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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Intercultural Music Transmission at the Dagara Music Center and Development of Musical Interspace
by Beauregard, Julie, Ph.D., University of Rochester, 2012, 356; 3508377
Abstract (Summary)

Several voices within music education discourse call for expansion of the field's boundaries in response to globalization and intercultural contact. Topical dialogues related to multiculturalism, world music, culturally responsive education, and global citizenship are prominent, with world music pedagogies finding increasing importance in American music education practice. While Americans increasingly travel to study in the home country of musical culture bearers, no systematic study of what occurs in these instances has been documented. The student perspective on intercultural music transmission is likewise underrepresented.

In this study I investigate music transmission processes between teachers and learners of two disparate culture groups. The central guiding question is: What happens when West African master musicians teach American students in a school environment located in the teachers' home country? Three nested questions are also addressed: 1. How do West African master musicians structure learning experiences for American students, and for what purposes? 2. How do American students respond to the modes of transmission used? 3. How does the intercultural context, particularly its geographical/environmental elements, impact the transmission processes that take place?

Ethnographic methods are employed, including immersive fieldwork to study the phenomenon in situ at the Dagara Music Center in Ghana, West Africa. Theoretical sampling is employed in data collection and selection, and analysis proceeds via coding, categorization, diagramming, and ongoing theorizing to allow themes addressing guiding questions to emerge.

Five primary themes include West African master musicians' identity, American students' orientation, instruction at the Dagara Music Center, points of disjuncture, and community interdependence. Findings indicate culture-specific conceptions of place/time and being a “teacher;” impact of the body and its states of social, emotional, and physical discomfort on students' learning processes; and the significant pedagogical uniformity between instructors at the DMC. I conclude with implications for further research and music education practice.

I offer a rationale for a theory of musical interspace, with a model developed from four attributes: intercultural music transmission, embodied knowledge, tension/discomfort, and trans-temporalocality. The theory of musical interspace has potential for application in domestic and international contexts, illuminating the educational impact of centering participants and location in music transmission.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fox, Donna Brink
Commitee: Koskoff, Ellen, Silvey, Philip
School: University of Rochester
Department: Eastman School of Music
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Music, Multicultural Education, Music education
Keywords: Dagara Music Center, Ethnographic, Ghana, Intercultural, Master musician, Music transmission, World music
Publication Number: 3508377
ISBN: 978-1-267-34089-4
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