Music, Pedagogy and Community

A symposium at University of South Wales, hosted by the Creative Industries Research Institute and the Theatre, Music and Media Drama Research Group

Saturday, 5th of March 2016, the ATRiuM, 86-88 Adam Street, Cardiff

Keynote speaker: Professor Raymond MacDonald, University of Edinburgh

Convener: Dr Robert Smith

Music, Pedagogy and Community Symposium

The University of South Wales and the Creative Industries Research Institute will host a symposium on 5th of March on music, pedagogy and community. The symposium will explore ideas of how musical participatory practices can build a sense of community, and how pedagogical practices, formal but also and possibly more importantly informal, are a part of the process of social continuity in certain societies, cultures or sub-cultures.

The symposium will look at the ways that musical participation can be fostered and used to build communities around the notion of musical practice. In some ways this is an attempt to re-create processes that occur more organically in musical cultures such as the informal musical practices of New Orleans where streetbands represent an unbroken musical tradition that brought together African-American musical structures and European instrumentation in the mid nineteenth-century, Tango music in Buenos Aries where a musical rhythm and associated dance movements almost define a city’s culture, and South India, where musical traditions in opposition to a powerful ‘mainstream’ of Hindustani classical music and Bollywood pop music are celebrated and perpetuated with independence and pride.

Similar stories to these examples are probably available from all over the world, whether musical practice links with other areas of cultural practice such as religion, ritual, food and clothing customs to perpetuate a way of life. Sometimes these perpetuating activities are a radical resistance to forces endangering a culture such as to the post-Katrina reconstruction of New Orleans as a heritage site rather than a living, thriving culture. Resistance to northern dominance in South Indian culture might be another example.

We want to bring scholars and artists together to explore and investigate the notions of communities built (wholly or in part) around music. The symposium is a one day event which takes place on 5th of March 2016. Download the itinerary here.