UNIT STANDARDS FOR AEROPHONES IN A POSTMODERN Soum AFRICA RONELLE BOSMAN

UNIT STANDARDS FOR AEROPHONES IN A POSTMODERN Soum AFRICA RONELLE BOSMAN
UNIT STANDARDS FOR AEROPHONES IN A
POSTMODERN Soum
AFRICA
by
RONELLE BOSMAN
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree
DOCTOR MUSICAE
in the
DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC
SCHOOL FOR THE ARTS
UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA
Supervisor: Prof. H.H. van der Mescht
Co-supervisor: Prof. C. van Niekerk
Pretoria
November 2001
© University of Pretoria
South African education is currently in a process of restructuring, stemming from radical
political changes in 1994. In 1995 a system of outcomes-based education was adopted by
the Department of Education, strategically supported by the South African Qualifications
Authority with its twelve relevant National Standards Bodies. Together with this, a
system of unit standards, based on the accreditation of credits, learning programmes and
qualifications is in a process of development.
Music as formal school subject does not enjoy the same financial support from the
Education Department as do the so-called "essential" subjects such as Mathematics and
Science. Therefore no formal structures to generate unit standards for Music were
origiIially planned and budgeted for by educational authorities.
To fill this need, and to prevent the marginalisation
of such an important subject, the
MEUSSA (Music Education Unit Standards for Southern Africa) project was initiated by
the Music Department of the University of Pretoria early in 2000, involving 18 Master's
and doctoral students in various areas of musical expertise. The aim is to generate unit
standards for Music(s) in Southern Africa across traditional aspects such as instrumental
training, harmony, history, theory and aural training, as well as the relatively unexplored
domains of Music Technology, World Musics and Popular Music.
Cultural shifts over the last approximately forty years began reshaping the understanding
of the world we are; living in, resulting in a transition from a modem to a postmodern
culture in Western societies. For the project of writing unit standards for music to be
relevant, it was necessary to reflect on these changes and to accommodate them in music
education. Frameworks and standards generated in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and
England were also investigated and contextualised.
Because the field of expertise of the author lies, inter alia, in the field of Aerophones, unit
standards were specifically generated for music performance. These standards have to be
considered as part of the MEUSSA project, and therefore be read in conjunction with
contributions by other members of this team.
It is the wish of the author,
as part of the MEUSSA
team, that this study will contribute
towards making music education of high quality available to every learner in Southern
Africa.
Aerophones,
frameworks, meta-narratives,
modernism, music performance,
popular music, postrnodernism, Southern Africa, unit standards.
outcomes,
I would like to thank the following persons for assistance, support and patience during the
long hours spent in front of the computer:
•
My children, Phlippie, De Villiers and Emma, and my husband, Lourens, for
their patience and encouragement.
•
My supervisors, Proff. Heinrich van der Mescht and Caroline van Niekerk,
whose positive and capable guidance provided me with the impetus to finish
this thesis.
•
My fellow MEUSSA group members, for motivation and creative ideas.
•
My parents, for the laptop computer without which I could not have finished
this thesis.
•
Jean van Eeden (Visual arts) and Stephanus Muller (Music), for their
valuable advice on chapter 4.
•
The personnel of the music library for their friendly help.
•
The University of Pretoria for financial support.
•
Our Father in heaven.
ABET
Adult Basic Education and Training
ABRSM
Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music
AS
Advanced Supplementary
A2
2nd year of AS
C200S
Curriculum 2005
C21
Curriculum 21
ETQA
Education and Training Quality Assurance body
GET
General Education and Training (grades R-9)
FET
Further Education and Training (grades 10-12)
GMAP
General Music Appreciati~n Programme
GTECH
General Music Technology Programme
MENC
Music Educators National Conference
MEUSSA
Music Education Unit Standards for Southern Africa
MCP
Music Composition Programme
MPP
Music Performance Programme
NCEA
National Certificate of Educational Achievement
NSB
National Standards Body
NQF
National Qualifications Framework
NZQA
New Zealand Qualifications Authority
SADC
Southern African Development Community
SAMEF
South African Music Educators Forum
SAQA
South African Qualifications Authority
SGB
Standards Generating Body
SETA
Secto! Education and Training Authorities
UNISA
University of South Africa
Table 3-1
The integrating nature of approaches and processes in the arts (Nebraska 2000d:l)
.3-32
Table 3-2
Sample example of achievement standard for Music (New Zealand 2001: 1)
.3-51
Table 3-3
Interpretation ofan achievement standard for Aerophones (performance)
.3-51
Table 3-4
Outline oflevels and applications in the New Zealand Qualifications Framework
(adapted from NZQA 2000c:10-23)
'" .,
'"
,
Table 3-5
Comparison ofNQF levels: New Zealand and South Africa (Grove 2000: 1)
Table 3-6
Explanation ofNQF levels and grades at schoollevel.
'"
.3-54
'"
3-66
,
3-75
Table 3-7
Practical application of the National Curriculum for Music
"
,
3-75
,
3-78
Table 3-8
Explanation of the average attainment levels for learners between key stages 1-3
(England 1999:39)
,
,
Table 3-9
Possible qualifications in the English schooling system
,
'"
,
.3-89
Table 3-10
Explanation of the different AS units (adapted from Browne 2000: 16)
Table 3-11
Explanation of the different A2 units (adapted from Browne 2000:17)
3-90
,
,
3-91
Table 3-12
Comparison of core and non-core subjects of the USA, Australia, England,
New Zealand and South Africa
3-94
Table 4-1
The difference in mood between the 1950sand 1960s
,
Table 4-2
Hit song titles ofI954 and 1970 (Hamm 1995:45,48)
,. '" .. , .. ,
,
,
.4-24
,
.4-29
Table 4-3
Schematic comparison of modernism and postmodernism (adapted from Harvey 1990:43
and Solomon 2001:3-5)
'"
,
,
.4-61
Table 5-1
Graphic illustration of one, two or three music subjects at NQF level 2-4,
or grades 10-12
,
'" .. ,
,
,
,
Table 5-2
Suggested credit structure for NQF level 2-4
'"
,
,
,
5-8
'" '" .. , '" '"
5-8
Table 5-3
Mapping the context of the MEUSSA model for music education in South Africa
(Grove 2001:5)
'"
,
'"
,
'"
Table 5-4
Explanation of the MEUSSAmodel as used for Aerophones
5-10
,
.5-12
Tal!le 5-5
Diagrammatic application of the MEUSSA model for Aerophones
5-15
Table 5-6
Classification of proficient and advanced achievement
,
Table 5-7
Range statements for scale structures (flute)
,
,
'"
,
,
Table 5-8
Range statements for arpeggio structures (flute)
5-24
5-25
5-26
Table 5-9
Specific outcomes and assessment for preparatory level - Aerophones
Table 5-10
Specific outcomes and assessment for NQF level 1 - Aerophones
,
,
'" .,
5-28
5-35
Table 5-11
Specific outcomes and assessment for NQF level 2 - Aerophones
5-37
Table 5-12
Specific outcomes and assessment for NQF level 3 - Aerophones
,
5-39
Table 5-13
Specific outcomes and assessment for NQF level 4 - Aerophones
Table 5-14
Credit structureforNQF
level 5
5-41
,
,
Table 5-15
Specific outcomes and assessment for NQF level 5 - Aerophones
Table 5-16
Credit structure forNQF level 6
,
,
,
,
5-43
,
5-44
,
5-46
Table 15-17
Specific outcomes and assessment for NQF level 6 - Aerophones
Table 5-18
Credit structure forNQF level 7
,
,
Table 5-19
Specific outcomes and assessment for NQF level 7 - Aerophones
5-46
,
" '"
,
5-48
,
5-49
Ta/!le 5-20
Credit structure for NQF level 8
Table 5-21
Specific outcomes and assessment for NQF level 8 - Aerophones
5-51
,
5-52
Figure 3-1
Illustration of the approaches and processes of the arts (Nebraska 2000a:2)
.3-31
Figure 3-2
Outcomes and key concepts in the Curriculum Framework (Curriculum Council of
Western Australia 1999b:4)
3-46
Figure 5-1
MEUSSAmodel:
5-11
Music knowledge, styles & practices and NQF levels
Figure 5-2
MEUSSA model: Music creating, performing and appraisal
5-11
Figure 5-3
Application of the MEUSSA model for Aerophones (performance)
5-15
Figure 5-4
Interpretation of the MEUSSA model for jazz
5-16
Figure 5-5
Interpretation of the MEUSSA model for Western art music
5-17
Figure 5-6
Interpretation of the MEUSSA model for African music
5-18
Figure 5-7
Interpretation of the MEUSSAmodel
5-19
for Indian music
Figure 5-8
Interpretation of the MEUSSA model for popular music
5-20
Abstract
Acknowledgements
List of abbreviations and acronyms
Tables
Figures
1.1 Personal motivation
1-1
1.2 Background ..,
1-1
1.3 The MEUSSA project
1-3
1.4
Research questions
1-6
1.5
Aims of the study
1-6
1.6 Delimitations of the study
1-7
1.7
1-8
Structure of the study
1.8 Value of the study
1-9
1.9 Methodology
1-9
1-1 0
1.10 Sources
1.10.1 Frmneworks and standards
1-11
1.10.2 Books
1-11
1.10.3 Articles
1-12
1.10.4 The Intemet.
1-13
1.11 Glossary
:
1-13
2.1 Introduction
2-1
2.1.1 Wideningthe basis of the learning experience
2-1
2.1.2 Includingall cultures
2-3
2.2 The South African scenario
2-4
2.3
Rationale
2-5
2.4
Music, the brain and education
2-7
2.5
Curriculum planning from a musical perspective
2-10
2.5.1 The inclusion of music in a curriculum
2-11
2.5.2 Curriculumplanning
2-12
2.5.3 Music as a core subject
2-14
2.6
Curriculum 2005: Outcomes-based approach
2-16
2.6.1 The learning areas
2-16
2.6.2 Music in Culture and Arts
2-18
2.6.3 A proposed structure for music education in C2005
2-19
2.7
Instrumental teaching
2-20
2.8
Curriculum for performance in the secondary school..
.2-22
2.9
Points of departure for writing unit standards
.2-23
2.10 Aims for music education
.2-23
2.11 Factors influencing the provision of unit standards
2-24
2.12 Unit standards for musics in Southern Africa
2-28
2.13 The way forward in South Africa
.2-29
2.14 Contemporary music
,
,
2-30
2.15 Perspective on problems encountered
.2-32
2.16 Music in South African Schools
.2-34
2.17 Suggestions for encouraging formal music education
.2-37
2.18 Strategies for the implementation of music education
.2-37
2.19 Final remarks
2-40
CHAPTER THREE: INVESTIGATION OF FRAMEWORKS ._._._
_._
_3-1
3.1
Introduction
3-1
3.2
Frameworks as structure for learning content...
3-2
3.3
Infrastructure
3.4
The K-12 national standards of the United States of America
'"
3-4
3-6
3.4.1 A brief overviewof Music in American schools
3-6
3.4.2 Standards and benchmarks
3-10
3.4.3 Music Standards in the USA: a backgrouild
3-12
3.4.4 Standards in the USA: content and achievement
3-14
3.5 National standards of the USA
.3-15
3.5.1 Pre-kindergartenstandards
'3-15
3.5.2 Grades K-4 standards
3-16
3.5.3 Grades 5-8 standards
3-18
3.5.4 Grades 9-12 standards
3-21
3.5.5 Assessment
3-24
3.5.6 Staffing, facilities and equipment...
3.5.7 Evaluating the American standards
:
3-25
3-25
3.6
State Standards
3-26
3.6.1 Massachusetts Music Standards
3-27
3.6.2 Florida Music Standards
3 -3 8
3.6.3 Nebraska Music Standards
3-29
3.6.4 Assessment
3 -3 3
3.7
The Australian Frameworks
3.7.1 Overview
.3-35
,
3 -3 5
3.7.2 Challenges in Australian music education
3-37
3.7.3 The Australian Qualifications Framework
3-38
3.7.4 Guidelines for School Standards in Australia
3-40
3.7.5 The Curriculum Framework
3-41
3.7.6 The Music Curriculum Framework
,
3-44
3.7.7 Evaluation of the Australian framework.
3.8
The National Qualifications
Framework
3-47
of New Zealand
3-48
3.8.1 Overview of the Qualifications Framework: the NZQA
3-48
3.8.2 The NQF
3-49
3.8.3 Learning outcomes
3 -52
3.8.4 Levels and qualifications
3-52
3.8.5 Credits and assessment
3 -5 5
3.8.6 Detailed fields
,
3 -57
3.8.7 Classification system
3 -5 7
3.8.8 Quality assurance
3 -59
3.8.9 The music framework of the New Zealand NQF
3-60
3.8.9.1 Main structure
3-60
3.9
3.8.9.2 Unit standards for Making Music
3-61
3.8.9.3 Unit standards for Music Education and Training
3-63
3.8.9.4 Unit standards for Music Studies
3-64
3.8.9.5 Unit standards for Music Technology
3-65
3.8.10 Evaluation of and comparison with the South African structure
3-66
The National Curriculum
of England
,
3.9.1 Overview: Before the National Curriculum
3-67
:.. 3-68
3.9.2 Overview: The National Curriculum
3-70
3.9.3 The Structure of the National Curriculum
3-74
3.9.4 The structure of the National Music Curriculum
3-78
3.9.5 Outcomes
3 -79
3.9.6 Assessment
3 -82
3.9.7 The Key Stages: Key Stage 1
3-83
3.9.8 The Key Stages: Key Stage 2
3-84
3.9.9 The Key Stages: Key Stage 3
3-86
3.9.10 The Attainment Targets
3-87
3.9.11 The AS and A level music syllabuses
3-89
3.9.12 Evaluation of the English framework
3-92
3.10 Comparison
of core subjects between the four countries discussed
in this chapter
3 -94
3.11 Final remarks
3-95
CHAPTER FOUR: MUSIC EDUCATION IN A POSTMODERN
4.1
Introduction
CULTURE ••4-1
4-1
4.2
Background
4.3
Postmodernism
4.4
Modernism
4-1
and modernism
4.4.1 General
4-3
4-4
,
'"
4-4
4.4.2 Meta-narratives
4-7
4.4.3 UniversaliSID
4-8
4.4.4 Optimism rooted in scientific achievements
4-9
4.4.5 Rationality
4-11
4.4.6 The essence of modernism
4-12
4.4.7 Modernist art
4-14
4.4.8 Modernist music
4-17
4.4.9 Music after World War II
4-18
4.4.10 Two perspectives
4-19
4.4.10.1 Exclusive art
4-19
4.4.10.2 Mass culture
4-22
4.4.11 Popular music in a modernist discoW"Se
4-25
4.4.12 Popular music as an expression of a modernist meta-narrative
4-28
4.4.13 Jazz
4-31
4.4.14 Final remarks on modernism
4-33
4.5
Postmodernism
4-33
4.5.1 Main aspects of postmodernism
4-35
4.5.2 Dismantling of "grand narratives"
4-37
4.5.3 Rejection of "high" and "low" art
4-39
4.5 .4- Rejecting boundaries
4-40
4.5.5 The nature of knowledge
4-42
4.5.6 Pluralism
4-45
4.5.7 Marginalised groups
4-48
4.5.8 Post-structuralism
4-49
4.5.9 Affmities and differences between structuralism and post-structuralism
4.5.10 Postmodemism in the arts
,
,.. 4-52
4-53
4.5.10.1
Postmodemism in architecture
4-54
4.5.10.2
Literary manifestations
4-57
4.5.10.3
Different worlds
4-58
4.5.10.4
The death of the author
4-59
4.5.10.5
In summary
4-60
4.5.11
,
Postmodemism and music
4-62
4.5.11.1
Classical music in a postmodern culture
4-62
4.5.11.2
Rap as postmodem genre
4-66
4.5.11.3
Punk and the postmodem culture
4-67
4.5.11.4
Final remarks on postmodemism
4-69
4.5.12
Critique ofpostmodern concepts
4.6
The postmodem
4.7
Music education in a postmodemist
4-69
condition within the :MEUSSA group
time
..4-72
..4-74
4.7.1 Postmodemism in education
4-76
4.7.2 Constructivist learning
4-80
4.7.3 The implications for music education
4-82
4.7.4 Final remarks
4-84
CHAPTER FIVE: UNIT STANDARDS FOR AEROPHONES ••••••••••••••••••••
_._._.5-1
5.1
Introduction
5-1
5.2
Unit standards for Aerophones in the GET and FET phases
5-2
5.2.1 Starting with an instrument.
5-2
5.2.2 What is a unit standard?
5-3
5.2.3 Qualifications
5-4
5.3
A framework for Aerophones, with specific application to flute playing
5-5
5.3.1 Introduction
5-5
5.3.2 Credit structure for NQF level 2, 3 and 4
5-7
5.4
The MEUSSA model.
5-9
5.5 The MEUSSA model in this thesis
,
,
, .. , .. ,
5-12
5.5.1 Interpretationof the MEUSSAmodel fordifIerent styles and genres
5-13
5.5.2 Mapping Music: Aerophones (performance)
5-13
5.5.3 Different applicationsof the MEUSSAmodeL
5-14
5.6
Unit standards for Aerophones (performance)
5-20
5.6.1 Generic standards for Aerophones
5-21
5.6.2 Specificunit standards for Aerophones
5-22
5.6.3 Assessment
,
5.6.4 Range statements
5-24
5.6.4.1 Preparatory level
5.6.4.2 NQF level I
5-23
5-27
'
5-35
5.6.4.3 NQF level 2
5-37
5.6.4.4 NQF level 3
5-39
5.6.4.5 NQF level 4
5-41
5.6.5 NQF levels 5-8
5-42
5.6.5.1 NQF level 5
5-44
5.6.5.2 NQF level 6
5.7
,
5-46
5.6.5.3 Credit structure for NQF level 7
5-48
5.6.5.4 NQF level 7
5-49
5.6.5.5 Credit structure for NQF level 8
5-51
5.6.5.6 NQF level 8
5-52
Final remarks
,
CHAPTER SIX: CONCLUSIONS
AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5-53
••••••••••••••
_._._.6-1
6.1
Introduction
6-1
6.2
Answering
the main research question
6-1
6.3
Answering
the sub-questions
6-2
6.3.1 Sub-question 1
6-2
6.3 .1.1 The USA
6-3
6.3 .1.2 Australia
6-4
6.3.1.3 New Zealand
6-5
6.3 .1.4 England
6-5
6.3.2 Sub-question 2
6-6
6.3.3 Sub-question 3
6-7
6.4
Difficulties
encountered
by the MEUSSA group
6-8
6.4.1 Difficulties encountered by the study group
6-8
6.4.2 Difficulties encountered by the author
6-9
6.5
Recommendations
6-9
The author, as flute player and music educator, became involved with the MEUSSA (Music
Education Unit Standards for Southern Africa) project in the Music Education division of the
University of Pretoria early in 2000. This project involved the generation of unit standards
throughout the area of music(s) for all genres practised within the region of Southern Africa,
and will be explained in more detail later in this chapter.
The enthusiasm of the project leaders, Protf. Caroline van Niekerk and Heinrich van der
Mescht, as well as the transitional character of the current scenario in South Africa have both
played a significant part in convincing the author to participate in this unique undertaking.
The opportunity to play a part in determining the direction of music education in South
Africa could simply not be ignored.
Because the author's field of expertise lies, inter alia, in the instruction of the flute at
secondary school level, the generation of standards for Aerophones (performance) was
personally regarded as essential.
South African education authorities have, with the introduction of a new educational
dispensation in 1994 (SAQA 2000a:5), instituted a new system of training and education.
This new approach has as its main goal the cultivation of attitudes, skills, values and
knowledge in learners of all ages to "build the country into an international role-player"
(Olivier 2000:i). In order to achieve this, Olivier regards five elements as of utmost
importance, namely
Curriculum 2005 has been progressively introduced since 1998. A revision of Curriculum
2005 was facilitated by the South African Department of Education during 2000-2001 and a.
simplified version introduced in August 2001. The approach of Curriculum 2005 is
outcomes-based. This means that training has to be directed towards furnishing learners with
the necessary skills and knowledge to cope with life after school, as well as developing and
educating the whole person. "The focus with outcomes-based learning lies in acquiring the
capability to know what to learn and which skills to master in managing one's own learning"
(Olivier 2000:3). The scope of cultural background, individual differences and different
learning abilities of pupils are included in this approach.
A curriculum consists of specific outcomes, as packaged into learning areas (Olivier 2000:5).
The South African educational structure consists of eight learning areas, and specific
outcomes for these eight learning areas, as educational means, will be formulated by relevant
Standards Generating Bodies (SGBs) in the form of unit standards. Unit standards may be
defined as "nationally agreed and comparable statements supported by specific outcomes and
their associated assessment criteria together with other relevant and needed information"
(Olivier 2000:23). This system closely resembles the system currently used by the New
Zealand educational authorities. I In this regard, the new educational structure for South
Africa is still in its first stages, with the generation and registration of unit standards in a
developmental phase.
The first step towards formalising the new system was taken in 1995, with legislation that
would enable an integrated education and training system. The SAQA Act of 4 October 1995
provided for the development and implementation of a National Qualifications Framework
I
The reader is referred to the corresponding
section on the educational system of New Zealand, which is
discussed in chapter 3. Another member of the MEUSSA group, Petro Grove, provided a detailed discussion of
the format of the new educational approach in South Africa.
and the establishment of the South African Qualifications Authority (Olivier 2000:8). The
implementation of a new education system effected a need for music educators in Southern
Africa to come together and plan the way forward for reform in music education, thereby
defining and ensuring its role within the new education system.
On 17 July 1999 a music educators' organisation, called the South African Music Educators'
Forum (SAMEF), was formed in Pretoria. Grove (2001 :2-2) formulates the events as follows:
To start the process of restructuring music education systems in Southem
Africa, music educators were called upon at the 23rdBienniai
World
Conference of the International Society for Music Education held in Pretoria
from 19-25 July 1998, to establish a South African Music Education Forum
(SAMEF) that would function as a representative forum for music education
nationally.
Role players in South African music education, including state, community, labour, business,
providers and critical interest groups were represented (Grove 2001:2-3). The purpose of
SAMEF, as formulated by Hauptfleisch (cited by Grove 2001:2-2) was stated as follows:
[... ] SAMEF will act as an umbrella body for organisations and institutions
with a material interest in music education in our country. In essence, the
SAMEF will promote continuity of purpose between the activities of the
different music education structures and organisations in South Africa and
serve as a strong and representative voice for all aspects of music education.
SAMEF was never intended to replace any of the many music organisations on South Africa,
but rather to facilitate music educators to speak with one voice at the 18MB conference.
Within the new educational system, unit standards indicating learning achievements or
outcomes in all subjects must be generated by a Standards Generating Body (SGB) and
registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) in order to provide for an
integrated National Qualifications Framework. This system is explored in more detail in
another MEUSSA member's thesis, namely IP. Grove: Grove, J.P. 2001. Music Education
Unit Standards for Southern Africa: A Model and its application in a General Music
Appraisa( Programme. DMus thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria.
By the time SAMEF was formed in 1999, there was a lack of co-ordinated attempts towards
the goal of generating unit standards for musics in South Africa. According to Prof. Caroline
van Niekerk of the University of Pretoria, one of the founding members of SAMEF,
facilitating unit standards for only the ten most widely acclaimed subjects could, at that stage,
be funded by the Department of Education. To prevent the marginalisation of Music in the
field of education, she offered to gather a group of post-graduate students to start working on
the task of generating unit standards as soon as possible.
A group of music specialists who could work together to produce unit standards based on
thorough research and many years of collective practical experience, encompassing
the
whole field ofmusic(s), was therefore brought together by the Music Education section of the
Department of Music at the University of Pretoria early in 2000. The group consisted of
eighteen Master's and doctoral students from various fields of expertise, and the project, of
which the author is a member, became known as the MEUSSA project.
By means of research and workshops within the group, the first steps towards a coherent and
inclusive set of standards for the whole spectrum of music( s) in Southern Africa were taken.
The aim of the MEUSSA project was to specifically produce unit standards for music(s) in
the new education and training dispensation, even though this group was not officially
registered as an SGB.
At the time of the forming of the MEUSSA group in 2000, no music standards were in the
process of being generated, indicating a bleak future for music education in the country. This
situation has changed early in 2001, as funding for the generation of unit standards for music,
under the umbrella ofNSB 02, has been made available by SAQA. Three Music SGBs have
consequently been launched in August 2001, namely one each for Music GET, Music HET
and Music Industry, with the members of the MEUSSA group forming a substantial part of
the Music SGBs for GET and FET. Any unit standards produced by the MEUSSA group will
therefore be presented to SAQA for official registration, together with standards generated by
the three official Music SGBs.
The common ground within the group was to focus on the provision of unit standards for
music in the broadest sense, and not to isolate one or two genres. "[C]onstituent elements
(rhythm, harmony, melody, form) and expressive elements (tempo, dynamics and timbre) are
inherent in the musics of many cultures" (Miller 1988 :94).
The approach was one of considering music as human expression, consulting high quality
music from many genres without isolating one or two styles for educational purposes:
Music is a truly comprehensive human behaviour. Particularly in its more
challenging, subtle and complex manifestations, it requires a just combination
and integration of thinking, feeling and sharing - precisely those elements
which define humankind. Music education can help students become effective
in their use of artistic musical experiences to discover and share thoughts and
feelings. Both critical thinking and critical feeling are vital to effective
personal and social development for life in the century ahead (Artsedge
2000:1).
In this sense it is important to keep in mind that music and therefore music education cannot
be separated from the community and that it is inconceivable to conceptualise music
education without keeping in mind the contribution and impact such a successful programme
could have on the supporting communities. On the other hand, it is just as important not to
isolate the learner from the cultural upbringing and influences of his/her community, but to
use this as the starting point of an education in music.
A project of such a range and size is a new one for music(s) in Southern Africa. The coming
together of this many post-graduate students from different areas, practices and styles of
music to produce an innovative set of unit standards for music education could prove to be of
significant value for learners, and could be indicative of the future of music education in this
country. This thesis forms part of the .MEUSSA project, therefore the author recommends
that it be regarded as part of the total output of the group. Work done by other members of
the .MEUSSA group will be referred to throughout the thesis.
The scope of the .MEUSSA project covers all aspects of music, including new aspects (in the
Southern African context) like Music Technology, Music Industry, World Musics and
indigenous Southern African music, as well as offering a comprehensive
model for teaching music in Southern Africa.
and innovative
2
In the light of the scenario introduced in the previous section, the main research question can
be presented, namely
What outcomes are desirable for performance on aerophones, and how would
this translate into unit standards for Southern Africa?
The formulating of outcomes and unit standards for aerophones, as part of the MEUSSA
group, posed the following sub-questions:
•
What role did the current philosophical climate, such as postmodernism, play in the
forming of a project such as the MEUSSA project?
•
What is the influence of postmodernism
on the widening of the canon in music
education in Southern Africa?
The aim of the study may be defined on two levels, namely the proposed end product of this
specific thesis, as well as that of the MEUSSA project.
With regard to the first level, this thesis specifically addresses the aspects of performance on
Aerophones in a postmodern South Africa. Extensive research on the present situation with
both drawbacks and benefits of the current curricula is widely available, and the author does
not intend to duplicate this work. The aim of the study is rather to approach this project in a
2
The reader
accommodating
is referred
to the work done by other members
of the group. A MEUSSA
model for
all relevant music genres in Southern Africa was designed by Petro Grove during 2000, and
refined during many workshops and action research sessions by the MEUSSA group.
new way, opening up fresh perspectives on music performance and enabling the inclusion of
learners from all cultural backgrounds. In this way it is intended that the learning base of
children benefiting from music education will be extended, and that the current approach to
music performance be broadened by means of the unit standards provided.
As a group, the participants in the MEUSSA project needed to formulate a broad and
co.mmonset of goals, namely to generate unit standards for music(s) in Southern Africa. As
part of the MEUSSA group, the author therefore aims to formulate an inclusive set of unit
standards for performance on Aerophones in a postmodern South Africa, as well as providing
a theoretical basis for these standards.
