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Music competition, cooperation and community : an ethnography of a Japanese school band

Click to view the dissertation via Digital dissertation consortium
Author Hebert, David G.
ISBN/ISSN 0496975889
Broad Subject Fine Arts
Subject Bands (Music) - Instruction and study - Japan
Music - Instruction and study - Japan
Summary This ethnography describes an award-winning Tokyo middle school band, and examines its role within the Japanese band community. The findings are based on analysis and interpretation of fieldwork data, including fieldnotes, interviews, videotaped observations, documents, sound recordings, and an open-ended questionnaire. The organizational model of Japanese school bands was determined to entail a symbiotic partnership between school, community, and industry. Education in the Tokyo middle school band differed from its Western counterparts, showing minimal relationship to formal music teacher education. The All-Japan Band Association influenced the objectives, repertoire, and organization of the school band, and its annual band contest was determined to be the world's largest music competition. In terms of curriculum, a genre of music was identified as meaningful to Japan: amateur band repertoire produced by Japanese composers, fusing Japanese and Western influences. Aspects of instruction in the Japanese band differed from Western models of effective musicteaching, and made use of techniques associated with Japanese moral education and traditional music pedagogy. Peer tutoring played a fundamental role in the learning process, as band member interactions negotiated an ethos of cooperation, competition, and duty. Parents were relatively uninvolved in the band. An extreme gender imbalance was observed: predominantly female students among competitive school bands. Band participation played a significant role in the musical identities of its members, particularly in terms of gender and nationality. Japanese school bands are shown to represent a model of transculturation with implications for multicultural music education, as the tradition was mastered and transformed within a fewgenerations. The study concludes with presentation of an Ensemble Ethos Model, which illustrates the relationships and processes utilized by effective teachers to nurture a culture of musical achievement.
Language English
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