war Ancient Jewish Tradition
accompanied work in the fields
church (Mark & Gary, 2007) 900 B.C. Aristotle
(from http://vccslitonline.vccs.edu/tragedy/aristotle.htm) Late Renaissance Philosophers support Plato's philosophy: developed into an aesthetic theory of music (Regelski, 2006) encouraged the idea of ‘knowing’ as a ‘detached contemplation’ rather than active practice (Regelski, 2006) 384 B.C. 1300 A.D. 1600 A.D. Aesthetic Doctrine
‘Good’ music:
should be contemplated
proper ‘appreciation’ depends on informed understanding
the source of true beauty and is ‘for itself’=it is above daily life
'other' music is lower, less musical value

a disconnect of music from life-viewing it from afar
marginalizes people who appreciate 'other' music (Regelski, 2006) From ancient times to the Enlightenment in Europe, amateur musicians are appreciating music and listening to music through active engagement-something that people did to serve social purposes (Regelski, 2006) Although most of history has show music listening and appreciation to be linked to social practice, this thread of aesthetic views has been an undercurrent--until it gained strength during the 18th Century (Regelski, 2006) Enlightenment Industrial Revolution During 18th century, two events lead to the dominance of an aesthetic view on music appreciation and listening: the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution (Regelski, 2006) The idea of human progress and having power over one's fate

The idea of "fine art" was introduced; enthusiasm for reason and the scientizing of music
Music is an aesthetic science; a 'cerebral art of pure ideas'
Study of music theory, increased specialization and segmentation of musical knowledge
As a result, music was a process of 'intra-musical progress'; each era builds upon the next technically and rationally improves
Musical resources and ideas advance and improve. The industrial society gave rise to an elite class that wanted public concerts
At first amateurs were common and popular, but they gave way to the 'professionalizing' of performers and the the rise of the virtuoso 1850
Institutions were designed to uphold this: museums, concerts
School became one of those institutions: music used to convert people to an elevated musical taste "A hierarchy of music has been created that promotes a social status consciousness based on musical tastes--a sense of social ‘distinction’" (as cited in Regelski, 2006, p. 282). (Regelski, 2006) (Regelski, 2006) (Regelski, 2006)
The radio
1920s, increasingly incorporated into the classroom (Hardesty, 2010)

Alice Keith and D.C. Boyle
used radio for teaching music (Mark & Gary, 2007)
Keith- "Listening in on the Masters", a music appreciation course used with radio and records (Mark & Gary, 2007)

1930s "Music Appreciation Hour" on Walter Damrosch’s Friday morning NBC program (Mark & Gary, 2007)
Teacher manuals, students notebooks, lists of music to be played (Mark & Gary, 2007) A child-centered education
Music appreciation was used to aid in the three developmental stages
1.Sensory development (grades 1-3)
2.Associative period (grades 4-6)
3.Adolescent period (grades 7-8, high school)
Clark’s book, "Music Appreciation for Little Children" was designed especially for the sensory period (Mark & Gary, 2007) This new technology and influence of diverse music then led to the rise of importance and preference of 'other' and popular musics A new meaning attached to ‘art and culture’ is defined; the fine, beautiful and worthy is separate from ordinary society To understand music properly:
Theoretical and historical knowledge
Listener must be trained in order to truly have the meaning and value of music

Entire industry created to facilitate this learning
Music appreciation courses and texts in universities and schools (general music classes)
"Music appreciation as connoisseurship" (MAAC); watered down versions of music history and theory to gives students enough background to understand and therefore appreciate good music
Instrumental music: if students do not become amateur musicians, they at least have enough background information to have ‘appreciative listening’ Elevating the requirements of music appreciation and listening (Regelski, 2006) So WHAT? Teachers vs. Students
Schools are criticized for not teaching classical music well enough to students
Distance between society and classical music
Classical concerts: low audience attendance, need for government support and patrons
Thus, music educators sense a mounting need to defend music education in schools

A fundamental problem
MAAC principle of equating understanding with appreciating: results in teaching ‘about’ music in abstract terms that dulls students and leades to distaste
Listeners are also increasingly interested in other musics, despite not having a historical and theoretical knowledge Effects on music listening and appreciation today (Regelski, 2006) Recommendations A modern view on listening (Regelski, 2006) Music in practice
Music exists for use in human social practices, not solely to be understood!
Reconnecting music to life will reconnect the separation of school music vs music outside of school

Life-long interest and participation in music: amateur musicians
According to Regelski (2006), "Appreciation, then, is not something you ‘know’ (although knowledge and skill are involved); it is something you do" (p. 298).
Being an expert in the knowledge is not a pre-requisite for you participation (as it is today)
Appreciation is assessed through seeing students 'rewardingly engaging' in musical practices Return to music as a practice: A praxial approach to music listening and appreciation (Regelski, 2006) Audience listening is its own musical practice; anyone can become a listener, even an expert, without formal background or performance experience
Enhance listening through directed lessons
Include a variety of relevant musics in connection with applied study
Relevant music: music a particular student is likely to find attractive or readily accessible
Options for future listening in life are expanded when teaching partially focuses on what people listen to everyday Praxial Aesthetic Praxial and
Aesthetic? Plato Educate the ideal citizen through gymnastics and music: music must be carefully selected to properly influence moral behavior (Mark & Gary, 2007) This led to:
A decline in amateur music-making (in classical genres)
Listening became more widespread musical skill than performing and composing (Regelski, 2006) “Therefore, the belief is that simply performing the literature studied somehow enables the performer to listen with an insider’s understanding to other literature with appreciation when an audience member" (Regelski, 2006, p. 291). (Regelski, 2006) (Hardesty, 2011)
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