The framework of NQF qualifications and component unit standards produced by the
MEUSSA project will, finally, be offered to the NSB 02 (Culture and Arts) to be considered
for official registration.
The structure of education authority in South Africa, passed into law with the South African
Authority Act in 1995 (SAQA 2000a:5), was investigated and discussed in the thesis of Petro
Grove, another MEUSSA member. Therefore many assumptions regarding the infrastructure
of the NQF, SAQA and NSBs will be made in this thesis without detailed explanation of their
respective structures and functions.
Chapter 5 presents unit standards and outcomes for Aerophones, but range statements for
technical and scale prerequisites will be provided for flute only. This is because the author
does not have the advanced expertise or experience considered necessary to spell out
desirable technical outcomes for other Aerophones. The range statements for flute may
therefore be taken as example of the minimum technical fluency expected for other
instruments at each NQF level.
References to aural training and outcomes for ensemble playing are made in, inter alia,
chapter 5. Annarine Roscher and Antoinette Hoek, two members of the MEUSSA group,
either generated or are in the process of generating unit standards for aural training in the
foundation phase and ensemble playing respectively, therefore the author does not intend to
duplicate work already done.3
The author structured the research around the research questions posed earlier in this chapter.
In chapter 2 the author therefore briefly poses some perspectives on the current situation in
South Africa, especially with regard to arts and music education. In chapter 3, the structure
and content of the frameworks produced and/or currently being developed by the USA
(1994), Australia (1995), New Zealand (1999) and England (2000) are investigated, with the
aim of integrating the most suitable and progressive aspects into a possible South African
structure for performance on Aerophones.
Chapter 4 was structured around the last two research questions, namely to formulate a
postmodern perspective for Southern African music education and the establishing of the
MEUSSA project. Because the characteristics and trends of postmodernism
are relatively
unknown in the field of music education in South Africa, the author deemed it necessary to
present an extensive layout of both modernism and postmodernism,
especially in the way
they reflect in the arts and music. Because the MEUSSA project, in character and approach,
clos~ly resembles the shift from modernism to postmodernism, a deconstruction of Western
art music as only medium for formal music education is also offered in this chapter.
Unit standards for Aerophones (Performance) are provided in chapter 5, together with an
exploration of the model for music education developed by one of the MEUSSA team
members, Petro Grove.
3
The reader is referred to A. Roscher, 200 I: Music standards for the Foundation Phase and Teacher Training,
doctoral thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria; and A. Hoek, 200 I: South African Unit Standards for a General
Music Appraisal Programme and an Ensemble Specialisation
thesis in progress, University of Pretoria, Pretoria.
Programme for Available Instruments, doctoral
No unit standards in the field of musics for South Africa have been registered at the time of
completion of this thesis. The specific value of this thesis will therefore lie in the provision of
unit standards for Aerophones (performance) in Southern Africa, as well as the exploration of
a theoretical framework within which the MEUSSA project is functioning.
The scope of this project will have a widespread impact on all learners in Southern Africa, as
it was the intention of the author, as part of the MEUSSA group, to utilise as many aspects
and genres of the music field as possible in the process of generating unit standards.
Therefore the inclusion of genres that are new to formal music education, such as jazz,
popular music, African music or Indian music, are capacitated in the unit standards produced
by the author. The target group consists of all learners from pre-school to tertiary level,
providing a solid and wide learning foundation for music leading up to NQF level 1 (grades
1-9), and also assisting learners and educators who wish to pursue or support a focused
education in Music from grades 10-12.
The trends and characteristics of postmodemism are described in this thesis as, inter alia, a
shift in cultural expressions and a widening of the canon. As the current transformational
character of music education demands a fresh outlook and flexible approach from music
educators, an exploration of postmodemism, especially as it manifests in the arts and music,
must be considered a necessary pre-condition for transformation in music education. By
exploring postmodern directions in this thesis, the author· hopes that educators may be
assisted to understand the current situation and direction of music education in Southern
Africa.
With this contribution the author hopes to encourage music educators in shifting traditional
boundaries and wi?ening perspectives, and by doing this to maximise the level of
participation in music education for all Southern African learners.
The author, in the process of writing unit standards, used a variety of methods to be as
inclusive and informed as possible for the task of generating unit standards.
•
The collective expertise of the' MEUSSA group in the form of various workshops and
meetings held on a regular basis was utilised extensively. This includes the diverse
perspectives offered during the course of these workshops, the multiple documents
produced by.the group and the formulation of different aspects regarding an approach
to music education in Southern Africa. The workshops were often characterised by
lively discussion and the expression of opposing viewpoints. During these occasions
the author utilised feedback from the group to shape and refine the proposed
standards. The author was also in a fortunate position to benefit from the experience
of Meki Nzewi, professor of African Music in the Department of Music at the
University of Pretoria.
•
A common vision for the MEUSSA project was formulated, which is to "empower
learners with music skills and knowledge, leading to lifelong active involvement in a
variety of musics." This vision was continuously utilised as a benchmark for the
formulation of unit standards.
•
As the learners being taught at school by the author were employed to test many of
the suggestions of the group, as well as the model for music education developed by
Petro Grove, the chapter on unit standards (chapter 5) was informed by a process of
action research.
•
The thesis was characterised by a qualitative approach to research matter. In this
regard a content analysis of relevant frameworks and standards (chapter 3), as well as
the qualities of a postmodern condition (chapter 4), was deemed necessary to gain a
holistic view of both the process and content of generating unit standards. Guidelines
and qualities that were personally regarded as transferable or useful in a Southern
African context were explored, evaluated and interpreted.
A review of existing and recently written frameworks and standards was undertaken in
chapter 3. Only four countries have, up to now, produced frameworks for music education in
the format of unit standards, namely the United States of America (1994), Australia (1995),
New Zealand (1999) and England (2000). These have been closely analysed in order to gain
a broad perspective on the format, approach and content of unit standards produced thu~ far.
•
J-F. Lyotard.
1979. The Postmodern
Condition:
A Report
on Knowledge.
Manchester: Manchester University Press. Lyotard more than hints that a break with
modernism's. characteristics and legitimation of meta-narratives was brought about
by a change in methods of storing and retrieving knowledge, as well as altered
modes of communication. He also reviews the status of science and technology in a
postmodern era, offering alternative ways of contemplating the fibre of society.
•
D. Harvey. 1990. The Condition of Posmwdernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of
Cultural Change.
Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. The passage of modernism into
postmodernism is explored by Harvey, as he describes a change in cultural as well
as political-economic practices since the early 1970s.
•
M. Comte. 1993. The Arts in Australian Schools: The past 50 Years. In: J. Thonell
(ed.), Australian Music Education Source Book no. 1. CIRCME, School of Music,
University of Western Australia, Perth. Valuable information regarding Australian
music education, approaches and practices were taken from this publication.
•
H. Gardner.· 1993. Multiple Intelligences:
The Theory in Practice. New York:
Basic Books. This ground-breaking work has to be taken into consideration in any
contemplation
intelligences
on the value of music in education.
was developed
as part of Harvard's
The theory of multiple
prestigious
Project
influencing curriculum development and educational theories world-wide.
Zero,
•
C. Hamm. 1995. Putting Popular Music in its Place. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press. Hamm offers a collection of essays dedicated to the studying of
popular music. He advocates an approach that values each example as worthy of
attention while staying receptive to both the text and the circumstances under which
it originated.
•
L. Kramer. 1995. Classical Music and Postmodern Knowledge.
Berkeley and Los
Angeles: University of California Press. Exploring new scopes for musicology and
classical music, Kramer contemplates fresh possibilities offered by postmodernism
to the understanding of Western art music. Although the focus of this book is on
music written before the modem and postmodern era, the author drew upon
principles of a postmodern nature and applied it to the position of the MEUSSA
group in providing relevant unit standards for Southern Africa.
•
N. Cook & M. Everist. 2001 (2nd edition). Rethinking
Music. New York: Oxford
University Press. A collection of essays on current issues in and challenges to
musicology. The author of this thesis focused on articles relevant for her study,
especially those offering current views on popular music and musicology, and
postmodernism in music/musiCeducation.
Various articles used during the research process reflect the current lively debate on the
nature and influence of postmodernism, as well as challenges to music education associated
with the transition of social conditions. Articles from the disciplines of Theology and
Science, as well as news magazines such as Time Magazine, were also utilised to accumulate
balanced and informed understanding of this matter. Authoritative and informed articles in
popular magazines such as Time Magazine and BBC Music Magazine were put to use in
order to include opinions on popular music and current scenarios regarding Western art
music, as these are often difficult to access in academic literature. The BBC Music Magazine
also provided fresh perspectives on the current international classical music scene, as
perceived from a British viewpoint. This magazine also served to inform the author of current
trends and compositions in the genre of Western art music.
Magazines dedicated to music education were frequently consulted, especially The American
Music Teacher, The South African Music Teacher, Music Educators Journal and Music
Teacher.
One of the characteristics
of postmodern globalisation, as discussed in chapter 4, is the
world-wide accessibility of data and material. As the postmodern climate played a significant
role in conceptualising
the MEUSSA project and this thesis, information available on the
Internet was utilised extensively. In this way it was possible to download, although not
always with the same measure of success, detailed information on frameworks as well as
supporting material produced by the USA, Australia, New Zealand and England. These were
critically consulted and regularly visited in order to provide a background for an indigenous
and flexible approach for music education in South Africa.
Reference for sources obtained from the Internet often presents difficulties. The author took
utmost care to provide the accurate addresses for web sites, but some of these may already
have been moved to other addresses by the appropriate webmaster by the time that·this thesis
was finished. Other web-sites, such as the Australian Qualifications Authority, are updated
on a regular basis because the process of establishing a framework is still under construction.
Therefore the author made use of information available at the time of completing the study,
which in no way pretended to be the final version of relevant structures.
Resources for some parts of this thesis, for example references to rap and punk, were more
accessible on the Internet, because the informal style of this music has not yet sedimented
much in musicology.
To avoid confusion, four concepts will be briefly explained in the way they are used in this
thesis:
•
Western art music/classical music: This term refers to art musIc In the
(predominantly) Western tradition, created within a formal discipline and striving to
resemble a model of excellence. This style, denoting music with characteristics of,
inter alia, balance, objectivity and a strict adherence to form (Apel 1976:154-155),
was, and still is, generally created by highly trained composers (Moore 2001:924).
Western art music also possesses a notated canon spanning roughly 1 500 years,
from c. 500 to the present (ApeI1976:494). In the context of this thesis, this style of
music is mainly used in comparison to popular music, of which the canon originated
roughly after the turn of the century, and which is created by composers/songwriters
with generally little or no theoretical training.
•
Popular music: After much discussion within the MEUSSA group, this caption for
informal, improvised or so-called "light music" was accepted as an umbrella term.
•
Ensemble: By this is meant more than one instrumentalist performing together,
with
all parts owning
approximately the
same technical
standard. A
teacher/professional accompanist supporting a pupil or student is not, for the
purpose of this thesis, accepted as part of an ensemble as described in the unit
standards.
•
Improvise: to deviate from or add to the melody, rhythm, texture and/or harmony,
without losing roots of the original.
The process of writing unit standards is neither easy nor simple. To the uninformed reader it
may seem like a mere task of putting a few words to paper, but experience in the MEUSSA
group and in the p~ctical education situation taught the author that substantial research has
to precede these succinct words. Therefore the reader is asked to bear with what may seem
like unnecessary duplication in Chapter 5, in order to be presented with the complete
standard for each NQF level. A rather detailed exploration of frameworks produced in other
countries was also necessary in order to contextualise the generating of appropriate unit
standards for the South African situation.
The format of unit standards, as prescribed by SAQA, also entails duplication when
presented from NQF level 1-8. Because this large amount of reproduction was deemed
unnecessary, the author only included one unit standard in the prescribed SAQA format in
chapter 5.
For the sake of simplicity, the author will avoid the double form of "he/she", and uniformly
refer to "he" or "him" when both sexes are implied. Furthermore, a reference such as the
Florida Department of Education, the Nebraska Department of Education and the South
African Department of Education will be referred to as Florida, Nebraska and South Africa.
Because some chapters, such as chapter 5, contain many tables, a neat layout sometimes
resulted in empty spaces at the bottom of pages. Many tables could not be reduced to one
page, and the reader is thus asked to accept tables sometimes stretching over more than two
pages.
Footnotes were separately numbered for each chapter, and for ease of reading they were
placed directly at the bottom of each page where the reference was made.
References
made to theses by other MEUSSA members were correct at the time of
submitting this document. As some theses are still in progress, this may result in a possible
change in page numbers or titles.
The use of the term Southern Africa implies that the MEUSSA project is aimed at providing
unit standards for music education for all countries in the SADC (Southern African
Development Community) region, potentially including Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South
Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe). However, the structure and system of education
used as backbone for the development of unit standards was developed in South Africa.
SAQA is an official South African structure, and does not form part of the formal educational
structures in the other Southern African countries.
Difficulties regarding music education in South Africa, in the context of this thesis, may be "
defined at two levels, namely:
•
the provision of music education of a high quality to all learners, in other words,
widening the basis of the learning experience; and
•
providing a workable approach to accommodate music of all cultures in the
country.
Next to these two, obstacles regarding the matter of facilities and teacher training may not be
underestimated. The current President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, declared in his first
speech made as president in Parliament on 25 June 1999 that "[t]o achieve these results, we
will also have to engage in massive in-service and pre-service training" (Mbeki 1999: 1). The
training and provision of skilled and motivated educators are crucial factors in determining
the character of music education in South Africa, but do not lie within the scope of this thesis
and"will therefore not be addressed. It must, however, be noted that an endeavour to widen
the learning basis and music content with quality education may have an early failure without
skilled and motivated teaching staff.
At present music education is limited to a few privileged learners, part of the problem being
that very little attention is given to a solid music foundation at primary school level. Primary
school music education finds itself on different levels of quality due to different levels of
teaching, a shallow curriculum,
(Hauptfleisch
the previous
national policy of segregated
education
1997:7), and the stigmatisation of general music. The consequence of this
practice is that proper music education for primary school learners is left to paying parents
and private music teachers. This has not enabled enough learners in the past to share in the
multiple benefits of music education, nor has it provided a solid and broad foundation for
high school music education. I It haS also taken away the opportunity for many learners to
benefit from an education in music in terms of the development of intelligence, social,
spatial, cultural, or problem-solving skills.2
According to the American MENC (Music Educators National Conference) standards, the
period from grades 5-8 is critical in learners' musical development, as the music they
perform often becomes an integral part of their personal music repertoire (MENC 2000:8).
These grades correspond to the South African senior phase in primary school through to the
first year in high school. Any gap in the music education in these grades could prove to be
irretrievable in later years, therefore a broad education of high quality in music seems to be
especially important during these formative years.
"Ways will need to be found to enable more people to learn to playa wider range of
instruments, throughout their life span, with appropriate opportunities for making music in
their community" (Hallam 2000: 11). Odam (1996:186), quoting Danny Farrant, a seventeenyear old British learner, also hopes that "more young people will get involved in music - not
necessarily writing it, but appreciating it." In the same breath it could also be said that as
many learners as possible should be exposed to music education relating to their cultural
background as well as a variety of cultural backgrounds of other music traditions.
The challenge here would then be to provide a continuum in music education from preschool to tertiary level, one which enables learners to experience a meaningful and varied
education of quality to enrich their life and personal development.
I "[It
is] during the formative years in the primary school that basic musical skills and perceptions are best
cultivated" (Rainbow 1996: II).
2
The British Department for Education and Employment (England 1999:40) states that music provides
opportunities to promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, as well as key skills of
communication, application of number, IT, working with others, improving own learning performance and
problem-solving.
Leonhard, a well-known American music educator and former MENC president, reflects the
factors influencing the need for a new approach to arts education world-wide in this extract
(1999:42):
Several developments in society, education, and the arts necessitate change in the
music program. These developments include the continuing change in the ethnic
composition of the school population, the education reform movement" the
increasing demand for the development of students' ability to think critically, the
change in contemporary art styles, and contemporary developments in educational
technology.
The approach to music education in South Africa is, in the words of Education Minister
Kader Asmal, still divided with regard to former "white" and "black" schools, with the
"white" schools practising a formal, exam-driven approach and the "black" schools
"excelling in choral music and extra-curricular choir competitions" (Asmal 2000:13). These
divisions need to be addressed and workable solutions provided, so as to provide access to
music education of high quality to all learners. The matter of popular music, African music,
Indian music, world music and music technology is also still in a process of inclusion, and
not yet widely accessible to learners who want to receive training in these facets. In this
regard, Hauptfleisch (1997:10) alleges that current South African music curricula do not
sufficiently reflect the globalisation trend in music in the latter part of the 20th century,
because the local musical culture and popular music is not included in general music
education. These remarks were written in 1997, but the content of music education has hardly
changed since then, and her remarks, in the opinion of the author, are still valid.
The need for an adequate set of standards for African music is an urgent one, not only for the
South African context, but for the other SADC (Southern African Development Community)
countries as well, and even for the whole African continent. At the first-ever African
conference of the International Society for Music Education (Pretoria, 1998), a clear mandate
was given to South African music educators to take the lead in pan-African initiatives (Van
Niekerk & van der Mescht 2000:3).
In the same vein, standards for popular music, world music and other music practices of
Southern Africa have not been generated by the time of the conclusion of this thesis.
Therefore unit standards presented in chapter 5 will not specifically address these styles and
genres, but facilitate their inclusion for performing on Aerophones.
Existing structures and systems of music education in all their facets need to be reconceived
and re-engineered, in order not only to formulate unit standards as required by SAQA, but to
reconceptualise the total and ongoing development of individuals through music, in music
and for music (Van Niekerk & Van der Mescht 2000:3).
2.2 The South African scenario
For the MEUSSA team to be able to write unit standards for musics in South Africa, the
current status of the arts had to be briefly considered.
During 2000 the decline of the social standing of Western arts in South Africa was clearly
and sadly illustrated by the temporary closure of the State Theatre in Pretoria (due to
financial mismanagement), as well as the closure of the New Arts Philharmonic Orchestra of
Pretoria, the National and the Cape Philharmonic orchestras within the span of roughly two
weeks. For music educators these events sounded warning bells, because the non-existence of
performing platforms in the country could influence the interest in the provision of arts, and
especially music education at foot level.
A lack of governmental support similar to this is not a new one in the history of the arts.
Sturm (1998), for example, describes the rise and fall of the educational status of music in the
American states from the Colonial times (when secular music was regarded as possessing
some evil and mysterious influences) to the present (where programmes are still being cut in
budget crises despite the fact that the institution of Music as a core subject is being supported
by the majority of American citizens as well as by a core component of reliable research).
The fact that the arts, and especially music, are no longer financially supported by the state in
the same way as previously (Nieuwoudt 2000b), forces practitioners of music education to
drastically rethink both the value and outcomes of music education. According to Nieuwoudt,
the face of the arts industry has changed to such an extent that a new and creative philosophy
is needed from both curriculum writers and students of the arts. This prompted Prof Temple
Hauptfleisch of the University of Stellenbosch (quoted by Nieuwoudt in Beeldof 29 June
2000) to say that this state of affairs could mean that the accent of the music industry shifts
from serious forms of art such as ballet, opera and drama productions towards light music,
one man shows and cabarets, and that the serious art forms will most probably be performed
by private institutions and artists, universities and participants at art festivals. In the opinion
of the author, this could also mean that institutions that formerly only taught "serious", or
Western art music, would be opting to teach other genres as well. According to article writer
Stephanie Nieuwoudt (Beeld, 29 June 2000), another implication could be that learners will
choose not to be educated in the arts at all because of an uncertain future.
The second option, namely that of opting for other genres, may present an attractive and
viable option for music education, and this will be explored in more detail in chapter 3. The
last option, namely that of learners choosing not to receive an education in the arts, is highly
unacceptable, because the positive effects of arts education, and especially music education,
have been widely researched. "The teaching and learning of music has been recognised as
serving a variety of human needs. Some of these needs can be met only through music
(Reimer 1999:37). Also, in the words of President Ronald Reagan (Anonymous 2000:1):
"We must teach [our students] the artistic inheritance of our culture and an appreciation of
how fine music enriches the student who studies it, and the society who produces it [... ]. The
existence of strong fine arts curricula are important to keeping the humanities truly
humanising and liberating education truly liberating."
It is not the intent of the author to become entangled in the detail of numerous research
conclusions of the positive relation between music and non-musical outcomes, such as
improved spatial abilities, but merely to provide a compact motivation for the inclusion of
Music as a subject in the core school curriculum from a very early age~Research in the field
of, for example, the enhancement of spatial abilities via music instruction would provide
enough subject matter for an independent dissertation, and has been repeatedly done worldwide. In the opinion of the author, the reason for including music in the core curriculum
should rest on the intrinsic worth of music itself.
Various institutions have formulated reasons for teaching music from the early school phases,
and the author intends to hook onto some of these fmdings. The reason is that arts education
is still regarded as an optional learning area in South Africa. The Association for the
Advancement of Arts Education (Ashton 1999: 1), for example, has evaluated a wide group of
research studies and concluded that "we must include the arts in the education of all students
if we want our children to be prepared for the challenges of life and work in our global
society." MENC (l994a:63),
the American organisation responsible for frameworks in the
arts, concludes that "The educational success of our children depends on creating a society
that is both literate and imaginative, both competent and creative."
What then would the challenges be that our children need in order to become effective and
successful citizens? The author would like to draw the reader's
attention to the Draft
Document of the National Curriculum Framework (South Africa 2000), and more
specifically the national curriculum goals of which some requirements are stated as (p.12)
One significant benefit of formulating comprehensive standards for music education would
be to enable learners to establish a relationship between the individual and his/her own
cultural heritage, as well as the cultural heritage of the human family. Learners must come to
realise that "music making is a universal need and that the study of musics of all cultures
allows us both to learn more about our own heritage and to share, to some extent, the deeper
meanings of the culture of others" (Burton 2000:2). This outcome would comply with the
first of the above-mentioned goals.
The tragic truth is that the arts in various countries, including South Africa, have been kept
on the fringes of general education, despite research that "the arts seem to emanate from
various discrete forms of intelligence" (Fowler 1992:30). Education that is both theory and
practice, knowledge and skills (as Minister Kader Asmal requires) could vastly benefit from
a thorough arts, and especially music, education. The reason for this is that it is music that
manages to combine academic and practical thought, and it is the arts that require of their
practitioners to simultaneously apply knowledge and skills. In this way a thorough music
education will then comply with the second goal stated above.
~1"D,&o;f~
bIS4-'74~4
Because arts education is very often regarded as optional, education authorities are easily
convinced to scale down on input, funding and available periods on the school timetable for
these subjects. The following section will briefly outline the importance of quality education
in the arts, especially music, at school level.
In general it could be argued that a thorough music education programme benefits a basic
educational outlook. According to Sturm (1998:4), the United States Council on Basic
Education, established in 1956, advocated the "policy that 'schools exist to provide the
essential skills of language, numbers and orderly thought, and to transmit in a reasoned
pattern the intellectual, moral and aesthetic heritage of civilised man.'" These policies coordinate with _Minister Asmal' s educational goals as set out above, and therefore also link
with the motivation for a well set-out music educational programme as an integrated part of a
general curriculum.
Why? "Few areas of music psychology have seen as many recent advances as research in
music-induced plasticity of the brain" (Rauscher 1998:197). Recent research has showed a
direct link between the study of music and improved cognitive achievement in areas such as
language, mathematics and reading, as well as psychomotor and spatial development (Sturm
1998:5). Music students, as the results of various research projects have come to show, are
well-prepared to handle a wide variety of tasks outside the field of music itself (Martin
1995:16).
Rauscher and Shaw, in their prominent and controversial experiment resulting in the "Mozart
effect", concluded that music enhances the spatial-temporal reasoning of a student. "In their
experiment, a group of college students listened to ten minutes of either silence, relaxation
instructions or a Mozart duo-piano sonata before being given a test of their spatial-temporal
reasoning. After listening to the sonata, the students scored eight points higher [... ] than they
did after the relaxation instructions and nine points higher than after silence" (Pohlman
2000:38). It is important to note that Rauscher and Shaw themselves did not claim a shortcut
to improved intelligence, but merely a temporary improved spatial-temporal
behaviour.
Grandin, Peterson & Shaw (1998:4) continued this research and suggested that certain
mathematics and science concepts, known to be difficult to teach, can be learnt using spatial-
temporal reasoning methods" and that music instruction from an early age can enharice the
developing of these facilities.
This research has generated much excitement in scientific as well as musical circles, but, as
Weinberger (2000b:l) says, "the Mozart effect actually does not increase general intelligence
and lasts only a few minutes, it does not provide a substitute for music study and practice". It
has, however, focused attention on the link between music studies and brain behaviour, with
a general acceptance that long-term music studies have the greatest effect on various brain
activities.
Current research in this field has utilised two aspects of musical activity to establish the
relationship of music and its relationship to cognitive education, namely
According to Hetland (Waleson 2000:27) the music making activity had a larger, more
consistent effect on cognitive ability than the listening activity, but both seem to have
substantial effects. This correlates with the findings of other researchers in this regard,
including Hurwitz et al (1975), Costa-Giomi (1997) and Rauscher et al (1997), as quoted in
Overy (1998:97). These researchers concluded that long-term music lessons had the greatest
impact on brain activities: "Costa-Giomi demonstrated that two years of piano instruction
significantly improved the verbal, quantitative, and especially spatial abilities of 10-II-year
olds, compared to controls" (Overy 1998:97).
Weinberger (2000a:8), together with a host of other musicians and music education experts,
however, are of the opinion that scientific experiments such as the Mozart effect have no say
3
The author refers the reader to research done in 1993 by Shaw and Rauscher of the University of California, of
which the results became commonly known as the "Mozart Effect". This phenomenon is, however, still under
debate, with authors such as Reimer (1999) and Pohlman (2000) putting the process and results under a
magnifying glass.
4
Research by Hetland on both the listening and music-making activities concluded that "[I]t does indicate that
these music programs that are being cut from schools are good/or education" (Bosman's own italics) (Waleson
2000:27).
in music education as such, but "that music has major relevance in the overall development
of children." In a process such as learning to play an instrument, the following minimum
systems and processes are engaged:
This entire process, according to Weinberger, is repeated virtually every few seconds, in this
way enhancing the positive effects. At the same time these brain systems and processes are
being continually integrated in complex ways, influencing other processes applicable in life
such as creative thinking, problem solving, mentally constructing solutions and plans as well
as organising thought, feeling and knowledge into action.
I
The following table, intended to be illustrative rather than comprehensive,
is useful to
summarise this line of argumentation:
Passive listening for 10 minutes
"Mozart effect"
(Increases ST reasonin )
Educated listening in music None
classes for one or more school
years
Understanding and appreciating
musical forms, genres, meanings
and performances in historical,
social and cultural context.
Instrumental or vocal lessons and
regular practice for several years
notation,
musical
Reading
integrating sight, sound, touch
and movements to perform and
express self musically, solo, in
co-operative group or both.
None
The difference between the effects of short-term passive music making (namely a temporary
increased ST or spatial-temporal
reasoning) and the permanent cognitive and behavioural
effects of an extended musical effort is clearly explained in this table.
Howard Gardner (1993: 17-18) describes musical intelligence as a separate intelligence, one
of eight intelligences.5 This theory, which is the product of the prestigious Project Zero of
Harvard University, has been tested over many years, and has gained academic support in
many respectable circles.
In the opinion of the author, the assumption of this theory would imply that a learner, while
receiving
basic tuition
in language,
mathematics,
physical
development
and spatial
development at school, must also have the opportunity to be educated in music, in order to
facilitate a broad approach to basic education. There is one condition, however, and that is
that the music education must be of high quality. "Good teaching has been the strongest
specification as regards the conclusivity of positive extra-musical outcomes from (extended)
music education" (Spychiger 1998: 199).
