Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Large Ensemble/European Classical Music Paradigm and African American-Originated Dance-Musicking: A Dispositival Analysis of U.S. Secondary Music Education
by Whitesides, Vance J., Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2017, 293; 10258865
Abstract (Summary)

This study examined the historical and contemporary debate among music educators in U.S. public secondary schools over the viability of the large ensemble paradigm—choirs, bands, orchestras—and its valorization of European classical music, versus the introduction of popular music and its attendant mode of informal learning in small groups. Using theoretical and historical concepts from the work of Michel Foucault, this study established the concern for social order in the Progressive Era, the simultaneous interest in elite European culture as a regulatory device, and the emergence of the comprehensive high school as the framework in which the large ensemble paradigm was constituted. It contrasted this paradigm with the contemporaneous proliferation of African American-originated dance-musicking, which derived its popularity, in part, as a participatory form of musicking, and which destabilized dominant constructions of class, race and gender/sexuality through its practices—above all, its integration with dancing. This genealogy of the oppositional relationship between the two types of musicking provided the foundation for a critical analysis of music education discourse, based on key 20th-century texts produced by the National Association for Music Education that defined the large ensemble paradigm and articulated its rationale. This analysis revealed that many of the beliefs, assumptions, and practices of music education as defined in the US in the first half of 20th century still constrained the debate over the use of popular music in secondary schools in the 21st century by inhibiting a full appreciation of the kinesthetics of African American-originated dance-musicking.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ali, Arshad I.
Commitee: Casemore, Brian, Tekleselassie, Abebayehu A., Wald, Gayle F., Wells, Vanessa C.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Educational Administration & Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: American studies, Education history, Music education
Keywords: Body, Class, Foucault, Informal, Popular, Race
Publication Number: 10258865
ISBN: 9781369651485
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