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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24769

Title: Dancing about Architecture in a Performative Space: Discourse, Ethics and the Practice of Music Education
Authors: Humphreys, Julian
Advisor: Gould, Elizabeth
Department: Music
Keywords: Music
Issue Date: 13-Aug-2010
Abstract: British singer/songwriter Elvis Costello once said, “Talking about music is like dancing about architecture – it’s a really stupid thing to want to do” (in Brackett, 1995, p. 157). In this thesis I talk not only about music but I also talk about talk about music, perhaps an even stupider thing to want to do. But I do so because recent critical discourses in musicology and music education suggest talk about music is an inherent part of music, such that if we talk about music at all we must additionally talk about talk about music. But in talking about talk about music we are called upon to talk about talk. Consequently this thesis divides into five parts. In Part I I talk about talk with a discussion of performativity. I outline three different conceptions of the performative, showing how ethics inheres in language, with talk about talk necessarily being talk about ethics to some extent. In Part II I talk about talk about music, showing how musicology has attempted to respond to this ethical dimension of talk with a “new” musicology. In Part III I write in a number of different genres, exploring the discursive norms governing genres of writing about music and musicians and how they impact what we take music to be. Thus I write in philosophical, ethnographic, genealogical, narratological, autobiographical and literary forms, concluding that literary writing on music and musicians acts as a meta-discourse on music, bringing multiple different discourses into dialogue within a single unified text. In Part IV I explore the implications of literary writing about music and musicians for the practice of music education with critical readings of four novels, concluding with the recommendation that a “Non-foundational approaches to music education” course be offered as part of music teacher education programs, in addition to the more traditional “Foundational approaches to music education” course. In Part V I provide two annotated bibliographies for teachers interested in teaching such a course and for those who simply wish to further their understanding of music and music education through critical engagement with literary texts about music and musicians.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24769
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Faculty of Music - Doctoral theses

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