Good music education must also, importantly, not only be used and considered relevant for
its extra-musical benefits, but ultimately for the general experience of participating in a very
human act of expression. Viewed together with the argumentation above, music education
cannot be a separate item, to be reserved only for the privileged, but constitutes a basic
educational encounter.
The value of music education is being questioned like seldom before, part of the reason being
that a quality music education is costly and time-consuming. The mere fact that instrumental
5
The other intelligences, according to Gardner (1993: 17-26), are bodily-kinaesthetic,
logical-mathematical,
spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic and naturalist. Naturalist intelligence was recently added to the
previous group of seven (Weiss 2001 : I), totaling eight.
tuition is normally directed on a one-to-one basis means that it is more expensive teaching
Music than teaching Mathematics. "No wonder then that art education was most likely to
flourish when the audience was independently wealthy, or when some vocational dividends
were glimpsed" (Gardner 1990:36).
Another reason is that the field of education, and especially arts education, entails
consideration and reflection of the values and priorities of the local community (Gardner
1990:ix). "Education influences and reflects the values of society, and the kind of society we
want to be" (England 1999:1). The value that a society at a certain time allocates to the
practising of arts is usually reflected in the content of a curriculum. Policy makers,
underscoring the values of a society, usually perpetuate these values.
Furthermore the educational scene in many countries demands that the content of syllabi
shifts its focus to support the local corporate and commercial ideals, and to exclude the arts
because, "in the light of the main purpose of education, they appear expendable, extraneous
and nonessential" (Fowler 1992:76).
Music as performing activity, as well as the transmission of the knowledge of music (also
called music education), has been part of societies in all ages. Used for ritual, work,
entertainment, therapy, communication or aesthetic satisfaction, the phenomenon of music
has been considered desirable and worthwhile to study (Mark & Gary 1992:vii).
Few general teachers, and even fewer curriculum planners, however, have an intimate
knowledge of perceptual or conceptual issues of aesthetic subjects. Artists themselves are
generally not concerned with reflective issues "except as they arise in the course of
fashioning an artwork. It is hardly surprising that these potential areas of curriculum have
been underdeveloped until now" (Gardner 1990:36).
As a result of many years of research, this situation is slowly changing, and in many
countries "educators are searching for the optimal way in which to provide to ordinary
students aspects of artistic knowledge that, until now, have only been available to those who
continue formal study of the arts" (Gardner 1990:37).
Perry, in his thought-provoking article on the advocacy of music education, discussed
possible approaches to curriculum planning. One of these approaches (Perry 1973: 108) is to
emphasise the cognitive educational content, subordinating other fields and subjects because
of presumed lower cognitive advances. Extreme situations, such as requiring justification for
the inclusion of apparently less cognitive subjects on grounds of cognitive content, are also a
common scenario amongst many curriculum designers.
The question of the possible inclusion of music as a core school subject has been treated in
this way in many coUntries,because musical outcomes cannot be measured purely in terms of
cognitive advances. It is a pity, however, that "noteworthy aspects of education in which
study of fine arts appears to contribute considerably to the outcome are ignored in this
approach" (Perry 1973:108). Although this article was written more than a quarter of a
century ago, policy makers still treat Music as school subject in this way, in other words,
valuing it for (a lack of) conceived cognitive content.
Economic considerations also play an important role - when experiencing budget problems,
administrators very readily make cuts in aesthetic areas of curricula. The facilitation of a
music education policy with an appropriate framework may also prove problematic because
of a lack of sufficient funds, lack of expertise and unequal opportunities between learners.
Lepherd (1994:2) suggests three theories into which curriculum planning generally falls,
namely
•
Essentialism,
which concerns the question of what subjects are essential for a
normal education;
•
Encyclopaedism, the assertion that all knowledge should be found in a curriculum;
and
The question "What is an educated person?" comes to mind, especially when educational
content which cann,ot be measured purely in an intellectual or cognitive way, is being
discussed. Perry (1973: 110) offers three possible ways to describe an educated person,
namely when someone possesses:
•
an increase in knowledge and complexity of reasoning processes together with the
closely allied tyPes of intellectual judgements.
To treat a curriculum as solely involving and developing intellectual processes is to grossly
ignore the cultivation of an educated person. Using such an approach, the criteria of
perceptual and conceptual education, together with awareness not markedly cognitive in
quality (such as the aesthetic kind), will inadvertently be overlooked and neglected in favour
of cognitive education. "Students' work in art comes through a fusion of intellectual,
emotional and physical energies. Through such expression of their feelings and ideas,
children grow inwardly in personal awareness and sensitivity, and outwardly in confidence
and in their capacity to communicate with others" (Crosskell, Condous & SchapeI1984:165).
The process of educating learners to become informed, responsible and well-rounded citizens
must, in the opinion of the author of this thesis, include education in all aspects of personal
development. "Education may be detected in trained scientific analysis, philological
investigation, but no less in relationships, planning of policy, aesthetic judgement" (Perry
1973:Ill). In short, the cognitive content of a curriculum has a very definite place, but it
must. be viewed together with other aspects of education to produce educated and balanced
persons.
It is importBnt to note that the ultimate objective of all standards, all school
curricula and all school personnel is to help students to gain the broad skills and
knowledge that will enable them to function effectively as adults and to contribute
to society in today's world and tomorrow's (MENC 1994b:l).
The National Curriculum of England (England 1999:2) describes the following aims for a
school curriculum:
•
It should aim to promote pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development,
and to prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of
life.
Both of these aims are equally important, and should receive equal attention in a cUrriculum.
"These two aims reinforce each other. The personal development of pupils, spiritually,
morally, socially and culturally, plays a significant part in their ability to learn and to
achieve. Development in both areas is essential to raising standards of attainment for all
pupils" (England 1999:3). The South African educationalist Cas Olivier (2000: 1) is of the
opinion that "[b]oth; education and training aim to furnish learners with the ability to cope
with the world outside."
A rounded education not only means the acquiring of cognitive knowledge, but also the
intemalising of creative and social skills. It is in this regard that a music education of high
quality plays an important role.
"Perhaps underlying all of the critical issues evident in arts education today is a continuing
need to change the attitudes towards arts education of the 'decision makers' at all levels.
This, in turn, underscores the importance of gaining community support for the needs of arts
education" (Comte 1993:44). Lehman (1993:202) links with this statement when he outlines
four assumptions commonly accepted in the United States before 1993, but which, in his
opinion, are "flagran,tlyin error". These faulty assumptions are that
•
The purpose of education for society is to contribute to the nation's economy and
the gross national product.
•
The most urgent need in the curriculum is for mathematics, science and computer
studies.
These assumptions were reformulated in the latest National Standards of the United States,6
and changed sufficiently to include tuition of art subjects on the same level as mathematics
6
The author refers the reader to chapter 3, where a brief discussion and an overview of the initiatives leading to
the National Standards of the United States of America are provided.
and science. In South Africa policy makers, however, still seem to support these four
assumptions with regard to arts education. In an article in Beeld, an Afrikaans newspaper,
article writer StephAnie Nieuwoudt (2000c) quotes one of the suggestions made during a
discourse Kunste quo vadis? (Arts quo vadis?) on the future of the arts in South Africa,
namely to convince the state of the multiple benefits of arts education and arts practice in a
community. The poljcy-makers, in other words, still need to be convinced of such benefits.
The NQF states that the first formulation of standards needs only to be addressed at the end
oflevel one (grade 9). It would, however, be short-sighted not to conceive music education in
a holistical and continuous way. A thoroughly planned set of standards should be produced
for the full educational spectrum, from early childhood to tertiary level, across formal, nonformal and informal education.
It should also offer alternative ways to reach desired
outcomes so as not be blinded by pre-formulated ideas.
It would, in the light of the aforementioned, be sensible to follow the point of departure of the
legislation of the 1994 Goals 2000: Educate America Act to list Music and other arts as core
subjects from primary school onwards.7 In the National Standards of the United States
(MENC 1994a:22), the arts are viewed as core subject together with the other subjects such
as English, Mathematics, History, Civics and Government, Geography, Science and Foreign
Language.
The MEUSSA group would, in this project, suggest the inclusion of Music as a core subject
from primary school through to secondary school, so as to give a broader group of learners
the opportunity
to gain from the benefits
of music tuition. Hauptfleisch
(1997:287)
formulates this goal as follows: "Because music education provides learners with the key to a
unique and major source of fundamental
life values both now and in the future, music
education must be an integral part of the education of all South Africans."
In the opinion of the author, the following conditions posted by Spychiger (1998: 199) are
absolutely applicable to the South African situation:
7
Arts, including Music, was added to the GOALS 2000 mission as a core school subject in 1994, for both
elementary and secondary school curriculum (Hopkins 1997:2; MENC 1994a:22). This important policychanging document is discussed in more detail in chapter 3, as part of the American frameworks.
•
Music teachers have to be given a high quality of training that should guarantee
musical and general didactic competence, as well as psychological knowledge in the
domain of music.
•
The quality and outcomes of music teaching, in terms of non-musical outcomes, but
especially for the experience of music itself, need to be evaluated and applied to
general educational goals.
The following vision for South Africa, "Lifelong Learning through a National Curriculum
Framework", is quoted in a policy document (South Africa 1997: 1): "A prosperous, truly
united, democratic and internationally competitive country with literate, creative and critical
citizens leading productive, self-fulfilled lives in a country free of violence, discrimination
and prejudice."
This ideal is, in the opinion of the author, directly linked to quality education in the arts, as it
should be one of the goals of education to produce productive and creative citizens. 8
The education
and training band distinguishes three clusters, or phases, for learning
purposes.9 They are:
8
This matter is briefly discussed later in this chapter under section 2.11, where the author refers to the
substantial amount of research done in this area.
9
This summary is taken from a MEUSSA document of 2 July 2000a by J.P. Grove, Mapping the Different
Musics.
'With the new Curriculwn 2005 in mind, the six defined learning areas in the GET phase
(NQF level 1) are as follows:
For the FET phase (NQF levels 2-4, or grades 10-12), eight learning areas were adopted by
the South African Department of Education (South Africa 1997:12). They are:
•
Mathematical Literacy, Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences;
I
•
to evaluate· unit standards
and recommend
qualifications and standards to SAQA; and
for approval
the registration
of
•
02 Culture ~d Arts (Sport);
•
03 Business, Commerce & Management;
•
04 Communication studies & Language;
•
05 Education, training and development;
•
06 Manufacturing, Engineering & Technology
•
07 Human & Social Sciences;
•
08 Law, Military Science & Security;
•
09 Health Sciences & Social Services;
•
12 Physical planning & constructing.
10
The inclusion of Culture and Arts as one of the learning areas implies that every learner will
have the opportunity to have encounters with all four of the arts strands, namely Visual Art,
Dance, Drama and Music, from the first year in school.
2.6.2 Music in Culture and Arts
Music, as one of the strands in the learning area of Culture and Arts, should be structured
both to provide a meaningful and high quality learning area, as well as to link the learner
with the world in which he/she lives. This can be done by (Oliver 1993:58):
•
the selection of learning content and experiences which suit the needs of learners at
different stages.
Very specific goals need to be set for music education, to avoid the marginalisation or the
minimising of subject content. In the opinion of the author, policy-makers in South African
music education should take note of the goals that MENC, according to Lehman (1988:79),
set for music education in 1990. These were that:
•
every high s9hool shall require at least one unit of credit for graduation in either
music, visual art, theatre or dance; and that
•
every college and university shall require at least one unit of credit in music, visual
art, dance or theatre for admission.
For these goals to succeed one basic condition must be met, namely that there be ample
opportunity for every student to study music at the high school level (Lehman 1988:79).
These goals are, at this stage in South Africa, ideal but still unattainable because of a severe
lack of trained educators in the arts, as well as financial limitations resulting in underprovision of teaching materials and instruments. The reality is that many music teachers have
been retrenched
and music departments
in secondary
schools closed, because
music
education is still often regarded as a luxury optional on the time-table. It is, however,
important to take notice of these goals, in order to invent a suitable strategy for quality music
education in South Africa.
To follow the lead of MENC will mean that the level of general music education has to be
substantially expanded. If the curriculum does not make provision for the education of
children from an e~ly age, this usually results in music tuition only being available to those
privileged few who have received tuition from an early age. II For the rest, the inclusion of
music as part of human development is cut back to music heard on the radio, with no way of
nurturing aspects such as the cultivation of musical appraisal, the development of creative
instincts or performance-related self-discipline.
The new C2005, after being revised in 2001, is at present focusing on providing a general
introduction and appraisal of the four arts strands, namely music, dance, visual art and drama,
II
Tuition in music usually means private instruction, specifically learning to play an instrument. This typically
includes instruction in the rudiments of music theory.
in the learning area of Culture and Arts. This will, ideally, be available to every learner up to
the level ofNQF 1, regardless of background or interest.
The opinion of the author, however, is that provision for two strategies in arts education
should be made here, namely:
•
general, non-performance
education in all four of the arts strands up to the end of
grade 9 (in the learning area of Culture and Arts); and
•
focused, performance-based
education for learners wanting to be educated at a
higher level in at least one of the arts strands, up to grade 12. This can be made
possible by allowing a choice of electives apart from the core set of standards,
thereby opening up the possibility of taking one or more arts subject(s), on a focused
or specialise4 level.
Unit standards arid outcomes for both these options should be made available. "All music
students should have the chance to produce and respond to music in all layers of musical
discourse, whatever the activity. If students are not working at a level in which they can
exercise truly musical judgements they are unlikely to be developing the quality of their
musical thinking" (Swanwick 2000: 10, italics by Bosman).
To equip the average learner for focused learning in music from grade 10 onwards, however,
preparation has to start earlier. Depending on the instrument and specific style or genre, the
learner may have to start as early as grade R/012 with tuition in an instrument.
At present a few limited options are available to an average South African pupil learning to
play an instrument:
•
Lessons can be taken from a private music instructor, after school hours and at the
expense of the parents or as part of an outreach programme. The skills obtained in
this way are seldom recognised at school level as elective studies.
12
13
The ideal starting time for a potential violinist, for example, is as early as grade RIO or grade I, with many
learners even starting earlier.
•
The potential player is left on his/her own, trying to learn by means of self-study.
This is not an ideal way to learn any instrument, as the careful guidance of a skilled
teacher is essential for success.
•
A few schools still offer, at the time of this thesis, instrumental tuition to music
pupils. This can be taken either as school subject (for example where Music as
school subject is provided), or after school hours at the few extra-curricular music
centres remaining country-wide. Music as school subject usually offers a limited
choice of instruments, as peripatetic teachers are costly to employ.
All the above implies that the parents or caregivers of the potential instrumentalist have to
spend time and money for lessons after normal school hours. The potential player of the
violin, guitar, sitar, or any other music instrument, has few other options available to obtain
valuable tuition in instrumental playing, and also does not receive credits in the school
curriculum for extra work done.
A more ideal way would be to integrate the first option above into a curriculum framework,
implying that tuition on an instrument be included in the curriculum as elective studies, 14
thereby providing the learner with the possibility of attaining credits for appropriate NQF
levels. In this way recognition of the value of music will be incorporated into the school
curriculum, and a science-orientated curriculum be balanced with the humanities. "The fact is
that what young people need most urgently to function effectively in the age of technology is
a solid, well-balanced education based on language, mathematics, science, social studies and
the arts" (Lehman 1993:204).
Furthermore, when recognising extra-curricular music education as credits on the school
report, the curriculum could be enriched in many ways. Music does not only imply solo
performance on an instrument, but often goes hand in hand with ensemble or orchestral
13
The exception to this situation is the University of South Africa (UNISA) who, in 1999, granted grade 12
accreditation for a grade VII perfonnance examination and grade V in theory, resulting in an extra subject for
grade 12.
14
The author would like to draw the reader's attention to the fonnat of frameworks in the United States of
America, England and New Zealand, where music as elective study is offered and corresponding credits given.
These frameworks are discussed in chapter 3.
participation, composition, choir, musicals or revues done after school hours. Therefore these
components could even be integrated into the school time-table, and recognition be awarded
to participants in these fields. 15 The motivation for this is that all of these elements contribute
towards a balanced education: "It would seem unwise to base any form of music education
more or less exclusively on performing, whether in individual instrumental instruction or in
ensembles. The evidence supports the view that students should have access to a range of
musical possibilities, including composing and audience-listening"
(Swanwick 2000: 11).
The MEUSSA group reached consensus during many workshops, held during 2000 and
2001, that instructional time for music in both primary and secondary school should not be
regarded as an extra on -the timetable, but as an integral part of educational time. This is in
line with what Lehman (1993:205) suggests:
•
Primary school: instructional time at least seven to nine percent (100 to 150 minutes
per week), provided by a specialist teacher assisted by a classroom teacher to carry
on music instruction through the week between visits by the specialist teacher.
•
Secondary school: enough periods to enable learners to elect courses in music and
arts. Offerings should include bands, orchestras, choral groups, as well as classes in
music literature, history, theory, composition and other fields of music. At least one
course in music without prerequisites should be available to every student.
To experience music actively, either by playing an instrument or by singing, is, in the opinion
of the author to be the ideal way to encourage early music encounters. This experience could
gradually be supplemented
by other music courses and experiences.
The possibility of
electives in music (or another arts learning area) should be kept open for focused learning,
apart from a basic c<;mrseavailable to all learners.
15Waterkloof Ho/!rskool, one of the leading schools in Gauteng, South Africa, is planning to use curricular time
for an orchestra academy in the same way that curricular time is currently being used for their cricket academy,
tennis academy and flight academy.
The MEUSSA project has as its main objective the generation of unit standards for mUsic(s)
in Southern Africa. In the following paragraphs a brief explanation of this concept will be
provided.
2.9 Points of departure
for writing unit standards
The common building block of learning within the framework of the NQF is the unit
standard. Olivier (2000:23) defines a standard as "an acknowledged basis for measuring
attainment of criteria." According to him, the word "unit" in this context refers to the size of
the learning package, or the quantity of learning embedded in the unit standard. The word
"standard" is concerned with the criteria, worth, quality, value, character or grade of the
standard (2000:5).
The use of this means as a building block for the organisation of learning regarding content
and values implies that the accumulation of credits as well as assessment strategy will be
easily and clearly administrated. It also provides the potential of cross crediting, meaning that
a learner could earn credits in one field or genre, and seamlessly move to another field
without losing credits for a level already reached. This would then add flexibility to a
previously fairly rigid system regarding content and the attainment of standards.
The fact that a learner would be able to earn credits for a certain amount of work done
should, in practice, add to individual motivation levels. Assessment in this context would
then imply that a learner could be assessed on the specific level that he/she has reached, and
that the corresponding qualification via the credits then be awarded.
Before any starting points for the designing of a music curriculum and the completion of unit
standards can be contemplated, a few clear and applicable objectives for music education
from pre-school to tertiary level must be spelled out.
A very important aim for music education is that it should be available to all learners. In this
way the multiple benefits of music making will be widespread, and to the advantage of the
citizens of the future. In this process the best schools must be taken as models, and not the
average or below-average schools: "What we have to ask is how we can achieve equality of
arts education for all children, not by dumbing down the best schools but by lifting the
others" (Harland, as quoted by Gardner 2000:14).
Another aim is to provide music education of high quality, linked to the cultural upbringing
and background of the learner and expanded from there. To achieve this, the continuous
training of teachers is essential. "Just as we need well-trained maths teachers, we need welltrained arts specialists with real passion for their subject. If they are practising artists, so
much the better" (Gardner 2000:14).
The feasibility of music literacy will be discussed by other memberS of the MEUSSA team,
but the author is of the opinion that, as an aim for music education, this could benefit learners
across all cultures, especially when applied in the primary school and on the same level as
learning to read or to do mathematics. This has been done for decades in British schools, with
the result that children's sight-singing abilities were famous at the turn of the nineteenth
century (Rainbow 1996:11-12).
According to Gardner (1990:xiii), "The challenge in arts education is to modulate effectively
among the values of the culture, the means available for arts education and assessment, and
the particular developmental and individual profiles of the students who are to be educated."
2.11 Factors influencing the provision of unit standards
The previous line of argumentation means that the following aspects need to be kept in mind
when writing unit standards for curricula:
•
economic and practical issues - cost, financial support, qualified teachers and
infrastructure;
•
target goals of education - the expected outcomes at the end of the educational
process.
Furthermore, Gardner (1990:45) is of the opinion that three components of education should
be taken into consideration when arts education is discussed, namely
An important point of departure that the author wants to establish is, in the light of solid
world-wide research
16
and the aforementioned argumentation, that music training should be
shifted from its position as peripheral and optional subject to core subject. This is based on
the fact that music provides:
•
a potential to connect learners with their own culture and the cultural content of
other peoples, therefore assisting in improved interpersonal relations.
•
a growing number of links between music training and the sciences, which means
that music has many more spin-offs than just the obvious musical benefits.
Cognitive skills that music learners seem to acquire are numerous (Martin 1995: 16),
for example: interpreting
symbols in new contexts, improving mathematical
reasoning and exercising diverse problem-solving skills. Music thus seems to have a
very practical impact on reasoning and problem solving - both imperative life skills.
•
To practise an art form requires self-discipline, creativity and confidence. These
acquired habits have positive applications in other areas of schooling and life
environment (Seidel 1996:2).
•
"The arts are worth studying because of what they are. Their impact cannot be
denied" (MENC 1994a:23).
•
The arts in all its forms are an integral part of daily life. To exclude this element
from a curriculum would leave learners culturally disabled.
16
Compare the research of Gordon Shaw and Frances Rauscher in this regard. Also Howard Gardner's
groundbreaking Frames o/Mind: A Theory o/Multiple Intelligence (New York 1983).
Hanshumaker (Musica Research Notes 1995:2) names, after studying a wide variety of
available doctoral dissertations, even more beneficial effects of music education on social
and intellectual development:
•
Arts activities foster positive attitudes toward school, which resulted in lower rates
of absentees.
•
Arts education facilitates social development, personality adjustment and general
intellectual development.
These findings correlate with the personal experience of a majority of music and arts
teachers, author included, who have over many years witnessed the enhanced social, creative
and intellectual development of music pupils in many areas of cognitive and personal
development.
What could therefore be summarised as the main objectives of music education in a school
curriculum?
Curriculum planning and the activity of providing unit standards reflect the current social
value and standing of the specific subject in society. "The curriculum is the concrete
expression of educational values, intents and experiences and, as such, provides a focus for
shared reflection on the educational enterprise" (Wing 1992:196-197).
If schools were to be viewed as "factories", producing learners with commercial skills to be
used as economically productive members of society only, the content of appropriate
curricula would focus on commercial subjects, neglecting aspects of personal, creative and
intellectual development. In this regard the author wants to quote Glasgow when he states
that: "The most innovative and educational models are being created not in the schools but in
corporate America" (1997:7).
Lyn Gardner remarks in her article in The Teacher (official magazine of the South African
Education Department, 2000:14), that the introduction of the National Curriculum during the
late eighties saw the gradual declining of school music services because principals opted for
buying computers rather than music instruments, absorbing drama and dance into English
and Physical Education.
Directly opposite to this view taken by principals in England, is the view expressed by
Lehman (1993:203) when he states that the wrong question to ask is, "What will it take to get
a job?" A more important question regarding education should be "What will it take to live a
rich, rewarding and satisfying life?" Getting a job is only one of the facets of living a full life.
To view schooling purely as a means to provide a work force for the corporate society would,
in the opinion of the author, be a shallow, short-sighted and narrow-minded exercise.
If it were the intent of a curriculum to enhance the development of the total person, this
would be reflected in the selection of important school subjects and the correlating unit
standards for these subjects. Following this target would then imply including courses and
subjects that would serve the enhancement of life qualities and personal development, and in
the process enhance the societal fibre. The truth is that mankind's
most memorable
achievements are represented through works of art but, somehow, these are considered
peripheral to the more serious business of manufacturing,
economics or job-preparation
(Lehman 1993:203)'In her article in The Teacher, Lyn Gardner (2000:14) quotes a study published by the
National Foundation for Education Research in the United States, which showed that "large
numbers of learners' [... ] are leaving school feeling that their arts experience at school had
almost no impact on them". Furthermore, in spite of the fact that music plays an important
role in most teenagers' lives, very little is learnt in secondary school.
When including the arts as core subject, the total person is involved and developed. The
Australian Curriculum Council (AQFAB 1998:12), for example, is adamant in its inclusion
of the arts in the eight learning areas of the National Curriculum Framework when it says that
this learning area involves the development of students' skills across a wide range of human
activities. "The arts develop verbal and physical skills, logical and intuitive thinking,
interpersonal skills and spatial, rhythmic, visual and kinaesthetic awareness. They promote
emotional intelligence, a way of understanding,
using and making responses through the
emotions and students' intra-personal qualities and experience. Through the arts, students
learn to use and experiment with a range of traditional and emerging technologies."
In this regard, it is the opinion of the author that arts, and specifically music education of a
very high quality should be provided for all children in Southern Africa. Low key, low
quality education has never benefited any learner. This implies the training and motivation of
the skilled music and arts teachers in schools to improve the standard of music education.
The viewpoint ofLyn Gardner (2000:14) is an important one in this regard, as she is of the
opinion that "the single most crucial factor in the success of arts education appears to be the
employment of specialist teachers who are passionate about their subjects." Children thrive
on arts education when the teacher is able to demonstrate practical skills competently and
enthusiastically.
When the social standing of music and the arts are to be reflected in the light of the current
situation in South Africa at the start of the 21st century, the picture seems to be dark and
unpromising. Nieuwoudt (2000b), for example, quotes Dr. Ben Ngubane, Minister of Arts,
Culture,
Science
staatsondersteunde
and
Technology,
as saying: "Daar
is geen
toekoms
meer
vir
ballet~, opera- en orkesgeselskappe in Suid-Afrika nie." The translated
version is as follows: "There is no future for government-supported
ballet and opera
companies or orchestras in this country any more."
Arts, especially Western art music and ballet, do not at present enjoy nearly enough financial
and moral support from administrators in South Africa. It is therefore imperative for music
specialists to ensure the survival of arts education, and then to combine survival with the
providing of quality education while opening up new perspectives. Arts education in our
country seems to lie in the hands of practitioners, private enterprise and specialists. A project
that aims to formulate unit standards for music(s) in Southern Africa, such as the MEUSSA
project, is therefore immensely valuable, as it needs to establish:
•
the opportunity to include as many learners as possible in a ground phase of high
quality, so as to enable the maximum social, creative and intellectual development
of the learners.
The Australian edu~ational authorities maintained the status of the arts in the education of
the youth, and described the relevance of the arts in the general school curriculum as
follows:
The arts contribute to the development of an understanding of the physical,
emotional, intellectual, aesthetic, social, moral and spiritual dimensions of human
experience. They also assist the expression and identity of individuals and groups
through the recording and sharing of experiences and imagination (Curriculum
Council of Western Australia 2000: 11).
The current Frameworks, with eight learning areas for secondary training in South Africa,
make provision for the inclusion of Arts and Culture. The challenge would be to fill this
learning area with unit standards for music education that is accessible, of high quality and
relevant to learners in Southern Africa.
Keeping the previous line of discussion in mind, it is clear that the inclusion of arts
education, and thus music education as well, needs to be reconceived and prioritised. It is this
content of education that provides for a well-rounded and fully educated learner, as it also
provides for a better learning environment. Perry (1973: 115) can be quoted here where he
writes that "The fine arts play their part in enabling us to proceed from what we are, which is
persons, to what we aim to be and in large measure are able to become and to remain, namely
educated persons."
The backbone of the formal music educational scene in South Africa has been the Western
art music tradition - a tradition that value knowledge and experience of musical elements and
concepts, and encourages a high standard of performance. A single cultural group no more
represents the population of South Africa. A mixture of foods, musics, languages, dance and
visual art enriches the cultural heritage of a nation with eleven official languages and
influences from as far as the Oriental, Indian, European, African and American cultures. This
scenario demands that a fresh approach to education in South Africa, especially arts
education, be used, with questions such as, "How should we express this new multi-faceted
heritage through our curricular and cultural offerings? How should we address the hopes,
dreams and - yes, fears of our new society?" (Burton 2000:2).
