Title page for ETD etd-3013211349721321

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Hauger, Karin Th.
Author's Email Address jshauger@vt.edu
URN etd-3013211349721321
Title "There Must Be Musical Joy:" An Ethnography of a Norwegian Music School
Degree PhD
Department Teaching and Learning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Burnsed, C. Vernon
Husser, John S.
Lichtman, Marilyn V.
Wildman, Terry M.
Nespor, Jan K. Committee Chair
  • education
  • Norway
  • talent
  • music
Date of Defense 1997-03-30
Availability unrestricted

"There Must Be Musical Joy:" An Ethnography of a

Norwegian Music School Karin Th. Hauger

(ABSTRACT) This study seeks to discuss issues and

practices as found among three musicians, their

classrooms, rehearsals and performances in a music

school in Asker, Norway. The issues explored are more

generally "Western" than specifically Norwegian. The main

topic centers on emotional dimensions in musical contexts

where people actively play musical instruments and/or

sing. "Working" musical contexts are marked by

participants who approximate each others' developmental

levels and skills, physically, cognitively and emotionally.

They are characterized by people who are able and willing

to tap into musical as well as human inner resources and

share those with students, other musicians and audiences.

Musical joy is a Norwegian expression that I borrow to

describe the essential element in "working" musical

contexts. The nature of these emotional nuances are

explored as physical movement, tension between

unfocused and focused sound, and expanded

consciousness. Musical phenomena observed in

Norwegian contexts are discussed in terms of cognitive

categorization processes that tend to confirm the social

construction of musical genres, institutions, instruments and

musicians. Cognitive processes as well as emotional

dimensions such as musical joy and talent may be parts of

innate capacities that are then constructed in social

interactions throughout life. Observations at the

Norwegian music school confirm that traditional

conservatory practices combined with ensemble

experiences are effective in enhancing instrumental and

vocal skills. These practices are costly and difficult to

implement as part of a "music for all" philosophy in

Western societies where art music is peripheral to

everyday practice. I suggest that value in music be

expanded to include different musical genres and levels of

aesthetics. A redefinition of music to include practices

other than sound may also be useful in terms of a

philosophy of "music for everyone." Neither expanded

value nor a redefinition of music will prove particularly

effective in terms of making music central to the public

school curriculum in Norway or the U.S. Music education

as aesthetic education from a process or a product

perspective will remain peripheral as long as there is an

imbalance in the value society ascribes to intellect and


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