The fact is that a ~ulti-cultural
society such as ours provides for different sets of value
frameworks where the labelling and stereotyping of different genres and styles of music, as
well as other art forms, are concerned. These different value frameworks have their origin in
different
cultures and sources of music experience.
They have to be acknowledged,
addressed, and ultimately integrated into an inclusive music education. In expanding the
content of music used for education, learners will benefit from the cultural practices of the
microcosms of peoples in Southern Africa while maintaining the advantages of a music
discipline.
The arts present a way to address these multi-cultural aspects of our rainbow nation; as it is
the arts that provide a way to communicate and celebrate the different cultural practices of
the peoples of South Africa. "Music captures the essence of a given culture, often providing a
glimpse into the history, beliefs and traditions, allowing the culture to express its cultural
heritage and demonstrate how the people work, celebrate, worship, court and amuse" (Burton
2000:2).
As the current curricula of music in South Africa in no way represent the multi-cultural
music practices of this country, new perspectives and novel ways of approaching this state of
affairs are urgently needed. Children need to be encouraged and supported to explore their
own cultural history as well as that of others, and be given the opportunity to practise music
actively. This situation requires that a new curriculum, reflecting the different musical values
and styles of different groups of people, needs to be conceived. This new curriculum has to
include many genres of music, including all aspects of Western (art and popular) music, jazz,
African music, Indian music and World musics, as well as the traditional areas such as
Harmony, Aural training, Form, History of Music and General Music. New divisions such as
Music Technology, Music Industry and Media are still relatively unexplored, and need to be
included as options.
According to Leonhard (1999:42), few music educators are familiar with contemporary
popular music from which their students are getting their education in music through the
recording and broad;casting media outside school hours. In the same breath it could be said
that other genres like jazz, African and other ethnic music, as well as contemporary art music
should receive a bigger slice of the music education cake, because it is in these genres that
the present generation comfortably express themselves.
"The music that most kids are doing today is not being taught in schools. My musical
experience has been largely outside school although perhaps my introduction to music was
first from inside school" (Odam 1996:186). The incorporation of many more gemes of music
in the subject of Music seems to be lacking in the current approach, and three possible
reasons could be provided for this situation:
•
Teachers are themselves unfamiliar with one or more of the gemes such as pop
music, jazz, African or Indian music. "Most teachers have gone through the old
system. They don't listen to pop music or understand it" (Odam 1996:186).
•
Many examples of music from these gemes are presumed Gustly or not) of inferior
quality, and for this reason omitted for the sake of other "more serious" gemes. In
the process of generally classifying, for example, all pop music as being of lesser
quality, the teacher not only cuts off communication with his/her learners, but
narrows musical experience in the class.
•
A lack of facilities hampers the potential to utilise as many gemes in the musical
field as possible. To be able to provide a wide basis in, for example, music listening
and appraisal, a school needs a substantial collection of compact discs from different
musical styles, countries and periods together with the necessary equipment to
accurately produce these sounds. "Schools haven't got the right equipment or the
right sort of rooms to work in" (Odam 1996:186).
These few observations make it clear that class and instrumental music teachers have,
generally speaking, too little knowledge about the music that fills the days of the learners in
their classes. Furthermore it may be said that the content of music taught in class does not
provide learners with a chance to develop a keen ear to distinguish between higher and lower
quality in the everyday music that is heard on the radio and popular concerts. Another
vacuum may be that music of our time, playing composers such as Luciano Berio, Krzysztof
Penderecki, James MacMillan, John Tavener, Arvo Part and Einojuhani Rautavaara does not
receive enough exp?sure - generally because of a lack of knowledge on the part of the
teacher.
· Does this mean that learners have to be allowed own free choice when selecting suitable
musical material fo~ educational purposes? "Unfortunately too much music today inspires
young to the use of drugs, the abuse of sex, and the inclination to violence. The schools can
do a lot to encourage children to listen to the right kind of music during the formative years"
(Artsedge 2000:2). In other words - the inclusion of a wider range of musical genres needs to
be done with care, consideration for quality and sensitivity, as not all music can be said to
have a positive influence on its listeners. In this regard it can be expected that the' music
teachers in schools must be expected to have both the knowledge and ability to distinguish
exactly which musical content to use in the educational process.
As a consequence of this, the ongoing training of music staff is imperative. Teachers need to
be kept informed so as to be able to integrate music education with the everyday life of the
learners in their classes. "In many places, more teachers with credentials in the arts, as well
as better-trained teachers in general, will be needed. [T]he primary issue is to bring together
and deliver a broad range of competent instruction" (MENC 1994a:63).
In short - learners must be allowed to experience, make and learn about all kinds of music at
school, from Pop and Swing, to Classical and Jazz. In the words of Danny Farrant,
seventeen-year old British learner: "Everyone should have as broad an education as possible
and choose which way they want to go at the end of it" (Odam 1996: 187).
The challenge for music educators, when developing
a music framework
and general
curriculum, thus asks that students be assisted to experience a broad, inclusive musical
education that positively influences, forms and prepares them to become responsible and
mature adults.
The general direction of music education in South Africa is moving towards widening the
canon of the discourse by including all genres of music practised in the country and
broadening the perspective of using Western art music as the only basis for music teaching.
17
For a start, some obstacles therefore had to be overcome and pre-set ideas changed within the
17
A detailed motivation for this statement is provided by the author in chapter 4, which provides a postmodem
view on music education.
MEUSSA group itself. Because this group has exponents of all the major musical styles in
South Africa, the problems encountered in the group may, to a large extent, be considered as
representative of potential problems in the South African music education scenario.
One of the problems of providing a coherent set of unit standards for musics in South Africa,
is the cross-cultural issue. As the population in this country consists of diverse cultural and
ethnic groups, the provision of an inclusive set of unit standards can pose substantial
problems, as it is sometimes difficult to separate content (musical concepts) from value (an
emotional dimension of cultural content) and approach.
IS
"The relative effects and merits of
Western influence o~ cultures is often the basis for many questions among art educators" (art
& Hurwitz 1984:58-59). Especially in African countries the tension between Western culture
and traditional art forms can provide areas of disagreement between curriculum planners.
"Neither country [Nigeria and Ghana] is going to cast off traditional art forms because in
many cases these are still bound up with local life styles and with nonvisual art forms, yet
both countries look to the West for guidance in planning curricula" (art & Hurwitz 1984:5859).
A relevant question to ask in the context of the South African diversity of cultures is: "How
does one institutionalise forces that have been accepted as a way of life? And, how does one
preserve art forms ~at are linked to customs that are the casualties of progress?" (art &
Huiwitz 1984:58-59).
Other questions to pose may be: how may a way be presented in which to incorporate local
art forms and cultures into a school environment and curriculum? Are children in urban and
rural areas exposed to the same cultural content? Can this content be formalised in a
curriculum? (for example the relative content of popular music heard on the radio and
television as compared to traditional cultural content of ethnic music).
18
The MEUSSA team often came across these differences within our own group. Because not all participants
were trained in the same genre, it was sometimes difficult to formulate, for example, one approach to
performing. In the Western tradition, ''performing''
means reproducing/recreating
and interpreting the written
score accurately, but in the Indian, African or Jazz idiom the concept of producing/creating
performing.
is an integral part of
Further typical problems encountered specifically in South Africa in the process of
establishing a set of inclusive, high quality unit standards for musics, were, inter alia:
•
There is a serious lack of funding and infrastructure, as there is a large occurrence of
poverty in different parts of the country. Funding for instrumental teaching and
learning is vi~ly
•
non-existent in all layers of the South African society.
Communication between practitioners of Western art forms, popular music and
traditional art forms is often experienced as cumbersome or absent.
•
The varying character of traditional art forms in different parts of the country makes
it difficult to pinpoint a version of standards to use in curricula for the whole
country.
•
There are different levels of schooling and education in different regions of the
country, as .wellas drastically varying levels of skilled teachers.
•
The provision of different styles and genres at the same outcome level, so as to
formalise standards for different kinds and genres of music, is foreseen as
potentially difficult. The technical content of Western art music and a piece of
music in pop and rock style could, for example, be widely different.
•
There is a big gulf between classroom music (non-performance-based) and
instrumental teaching and learning (performance-based).
As the above list suggests, music education in South Africa faces many challenges, another
of which is the way formal music education might relate to the musical content of society.
Styles such as popular, commercial and indigenous music styles and genres, which are part of
everyday community life, must be considered in the formal education of music, as it is
undesirable to divide music into "school music" and "everyday music". Lepherd (1994:5)
summarises this effectively when he alleges that "What is promoted in music education in
schools will be incr7asingly challenged as young people are influenced more by the world
around them."
The performing aspect of music education in South Africa has, like in many Western and
non-Western countries world-wide, been primarily offered by private or peripatetic teachers.
These students usually perform in external examinations offered by the three examination
bodies in South Africa, namely the University of South Africa (UNISA), the Associated
Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and Trinity College of London. Pupils
taking private lessons formed, and still form, a substantial part of music audiences, music
players and music-buying citizens in the classical genre.
Music education should ideally start before a child enters formal education. Many preschools offer music experiences to children between three and six years old. This often
includes performing on Orff instruments, doing a little music appreciation, moving to music
and singing songs, but worthwhile music experiences are erratic and many learners are still
excluded from music as core subject at this important phase.
In South Africa, pre-school education usually continues with general class music in primary
school, but in this system there is little or no chance of performing for individual learners,
except outside of nOfIllalschool hours and structures. Learners taking lessons on one or more
instruments outside school hours are also not credited within the formal school structure, for
example as an extra subject on their school report form.
Secondary school music experiences are usually scaled down drastically, with worthwhile
musical experiences only available to children of paying parents taking music as extracurricular subject. Music education then normally continues with a learner taking private
instrumental (performing) and theory lessons. This scenario is not uncommon - the British
scene was already described in 1963 by Chisholm (1963:189-190) as follows: "After nursery
and elementary school our educational systems do little to develop the natural creative
attributes of the child and much to strangle and stifle them - and that, in the interest of human
development, happiness and fulfilment, it is desirable to alter this state of affairs". The
National Curriculum, introduced in 2000, attempted to change this state of affairs by offering
General Music as school subject from pre-school to year 13 of the school structure. An
option of following' a performance-based or composition-based course in music was also
made available. 19
19
The reader is referred to chapter 3, section 3.9.3, where the music content of the National Curriculum is
discussed in more detail.
The current approach to general education by the South African educational authorities is
very concerned with subjects such as Mathematics and Sciences, and less concerned with
spending the same proportion of school time on developing creativity and cultivating an artsrelated discipline. This tendency is also not unique to South Africa: Crozier (1998:50), for
example, explains in an article in the Music Teacher the British music educators' fear of
losing the subject's
place in the primary school timetable as a result of the proposed
improved literacy and numeracy standard policy. Music is still offered as a subject in many
South African secondary schools, although budget cuts have forced the exit of many skilled
music teachers as well as the termination of Music as a school subject in many schools.
This is a sad state of affairs, because "all children are naturally creative, but by the time they
enter a secondary school have had most of the creative faculty knocked out of them - or so I
believed. [But] the creative instinct has not been strangled, but has only been lying dormant,
waiting to be awakened by an intelligent hand" (Chisholm 1963:189).
It is the opinion of the author that by performing on an instrument in any genre of music, a
learner is benefiting from the multiple advantages of practising a form of the arts, developing
the potential as an educated and rounded person. There is a huge gap between
"real" music
(experienced by performing) and, what Crozier (1998:50) calls, the Peter and the Wolf
approach, implying music taught without experiencing music-making first hand. The author
agrees with Crozier that the last-mentioned method does not utilise the natural creativity and
curiosity of the majority of learners, but merely provides a superficial overview of a vast
subject. "It is our duty to unravel the tragedy enacted upon the child - a being full of life,
creativeness and potential nobility when born, slowly as he grows, descending in tone to a
state of mediocrity and unawareness with the varying symptoms that accompany the loss of
creativeness, those of discontent, frustration, delinquency, nervous disorders and worse"
The author also shares the viewpoint offered by Lepherd (1994:3) that "music education does
not exist in a vacuum. A national system is the way it is because of the factors that have
influenced its development".
Therefore the MEUSSA team, with the provision of unit
standards, can play a vital role in determining the direction of music education in South
Africa, facilitating quality education to learners from the foundation phase to the end of
compulsory schooling and beyond.
The author is of the opinion that it is very difficult, and certainly not ideal, to be educated in
music without experiencing the performance aspect. Without being able to experience music
first hand, either by singing or by performing on an instrument, a learner may find it difficult
to understand the discipline of Music.
There are a number of ways to encourage music education through performance on one 'or
more instruments. One way of achieving this could be by allowing for extra credits on the
school report form f<;>r
extra-curricular instrumental (solo, ensemble or orchestral) work done.
The normal practice in South Africa at the moment (2001) does not allow for formal
recognition of hard work done after school hours in the field of music performing.
Another way of en~ouraging music education through performance is by running music
programmes in collaboration with professional institutions. As an example the "Time for
Bows" programme, initiated by the Eastman School of Music in the Enrico Fermi
Elementary School in Rochester, New York (Fitzpatrick 1999: 30-32) may be cited. This
programme was designed as a community-based programme "sturdy enough to succeed
under less than ideal conditions". By providing tuition and supervised practising time, a
youth string orchestra was established which had as its aim a community education project
with a broad approach to music education.
A third option is to include genres other than classical music in the curriculum for music
education. Chisholm (1963:196), for example, suggested the inclusion of jazz in the school
curriculum as early as the 1960s: "I am all in favour of persons getting out their instruments
and playing jazz happily together - particularly young persons whose vital creative spark has
not been bull-dozed out of existence [... ]. Firstly, it is great fun and, secondly, it is creative
and gives a deep-rooted satisfaction to the performer".
For music education to have an impact on or benefit for the average learner, Lehman
(1993:205-207) states eight requirements that need to be addressed:
•
Every primary and secondary school must offer a comprehensive, balanced,
sequential, high quality programme of music instruction, taught by qualified
educators. These should, ideally, be specialist teachers assisted by generalist
teachers.
•
Objectives for music instruction should be explained in simple and clear language,
stating what the pupils should know and be able to do, and bypassing "esoteric
jargon".
•
Minimum expectations for the various levels of achievement in music should be
clearly outlined, avoiding vague descriptions and foggy rhetoric.
•
Music learning must be based on skills and knowledge, and the idea that music is
only fun and games, or serving the aim of entertainment, must be avoided at all
costs. Using this angle of music education serves the perception that music is a frill
that may be QIllittedif necessary.
•
Music education programmes must be made public and visible in order to build a
solid base of support of parents, community, and eventually every "decision-maker,
opinion-mou!.derand taxpayer".
•
Natural allies such as arts councils, music clubs, arts organisations and other support
groups must be mobilised to work on behalf of music education and arts
programmes in schools.
•
Pre-service teacher education should be at a very high level, meaning that music
teachers should be fine musicians themselves, as well as enthusiastic and able
teachers. "They should be able to analyse, describe, and discuss music
knowledgeably. They should be able to improvise, compose, and arrange music"
(Lehman 1993:207).
•
Music teachers need to be treated as professionals, meaning that their professional
judgement needs to be valued, and sufficient equipment, materials, facilities and
time to do their job need to be supplied.
These requirements' should, in the opinion of the author, enjoy high priority in the South
African educational policy regarding music education. It is still not true that a
"comprehensive, [... ] high quality programme of music instruction" is provided in all
schools, neither that ample skilled music teachers are valued and trained to achieve this. In
.short, commitment to quality education means providing both the teaching materials and the
teaching skills to comply with high quality music education. "How can any school without a
strong programme in music and the arts claim to have a serious commitment to quality
education?" (Lehman 1993:207).
Currently (2001), Music may be taken on three levels in those South African schools still
offering Music as a subject, namely:
•
Music on higher grade (harmony, aural training, form and history, with a first
instrument on performance level);
•
Music on standard grade (harmony, aural training, form and history with an
instrument on a performance level of one grade lower than the higher grade); and
•
Music Performance (no theoretical components, usually taken in combination with
the higher grade subject, and incorporating performance on a second instrument on
one level lower than that of the standard grade, or two grades lower than the higher
grade).
The system of formal music education in schools in South Africa takes Western art music as
point of departure. In the modernist narrative, Western art music is regarded as having
superior artistic merit, but "a price has to be paid, however, for the achievement of these
towering heights. The price is that with our world of music divided into a handful of creative
musicians and an army of recreative musicians whose sole function in the art of music is the
almost mechanical one of bringing again to life the ideas, musical thoughts and sound
patterns of the creators, the' majority of musicians are denied the opportunity of exercising
their creative instincts" (Chisholm 1963: 196).
This approach also excludes those learners who participate in other genres, stemming from
traditions that integrate performing and creating such as Indian music, African music,
popular music and jazz. Because these music genres form an integral part of the culture of the
majority of students, in the South African community, a serious re-evaluation of educational
perspectives needs to be taken: "In music education there is also the need to examine the
musical context of the society. This includes the nature of the music - a nation's traditional
music as well as other forms, and the current national climate for music - the extent to which
national or local organisations of a variety of kinds influence directly the provisions for
music education" (Lepherd 1994:3).
To address this vacuum, the inclusion of more genres of music into the curriculum must be
considered,
as well as the enrichment
of the Western content with aspects such as
improvisation and studying or practising music of other cultures, genres or styles. The area of
popular music should, for example, be addressed by music educators, because this genre of
music forms an integral part of the world which the average learner experiences from day to
day. To approach music education this way is in line with a postmodern approach, as will be
outlined in chapter 4.
As part of the MEUSSA team, the author wants to present relevant suggestions that were
made by this group after discussing the frameworks of the USA during a workshop:
•
The music education situation in the USA makes provision for many levels, but the
group suggests that the current three levels in South Africa (Lower Grade, Standard
Grade and Higher Grade) could be kept the same, but used in a more flexible way.
•
Instruction in Music theory need not be introduced from the start, but when added
later in the course of music study, more weight can be given to the performance
aspect.
•
The main goal of music education should not be to train specialist musicians, but to
provide a general education and opportunity for experiences in music.
•
Focused, career-orientated
schooling for exceptionally talented young musicians
should, however, also be available, as it prepares them for a viable future.
More suggestions for music education in South Africa, additional to the above-mentioned,
will be presented by the author in chapter 3, after critically investigating unit standards of the
USA, Australia, England and New Zealand.
"We have learned that musical doing, thinking and feeling are essential ways in which
humans make contact with, internalise,
express, critique, and influence their cultural
contexts" (Reimer 1999:43). It is the obligation of music educators to keep the contents of
the music curriculum in touch with this past and present cultural and historical context. It is
also the task of music educators to "celebrate the human capacity to express inner thoughts
and feelings that transcend cultural, political, temporal and geographical barriers" (Beglarian
1991:17).
•
the individual (maintaining a person's physical, emotional and intellectual wellbeing, enhancing spatial and abstract reasoning skills);
•
the community (improving religious service, balancing the negative effects of
scientific and technological progress, providing good social and moral influence);
and
This project, with leader Professor Caroline van Niekerk and co-leader Professor Heinrich
van der Mescht, fills an urgent need for the re-evaluation and re-engineering of music
education in Southern Africa.
In order to be able to write unit standards for Southern African mUSICS,two main
perspectives had to be kept in mind, namely
•
The format and content of frameworks and unit standards available in various
countries; I and
Apart from these two perspectives, the on-going process of providing musical experience to
and creating musical awareness in the learners had to be continually kept in mind. This aim
could be described as assisting learners to experience music as "an essential strand in the
human fibre" (Swanwick 1988b:3).
The matter of change in education also needed to be faced. The extent to which a society
changes, usually necessitates change in education as well. This change in education includes
music education, as "music education, as part of the educational process, is as inextricably
involved with change as any other aspect of education" (Lepherd 1994:5). Furthermore:
"Education only flourishes if it successfully adapts to the demands and needs of time"
(England 1999:5).
Another need - one which provides quite another perspective to the music educational aspects
- is the urgency of providing a clear set of instructional directions for music and music
teaching. Swanwick (1996:21) defines this quest for instructional objectives: "Much
I
The following words describe the process in the United States of America that preceded the National
American Arts Standards. This process shows some similarities with that of the MEUSSA project to provide
standards for musics in South Africa: "This document is the result of an extended process of consensus-building
that drew on the broadest possible range of expertise and participation. The process involved the review of
state-level arts education frameworks, standards from other nations and consideration at a series of national
forums" (MENC 1994a:22).
knowledge may indeed be tacit: we know more than we can tell, or indeed 'want to be
bothered to tell." The intuitive character of musical tuition needs to be replaced with a more
articulate directory of knowledge, skills, values and understanding.
South Africa is in a favourable position to benefit from the most recent international
developments regarding educational structures. The fact that a new dispensation for, inter
alia, education was' launched in 1994 created an opportunity for gaining from the most
positive directions world-wide. This means that present educational structures and contents in
Southern Africa can be moulded to fit the current scenario and momentum world-wide as
well as locally.
The format of South African learning content and learning outcomes as currently prescribed
by SAQA, will be in the form of frameworks2 and unit standards. This format closely
correlates with that introduced in four countries world-wide, namely the United States of
America (1994), Australia (1995), New Zealand (1999) and England (2000). To provide a
sound basis for the writing of unit standards by the MEUSSA project, these frameworks had
to be studied closcl.y. The unique Southern African context, however, required a fresh
approach to provide a structure that is compatible with the indigenous scenario, cultural
content, as well as the availability of trained staff, equipment and financial resources.
What is a framework? According to the Nebraska Department of Education, frameworks are
a resource for educators to improve the quality of instruction and education for all learners
through the systemic change process. "Frameworks are not a mandate; rather, local districts
may use the frameworks to determine and implement the concepts, ideas and practices
offered here" (Nebraska 2000e). Frameworks are, in other words, the outline from where a
curriculum can be interpreted, and this outline provides the skeleton for curriculum design.
2
"A curriculum framework
is a philosophical
and organisational
framework which sets out guidelines for
teaching and learning" (South Africa 1997:16). "It is neither a curriculum, nor a syllabus, but a framework
identifies common learning outcomes for all students [... J. It is intended to give schools and teachers flexibility
and ownership over curriculum in a dynamic and rapidly-changing
Western Australia 2000:3).
world environment" (Curriculum Council of
Therefore, frameworks are not concerned with the detailed content or curricula for subjects,
but: "The standards are concerned with the results (in the form of student learning) that come
from a basic education in the arts, not with how those results ought to be delivered. Those
matters are for states, localities and classroom teachers to decide" (MENC 1994a:22).
Some of the advantages of providing an educational system in terms of frameworks, unit
standards and the corresponding qualifications3 acquired, as currently also being developed .
in South Africa by SAQA and appropriate SGBs, are the following (Irwin 1997:3):
•
Existing knOWledge and skills are recognised, no matter how and when acquired.
The approach of gaining purely academic qualifications without recognising skills
and knowledge earned in a workplace or in an informal way is challenged.
•
Progression is encouraged, as credits would count towards qualifications
acquired, and could be earned throughout
to be
the primary, secondary and tertiary
education phases, as well as in the industry.
•
Cross crediting and the potential to "mix-and-match"
unit standards while retaining
credits would provide for a flexible system.
All systems also have disadvantages, however, and some weak points in this process will
inevitably be detected and experienced. Potential problems and possible pitfalls foreseen by
the author of this th~sis are briefly outlined in the following remarks:
•
Excessive expectations must be avoided. All the deficiencies of the present system
cannot be swept aside at once.
•
No system is perfect. Unit standards registered on a qualifications framework will
provide for a new approach to music education, but teething problems will have to
be expected.
3
According
to the Australian
Qualifications
Framework,
a qualification
is defined as follows: "Formal
certification, issued by a relevant approved body, in recognition that a person has achieved learning outcomes or
competencies relevant to identified individual, professional, industry or community needs" (AQF AB 1998:8).
•
As the scope of music genre's is widened to include the musics of more cultural
groups in th~ country, the establishment of similar credits and qualifications across
different genres could present difficulties.
•
Teacher training, which proved to be of utmost importance in the process of
establishing a new approach to music education in the USA, is costly and timeconsuming, but needs to be addressed. "Since it is impossible to teach what one
does not know, [it] will require professional development for many teachers and
changes in teacher preparation programmes" (Artsedge 2000:24). Without the
necessary expertise in the ranks of the teaching profession, the whole exercise of
providing unit Standards for musics in Southern Africa could experience an early
failure, or could result in a highly unacceptable situation of the lowering of
standards.
•
Practices that proved to be effective in the previous curriculum should not be
discarded in .favour of an all-new system. In the words of Comte (1993:35): "We
tend too often to 'throw out the baby with the bath water"'. A careful evaluation
should be made of positive elements and foundations in the music education
curriculum up to now (200I) and possible limitations and needs be identified. These
findings should then be correlated with the desired outcomes of a new educational
approach in music.
For success in a system like outcomes-based education, founded on unit standards, specific
requisites need to be met. One of these concerns the support that a programme such as music
education enjoys from government administrators, community music specialists, educational
infrastructure and parents. In this regard the author compared the support system of the four
countries mentioned in the introduction to this chapter (USA, Australia, New Zealand and
England) to assess governmental support for their music education programmes in
comparison with both the potential and required support for a comparable programme in
· Southern Africa. A few general remarks in this regard will be presented in the following
paragraphs.
4
According to Wing (1992:207-208), curriculum change is effected through the participation
and support of all concerned with the school programme - administrators, board members,
classroom teachers, art specialists and community arts people. A good example of effective
governmental suppo~ is the process of providing frameworks for musics in the USA, ~ done
by the Consortium of National Arts Education. This process was financially and strategically
supported by the National Endowment
of the Arts, the United States Department
of
Education and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
At the start of the MEUSSA project in 2000 such support was not the case in South Africa, as
facilitating unit standards for only the ten most widely used subjects could be funded by the
Department of Education. Since then this situation has changed early in 2001, as funding for
the generation of unit standards for music, under the umbrella of NSB 02, has been made
available by SAQA. Three Music SGBs were consequently launched in August 2001, namely
one each for Music HET, Music GET and Music Industry.
The matter of infrastructure, staffing and facilities in South African music education is at
present burdened with huge under-provision. Music teachers country-wide have in the past
struggled with a minimum of instruments, equipment, administrative
support and school
hours. Trying to keep music education on a high level normally meant and still means
struggling against many odds as well as teaching core music subjects after school hours,
leaving the impression that this is a non-curricular activity, and therefore less important.
As a starting point of providing unit standards for music in Southern Africa, the author will
proceed to investigate the content of the frameworks of four countries that have recently
produced frameworks. These are
4
A more detailed discussion of aspects such as staffing and facilities in each country does not lie within the
scope of this thesis.
The following section will examine the National Standards of the USA, with a specific focus
on aspects that are relevant in a Southern African context.
Mark & Gary (1992:vii-viii),
when describing the blossoming
of music education
in
American public schools, quote Hanson as saying that America has surpassed itself in the
establishment of school music in public schools, and that this movement has acquired world
significance. This is echoed in the Nebraska Qualifications Framework (Nebraska 2000f: 1):
The study of music in our nation's schools has a long and proud tradition dating
back to the inclusion of music in the curriculum of the Boston Public Schools in
1838. Today, virtually every school in the United States includes at least some
music instruction in its curriculum.
In the middle of the 20th century the American school curriculum was favouring Science and
Mathematics, a result of the gaining importance of space technology.
Public education
leaders, however, viewed this state of affairs as potentially dangerous. Consequently the
American Association of School Administrators,
as quoted in Mark & Gary (1992:332),
issued the following statement in 1959:
We believe in a well-balanced school curriculum in which music, drama, painting,
poetry, sculpture, architecture and the like are included side by side with other
important subjects such as mathematics, history and science.
More than 30 years later, the 1983 publication A Nation at Risk (by the National Commission
on Excellence in Education) was seen by many American educators as the initiating event of
the modem standa,rdss movement in the United States of America. In this document
educators were, amongst other things, warned that the school system was facing a "rising tide
of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a nation and a people" (McREL 1997b:1). A
call for educational reform was formulated as an urgent matter in this publication.
As a result, an education summit called in 1989 by President George Bush and fifty
governors, concluded with six broad national goals for education for the year 2000. Two of
these were aimed specifically at academic achievement (McREL 1997b), of which one,
namely the third goal, correlates with the South African Draft Document released in May
2000 by Minister Kader Asmal, current Minister of Education in South Africa. This third
goal was formulated,as follows in the USA (McREL 1997b:3):
[E]very school in America will ensure that all students learn to use their minds
well, so they may be prepared for responsible citizenship, further learning and
productive,employment in our modem economy.
Educational goals for South Africa were formulated and set forth in a draft document by
Minister Kader Asmal during May 2000. Two relevant national curriculum goals in the
aforementioned Draft Document of the National Curriculum Framework (South Africa
2000: 12), when compared to the American educational goal mentioned in this paragraph, are
as follows:
Other educational goals for the USA named five subjects (English, Mathematics, Science,
History and Geography) for which challenging national achievement standards were to be
established. Arts were initially not part of this strategy, as "This publication seems to take the
view that education is important largely for its contribution to the nation's economic welfare"
(Lehman 1993:203). In 2000, however, the number of areas for which students should
5
"Standards [... ] appeared at different levels of organisation and structure. Standards provide a way of
organising information, that is, the benchmarks that identify important declarative, procedural and contextual
knowledge" (McREL 1997d:8).
demonstrate "competency over challenging subject matters" were increased to nine, and now
included Foreign languages, Economics, Civics and Government and, very importantly, the
Arts (McREL 1997b:6).
Efforts to identify standards in the fields of science, civics, dance, theatre, mUSIC,art,
language arts and history, to name but a few, soon followed after this summit. The
Consortium of National Arts Education Associations, after receiving a grant in 1992 from the
US Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National
Endowment for the Humanities, published standards for Arts in March 1994 to determine
what children should know and be able to do in the arts. Four strands for the arts were
identified, namely dance, music, theatre and the visual arts.
"The standards are one outcome of the education reform effort generated in the 1980s, which
emerged in several states and attained nation-wide visibility with the publication of A Nation
at Risk in 1983" (MENC 1994a:22). From 1996 a total of 48 states were in the process of
developing common'academic standards.6
Another motivational advance was the widespread agreement among professional leaders in
education, political leaders of both parties (Republican and Democratic) and the general
public that every student should receive education in music and other arts in school, and
furthermore that the arts are an essential component in an overall balanced curriculum
(MENC 1994b:2). This policy, if properly applied, implies the provision of sufficient support
by the educational system in terms of facilities, teaching staff, materials, equipment and
opportunities to enable effective learning.
Lehman (1997:1) states that standards (expressed in terms of what students should know and
be able to do) provide a basis for justifying the entire educational process and making it
consistent in a way that has never before been possible. Standards, in other words, provide a
6
The Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory (McREL) began a systematic collection, review and
analysis of noteworthy national and state curriculum documents in all subject areas. Content Know/edge: A
Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K- J 2 Education, a synthesis of standards in all subject areas,
was published by McREL in December 1995. The documents on music standards are explored extensively in
this thesis.
single, unified focus for developing curriculum, creating teaching strategies, assessmg
learning, and reforming teacher education.
An important supportive perspective during this time was supplied by the input of SCANS
(the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, appointed by the Secretary of
Labour to determin~ the skills young people need to succeed in the world of work). This
commission described the knowledge and skills necessary for success in the workplace
(McREL 1997b:3), and also identified a three-part analysis of skills and personal qualities
that American students needed to be productive members of the work force (McREL
1997e:4).
•
The first part involved academic training, such as reading, writing, arithmetic, and
mathematics, speaking and listening.
•
The second part involved mind skills, such as "thinking creatively, making
decisions, solving problems, seeing things in the mind's eye, knowing how to learn
and reasoning" (McREL 1997e:4).
•
The third part involved lifelong learning skills such as individual responsibility,
self-esteem, integrity and self-management.
In 1997 a call was made by President Bill Clinton to adopt high national education standards,
asking that every state should, by 1999, test every 4th grader in reading and every 8th grader
in mathematics to make sure that these standards are met (McREL 1997b:9).
In the light of the foregoing it is clear that competent educational standards were regarded as
a priority by American authorities, and these included standards in the arts as a core subject.
Common standards of high quality are important because they provide guidance as to the
nature of a good education in the arts, as well as letting the arts earn a place in core education
instead of being treated as optional (MENC 1994a:22). Mind skills, such as thinking
creatively, seeing in the mind's eye or solving problems (such as the second part of the
SCANS analysis of necessary skills and personal qualities) form an inherent part of arts
tuition, and would therefore be encouraged by the inclusion of the arts as core subject.
The implementation of a set of challenging and world-class standards is, in the light of the
previous paragraphs~viewed by the American public as apriority. One of the goals of a 1989
summit on the educational preparation of the national youth, for example, stated that students
of the United States should, by the year 2000, be first In the world in science and
mathematics achievement (McREL 1997b:1).
Arts education standards can make a difference because, in the end, they speak
powerfully to two fundamental issues that pervade all education - quality and
accountability. They help to ensure that the study of arts is disciplined and well
focused, and that arts instruction has a point of reference for assessing its results
(Artsedge 1994:9).
The American educ?tion system uses a standards-based approach to education, and has no
national curriculum. National standards provide a different perspective for education in the
sense that they "speak of competencies, not a pre-determined course of study" (Artsedge
2000:12). In other words, explicit statements of the results expected at specified levels are
prescribed, and not' detailed curriculum content. These standards are also a reflection of
national values and beliefs regarding the position of the arts in the community.
American standards are written in the format of nine content standards, with several
benchmarks,7 or achievement standards, grouped under the content standards. The content
standard defines what students should know and be able to do in the different arts disciplines
for all grades, while the achievement standards (previously called benchmarks) describe the
desired outcomes and levels of achievement expected from the students in order to attain the
competency. For achievement standards terminology like "sing independently, perform
expressively, create, identify, and demonstrate" is used.
According to former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch, one of the chief
architects of the modem standards movement (McREL 1997b:9), standards are important in
the American education system because:
7
"The benchmark is the smallest unit of analysis. [I]t can be characterised as being declarative, procedural or
contextual
in the type of knowledge
it describes"
(McREL
1997d:6). "In summary, a benchmark can be
described as an 'interval' of levels of generality in the description of information and skills" (McREL 1997d:7).
•
Standards provide a common'set of expectations.
Furthermore she asserts that high standards ''will improve the effectiveness of American
education, by clearly defining what is to be taught and what kind of performance is expected"
(McREL 1997b:9).
According to the authors in the Artsedge document (2000:9-10), arts education standards can
make a difference, b~cause the standards are insisting and ensuring that:
•
Arts education is not a hit-and-miss effort, but a sequenced learning enterprise
across the four arts disciplines, thus ensuring basic arts literacy.
•
Arts education takes a hands-on orientation by letting students be continually and
creatively involved in the study of the arts.
•
Students are taught to use technology to understand the relationship between the use
of essential technical means and the achievement of desired ends.
•
Students are helped to develop problem-solving and higher-order skills, which are
necessary for success in life and work.
Paul Lehman, an ihfluential American music educator and past MENC president, also
supports the standards when he writes that (Lehman 1997: 1):
•
Standards demonstrate the types of learning and the levels of achievement that are
desired.
•
Standards give a basis for claiming needed resources. If students are expected to
acquire specific skills and knowledge, specific minimum levels of time, materials,
equipment and support will need to be set.
•
The ultimate justification
for standards is that they provide a vision for music
education.
Providing, arts education in the form of unit standards also assists students in forming a
broader understanding
of interrelated areas. Learning about the visual arts or music of a
country could, for e~ample, gradually lead to a better understanding of the cultures, politics
and values of the people of that country. Furthermore, the investigation of visual, traditional
and performing arts provides a variety of lenses for investigating different cultures within a
country.
•
They help define what a good education in the arts should contain, namely a
thorough foundation of knowledge and skills to understand, and achieve in, 'the
specific arts discipline.
•
A clear set of high quality standards, when adopted by a state or school, provides
specific levels of quality, attainment and effective learning within a given structure.
In this sense they would help to improve quality of teaching and learning.
The Music Educators National Conference (MENC) believes that every student at
every level, PreK-12, should have access to a balanced, comprehensive and
sequential programme of instruction in music and the other arts, in school, taught
by qualified teachers (MENC 1994b:2).
Arts education in the United States of America is written into federal law so as to ensure
"that no young American is deprived of the chance to meet the content and performance, or
achievement, standards established in the various disciplines because of the failure of his or
her school to provide an adequate learning environment" (MENC 1994a:22:). "This law
acknowledges that arts are a core subject, as important to education as English, mathematics,
history, civics and government,
geography,
science and foreign language"
(Artsedge
2000:11).
Voluntary national standards for the arts, which address both content and achievement, were
developed by the Consortium of National Arts Education Associations and approved by the
National Committee for Standards in the Arts in 1994.8 The final document, What Every
Young American Should Know and Be Able to Do in the Arts, was published in 1994 with
standards for every strand of the arts field (dance, music, theatre and the visual arts)
organised in clusters for K-grade 4, grades 5-8 and grades 9-12 (McREL 1997c:4).
The process of writing these National Standards incorporated professional input by the arts
community, the education community and the public and private sectors (MENC 1994b:2).
Many states in the United States have, since then, developed their own sets of standards, or
frameworks, based on the National Standards.
On completion of secondary school, the standards require that students be able to do the
following (Artsedge 2000:28):
•
They should be able to communicate at a basic level in the four arts disciplines,
including the use of basic vocabularies, materials, tools, techniques and intellectual
methods.
•
They should be able to communicate proficiently in at least one art form, including
technical and artistic insight and proficiency.
•
They should be able to develop and present basic analysis of works of arts,
including the:ability to understand and evaluate work in the various art disciplines.
•
They should have an informed acquaintance with exemplary works of art from a
variety of cultures and historical periods.
•
They should .be able to relate various types of arts knowledge and skills within and
across the arts disciplines.
The goal of the standards in arts education is, finally, to "arrive at a broad-based, wellgrounded understanding of the nature, value and meaning of the arts as parts of their own
humanity" (Artsedge 2000:29).
Using the National
Arts Standards,
MENC
published
supplementary
standards
and
benchmarks in the Arts in three consecutive documents, which are available for use in all
states as a model for their own sets of standards. Called Opportunity-to-Learn
Standards, they
provide guidelines in terms of aspects such as staffing, curriculum and scheduling, equipment
and materials,
and: facilities to maximise
the learning opportunity
in schools. These
publications are
•
Opportunity-to-Learn-Standards
Standards;
.
in the School Music Programme: Description and
American standards for the arts are grouped in clusters for pre-kindergarten, grades K-4,
grades 5-8, and grades 9-12. Each cluster contains a content standard with several
achievement standards, previously called benchmarks, associated with the content standard.
The content standards stay the same for all grades, while the achievement standards are
gradually upgraded in difficulty.
The author of this thesis will be writing unit standards for secondary school and post-school
qualifications, and for this reason all content and achievement standards will be reviewed, but
more attention will be given to relevant standards in the middle (grades 5-8) and high school
(grades 9-12).
Standards for music in the United States take as point of departure the fact that education
should start from a very young age (two to four years), using active bodily response, singing
and playing instruments as well as introductory experiences with verbalisation and
visualisation. It is also considered important to use music literature of a high quality and from
various cultures, styles and time periods (MENC 2000:2).
Mu~ic specialists from the community are further considered an ideal instructional medium
for learners from early childhood through to grade 12. For the pre-school phase it is
considered ideal to make use of early childhood specialists or visiting music specialists,
employed as staff members, to provide sessions in group music.
The National standards are grouped into four clusters, which will be briefly described and
discussed.
"The years before children enter kindergarten are critical for their musical development.
Young children nef;d a rich musical environment in which to grow" (MENC 2000:1).
Children of this age should, according to the National Standards, be provided with many
opportunities to explore sound and music through singing, listening, moving and
experimenting with various instruments. Ample opportunities to introduce them to
verbalising and visualising musical ideas should also be provided (MENC 2000: 1).
Content and achievement standards I 0 for early childhood development iri the prekindergarten phase include:
•
Singing and playing instruments: using their voices, experimenting with various
instruments;
•
Responding to music: identifying sources from a wide variety of sounds, responding
to and participating freely in musical activities;
•
Understanding music: describing voices, instruments, music notation and music
from different styles and genres, using voice, instruments or body to demonstrate
awareness of musical elements like rhythm, dynamics or tempo.
9
These standards are outlined and paraphrased by the author from the full version, taken from Education World
(2000:1-13) and MENC (2000:1-18).
10
Achievement standards are briefly outlined here for all grades. For a detailed description of the American
frameworks, the reader may consult the full version of content and achievement
standards at the following
website: Education World, 2000: <httj>://www.education-world.com/standards/national/arts/music.html>.
According to the American standards, the basic music processes in which humans engage are
performing, creating and responding to music. Because children at this age primarily learn
by doing, the content and achievement standards utilise this perspective to:
•
Teach notation in order to provide them with a skill with which to explore music
individually and in a group;
•
Employ listening, analysing and evaluating skills as important musical blocks of
learning;
•
Adopt music as a tool for historical
and cross-cultural
understanding
In the
communities.
All of these should be presented in a sequential, balanced and· comprehensive programme
(MENC 2000:5).
Contents for the gra~es K-4 phase include:
•
Singing alone and with others;
•
Performing on instruments, alone and with others;
•
Composing and arranging music within specific guidelines;
•
Reading and notating music;
•
Listening to, analysing and describing music;
•
Evaluating ID;usicand music performances;
•
Understanding relationships between music, other arts and disciplines outside the
arts;
•
Understanding music in relation to history and culture.
These nine content standards are used for all grades from K-12, while the level of the
achievement standards is gradually increased for each new level.
The singing achievement standards for grades K-4 include singing independently (on pitch
and in rhythm, with appropriate timbre, diction and posture maintaining a steady tempo),
singing expressively (with appropriate dynamics, phrasing and interpretation), singing a
varied repertoire of songs from memory, singing ostinatos, partner songs and rounds, and
singing in groups (blending vocal timbres, matching dynamic levels and responding to the
cues from the conductor).
The performing
achievement standards include performing on pitch and in rhythm (using
appropriate dynamic levels and maintaining a steady tempo), performing easy rhythmic,
melodic and chordal patterns on classroom instruments, performing a repertoire of diverse
genres and styles expressively, echoing short melodic and rhythmic patterns, performing in
groups (blending instrumental timbres, matching dynamic levels and responding to the cues
from the conductor), and performing independent instrumental parts.
The improvising achievement standards ask of the student to improvise "answers" in the
style of a given rhythmic and melodic phrase, to improvise simple rhythmic and melodic
ostinato
accompaniments,
to
improvise
simple
rhythmic
variations
and
melodic
embellishments and to improvise short songs and instrumental pieces using a variety of
sound sources.
The composing and arranging standards state that students be able to create and arrange
music to accompany
readings of dramatisations,
create and arrange short songs and
instrumental pieces within specific guidelines, and to use a variety of sound sources when
composmg.
The reading and notating standards ask of the student to start learning traditional music
notation, and by the end of grade 4 they must be able to read note and rest values from breves
to quavers, in 4/4, 3/4 and 2/4 metre signatures, to read simple pitch notation in the treble clef
(major keys only), identify and correctly interpret symbols and traditional terms referring to
dynamics, tempo and articulation, and to use standard symbols to notate metre, pitch, rhythm
and dynamics in simple patterns.
The listening and analysing achievement
standards want the student to identify simple
music forms, demonstrate perceptual skills with regard to music of various styles and
cultures, to use appropriate terminology
in explaining music, music notation, music
instruments and voices, and music performances, to identify the sounds of a variety of
instruments and voice timbres, and finally to respond through purposeful movement
(swaying, skipping, dancing), to prominent music characteristics or to specific music events
while listening.
The evaluating achievement standards ask that the student be able to devise criteria for
evaluating performances and compositions, and to explain their personal preferences for
specific musical styles and works.
The achievement standards of understanding of the relationship between music, the other
arts and disciplines outside the arts in grades K-4 require of the student to identify
similarities and differences in the meanings of common terms used in the various arts (for
example form, line, contrast), and to identify ways in which the principles and subject matter
of other disciplines are interrelated with music.
The last content standards ask of the student to understand music in relation to history and
culture. To achieve this, the student must be able to identify (by genre of style) aural
examples of folk music from various cultures and periods, describe how elements of music
are used in these music examples, identify and explain the daily use of music, identify and
describe the roles of musicians in various setting and cultures, and to demonstrate appropriate
audience behaviour for the context and style of music performed (MENC 2000:5-7).
The period represented by grades 5-8 is especially critical in students' musical
development, as the music they experience and create often becomes an integral
part of their personal preference and perspective (MENC 2000:8).
Ives & Gardner (l9S4:22-23) call this phase a "latency" stage, and describe the child between
eight or nine to twelve years of age as extremely constructive: "[T]hey need to discover the
specific ways in which their specific culture modulates the basic domains of human
experience: language, drawing, music, sports, social norms, and the like."
For this reason a broad experience of different genres and styles of music must be provided
for, in order to enable learners to make informed musical judgements. In this way the
connections and relation between music and other disciplines can be experienced in a direct
way, as well as the cultural forces that help shape a cpmmunity's musical heritage. "The role
that music will play in students' lives depends in large measure on the level of skills they
achieve in creating, performing and listening to music" (MENC 2000:8).
To participate in these standards, it is presumed that students have successfully complied
with the standards for grades K-4, as they will progressively be asked to deal will
increasingly complex and sophisticated music and musical responses.
Performance courses do not exclude instruction in other aspects of music instruction. These
other aspects include creating, listening to and analysing music, as well as the specific
curriculum content determined by the local school districts and individual teachers.
Content standards for grades 5-8 are the same as for grades K-4, but a gradual increase in the
level of achievement standards is briefly described below.
•
Singing alone and with others: A technical level difficulty of 2 when performing
alone, on a scale of 1 to 6, is expected, as well as music sung in two or three parts
and participation in choral ensembles. Singing from memory is expected for some
songs, as well as music from different genres and cultures performed with
appropriate expression.
•
Petj"orming on instruments, alone and with others: Accurate and independent
performance, alone and in small ensembles, on at least one instrument is prescribed.
Good posture, playing position and breath, bow or stick control must be exercised,
and music representing different genres and styles must be presented. A difficulty of
2 on a scale of 1 to 6 for at least one string, wind, percussion or classroom
instrument (for example recorder-type instruments, chorded zithers, mallet
instruments, simple percussion
instruments, fretted instruments, keyboard
instruments ~d electronic instruments) is expected. Participation in instrumental
ensembles must be on a level of difficulty of 3 on a scale of 1 to 6.
It is interesting to note here that there is a difference in the prescribed difficulty
between solo performance and ensemble playing, with the latter on a higher level. The
reason for this may be that ensemble playing combines solo performance with
listening and versatility when playing together.
•
Improvising
melodies, variations and accompaniments:
Simple harmonic
accompaniments are expected, as well as improvised melodic embellishments and
simple rhythmic and melodic variations on given pentatonic melodies; short
unaccompanied melodies over given rhythmic accompaniments must also be
improvised. '
•
Composing and arranging music within specific guidelines: Short pieces within
specific guidelines, for example a particular style, form, instrumentation or
compositional technique must be demonstrated while showing how the elements of
music are used to achieve unity and variety, tension and release, and balance; first
steps in the arrangement of pieces for instruments other than the instruments for
which it was written must also be undertaken, as well as the use of a variety of
traditional and non-traditional sound sources and electronic media for composing
and arranging.
•
Reading and notating music: Students must be able to read whole, half, quarter,
eighth, sixteenth and dotted notes, 11 as well as rests in 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6,8, 3/8 and
breve metre signatures. They must also be able to read simple melodies in both the
treble and qass clefs, as well as define standard notation for pitch, rhythm,
dynamics, tempo, articulation and expression. The use of standard notation to write
down their own musical ideas is also prescribed, and the participation in a choral or
instrumental ensemble is used to reinforce sight-reading skills;
•
Listening to, analysing and describing music: The appropriate terminology must be
used to describe specific events in a piece of music, for example the entry of an
instrument or sudden tempo changes. Music of different genres and styles will also
be used for analysis of musical elements, and students will be expected to
demonstrate knowledge of basic musical principles - metre, rhythm, tonality,
intervals, chords and harmonic progressions in their analyses.
•
Evaluating
music
and
music peljormances:
While
listening to music
performances, students must learn to develop criteria for evaluating the
II
The note values are named according to the American system. The corresponding
naming note values is br.eve, minim, quaver and semi-quaver.
South African way of
effectiveness and quality of others' and their own performances, compositions,
arrangements and improvisations. Constructive suggestions are encouraged.
•
Understanding relationships between music, other arts and disciplines outside the
arts: The transformation of similar events, emotions, ideas or scenes using
characteristic materials of two or more of the arts must be investigated and
compared. For this aim visual stimuli (visual arts), movement (dance), human
relationships (theatre) and sound (music) may be used. The way in which subject
matter of other disciplines taught at school is interrelated with that of music may
also be investigated, for example issues to be considered when setting music to text
(language arts), or frequency ratio of intervals (mathematics).
•
Understandi,!g music in relation to history and culture: The distinguishing
~haracteristics of high quality representative styles and genres from various cultures
must be described, classified and compared. The functions of music and roles of
musicians in different cultures of the world must also be investigated and
consequently'compared.
Two levels of achievement, namely projicient and advanced, have been established for
grades 9-12. "The proficient level is intended for students who have completed courses
involving relevant skills and knowledge for one to two years beyond grade 8. The advanced
level is intended for students who have completed courses involving relevant skills and
knowledge for three to four years beyond grade 8" (MENC 2000:12).
The minimum standard for every student graduating from high school is the proficient level
in at least one arts "discipline. Students at the advanced level are expected to achieve the
standards for both the proficient and the advanced levels.
•
Singing alone and with others: Sing with expression and technical accuracy a large
variety of vocal literature with a difficulty scale of 4 (on a level of 1 to 6), also
music written in four parts, demonstrating ensemble skills, with or without
accompaniment.
•
Performing on instruments, alone and with others: Performing on a difficulty of 4
on a scale of I to 6 with adequate technical accuracy and expression is expected.
Students are; also expected to demonstrate well-developed ensemble skills while
performing in small ensembles with one student per part.
•
Improvising melodies, variations and accompaniments: Students are expected to
improvise stylistically appropriate harmonising parts, rhythmic and melodic
variations on given pentatonic melodies or melodies in major and minor keys, and to
improvise original melodies over given chord progressions.
•
Composing and arranging music within specific guidelines: Creativity in
composing music in several distinct styles is encouraged. The arrangement of pieces
for voi~es and instruments other than those for which the piece was written and the
composition and arrangement of music for voices and various electronic and
acoustic instruments are prescribed to test the knowledge of ranges and traditional
usages of sound sources.
•
Reading and notating music: The ability to read an instrumental or vocal score of
up to four staves must be demonstrated. Students participating in choral or
instrumental ensembles must be able to sight-read music with a level of difficulty of
3 (on a scale .of I to 6) accurately and expressively.
•
Listening to, analysing and describing music: Aural examples of a varied
repertoire of music from various styles and genres must be analysed by describing
the uses of musical elements and expressive devices. The knowledge of the
technical vocabulary of music, as well as compositional devices and techniques
must be demonstrated and explained.
•
Evaluating music and music performances: Specific criteria for making informed
evaluations of the quality of a performance, compositions, arrangements or
improvisations must be developed. Comparison to a similar or exemplary model for
effective evaluating must also be used to exercise this ability.
•
Understanding relationships between music, other arts and disciplines outside the
arts: Students are expected to explain how artistic processes, elements and
organisational principles are used in similar or distinctive ways in various art forms.
The characteristics of two or more arts within a specific period or styles muSt be
compared, using appropriate examples, and ways in which the principles and subject
matter of various disciplines outside the arts are interrelated with those of music
must be explained.
•
Understanding music in relation to history and culture: Unfamiliar, representative
aural examples of genre, style or historical period must be classified and the.
reasoning motivated. Sources of American music (for example swing, Broadway
musical or blues) must be identified, tracing the evolution of those genres and
associating
well-known
musicians
with the specific genres. Various
roles of
musicians with their activities and achievements must also be identified.
•
Singing alone and with others: In comparison with the proficient standard, students
have to sing repertoire on a level of difficulty of 5, on a scale of 1 to 6, and sing in
ensembles music written in more than four parts, with one student per part in small
ensembles.
•
Petforming on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music: A
level of difficulty of 5, on a scale of 1 to 6, is expected here.
•
Improvising 'melodies, variations: Students are expected to improvise stylistically
appropriate harmonising parts in a variety of styles, as well as improvising original
melodies over a given chord progression. These two achievement standards are
consistent in ·both the proficient and advanced standards.
•
Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines: The only indication
in this standard is that students compose music, demonstrating imagination
and
technical skill in applying compositional principles.
•
Reading and notating music: The ability to read a full instrumental or vocal score
by describing the way in which musical elements are used, and explaining all
transpositions and clefs, is expected. The interpretation of all non-standard notation
symbols used by 20th century composers as well as the sight-reading of music with a
level of difficulty of 4 (on a scale of 1-6) is also prescribed.
•
Listening to, analysing and describing music: The ability to perceive and
remember musical events (for example fugal entries, chromatic modulations) in an
aural example must be demonstrated. Students are also expected to compare related
ways in which musical materials are used in given examples of different works in
specific genres or styles. The elements of music in a given work that make it unique,
interesting and expressive must also be analysed and described.
•
Evaluating music and music performances: At this level students are expected to
evaluate the aesthetic qualities of a musical work, and to explain the musical means
it uses to evoke feelings and emotions.
•
Understanding relations between music, the other arts and disciplines outside the
arts: When different art forms in different historical periods and cultures are
viewed, students must compare the uses of characteristic elements, artistic processes
and organisational principles in these arts. They must also explain how the roles of
practitioners of different art forms are similar and different in the production and
presentation
of the arts. These could include
creators,
painters,
composers,
playwrights, dancers, actors, conductors, directors and lighting designers.
•
Understanding music in relation to history and culture: When viewing a specific
musical work, students must identify and explain the stylistic features that serve to
define its aesthetic tradition as well as its cultural or historical context. Music genres
that were influenced by two or more cultural traditions must also be identified and
described, the cultural source of each influence must be identified and the historical
conditions that led to the synthesis of influences must be traced.
Assessment standards are as important to music education as music standards, because the
educator
must know that and when the student
has reached
a particular
standard.
"Assessment standards will become increasingly important in the next few years, and they
will be especially important in music because many school administrators
and decision
makers have little idea how to assess learning in music in a reliable and valid manner"
(Lehman in MENC 1995:18).
Assessing students in the American educational system is done by deciding what constitutes
basic, proficient and advanced performance. A description of these three levels is provided in
the achievement standards. For each achievement standard, the assessment standard will
provide examples to illustrate possible teaching strategies and student responses in order to
decide, in the words of Lehman, "how good is good enough" (MENC 1995: 18).
The issues of staffing, facilities and equipment are critical aspects of music education, but the
scope of the MEUSSA
project does not warrant a detailed discussion.
Therefore
no
evaluation will be made on these aspects.
3.5.7 Evaluating the American standards
The MEUSSA group regarded the following as positive factors in these frameworks:
•
They enjoy the consensus of all music organisations
12
in the United States of
America;
•
They are su~ported by the United States Government and the National Endowment
of the Arts;
•
They were developed within a time span of 24 months, implying that the planned
time span of the MEUSSA project of roughly 24 months is realistic.
The following positive aspects of the American frameworks could, in the opinion of the
MEUSSA group, also be applied to the South African situation:
•
These frameworks were the result of a realisation that music education had to
change.
•
A long-standing tradition of music education preceded the frameworks, as music has
been formally taught in:the United States since 1837.
12
As presented by three members of the MEUSSA group, namely Chats Devroop, Marc Duby and David
Galloway, in a workshop concerning the frameworks of different countries, held on Saturday 15 July 2000, and
discussed by a large proportion of the whole MEUSSA group.
•
The purpose of music study is to enhance quality of life and cultural practices.
•
A curriculum should include improvisation and composition.
•
Music education should strive to move beyond facts to a higher order of problemsolving skills,
•
Inter-disciplinary
relations should be utili sed, for example where music fits into
general history and art history.
•
A curriculum should include and utilise technology.
•
Assessment is important and should be built into the frameworks. Each school
should then decide what and how to assess.
•
Provision should be made for children with disabilities as well as for gifted children.
•
Elective study (for example extra instrumental tuition) in the American frameworks
is regarded as a normal school subject and not as extra-curricular
studies after
school hours. Academic credits are awarded for these music studies in the same way
as for other subjects.
•
Repertoire includes all music genres, and musicians from the community are often
utilised.
A few states of the United States of America have, until now, produced their own sets of
frameworks, based on the National Standards provided by MENC. Examples of frameworks
produced by three states will be briefly discussed, namely those for Massachusetts, Florida
and Nebraska. These three states were selected at random by the author to investigate the
interpretation of the National Standards.
One of the other members of the MEUSSA team, Annarine Roscher,13 provided the team
with the details of other states, namely Alaska, Missouri, North Carolina and Texas. The
reasons for her choosing these four states were:
•
The state of North Carolina with capital Raleigh, as well as Durham and Chapel Hill
forms the Research Triangle, and is characterised by intensive educational research
and development.
•
The diverse composition of peoples in the state of Texas has many parallels with the
Southern African situation.
As the contents of these frameworks are constantly changing and new directions being
investigated by state educational boards, it may be possible that shifts have occurred in
certain detailed aspects of the curriculum frameworks presented in the following paragraphs.
The Massachusetts Arts Curriculum Framework includes the following music genres in their
frameworks: folk, popular, band, orchestral music, gospel music, oratorio, jazz, opera and
musical theatre (Massachusetts 1999:41).
The division in achievement
levels for grades 9-12 is grouped into "basic study" and
"extended study" (Massachusetts
1999:42), and the key elements in the arts discipline of
music from kindergarten to grade 12 are stated as:
13
The reader is referred to A. Roscher: Music Standards for the Foundation Phase and Teacher Training in
South Africa. chapter 3.
Interdisciplinary
connection strands are also described in these standards (Massachusetts
1999:41):
•
Purposes and meanings in the arts, where students will describe the purposes for
which works in the fields of dance, music, theatre, visual arts and architecture were
and are created, and, when appropriate, interpret their music;
•
The roles of artists in communities, where students will describe the roles of artists,
patrons, cultural organisations and arts institutions across all of the arts disciplines
in societies, past and present;
•
Concepts o[styles, stylistic influence and stylistic change, where students must
demonstrate their understanding of styles, stylistic influence and stylistic change;
•
Inventions, technologies and the arts, where the analysis of the way in which
performing
and visual
artists use and have used materials,
inventions
and
technologies in their work are expected;
•
Interdisciplinary connections, where knowledge of the arts must be applied to the
study of English language arts, foreign languages, health history and social science,
mathematics, and science and technology/engineering.
The Florida Department of Education uses a simple mapping approach for Pre-Kindergarten
to grade 8, with five main strands of study:
•
Skills and Techniques (the learner sings, performs on an instrument, reads and
notates music);
•
Creation and Communication (the learner improvises, composes and arranges
music);
•
Cultural and Historical Connections (the learner understands music in relation to
culture and history);
•
Aesthetic and Critical Analysis (the learner listens to, analyses and' describes
music);
•
Applications'to Life (the learner understands the relationship between music, the
other arts and disciplines outside the arts, understands the relationship between
music and the world beyond the school setting).
The school phases are divided into three groups, namely Pre-Kindergarten-grade
2, grades 3-
5, and grades 6-8. After completion of grade 8 the learner may specialise in one of six strands
of musical study for Senior High School (grades 9 -12), which are:
•
Advanced Music (Music Theory, Comprehensive Musicianship, Musical Theatre
and International Music Baccalaureate);
•
General Music (Introduction to Music Performance, Music Appreciation, Guitar
and Keyboard);
•
Instrumental
Music
(Band,
Orchestra,
Instrumental
Techniques
and
Jazz
Ensemble);
The mission of arts education in the state of Nebraska, as stated in the Frameworks document
(Nebraska 2000e:3) is to:
•
Embrace the 'extraordinary potential of the arts for communication, celebration and
creativity.
The Nebraska K-12 Visual and Performing Arts Frameworks are designed to
provide dire~tion, focus and co-ordination on best practices in arts education.
Frameworks are a resource for educators to improve the quality of instruction and
education for all learners through the systemic change process. Frameworks are
not a mandate; rather, local districts may use the frameworks to determine and
implement the concepts, ideas and practices offered here (Nebraska 2000e: 1).
The Nebraska Curriculum Frameworks, which were available in 2000, represent the efforts
of a diverse group of professional and educational leaders from the fields of music, dance,
visual arts and theatre. The project is seen as a three year, multi-faceted project, and the first
year's efforts (which were used in this thesis) were to form the basis for the development of
models and performance assessments. These models were meant to follow in the second and
third year of the project (Nebraska 2000e: 1).
The role of these Curriculum Frameworks is to ''translate the National Standards in Visual
and Performing Arts Education into a practical, useful curriculum that meets their needs"
(Nebraska 2000e:2). The frameworks are intended to provide guidelines for both rural and
urban areas, and the educators are being asked to utilise the arts organisations and institutions
of the community in order to reflect the communal values. In this process appropriate and
multidisciplinary material can be selected, and teachers of all the art forms are encouraged to
work together.
General goals for arts education in the state of Nebraska
(2000a:l) are reflected in terms of
learners' achievement:
•
Recognising the intrinsic and aesthetic value of the arts in their own learning and
creative process;
•
Recognising and investigating the many roles of arts and artists in the past, present
and future;
•
Exhibiting visual, kinaesthetic, auditory, oral and written communication
skills in
responding to their own artistic expression and that of others;
•
Being able to develop criteria based on knowledge and experience in evaluating
their own and others' creative expressions or work;
•
Recognising the importance of diversity and equity in the creation, performance,
interpretation and evaluation of the arts; and
•
Solving probiems through the visual and performing arts.
The content of the Nebraska frameworks uses two perspectives, namely approaches (which
describe the role of artist, critic, historian or philosopher as technical, creative,
cultural/historical, critical and aesthetic), and processes (which reveal the way in which
learners perceive, interpret, evaluate and connect through the arts). This concept is explained
in Figure 3-1, with the interrelated processes of perceiving, conceiving, interpreting and
evaluating in the arts clearly illustrated.
Figure 3-1: Illustration of the approaches and processes of the arts (Nebraska 2000a:2)
The approaches "can be seen as overlapping lenses, [as] artists, historians, critics and
philosophers all have unique perspectives and ask many of the same questions" (Nebraska
2000a:2). The processes are, according to the Nebraska frameworks, the same as the skills
used by artists, historians, critics and philosophers and can be utilised by teachers to motivate
students and build an understanding of each arts discipline. The two perspectives of
processes and approaches are being used extensively to structure the inquiry into music
(Nebraska 2000d:1), as explained in Table 3-1:
. Table 3-1: The integrating nature of approaches and processes in the arts (Nebraska
2000d:l)
.
PERCEIVING
PROCESS
MUSIC
INTERPRETING
PROCESS
..
EVALUATING
PROCESS
CONNECTING
PROCESS
What skills/language
are needed to
participate in
performing and
listening to music?
How do the skills
and language of
music
communicate?
What degree of
proficiency was
achieved?
How do advancing
musical skills
encourage lifelong
learning?
From what perspective
is style expressed?
What does the
music mean in the
context of its time
and place?
Does the music
have significance
today, yesterday
and/or for the
future? Why?
What correlation can
be made to
connecting?
CREATIVE
APPROACH
How are the basic
elements of music
used creatively?
What is this music
communicating?
Is a musical
message conveyed
effectively?
What does this
message
communicate to the
individual?
AESTHETIC
APPROACH
How are the senses
involved in
responding to music?
Why does this
music evoke a
reaction/response?
How does music
relate to the
individual?
How does music
relate to life?
CRITICAL
APPROACH
Are the basic elements
of music used
effectively?
How well does this
music evoke a
response?
What is the value
of this music?
Are meaningful
connections made to
personal experience?
TECHNICAL
APPROACH
CULTURAL!
HISTORICAL
APPROACH
Table 3-1 explains the common ground between the four approaches and the four processes,
providing a wide arr~y of different perspectives for educators.
In Spring 1999, academic content standards for Mathematics, Reading/Writing, Science and
Social Studies/History were established. Those standards were called Nebraska L.E.A.R.N.S.
(Leading
Educational
Achievement
through
Rigorous
Nebraska
Standards)
(Nebraska
1999:3-4). To complement these standards, 8 Essential Learnings for Visual and Performing
Arts were compiled:
•
Students recognise the connections
between the arts and their own lives and
environments.
•
Students exhibit a variety of creative skills in their own artistic expressions and in
response to others.
•
Students recognise diverse perspectives in the creation, performance, interpretation
and evaluation of the arts.
The nature of the arts, especially music, is one of exhibiting skills and communicating levels
of proficiency. "The arts have a rich heritage in performance assessment that has informed
other subject areas" (Nebraska 2000g:1). According to the Nebraska frameworks (Nebraska
2000g: 1), assessment
in the arts is built upon clearly defined criteria, state and local
standards and educational goals. Assessment in the arts cannot be separated from a measure
of subjectivity, but to achieve maximum objectivity teachers are asked to:
•
Encourage appropriately varied approaches and styles;
•
Allow for individual differences and developmental levels while insisting on quality
work at all levels of knowledge, experience and skill; and
•. Enable each learner to demonstrate competency and achievement in a variety of
ways.
Goals for assessment in arts education are explicitly provided in the document (Nebraska
2000g: 2). Learners will, through quality assessment:
•
Be involved in the selection, design and evaluation of assessment procedures;
•
Work both independently and co-operatively;
•
Experience personal growth in the arts; and
•
Develop
successes.
positive
self-concepts
and confidence
through
accomplishments
and
A thorough outline: of assessment is provided (Nebraska 2000g:6), and it· is suggested to
teachers, in designing a curriculum or learning unit, to use the following questions:
•
Selecting performance objectives, for example interpret, investigate, compare,
identify;
•
Developing criteria derived from the objectives to determine whether the
achievement targets are reached;
•
Designing assessment activities, based on one or more of the criteria types (for
example content, form, impact, process);
•
Selecting assessment tools or products (for example a portfolio, multimedia,
composition, discussion, interview, performance);
•
Developing tools for an evaluation system (for example rubrics, checklists,
specifications); and
•
Setting appropriate indicators, where the teacher "determines what represents
varying levels of success in meeting the criteria", in other words setting up a
standard of achievement.
The provision of clear and simple outcomes for learning activities must make provision for
assessment criteria, and the learner outcomes must be formulated so as to include a method
or criteria for assessment. Furthermore, "assessment must extend over a period of time and
be rooted in overall goals and specific performance objectives" (Nebraska 2000g:6).
In the following section a brief overview of the Australian frameworks will be provided. The
author will especially focus on the structuring of music within the general outline of the
Australian Qualification Authority, with the place of the frameworks in the educational
a
system, after which closer investigation of the Western Australian frameworks will follow.
Music is recognised as one of the arts, and the arts are officially recognised as
having a place in education. They contribute to the well-being and general'human
development of children and all children should have an equal opportunity to
develop their artistic potential (Lepherd 1994:34).
A decade-long fmancial recession that has gripped Australia has placed greater
pressure on teachers to perform better with fewer resources (Lepherd 1994:5).
According to Lepherd (1994:6), music education in Australia seems to suffer from a worldwide tendency, one which is also recognised in Southern Africa: "The greatest challenge is in
convincing educators, policy-makers and the broad community of the value of music in the
development of individuals and society."
The history of Australia seems to present many similarities with South African history, as
both are comparatively young countries in terms of the number of years that they have been
inhabited by people of European descent. The first British settlers arrived in Australia only in
1788, while the A1:?originesare estimated to have been in the land for more than forty
thousand years (Lepherd 1994:7). In comparison, the first Dutch settlers arrived in South
Africa in 1652, while the indigenous people have been estimated to be amongst the earliest
human beings in the world, with Africa regarded as the cradle of civilisation.
According to Crosskell, Condous & Schapel (1984: 159) Australia has, in terms of European
settlement, mainly inherited English traditions, which are now being diffused by an influx of
influences from other countries as well as the North American way of life. Another factor is
the fact that the country does not have a background of centuries of arts practice, which
would create an awareness and sensitivity to aesthetic heritage. The early musical
development was, i~ other words, dependent on the English cultural heritage, which arrived
together with the settlers. The South African scenario presents similarities with the Australian
one, in the sense that a satisfactory merge of European traditions, American culture and
indigenous arts practices has to be found and applied to music education.
The scenario in Australia has changed in recent years. In the words of Lepherd (1994:8),
"Australia has become a mosaic of different cultures", and this situation has diversified the
language, folk song and dance, visual arts and musical culture in the country. This also seems
to present a striking similarity with the South African scenario. For both countries it is true
that they have received considerable benefit from the many people originally from countries
with rich arts and music traditions. And for both countries it is true that the rich variety of
multi-culturalism has only recently been receiving an increased amount of attention.
The roots of Australian music education are British (Lepherd 1994:9); singing classes based
on British methods were set up in primary schools by the 1850s in the states of Victoria and
New South Wales. During this time singing masters were used to teach classes, but by the
1870s classroom teachers rather than singing masters were phased in for music teaching.
The music educational scene in Australia developed along the lines of a British background,
with the adoption of the British examination systems of the Trinity College of Music and the
Royal Schools of Music by the end of the nineteenth century. Another important influence
was provided by the universities of Adelaide and Melbourne, which developed their own
public music examinations based on these two British models (Lepherd 1994:9). Since then
universities played an important role in the Australian music educational scene with the
establishment of the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) in 1918. The AMEB
"establishes standards in music [... ] throughout Australia. Through its nation-wide system of
syllabuses and examinations the AMEB actively promotes attainment of the highest possible
levels in teaching and methodology" (AMEB, as quoted in Lepherd 1994: 10).
The examinations organised by the AMEB were the only way students could undertake
music education in secondary school until midway through the first half of the 20th century.
The first state to make music a compulsory subject in the first year of secondary school was
New South Wales, and soon after that (1939) a music appreciation syllabus was adopted as
elective subject for Victorian secondary schools.
A realisation of the importance of music for both primary and secondary schools began to
surface in the 1950s, and a general move towards having significant classroom activities as
aiternative to the AMEB examinations were investigated. However, according to Lepherd
(1994: 11), the relationship between the State courses in schools and the AMEB "is still
debated vigorously". Music, however, remained an extra-curricular
activity and was not
regarded as a core subject. Music tuition remained the responsibility
of paying parents,
provided by independent studio teachers. This scenario also represents a striking similarity
with the present situation regarding music tuition in South Africa.
The positive influence of these teachers and the quality education for which they were
responsible gradually led to an upsurge in the acceptance of music as an elective subject as
well as an increase in the numbers of students involved in elective music courses. A result of
this development was the establishment of a secondary school syllabus in the state of New
South Wales (in 1958) that offered music as an elective school subject. More states followed
suit, with the result that Music and Visual Art were included as entities in themselves within
the external examination system, as well as in the curriculum of both primary and secondary
levels (Comte 1993:36). Dance and Drama, however, still had a long way to go before being
accepted as having equal status with music and visual arts.
During the last approximately 25 years of the 20th century, arts education has gradually
started to receive more serious consideration from a national perspective (Comte 1993:37).
One of the first consequences of this initiative was a National Report, Education and the
Arts~ published in 1977. Amongst others, issues such as an increased status and standard of
teaching of the arts were addressed, as well as the importance of specialist teaching to
achieve this result. Teacher training was also considered as an important issue in this report.
Generalist teachers in primary schools are expected to teach all of the arts subjects in the
curriculum, with specialist teaching in music and visual arts sometimes provided extra
(Comte 1993:37).
Music continues to be perceived as suitable study only for the talented, despite
attempts over the last twenty years to provide more opportunity for all children to
participate in musical development (Lepherd 1994: 13).
Music educators, according to Lepherd (1994:13-14), identified a few issues which need to
be faced in order to ensure ongoing quality of music teaching.
According to Comte (1993:37), the Australian culture is largely "imported" in the sense that
the British tradition still has a strong influence, and that "arts educators have certainly not
drawn inspiration for curricula from the arts of our indigenous inhabitants." The same culture
of "imported" music has made its mark in South Africa. This culture is also notable in the
popularity of the two British examination boards, namely ABRSM and Trinity College of
Music, attracting large numbers of candidates every year. South African learners may,
however, also draw advantage from the huge infrastructure of UNISA, the South African
examination board. The content of this music curriculum attempts to reflect the products of
South African composers and indigenous styles.
Media, as well as readily available commercially popular music "that does not necessarily
have good artistic value" (Lepherd 1994: 13), have had a marked impact on the pursuit of
artistic quality. The ;intellectual rigour that accompanies the experience of art music has in
part made way for entertainment (popular) music and a perceived lessening in the value of art
music. In South Africa, the culture of popular music has also had an overwhelming impact on
the commercial ch~acter of music. Popular music has, in the same way than in Australia,
gained the majority of listeners.
Another factor is the emphasis on skills-based education, which was encouraged by an
economic recession, and resulted in a (world-wide) lowering of the value of music education.
"The economic benefits of the music industry and the general educative value of music
education have yet to be fully realised" (Lepherd 1994: 13).
Music in the classrooms has not yet fully realised the potential of the wide variety of cultures
present in the country (Lepherd 1994:13), as the majority of the musical content focuses on
European-centred music education. The potential of the general use of technology (recording,
computers, and ele~tronic keyboards), resulting in more children becoming self-reliant in
terms of creativeness and performance, has also yet to be fully realised.
3.7.3 The Australian Qualifications Framework
The Australian Qualifications Framework14 was introduced in Australia on I January 1995.
The aim was to provide "a comprehensive, nationally consistent yet flexible framework for
all qualifications in post-compulsory education and training" (AQF AB 1998: 11). Introduced
in phases, the frame~ork was planned to be fully implemented by the year 2000.
The State, Territory and Commonwealth Education and Training Ministers (meeting as the
Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, or MCEETY A)
assisted in the de~elopment
of the AQF. Furthermore
the AQF Advisory Bo~d
established by this council to protect the AQF qualifications
was
guidelines and to promote
national implementation (AQF AB 1998:2).
According to the AQF AB, a system of twelve national qualifications in schools, vocational
education and training and the higher education sector (mainly universities) is provided in the
qualifications framework for Australia. The framework "links together all these qualifications
and is a highly visible, quality-assured
national system of educational recognition which
promotes lifelong learning and a seamless and diverse education and training system"
(AQFAB 1998: 1).
•
Senior Secondary Certificate of Education
2. Vocational Education and Training Sector
•
Doctoral Degree.
Both work-based and academic qualifications are, in the AQF, part of one system, allowing
flexibility and continuous
learning. The possibility to mix and match qualifications
is
provided for, as Vocational Education and Training qualifications may, for example, be
recognised either at school level or higher education level. The partial completion of a
qualification is also recognised by means of a Statement of Attainment (AQF AB 1998:5).
Unit standards (call~d units of competency) are used for vocational as well as for academic
qualifications: "the units will accumulate on your record of achievement and help towards
retaining your job, promotion, a change in career or further learning" (AQF AB 1998:2). For
these unit standards, skills as well as knowledge are considered important and are expressed
in terms of outcomes. As an example of this practice, knowledge or skills previously gained
in a workplace may be assessed - this process is called RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning).
Accredited organisations are used to provide training and to issue qualifications according to
the requirements of the AQF All. This process may be compared to the South African
process, which uses SGBs to generate standards compliant to the requirements of SAQA.
3.7.4
Guidelinesfor School Standards in Australia
The Senior Secondary Certificate of Education
is used to indicate completion
of the
secondary school phase. The Statutory Boards, who are responsible for the development and
accreditation of courses of study, assessment and the issue of qualifications,
set learning
outcomes (AQFAB 1998:21).
•
Students must be prepared for university entry or entry in the workforce via studies
ranging from traditional academic disciplines to vocational and semi-vocational
courses.
•
Directions for studies and assessments include "a mix of directed classroom studies,
extensive written assessments,
formal examination
and/or common assessment
tasks, as well as applications of skills, understandings, performance and project
work, group work and field work activities" (AQFAB 1998:21).
Assessment requirements are allocated to State and Territory Statutory Bodies, and
consistency must be maintained via various forms of moderation (for example state-wide
examinations, moderation of school-based assessments), and through "common core skills or
the Australian Scaling Test" (AQFAB 1998:21).
In the next paragraphs the Curriculum framework of Western Australia will be investigated.
The author chose this specific framework after studying the content of the educational
structures of all six Australian states, because this specific framework represents the closest
analogy with the So~th African process.
The implementation of the Western Australian Curriculum Framework commenced in 1999,
and is meant for full implementation in 2005 (Curriculum Council of Western Australia
1999a:1).
The Curriculum Framework represents a major step in the reform of school
curriculum in Western Australia. It is built upon a commitment to the philosophy
that learning is continuous and that the essential purpose of schooling is to
improve the learning of all students (Curriculum Council of Western Australia
2000:1).
Two frameworks are used to guide and inform curriculum provision and assessment, namely
the Curriculum Framework and the Outcomes and Standards Framework.
"The intended outcomes of schooling are defined in the Curriculum Framework"
(Curriculum Council of Western Australia 2000:9). In this framework the understandings,
skills and values that are to be developed in each of the eight Learning Areas are described.
The Outcomes and Standards Framework is directly linked to the Learning Area Outcomes
which are mostly arranged in levels of progress toward achievement. In this way they serve
to inform curriculum provision.
The Curriculum Framework of Western Australia is outcomes focussed: "This focus on
outcomes represents a major shift in school curriculum from a focus on educational inputs
and time allocation t~ward one that emphasises the desired results of schooling" (Curriculum
Council of Western Australia 2000:3).
This framework establishes learning outcomes for learners from kindergarten to grade 12,
and has a non-descriptive
framework
character in terms of learning content. The character of the
rather aims to provide guidelines
and directions
for reaching the targeted
outcomes. In this way the content can be adapted to the special needs, circumstances and
ethos of schools and their learners: "Its fundamental purpose is to provide a structure around
which schools can build educational
programmes
that ensure students achieve agreed
outcomes" (Curriculum Council of Western Australia 2000:4). This also enables schools to
offer programmes additional to the suggestions and requirements of the framework.
The Australian Educational Council identified eight areas of learning, called Learning Area
Statements, in 1991. Those are (Lepherd 1994:33):
•
Languages other than English (LOTE);
Compulsory schooling covers year 1-10, with grades 11-12 regarded as post-compulsory and
preparatory towards tertiary education (Curriculum Council of Western Australia 1999a:2).
In 1995 a number Qf priorities in the curriculum were identified by the Review of School
Curriculum Development Procedures and Processes in Western Australia, and those included
(Curriculum Council of Western Australia 2000:5):
•
A common c~culum
direction, an even spread of curriculum support materials
and the provision of professional development to enable schools to develop and
adapt the curriculum to the needs and advantage of their learners;
The establishment of a Curriculum Council of Western Australia in August 1997, with the
responsibility of dev..eloping a Curricll1um Framework, was one of the key recommendations
of this Review.
The Curriculum Framework for Western Australian schools is furthermore underpinned by
seven key principlt(s. These must serve to guide schools in whole-school planning and
curriculum
development
in an outcomes
focussed
approach
(Curriculum
Framework
1998:16, as quoted by the Curriculum Council of Western Australia 2000:3). The seven
principles are:
As preparation to the final version, a Draft Curriculum Framework was circulated for public
consultation and debating. The results of this feedback were incorporated in the writing of the
new Curriculum Framework: "Almost ten thousand teachers, parents, academics, curriculum
officers, students and other members of the community contributed to the development,
review and rewriting of the Curriculum Framework"
(Curriculum
Council of Western
Australia 2000:5). Seven key principles for learning and teaching were then identified as
integral to the Curriculum Framework (Curriculum Council of Western Australia 2000:6):
Using these guidelines, it is suggested to teachers to develop their own balanced curriculUIJ;l,,
while keeping in mind aspects such as an understanding of the outcomes and different phases
of learning, a cl:early-developed school ethos and philosophy, understanding of
parent/community expectations, development of a long-term strategy, and effective' use of
resources and time (Curriculum Council of Western Australia 2000:7). This planning of the
curriculum can be directed at the individual student, a class or at whole-school level.
According to the Western Australian Framework, values are fundamental in shaping a
curriculum. As endorsement of this statement, a set of core values has been identified to
underpin the Curriculum Framework. These values comprise values that are generally
considered important by the members of Australia's multi-cultural society, and must be
integrated and promoted through the outcomes of the Learning Area Statements.
Other essential prerequisites for the successful implementation of a Curriculum Framework
concept are professional development of teachers, and curriculum support material for
teachers and schools (Curriculum Council of Western Australia 2000:6).
Australian schooling is divided into three phases (Comte 1993:35). After kindergarten,
children enter primary (also called elementary) school at age five or six. This phase normally
comprises six years; with another six years of secondary schooling after that.
Ten National Goals for Education were set in 1990 by the Australian Department of
Employment, Education and Training. The sixth of these ten goals relates to the relevance of
the arts, and therefore also to music:
•
To develop in students an appreciation and understanding of, and confidence to
participate in, the creative arts.
For schools to establish a proper' curriculum for the Arts Learning Area Statement, a
thorough Curriculum Framework had to be delivered. The process of writing the national arts
framework in Australia was initiated by inviting tenders and contracting a team of writers.
The resulting document was published in 1994 as A Statement on the Arts for Australian
Schools. The arts strands in this document were identified as:
When comparing this to the South African situation, it may be interesting to note that Media
is regarded as a separate arts strand by Australian authorities, while it is meant to be
integrated into the four main arts strands in South Africa, which are Dance, Drama, Music
and Visual Arts.
Studies in the Arts are seen by the Curriculum Framework as benefiting students by
"developing creative skills, critical appreciation and knowledge of artistic techniques and
technologies" (Curriculum Framework, as quoted in Curriculum Council of Western
Australia 2000: 12). In the Arts Learning Area, student learning is focussed on aesthetic
understanding, as well as on the development of arts practice experienced singly or in
combinations of arts forms.
In the new Curriculum Framework four outcomes for these five domains were identified for
the years from kindergarten to grade 12. These describe the knowledge, skills, values,
understandings and attitudes that learners should exhibit in order to demonstrate achievement
of those outcomes, and are interrelated and inter-connected. The common ground here is the
aesthetic understanding and arts practice between all four outcomes, and for all art forms.
•
Arts ideas, which means that students should generate works that communicate
ideas;
•
Arts skills and processes, which are the skills, techniques, processes, conventions
and technologies used to generate the works;
•
Arts responses,
where students use their aesthetic understanding to respond to,
retlect on and evaluate the arts;
•
Arts in society, where students have to demonstrate their understanding of the role
of arts in society.
Figure 3-2: Outcomes and key concepts in the Curriculum Framework (Curriculum Council
f..?fWesternAustralia 1999b:4)
Creating original ideas
Interpreting the ideas of others
Exploring arts ideas
Developing motsideas
Presenting arts ideas
AESTHETIC
UNDERSTANDING
AND
ARTS PRACTICE
Responding to arts works and
el<:pericllces
Rel1ecling on arts works and
expcncnccs
Evalt4'1ting arts works and practice "
Vahring the arts
Underslandiflo Australian arts
Understanding historical mid
cullttral contexts in the arts
Understanding the economic
significance of the arts
The structure of the framework is furthermore divided in two parts. The 'first describes the
elements, processes and skills of music (and the other arts strands) which teachers and
students must use to achieve the outcomes, as well as describing the scope of culmination of
art forms. The second section describes the learning
which students might typically
experience at the four overlapping phases of development (Curriculum Council of Western
Australia 2000: 15).
The place of music education in the Australian curriculum framework is limited to a place
within the field of the Arts Learning Statement Area. Four outcomes are listed for all art
forms, which means that music has to reach broadly the same results as art, drama or dance.
No specific allotment has been given (at the time of this thesis) for the tuition of specially
gifted or disabled l~arners, and the accent is placed on a general education in the arts
direction. This also means that no reference is given for instrumental tuition; but the
corresponding outcome describes "Using skills, techniques, technologies and processes" in
this regard.
The nature of the Curriculum Framework is very non-descriptive, and in the opinion of the
author, too vague. Little direction for the content of learning, understanding and valuing is
provided, and the general character of this framework lacks detail. The only indication of
content for music education that the author could find were the four outcomes with the
accompanying key concepts, explained earlier in Figure 3-2. That alone will not provide
music teachers with enough direction to plan their curricula, and may result in
indiscrepancies with regard to standard of schooling, depending on the interpretation of the
outcomes.
A positive aspect, however, was found in the description of post-compulsory education
(Curriculum Council of Western Australia 1999a:4). For this document five different scales
of achievement were mentioned, explaining that each course of study would have a scale of
achievement spanning five distinct levels. "These levels would be comparable in cognitive
complexity and/or physical skills in all courses of study". It would also provide the basis for
comparability across all courses of study as well as identifying the prerequisite knowledge
for entrance eligibility to post-school destinations (Curriculum Council of Western Australia
1999a:4). Different levels of achievement for standards are also found in the frameworks of
the USA, New Zealand and England, and are regarded by the author as a valuable perspective
for the South African situation.
The NQF of New Zealand is still in a process of establishing standards (2001), but the
structures, policy, qualification system and framework, with a number of unit standards and
qualifications, are already in place.
New Zealand is moving away from an economy based on commodities to one
based upon knowledge and information. Our national success depends on us
building a knowledge base and becoming a learning nation (New Zealand
1999b:3).
This announcement introduced the motivation for a fresh approach to education in New
Zealand. Such a new approach was needed because new demands in terms of recognising
qualifications across a wide field of education institutions and the workplace, to prepare
people for a particular trade and industry as well as to encourage an attitude of life-long
learning and excellence, was needed (New Zealand 1999a:7).
The background to this new direction was the increased participation in secondary schooling
during the 1980s, challenging the Ministry of Education to offer a more diverse range of
subjects and learning pathways. This created a need for students to obtain qualifications "that
related better to the subjects or courses they took after leaving school, or the skills required
for employment" (New Zealand 1999a:8).
The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) was established in 1989 and appointed
by the Minister of Education to "promote improvement in the quality of education through
the development and maintenance of a comprehensive, accessible and flexible National
Qualifications
Framework"
(NZQA 2000d:2).
Its role was to co-ordinate
national
qualifications, and to take over the functions of several agencies that had to run schools,
trades and vocational examinations.
•
administering of examination regulations, conducting of examinations and issuing
of results and certificates for all national examinations;15
•
evaluating of qualifications, especially comparing overseas qualifications of people
migrating to New Zealand with those of New Zealand; and
•
registration and accreditation of programmes leading to qualifications. Government
and private training establishments are approved in order to provide the public with
the assurance that appropriate courses have been approved and are of high quality.
The NZQA also has a unit specifically dedicated to Maori educational issues. This unit
facilitates the development
between government
of Maori unit standards and qualifications.
representatives
All negotiations
and the Maori people are based on the Treaty of
Waitangi, signed in ,1840. In this way the traditional knowledge of the indigenous people is
formally recognised through an entire education field, making New Zealand a pioneering
country in this regard (NZQA 2000a:3).
Unit standards are being developed in the Maori language, carving, weaving, and customs
and practices. Another development is to involve Maori expert advisory groups in general
subjects such as Business and Management, Tourism, and Film and Electronic Media. In this
way a Maori dimension in these fields as well as assistance in the development of unit
standards is being accomplished.
The NZQA also assumed new responsibilities, inter alia to develop a national qualifications
framework.
This process
involved
the establishment
of the National
Qualifications
Framework (NQF) in order to recognise a broad framework of qualifications across the entire
15
These national examinations include the School Certificate, Sixth Form Certificate, Higher School Certificate
and University
Entrance examinations,
as well as trades and vocational
examinations,
including business
studies. From 2002 the School Certificate, from 2003 the Sixth Form Certificate and from 2004 the University
Bursaries will be replaced with an achievement-based
Certificate of Educational Achievement).
national qualification,
called the NCEA (National
education sector. Educational structures include schools, polytechnics,
Industry Training
Organisations (ITOs), workplace education environments, universities, colleges of education,
wananga (tertiary institutions of Maori training and education) and private tertiary providers
(New Zealand 1999a:4).
These developments led to the establishment of a unit standards-based education, which was
in the first place conceived to recognise technical qualifications earned by trainees in the
trade and technical industry. The unit standards development was widened to include school
subjects and other learning areas, and advisory groups (later called national standards bodies
or NSBs) were established to develop standards and qualifications.
This means that qualifications in the NQF must now be described in the format of unit
standards, and approved by a quality approval body. The transfer of credits between
qualifications is also made possible, providing for a flexible education system.16
The New Zealand educational sector employs two types of curriculum standards, namely
achievement
standards and unit standards.
The assessment
of credits for achievement
These standards are assessed internally as well as externally. Unit standards are assessed
internally, with only two options available, namely the awarding of
16
Not all qualifications need to be in the format of unit standards, however. Established qualifications such as
degrees and polytechnic qualifications
wiII only need to be quality-assured
credit and outcome-field (New Zealand 1999b: 6).
and described in terms of level,
As an example of the levels of assessment, the following achievement standard for Music is
offered in Table 3-2:
Perform generally accurate,
contrasting music demonstrating
some technical skills, appropriate
musicianship and presentation
skills.
Confidently perform fluent and
highly accurate contrasting music
demonstrating secure technical
skills, convincing musicianship
and communication skills.
Perform fluent and mostly
accurate contrasting music
demonstrating a range of technical
skills, effective musicianship and
presentation skills.
Table 3-3 offers a corresponding achievement standard for Aerophones (Performance) in a
possible South African interpretation:
Perform at a minimum standard of
an internationally accepted
examination body grade 7 (I Sf
instrument) or grade 5 (2nd
instrument).
Demonstrate an ability to perform
in different styles and/or genres.
Perform a balanced programme
with understanding and musicality.
Perform at a minimum standard of
an internationally accepted
examination body grade 8 (I sl
instrument) or grade 6 (2nd
instrument).
Demonstrate a developed ability to
perform in different styles and/or
enres
Perform a balanced programme
with developed understanding and
musicali .
Perform at a minimum standard of
an internationally accepted
examination body post-grade 8 (I sl
instrument) or grade 7 (2nd
instrument .
Demonstrate an advanced ability to
perform in different styles and/or
enres
Perform a balanced programme
with advanced understanding and
musicali .
Unit standards offered in chapter 5 describe the minimum standard of performance, and the
level of assessment would translate, according to table 3-3, as an achievement of credit.
A wide range of qualifications is already registered or in the process of being recognised in
the NQF of New Zealand. All of these are described in terms of the following structure (New
Zealand 1999a:6):
•
learning outcomes, describing
qualification;
the
knowledge
and
skills
necessary
for
a
•
credits, which are a measure of the average amount of learning and assessment
required to gain a qualification; and
•
detailed field, which is a standard set of subject classifications for all qualifications
and courses.
An important outlook used by the National Qualifications Framework is that of learning
outcomes, operating at eight levels, and signalling the increasingly complex nature of
outcomes required of students. 17 Outcomes, in the NQF, must be expressed in terms of two
aspects. These are (NZQA 2000c:8):
•
what the wh~le qualification represents in terms of the application of knowledge,
understanding, skills and attitudes; and
•
the components of the qualification which, in their combination, make up the
wholeness of the qualification (italics by the author).
Courses and parts of qualifications will be required to be expressed in terms of outcome
statements (NZQA 2000c:8-9). This approach is similar to the current approach used by the
South African Department of Education, which places a high priority on the statement and
delivery of outcomes in terms of what a learner is able to do after being taught.
According to the NZQA (2000d:15), national qualifications, in aiming at having
internationally recognised characteristics of a good qualification, should:
17
The National Qualifications
Framework of New Zealand defines outcomes as "clear statements about what
students gaining qualifications know and can do" (New Zealand 1999a:8). This is also an important perspective
currently used by the South African Education Department for the new approach in national education.
•
recognise broad transferable and generic skills as well as specialised industry and
professional skills;
•
document clearly and openly the above and statements of what people are required
to attain to be awarded the qualification.
•
Levels
1-3 comprise
approximately
the
same standard
as senior
secondary
education.
•
Levels 7-8 equate with advanced qualifications of graduate
and postgraduate
standard (Bachelors Degree, Honours, Master's and Doctoral Degrees, as well as
numerous other postgraduate qualifications).
These levels differ in standard from those, for example, used by England, in the fact that New
Zealand's level 8 covers post-graduate study and level 1 equates the qualification of the first
school certificate.I8 In comparison, the National Curriculum of England uses two sets of
levels, namely NQF levels (similar to the eight levels defined by the NQF of New Zealand),
and eight levels of attainment standards between key stages 1 to 3, in other words up to grade
9. The New Zealand levels are, however, very similar to the structure used by SAQA, as
levels 1-3 are approximately the same as senior secondary education, levels 4-6 approximate
to advanced trades, technical and business qualifications,
advanced qualifications of graduate
and postgraduate
and levels 7-8 equate with
standard (Grove 2000b: I). Some
qualifications and credit structures are, however, not yet in a final form.
18
The author refers the reader to the section on England's
outcomes are explained in more detail.
music framework under 3.9.5, where the levels and
.From 2002, the national qualification for school learners will be the National Certificate of
Educational Achievement, or the NCEA (NZQA 2001:1), which is a qualification registered
on the New Zealand NQF. Currently there are three NCEA qualifications, equalling the first
three of the NQF's eight levels (NZQA 2001:3).
•
Levell
is rep,lacing the School Certificate. For a student to be awarded NCEA level
1 a minimum of 80 credits, of which 8 credits in literacy and 8 credit in nume~cy,
must be achieved.
•
Level 2 is replacing the Sixth Form Certificate (year 12). To be awarded NCEA
level 2, 80 credits, of which 60 from level 2, must be achieved.
•
Level 3 is replacing University Bursaries (year 13). NCEA level 3 achievement
must contain 80 credits, of which 60 must be from level 3.
Graduate certificates
and graduate diplomas still lack approved definitions
and credit
requirements, but it is suggested that these qualifications equate qualifications earned at level
7 or above, differentiating them from post-graduate certificates and diplomas. "The concept
of the graduate diploma is a relatively recent innovation that responds primarily to the
demand of the professional labour market" (NZQA 2000d:3). For this reason an entrant does
not necessarily hav~ to be a holder of a degree, and (equivalent) relevant professional
experience is sufficient.
Table 3-4: Outline of levels and applications in the New Zealand Qualifications Framework
(adaptedfrom NZQA 2000c:lO-23)
LEVEL and
NAMING·
SEQUENCE
Basic foundation for further study,
includin basic vocational skills.
Could be equated with achievement
expected during the fourth year of
secondary school; includes process
work skills.
Could be equated with achievement
expected during the fifth year of
secondary school; includes practice
and sub-trade level skills.
4 Certificate
5
6 Diploma
7 Initial degree
8 Post-graduate
qualifications
Could be equated with achievement
expected in skilled trade studies.
Could be equated with achievement
expected in the first year of degree
studies, or for advanced trade or
technician studies.
Could be equated with achievement
expected at the second year of degree
level studies, or for higher level
technician and para-professional
studies.
Could be equated with achievement at
the final year of degree level studies,
or professional studies.
Could be equated to more achievement
at:post-graduate
level, such as
Master's or Doctorate, or for senior
professional studies.
Minimum 40 credits.
A minimum of 120 credits from
level 4 or above.
A minimum of 360 credits (72 at
each level) from levels 4_7.19
Bachelors degree with Honours:
A total of 120 credits, with a
minimum 72 at level 8.
Graduate Certificate:
A minimum of 40 credits at level 7
or above.
Graduate Diploma:
A minimum of 120 credits from
levels 4-8, with at least 72 at level
7 or above.
Postgraduate Certificate:
A minimum 40 credits at level 8.
Postgraduate Diploma:
A minimum of 120 credits from
levels 4-8.
Master's Degree:
A minimum of 240 credits from
levels 4-8, with no less than
192 credits at level 8.
Doctoral Degree:
No indication of credits, as main
component of study constitutes
original research.
The NZQA uses the concept of notional hours to express and measure credits. This term is
defined as "the amount of learning and assessment that is typically required in gaining a
qualification" (NZQA 2000c:13). The number of notional hours determines the credit value
19
Some Bachelor degrees, notably in professional fields such as engineering, health sciences, and similar fields,
may require a longer period of study and encompass additional credits. In this regard a four-year full-time
course would normally require 480 credits.
of a course or qualification. Notional hours estimate and evaluate the length of time it would
take an average learner to achieve the stated outcomes required, and include:
The relation between credits and notional hours is explained by equalling one credit to ten
notional learning hours (NZQA 2000c:7). The use of credits to earn a qualification was
largely copied from the New Zealand system by South African educational authorities. In a
document issued by SAQA one year later (2000f:9), the following explanation is offered:
"SAQA uses a credit system based on the idea than one credit equals 10 notional hours of
learning".
The New Zealand Ministry of Education (New Zealand 1999a:8) explains the system as
follows: "As students achieve specific identified outcomes they receive credits, and when a
student has enough credits at specific levels and in specific subjects, the qualification is
awarded" The NZQA (2000c: 13) defines a full-time single year programme, leading to a
qualification, as translating into 120 credits. The possibility of credit transfers between
qualifications is made possible in the event of an apparent match in terms of outcomes~ level,
credit and subject classification.
"Unit standards based qualifications
generate automatic
credit transfer and accumulation through the New Zealand Qualifications Authority's Record
of Learning" (NZQA 2000c:13).
Assessment is integrated into each unit standard, and formal assessment can be done only by
the representative of an accredited provider, or by a registered assessor. Accredited providers
are, for example, a school, private training establishment, wananga (Maori operated institutes
of learning), government training establishment or tertiary institution; registered assessors are
individuals registered by an Industry Training Organisation (ITO) or National Standards
Body (NSB) (NZQA 2000a:2).
Guidance towards the interpretation of unit standards must be provided to assessors "through
the development of an Assessment Guide" (NZQA 2000a:6). Material for such an assessment
guide may be updated regularly, drawing on material of the moderation network. In this
whole process a local moderator plays an important role, because he is responsible for
moderation and approval of assessment materials, activities and schedules, as well as to
award credits to learners on the NQF.
3.8.6 Detailedfields
"A detailed field is described as a way of classifying subject areas of qualifications and
courses" (NZQA 2000d:7). A classification of this kind is used to enable consistency
throughout the broad framework. A finalised unit of classification is, however, still not in
operation, and is planned only for 2002.
3.8.7 Classification system
Seventeen fields are currently grouped in the NZQA classification system. These are (NZQA
2000d:14):
These are broken down into sub-fields and domains, which will not be discussed in detail in
this thesis. Subjects for school qualifications are English, Mathematics and Science (core
subjects), and Social Studies, Physical EducationlHealth, Information Literacy, Foreign
Languages, Technology, Visual and Performing Arts, and Economics.
In comparison with the twelve envisaged NSBs in the South African system (SAQA
2000d:5-6), there are currently six established NSBs for New Zealand education. These are:
•
Science and Technology.
A standards setting body for Education and Health is also currently in use (New Zealand
1999a:8), but not yet officially established as an NSB.
According to the New Zealand Ministry of Education (New Zealand 1999a:9), the following
advantages were recognised in the system of education, using unit standards, credits and
qualifications earned:
•
The purpose of qualifications is clearly outlined, allowing students and employers to
know what they can gain from the study. The transferable character of unit
standards also allows for a greater flexibility to gain qualifications and raise levels
of skills acquired.
•
Industry and tertiary providers have been closely involved in the process of
developing qualifications and standards, improving the relevance and quality of
learning.
•
By assessing "agreater number of skills, a broader range of educational achievement
has been recognised. "People can now gain credits towards qualifications in a wide
range of learning settings (such as workplaces), have prior learning recognised, and
have their achievement recognised in new areas" (New Zealand I 999a: 10).
•
Students are enabled to enter and re-enter education and training, allowing a change
of learning settings. This has considerable advantages in on-the-job training, as well .
as acknowledging prior credits after training or education was interrupted.
The new system will acknowledge the possibility that there are many ways to reach a specific
qualification.
The purpose and character of a qualifications
framework
is effectively
summarised
as
follows in the White Paper of the Ministry of Education (New Zealand I 999a: I I): "We need
a framework that acts like a road map for all quality education, enabling people to see how
;
they can get from one place to another, and where the best route may be."
Quality, in terms of"content, teaching and research, is regarded as a high priority in the New
Zealand NQF, and therefore quality assurance systems are used to monitor qualifications in
order to encourage high standards.
All qualifications offered in New Zealand will in future be quality-assured
by a quality
approval body. The basis of approval will be the fitness for the purpose for which it was
designed, and according to their White Paper (New Zealand I 999a: 15), qualifications will
include:
•
any other type of qualification which meets the requirements of a quality approval
body.
Registration on the NQF will take piace once the quality of a qualification or unit standards
has been tested and approved by a quality approval body. A close scrutiny will be maintained
to ensure the ongoing high quality of a provider (New Zealand 1999b:2). This scrutiny
includes a moderation system, implemented, operated and monitored by the NZQA (NZQA
2000a:4), to moderate providers of unit standards against which learners will be assessed.
A list of accredited providers is published together with the registered unit standards.
3.8.9 The music framework of the New Zealand NQF
In the following paragraphs, the music framework of the New Zealand NQF will be briefly
considered.
The music framework of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority currently (2001) uses the
following four domains:
•
Making Music: 28 unit standards, level 1-7 with corresponding credits;
•
Music Education and Training: 6 unit standards, level 4-7 with corresponding
credits;
•
Music Studies: 14 unit standards, level 1-7 with corresponding credits; and
•
Music Technology: 6 unit standards, level 4-5 and 7 with one qualification
registered, namely a National Certificate in Music Technology at levelS.
According to the classification
system of fields, sub-fields and domains, the following
qualifications are currently available for Music:
•
National Certificate in Music (level 2)
•
National Certificate in Music (level 3)
•
National Certificate in Music (level 4)
•
NatIonal Certificate in Music (levelS)
•
National Certificate in Music (Music therapy) (levelS)
"New Zealand qualifications are compiled of certain combinations of unit standards across
all the domains. These qualifications include certain compulsory unit standards as well as
electives. The selection of electives and credits required are specified" (Grove 2000b:4). This
means that a student has a wide selection of fields and sub-fields when compiling a course,
retaining the credits for assessed unit standards.
For this domain, 28 unit standards have already been registered on the first seven of eight
levels. A brief explanation of the contents will be given below, as the full details with special
notes, elements and performance
criteria, range statements
and assessment/moderation
criteria is available at the website of the NZQA. 20
•
Demonstrate ability to be an effective performing member of a music performance
group (3 credits).
•
Demonstrate music compositional skills through two short music compositions (6
credits).
•
Demonstrate music performance skills through two pieces of contrasting style (8
credits).
•
Demonstrate
developing
music
compositional
skills
through
three
music
compositions (6 credits).
•
Demonstrate music performance skills as soloist on a second instrument in three
pieces (8 credits).
•
Demonstrate music performance skills before an audience through three pieces of
contrasting styles (8 credits).
Level 3:
•
Demonstrate
developed
mUSIC compositional
skills
through
two
or
three
compositions of substance (8 credits).
•
Demonstrate essential music arrangement skills (5 credits).
•
Demonstrate music performance skills as soloist on a second instrument in extended
pieces (8 credits).
•
Demonstrate music performance skills before an audience through a selection of
extended pieces (8 credits).
•
Make a significant contribution to a music performance ensemble (10 credits).
Level 4:
•
Conduct music to a rudimentary standard (5 credits).
•
Improvise music to a rudimentary standard (5 credits).
LevelS:
•
Arrange music to a developed standard (10 credits).
•
Compose music to a developed standard (10 credits).
•
Perform music on an instrument to a developed standard (15 credits).
•
Perform music to a developed standard as soloist on a second instrument (15
credits).
•
Direct music rehearsal(s) to a developed standard (15 credits).
•
Improvise music to a developed standard (15 credits).
Level 7:
•
Demonstrate advanced music arrangement skills (35 credits).
•
Demonstrate advanced music compositional skills (35 credits).
•
Demonstrate advanced music performance skills as soloist in an ensemble situation
(30 credits).
•
Demonstrate advanced music performance skills as a soloist on a second instrument
(30 credits).
•
Demonstrate lldvanced music performance skills as a soloist on one instrument (40
credits).
•
Demonstrate advanced music performance skills as soloist on a second instrument in
an ensemble situation (30 credits).
•
Describe, manage and direct a music ensemble for public performance (40 credits).
•
Describe, manage and direct a music ensemble for studio and live recording
performance situations (30 credits).
3.8.9.3 Unit standards/or Music Education and Training
Six unit standards have been registered up to date (2001), with no official qualifications yet.
Unit standards at levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 are currently available.
Level 4:
•
Explain and show the use of creative musical improvisation for therapeutic purposes
(10 credits).
Level 5:
•
Demonstrate the ability to select and present music for therapeutic use (10 credits).
•
Demonstrate
knowledge of how to teach musical instrumental
performance
in
AotearoalNew Zealand (10 credits).
Level 7:
•
Demonstrate
rudimentary
ability to use music therapeutically
In response to
identified client needs (15 credits).
•
Teach musical instrument to student(s) (30 credits).
Fourteen unit standards are currently registered for Music Studies, with no qualifications yet.
Unit standards are available for levels 1,.2,3,5,
and for level 7, with those for levels 4 and 6
not yet registered (2001).
Levell:
•
Demonstrate ,knowledge of music materials, and the ability to read, write, and listen
to music (5 credits).
•
Demonstrate rudimentary knowledge of New Zealand music (3 credits).
•
Describe and· examine three music works of varying genre (5 credits).
Level 2:
•
Demonstrate developing knowledge of music materials, and the ability to read,
write, and listen to music (5 credits).
•
Describe and examine four music works, and explain evaluations of performances
(5 credits).
•
Demonstrate developed knowledge of music materials, and the ability to read, write,
and listen to music (5 credits).
•
Describe,
analyse, and compare SIX music works, and evaluate public music
performances (5 credits).
LevelS:
•
Demonstrate developed musical listening and analytical skills and knowledge (10
credits).
•
Demonstrate knowledge and skills associated with musical research methodology
(10 credits).
•
Describe music-making in AotearoalNew Zealand (10 credits).
Level 7:
•
Complete a research study on music in AotearoalNew Zealand (15 credits).
•
Demonstrate advanced ability to read and analyse 20th century music (20 credits).
•
Demonstrate advanced research skills in music (30 credits).
3.8.9.5 Unit standardsfor Music Technology
Six unit standards at levels 4, 5 and 7 are currently registered for this domain, with one
qualification (National Certificate in Music Technology) available at level 5.
Level 4:
•
Demonstrate, rudimentary knowledge of retailing in the music retail industry (6
credits).
LevelS:
•
Demonstrate·knowledge
and application of the production of audio recordings (12
credits).
•
Demonstrate
knowledge
and manual
skills
associated
with sound recording
technology (10 credits).
•
Demonstrate
knowledge
and skills of retailing in the mUSIC retail industry (8
credits).
•
Demonstrate knowledge of acoustics in relation to music technology (l0 credits).
•
Design and make substantial products in the field of musical sound technology (30
credits).
In a document for a MEUSSA workshop, Grove (2000b: 1) used the following table to
compare the NQF levels and possible qualifications of South Africa and New Zealand:
General Education and
Training
2
3
Grade 10
FET
Certificate
Further Education and
Training
Grade 11
Certificate
Advanced trades
Technical and business
qualification
4
Grade 12
Certificate
5
Diplomas
BET
6
First degrees
Honours
Higher Education and
Training
First degrees
7
Master's
Postgraduate degrees
8
Doctorates
From this table it is clear that, although both countries use a system of 8 NQF levels, the
interpretation of these 8 levels differs. All post-graduate
studies in the NZQA system for
example, is slotted at level 8, with the final year of the first or Bachelor's degree at level 7. A
Bachelor's degree, in the South African structure, fits into level 6, a Master's degree at level 7
and a doctoral degree at level 8 (SAQA 2001 :3-6).
In the New Zealand structure, the domain of Music Education and Training is, especially in
comparison with the domain of Music Making, still lacking in definition and only contains
six unit standards between levels 4 and 7. The same applies to the domain of Music
Technology with also only six unit standards between levels 4 and 7. The domain of Music
Technology, however, covers music retail and industry, music production, recording sound
technology, acoustics and music design in sound technology, while Music Education and
Training has unit stapdards for music therapy and instrumental music only.
Music studies, which are relevant in the teaching of general music, are also limited to only a
few unit standards. In the opinion of the author this domain needs to be more explicitly
explored and enriched to reflect the plenteous potential of music in the general class.
The flexible nature of core and elective standards, however, offers a valuable contribution to
the Southern African perspective, and will be explored further in the chapter on unit
standards for aerophones.
Like its South African counterpart, the New Zealand framework is clearly still in progress,
with no unit standards for level 8 currently available. The structure is also still lacking
qualifications for each level, with only seven qualifications at the moment registered between
levels 2 and 5.
The music of the indigenous people, the Maoris, is added as a separate item with its own
advisory board. In the opinion of the author this is an unsatisfactory situation, as the scope of
music learning and experience is in this way limited to a specific style. It would be more
appropriate to integrate the Maori music into the holistic structure, and not to reserve it as an
optipn, treated diffe~entlyand kept on the side. The place of popular music is also not clear,
and needs to be addressed.
Because the official document does not make use of the collective term Britain when
referring to the National Curriculum, the author will make use of the actual wording as
defined by the English Department for Education and Employment (England 1999), namely
The National Curriculum of England.
The National Curriculum of England, implemented from August 2000, uses a system of
attainment targets and key stages in providing guidelines for music education and
assessment.
"Popular education in England has developed in an aesthetically
rich world" (Allison
1984:61). The roots of education are based on a historically long and hierarchical class
structure, with many influences from the elitist classical education. According to Green &
Waleson (2001 :35), the post-Second World War British schools were blessed with a "golden
age" as far as instrumental teaching was concerned. During this time a largely successful
music service system was organised and funded by local educational authorities, making use
of peripatetic instrumental specialists giving lessons to individual pupils in the schools at a
low cost. The place of music as subject in the curricula, however, varied from ''the
impressive to the indescribable" (Green & Waleson 2001 :35).
During the 1990s the National Curriculum was positioned, and music given a new and
compulsory
status in the classroom
comprehensiveness
at primary
and early secondary
level. But the
of this new system depended on the attitudes and budget appraisals of
individual head teachers, because legislation granted them control over their own budgets.
For this reason, according to Green & Waleson, some music services disappeared altogether.
A 1997 report by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music evidenced a massive
decline of 300 000 in the numbers of children playing music instruments. This decline
seemed to have come to a halt at the beginning of 2000 (according to the latest ABRSM
repOrt), because of the stabilising effect that the impact of the National Curriculum in Music
;
is having (Green & Waleson 2001 :35-36). One of the reasons for the increase in positive
results is the fact that the present Labour Government has set up a Music Standards Fund, as
well as created a National Foundation for Youth Music with £10 million available each year
(Green & Waleson 2001 :36).
Before the national curriculum was provided, "the teacher could be considered a more or less
free agent in terms of both teaching method and content" (Allison 1984:62). This meant that
a freedom and diversity of educational content and direction was generally accepted, with the
only dictation in terms of subject syllabuses provided by the external examination system at
the end of mandatory schooling. Swanwick (1996:21) describes the non-explicit attitude of
music educators towards a uniform music curriculum: "Until fairly recently, music educators
had a tendency to be professionally inarticulate, leaving [... ] national policy formulation to
others." He also uses the word "erratic" in describing music education in Britain.
Music was part of the curricula in most English schools before the National Curriculum, but
music as a subject "seemed to languish in status by being perceived as 'un-academic';
pleasurable rather than educational" (Swanwick 1996:23). The fact that schools and curricula
gradually became more vocationally focussed also meant that a perceived waste of time,
space, equipment and staffing resulted in a strong pull away from arts subjects.
"England is rapidly becoming a multi-racial, multi-ethnic society, [... ] it is becoming
necessary to recognise cultural pluralism as a fact of life, and this is profoundly affecting
educational practices" (Allison 1984:66). These two factors, namely the non-structural
format of (arts) education and the multiplying character of ethnic composition in schools,
were two moulding and urging factors leading to the implementation of a national curriculum
for English schools.
Another element of influence is the fact that, according to Swanwick (1996:24), two
traditions of music education were inherited, especially in secondary schools. The first
derives from the private school system, which sees the music educator as the music director.
It is his task to run the band, the choir and the orchestra, to manage the chapel choir and
organise individual instrumental teaching.
The second tradition stems from the framework of the class music lesson, where general
music education is treated as any other subject and pupils were withdrawn from other classes
to work with specialist instrumental teachers. In most instances the music educator has to
perform both the role of music director and general music teachers. In most cases
instrumental teaching as well as orchestra rehearsing takes place after school hours, and very
often quite apart from the school curriculum (Swanwick 1996:25), with peripatetic teachers
working with individuals and small groups.
Many similarities with the South African scenario can be drawn, as the scenario in music
education mentioned in the previous paragraph is well known to many music teachers in this
country. Music is also, in South Africa, regarded by many head teachers as "pleasurable" and
therefore as an optional extra on the school timetable. Because the academic content is
furthermore considered as low, music as a subject is often replaced by so-called core
academic subjects.
The process of implementing
a National Curriculum
in the UK was started in 1987.
Swanwick (1996:27) mentions that the earliest statements on the subject basis of the National
Curriculum occurred in a document of 1987.
Music educators in England have prepared the way for the National Curriculum for roughly
two and a half decades, with projects such as the Schools Council project "Music in the
Secondary School Curriculum" (1982), as well as many more individual efforts by music
educators. The acceptance of a detailed General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)
course content signalled an acceptance of a specific music curriculum, but with "the actual
structure and status of the music curriculum before legislation [... ] not markedly dissimilar
from what is now being proposed" (Swanwick 1996:22). The main difference, according to
Swanwick (1996:22), lies in the national formulation of content, instead of leaving all
decisions to local schools and teachers.
Education in England is divided into two levels - a general education (GCSE level), and
higher education (the so-called A-levels). General education is mandatory for all children
between the ages of five and sixteen,2\ with optional higher education for those up to
eighteen or nineteen years of age. The current GCSE level and a large section of the A-levels
are the responsibility of the local education authorities.
Primary education (between ages five to eleven) is frequently divided into infant schools
(ages five to seven) and junior schools (ages seven to eleven). Secondary education may
provide one continuous education, or divide into high schools (ages eleven to fourteen) and
upper schools (ages fourteen and older).
During the 1980s, arts subjects were still, despite the fact that they had values and purposes
attributed to them in varying proportions, regarded as peripheral subjects. The reason for this
was the so-called non-academic
content of arts subjects against other academic subjects
(Allison 1984:64). S.wanwick (1996:27) states that music still appears at the end of the list of
foundation subjects in the National Curriculum, along with art and physical education, and
2\
In the mandatory ph.ase a system of three or four key stages for different subjects is applicable. After
mandatory education the A-levels may be followed.
that these subjects were the last to be brought into the curriculum framework. With regard to
time and resources. available, this approach also implies that music is at the end of the
receiving row, with around ten percent of time allotted in the curriculum framework. Time
allocated for music is also easily substituted by "more important" subjects when deemed
necessary. This practice for general music education in English schools is also a familiar one
in the South African situation.
A revision of the national curriculum in England was announced by the Secretary of State on
9 September 1999, to be implemented from August 2000.22 These changes were focussed on
raising the standards of pupil attainment, providing a more flexible framework and making
teaching requirements clearer (QCA 2000: 1).
Only three subjects are indicated as National Curriculum core subjects, namely English,
Mathematics and Science.
Six key skills are described in the national curriculum, "because they help 'learners to
improve their learning and performance in education, work and life" (England 1999:24, 40).
These are also described as follows in the National Music Curriculum, and the way in which
music can be used to promote the key skills is described in brackets:
•
Communication, namely speaking, reading and writing (presenting
music to
different audiences, discussing and sharing ideas with others);
•
Application of number, namely the facility to develop a range of mental calculation
skills (recognising pattern, sequence, order and rhythmic relationships);
•
Information technology, which includes the ability to include, interpret, evaluate
and present a range of information (composing or performing music using a range of
ICT, or-Information and Communication Technology);
•
Working with others, which includes the ability to work in small and whole-class
groups so as to develop a growing awareness of the needs of others (taking different
roles in groups and ensemble work, supporting
the different contributions
in
groups);
•
Problem solving (achieving intentions when composing or presenting performances
to different audiences in different venues);
•
Improving own learning and petformance, including the ability to reflect on and
critically evaluate own work, identifying ways to improve (appraising own work,
recognising the need for perseverance, developing the ability to use time effectively,
and increase the ability to work independently).
•
Establish
an entitlement,
meaning that all pupils, irrespective of background,
culture, race, gender or abilities, are entitled to a number of learning areas. They
must be given the opportunity
to develop the necessary skills to mature into
competent and responsible citizens;
•
Establish standards, meaning that the national curriculum sets expectations for the
attainment of certain learning and performance standards;
•
Promote continuity and coherence, by providing a coherent national framework
that facilitates the smooth transition of pupils between schools and provides the
foundation for lifelong learning; and
•
Promote public understanding.
By increasing the public understanding in the·
work done in schools, an increased confidence and basis for discussion among lay
and professional groups are encouraged.
The development of the school curriculum, which comprises all learning and other
experiences that learners in a specific school will enjoy, must use the framework of the
national curriculum as reference for values, aims and purposes. The two main aims when
providing a school curriculum should be (England 1999:2-3):
•
To promote the development of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural
awareness so as to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and
challenges of life.
Alongside this, a st~tutory statement sets out three principles for inclusion in all stages of
curriculum planning, namely
•
Overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and
groups. This is aimed specifically at pupils with special educational needs, pupils
with disabilities and pupils for whom English is an additional language (QCA
2000:3).
"The curriculum [... ] must be responsive to changes in society and the economy, and
changes in the nature of schooling itself' (England 1999:5). This means that the curriculum,
as adapted from the national curriculum in specific schools, should not remain static, but be
continuously re-appraised in order to suit the needs and resources of pupils and the society.
This process is also followed in the South African educational situation, as the unit standards
generated by SGBs will be reviewed every three years.
A clear guideline to providing effective learning opportunities for all pupils is also provided
in the National Curriculum (England 1999: 55). This includes:
•
Setting suitable learning challenges (in other words differentiating
In order to
achieve as high a standard as possible).
•
Responding to pupils' diverse learning needs (including gender, special educational
needs or disabilities, different social and cultural backgrounds,
different ethnic
groups inclu<;lingtravellers, refugee and asylum seekers, and those from different
linguistic backgrounds). Special efforts should be made to create effective learning
environments, secure pupils' motivation and concentration and provide equality of
opportunity .
•
Programmes of study;
•
Attainment targets for learning; and
An early stage, callep the pre-school stage for age 3-5, is to be implemented from September
2000 to encourage six areas of learning:
•
knowledge and understanding of the world;
•
physical development; and
· After this pre-school stage, three phases are distinguished, namely a foundation phase (for
pupils between grades 1-3), an intermediate phase (grades 4-6), and secondary school or
senior phase (for grades 7-9). During these three phases four, and for some subjects
(including music) th!ee key stages are distinguished. NQF levels for England are the same as
those being used in South Africa, as explained by the author in Table 3-6:
A course of general music in NQF level 1 (grade 9) is provided in the English system. An
option of specialisation in performing orland composing, together with general music as a
subject, is available from NQF level 2 onwards (grades 10-12). Two of the six compulsory
subjects for this phase may consist of music subjects. A learner taking three music subjects
has to take the 3rd music subject as 7th subject. The application of the English system is
explained by the author in Table 3-7:
Grade 0
General Music
GET and ABET I
General Music
GET and ABET 2
GET and ABET 3
(Pre-school)
Grades 1-3
Key stage 1
(Foundation)
(age 5-7, or years
I-J)
Grades 4-6
Key stage 2
General Music
(Intermediate)
(age 7-11, or years
4-6)
Private, individual
lessons on an
instrument
Grades 7-9
Key stage 3
(Senior)
(age 11-14, or
years 7-9)
Level 1 (grades 09)
Compulsory
Private, individual
lessons on an
instrument( s)
Key stage 4
Level 2
General Music
(age 14-16, or
year 10)
Optional
Individual lessons
on an
instrument( s)
SATSexams
Grade 10
General Music
GET and ABET 4
FET
Specialisation in
performance or
composition
Grade 11
GCSE ends with
an exam
Level 3
General Music
(Optional)
Individual lessons
on an
instrument( s)
(Age 17, year 11)
FET
Specialisation in
performance or
composition
Grade 12
AS level
Level 4
General Music
(Age 18, year 12)
(Optional)
Individual lessons
on an
instrument( s)
FET
Specialisation in
performance or
composition
Year 13
A21evel
(Optional)
(Age 19,year 13)
GCE qualification
General Music
FET
Individual lessons
on an
instrument( s)
Specialisation in
performance or
composition
After key stage 4 it is expected that skills, knowledge and understanding will be at a more
advanced level. Two optional qualifications, comprising a six-unit structure, may be achieved
after GCSE, namely
•
an AS (Advanced Supplementary)
one year post GCSE; and
level, done in the twelfth year of schooling or
•
programmes of study23 (which set out what pupils should be taught, or the content of
study); and
•
attainment
targetsllevels24
performance
(which
set out the expected
in terms of 8 levels, with an additional
standard
of pupils'
level for exceptional
performance ).
These are implemep.ted in four key stages,25 with eight level descriptions
of increased
difficulty for key stages 1-4, plus a level for exceptional performance above level 8.26 These
level descriptions describe the type and range of performance expected from pupils, as well
as providing the basis for making judgement on pupils' performance at the end of each level.
Key stage 4 uses natIonal qualifications as the main means of assessing attainment.
The following table will explain the level of attainment levels for the average learner
between key stages 1-3, and at different ages.
23
"The Education Act 1996, section 353b, defines a programme of study as 'the matters, skills and processes'
that should be taught to pupils of different abilities and maturities during the key stage" (England 1999:38).
24
"The attainment target for music sets out the 'knowledge,
skills and understanding that pupils of different
abilities and maturities are expected to have by the end of each key stage' " (England 1999:39).
25
History, Geography, Art and Design, Music, Modem foreign languages and Citizenship all have three key
stages or less. Music uses three key stages (England 1999:6).
26
The author wants to focus the attention of the reader to the fact that the National Curriculum of England uses
the same terminology, namely "levels", to describe the attainment standards / targets at different phases, as well
as for the appropriate NQF phases. While being described with the same word, two different concepts are
implied. For the sake of clarity, the author will differentiate between "NQF level" and "attainment level".
.
Table 3-8: Explanation of the average attainment levels for learners between key stages 1-3
(England 1999:39)
Key stage 1
At age 7
Key stage 2
At age 11
Key stage 3
At age 14
3.9.4 The structure of the National Music Curriculum
The aspects of music that are used to define the educational perspective are:
•
Performing
(controlling sounds through singing and playing);
•
Composing (creating, adapting, communicating and developing musical ideas);
•
Appraising
•
Listening (applying knowledge and understanding).
(responding and reviewing); and
The listening aspect is described as being developed through the interrelated
skills of
performing, composing and appraising (England 1999:6). This means that the three main
domains of music are performing, composing and appraising, with the listening aspect
threading through these three domains. The author of this thesis also advocates this approach
in the unit standards provided in chapter 5 - while listening must be assessed separately, it
must be integrated with all other aspects of music education.
Performing
Composing
Appraising
The outcomes of these three aspects of music, namely performing, composing and appraising
are as follows:27
•
Performing:
perform music alone and together, enabling the development of the
student individually and socially;
•
Appraising: three areas for musical response must be cultivated, namely a cognitive,
affective and skill-learning response.
Of these three, the composing aspect has more weight in the British frameworks, because this
"composing allows greater levels of musical cognition" (Swanwick & Franca 2000: 18).
General outcomes are also provided, which would, in the South African situation, translate as
generic outcomes. These are more descriptive in nature than those used for defining the three
aspects in the struc~e:
•
Pupils recognise and explore how sounds can be made and changed. They apply
their voices in different ways such as speaking, singing, chanting, and perform with
awareness, together with others.
•
Pupils repeat short rhythmic and melodic patterns, and create and choose sounds in
response to given starting points and patterns.
•
Pupils recognise and explore how sounds can be organised. They sing with a sense
of the shape of the melody, and perform simple patterns and accompaniments,
keeping to a steady pulse.
27
These are taken from a document produced by three members of the MEUSSA group (Elma Britz, Vinayagi
Govinder and Antoinette Hoek) on the unit standards of Britain, and discussed by the MEUSSA group during a
workshop on 15 July 2000.
•
Pupils choose carefully and order sounds within simple structures such as
beginning, middle, end, and in response to given starting points, they represent
sounds with sYmbolsand recognise how the musical elements can be employed to
create different moods and effects. Pupils improve on their own work.
Level 3:
•
Pupils recognise and explore the ways sounds can be combined and used"
expressively. They sing in tune with expression and perform simple parts in a
limited range of notes rhythmically.
•
Pupils improvise repeated patterns and combine several layers of sound with
awareness of the combined effect. They recognise how the different musical
elements are combined and applied to their own work, commenting on the intended
effect.
•
Pupils identify and explore the relationship between sound and how music reflects
different intentions. Performing by ear/simple notations they maintain their own part
with awareness of how the different parts fit together and the need to achieve an
overall effect.
•
Pupils improvise melodic and rhythmic phrases as part of a group performance, and
compose by developing ideas within musical structures. They describe, compare and
evaluate different kinds of music using an appropriate musical vocabulary. They
suggest improvements to their own and others' work, commenting on how
intentions haye been achieved.
•
Pupils identify/explore musical devices and how music reflects time and place. They
perform significant parts from memory and from notation with awareness of their
own contribution such as leading others, taking a solo part and/or providing
rhythmic support.
•
Pupils improvise melodic and rhythmic material within given structures, use a
variety of notations and compose music for different occasions, using appropriate
musical devices such as melody, rhythms, chords and structures. Pupils analyse and
compare musical features.
•
Pupils evaluate how venue, occasion and purpose affect the way music is created,
performed and heard. They refine and improve on their own work.
•
Pupils identify and explore the different processes and contexts of selected musical
genres and styles. They select and make expressive use of tempo, dynamics,
phrasing and timbre. They make subtle adjustments to fit their own part within a
group performance. They improvise and compose in different genres and styles,
using harmonic and non-harmonic devices where relevant, sustaining and
developing musical ideas and achieving different intended effects. They use relevant
notations to plan, revise and refine material. They also analyse, compare and
evaluate how music reflects the context in which it is created, performed and heard.
They make improvements to their own work and to that of others; they work in the
light of the chosen style.
•
Pupils discriminate and explore conventions in, and influences on, selected genres,
styles and traditions. They exploit the characteristic and potential of selected
resources, genres, styles and traditions. They perform in different styles, making
significant cpntributions to the ensemble and using relevant notations. They
improvise and compose extended compositions with a sense of direction and shape,
both with regard to melodic and rhythmic phrases and as overall form. They explore
different styles, genres and traditions, working by ear and by making accurate use of
appropriate notations, both following and challenging conventions. They
discriminate between musical styles, genres and traditions, commenting on the
relationship between the music and its cultural context, making and justifying their
own judgements.
Another aspect of study is described in the National Curriculum, namely the breadth of study.
This describes the ''types of activities that bring together requirements from each of the
aspects, the different starting points and size of groups, and the range of music to be
experienced, including live and recorded, and from different times and cultures" (England
1999:6).
Three aspects of learning are considered important when describing music education. These
aspects must be integrated in the teaching and teachers should, for example, provide ample
opportunities for pupils to use information and communication technology as they learn the
subject. The three aspects oflearning are (England 1999:9):
•
The promotion of key skills, such as communication, IT, working with others,
improving own learning and performance and problem solving; and
•
Promoting other aspects of the curriculum for example thinking skills,
entrepeneuriaI skills and work-related learning, as well as links with other subjects.
These links are provided in the description of the programmes of study for music.
The nature of music education stays informal for key stages 1 to 3, with music theory only
formally being taught after key stage 3. At this stage the composition component also
receives more weight within the framework, because it allows for greater levels of cognition.
A flexible approach with no rigid content descriptions is used throughout all the key stages,
with the listening aspect used to integrate the performing, composing and appraising
aspects.28
Assessment goes hand-in-hand with the content of a curriculum: "It is reasonably clear that
to establish any assessment is to produce a curriculum to accommodate it" (Bradley
1984:255).
The legacy of English assessment was that of a complicated system of external examinations
and a multiplicity of examination boards (Allison 1984:67). This system was replaced with a
simpler form of assessment in the national curriculum, one in which the teacher now has a
bigger role to play. The external examination at the end of mandatory schooling is still in
place, but teachers are also expected to assess their pupils at the end of each key stage in
preparation for the final exam. In other words, the English educational structure now uses
28
These conclusions are taken from a presentation made by three members of the MEUSSA group, namely
Elma Britz, Vinayagi Govinder and Antoinette Hoek, to a large proportion of the whole group on Saturday 15
July 2000.
only two levels of assessment, namely assessment by the teachers, and statutory assessment
at the end of each key stage (England 1999:7).
When assessing, a teacher should select the description of a level which best fits a pupil's
performance,
and when doing so, "each description
should be considered
alongside
descriptions for adjacent levels" (England 1999:8). The level descriptions can also be used as
a basis to describe pupils' progress to parents, and they can help to "determine the degree of
challenge and progression of work across each year of a key stage" (England 1999:8).
During key stage 1 pupils listen carefully and respond physically to a wide range
of music. They play musical instruments and sing a variety of songs from memory,
adding accompaniments
and creating short compositions with increasing
confidence, imagination and control. They explore and enjoy how sounds and
silence can create different moods and effects (England 1999: 16).
The programmes
of study for all non-core subjects (that is everything except English,
Mathematics and Science) contain two sets of requirements, namely
Teachers are furthermore
asked to "ensure that listening, and applying knowledge
understanding are developed through the interrelated skills of performing,
and
composing and
appraising" (England 1999: 16).
In the first key stage the focus is on listening, and children may respond physically through
movement and dance.
Programmes of study for performing skills are described as follows:
29
29
These standards are briefly described by the author. The full version is availal?le online at England 1999:
<www.nc.uk.net>.
•
The use of the voice by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes should be
taught. Pupils should play tuned and untuned instruments, as well as rehearse and
perform with others.
•
The creation' of musical patterns, and the exploration, choice and organisation of
sounds and musical ideas.
•
The exploration and expression of ideas and feelings about music, using movement,
dance, and expressive and musical language. Pupils should also be able to make
improvements on their own work.
•
Pupils should listen with concentration,
learning how to internalise and recall
sounds with increasing aural memory.
•
Pupils should be taught how the combined musical elements of pitch, duration,
dynamics,
tempo,
timbre,
texture
and silence
can be organised
and
used
expressively within simple musical structures.
•
The way in which sounds can be made in different ways, for example vocal ising,
clapping, using musical instruments or the environment, must be explored.
•
How music is used for particular purposes, for example as a dance or lullaby, must
be taught.
In this key stage, pupils are expected to sing songs and play instruments with
increasing confidence, skill, expression and awareness of their own contribution to
a group or class performance. They improvise, and develop their own musical
compositions in response to a variety of different stimuli with increasing personal
involvement, independence and creativity. They explore their thoughts and
feelings through responding physically, intellectually and emotionally to a variety
of music from different times and cultures (England 1999:49).
The nature rather than the content of outcomes is defined, and response to music may also
include movement and dance. Compulsory music education includes one hour a week as
general or class music.
•
The singing of songs in unison or two parts, with clear diction, pitch control, a sense
of phrase and musical expression;
•
The presenting of performances with an awareness of an audience is considered
important at this stage.
•
Exploring, choosing, organising "and combining of musical ideas within musical
structures.
~
Exploring and explaining of pupils' own ideas and feelings about music. For this,
movement, dance, expressive language and musical vocabulary can be used;
The listening and understanding aspect, to be integrated with the previous three aspects,
includes:
•
Listening with attention to detail, and to intemalise
and recall sounds with
increasing accuracy;
•
Teaching pupils to know how the combined musical elements of pitch, duration,
dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and silence can be organised within musical
structures, and used to communicate moods and effects;
;
•
The influence of time and place on the way music is created, performed or heard.
"'An important element of music in schools is instrumental teaching" (Swanwick 1996:25).
From key stage 2, the need for specialist instrumental tuition becomes apparent, as an
increasing technical demand in performance or singing is prescribed.
During key stage 3 pupils deepen and extend their own musical interests and skills.
They perform and compose music in different styles with increasing understanding
of musical devices, processes and contextual influences. They work individually
and in groups of different sizes and become increasingly aware of different roles
and contributions of each member of the group. They actively explore specific
genres, styles and traditions from different times and cultures with increasing
ability to discriminate, think critically and make connections between different
areas of knowledge (England 1999:51).
•
Singing in unison and part songs, developing vocal techniques and musical
expression;
•
Practising, rehearsing and performing with awareness of the contribution of the
different members of a group, the audience and the venue.
•
Producing, developing and extending musical ideas, as well as selecting and
combining resources within musical structures and given genres, styles and
traditions.
•
Communicating ideas and feelings about music, using expressive language and
music vocabulary to justify opinions;
•
Adapting own musical ideas, with refinement and improvement of own and others'
work.
The listening, applying and understanding
aspect are described as follows:
•
Listening with discrimination, internalising and recalling sounds;
•
Identifying
the expressive
use of musical
elements,
devices,
tonalities
and
structures;
•
Identifying the resources, conventions, processes and procedures used in selected
musical genres, styles and traditions, including the use of leT, staff notation and
other relevant notations;
•
Identifying contextual influences affecting the way in which music
IS
created,
performed or heard.
3.9.10 The Attainment
Targets
In the British framework, attainment targets are described in terms of eight level descriptions
of increased difficulty, as well as a description for exceptional performance after the eighth
level (England 1999:67). These level descriptions provide the basis for teachers to assess
pupils at the end of key stages 1 to 3. By the end of key stage 1, the majority of pupils are
expected to work between a range of attainment levels 1-3 with an average of level 2, by key
stage 2 it should be levels 2-5 with an average of level 4, and by the end of key stage 3 the
expected levels should be level 3-7 with an average of level 5/6 (England 1999:7).
A brief description of these attainment levels is as follows:
•
Levell:
"Pupils recognise and explore how sounds can be made and changed'
(England 1999:68). In this first level, the focus is on imitating rhythmic and melodic
patterns and responding to given fragments of rhythm or melody.
•
Level 2: "Pupils recognise and explore how sounds can be organised'
(England
1999:68). Pupils start performing and ordering sounds. They start acquainting
themselves and experimenting with musical structures and elements.
•
Level 3: "Pupils recognise and explore the ways sounds can be combined and used
expressively': (England 1999:68). Technical control, such as singing in tune and
expressively, and improvisations on repeated patterns, are introduced in this level.
•
Level 4: "Pupils identify and explore the relationship between sounds and how
music reflects
different
intentions"
(England
1999:68).
Simple notations
for
performance, as well as playing by ear, are used; composition and improvisation in a
group is regarded
as important
and judging/critical
listening
skills must be
developed anCIexercised.
•
Level 5: "Pupils identify and explore musical devices and how music reflects time
and place" (England 1999:69). Performance is done from memory and notation, and
improvisation
forms a substantial part of this level. The composition
aspect is
increasingly more important, and the way venue, occasion and purpose affects the
manner in which music is created must be evaluated and analysed.
•
Level 6: "Pupils identify and explore the different processes
and contexts of
selected musical genres and styles" (England 1999:69). Aspects such as tempo,
dynamics, phrasing and timbre must be handled expressively, and the pupil must be
sensitive to his contribution
when performing
in a group. Improvisation
and
composition become more advanced, achieving intended effects. Evaluation by the
pupils of their own work is also important.
•
Level 7: "Pupils discriminate and explore musical conventions in, and influences
on, selected genres, styles and traditions" (England 1999:69). Performance, using
relevant notations, is an integral part of this level. The composition aspect expects of
pupils to create, improvise, develop and extend intemalised ideas, working within
given and chosen instruments and musical structures or genres.
•
Level 8: Pupils discriminate and exploit the characteristics and expressive potential
of selected musical resources, genres, styles and traditions" (England 1999:69). The
level of performance, improvisation and composition is advanced, and a developed
sense of direction, shape and structure is expected. The forming and motivating of
own judgements
on the relationship
between music and its cultural content is
prescribed, and innovative thinking processes are encouraged.
•
Exceptional performance: in this level pupils develop different interpretations, and
express their' own ideas and styles regarding the possibilities of their instrument
and/or
voice.
They
must
give
convincing
performances,
produce
coherent
compositions
and be able to recognise the particular contribution
of significant
performers and composers.
Changes to the AS and A-level specifications were implemented in September 2000 (Browne
2000:16). New assessment objectives, weightings and nature of components were offered by
the Department for Education and Employment, together with a number of requirements for
new specifications.
•
Petform:
interpret musical ideas with technical and expressive control, a sense of
style and awareness of occasion and/or ensemble;
•
Compose: develop musical ideas with technical and expressive control, making
creative use of musical devices and conventions;
•
Appraise: demonstrate understanding of the structural, expressive and contextual
aspects of music.
A system of six units for these two levels (three for each level) is used as structure. Units I, 2
and 3 (the so-called AS units) comprise one year of post GCSE study, and units 4, 5 and 6
(the so-called A2 units) represent a further year of post AS study. These six units comprise
the whole advanced GCE qualification (Browne 2000:17). The possible qualifications in the
English schooling system for music may, in other words, be summarised as in Table 3-9:
Key stage I (school year 4 and 5)
Key stage 2 (school year 6 and 7)
~
~
Key stage 3 (school year 8 and 9)
Key stage 4 (school year 10 and 11)
GCSE EXAMINATION
AS level (school year 12) (units 1-3)
A2 level (school year 13) (units 4-6)
GCE EXAMINATION
8 level descriptions
. In England, three main examining and awarding bodies are offering a wide range of
qualifications and programmes, namely
These three organisations are independent examination companies with corresponding
standards of performance, and are operating in schools, colleges, universities and in the work
place across the country.
Table 3-10 summarises the different AS units as interpreted by these three examination
bodies:
Ensemble
perfonnance.
•
A realisation of one of
the piecies composed in
unit 2, as weIl as a
written appraisal.
Unit 1: Perfonning
•
•
Solo perfonnance, one
or more pieces (5-6
minutes).
Perfonnance during
the course of at least
four pieces, including
the perfonnance of one
of the student's own
compositions.
Area of study 1: Western tonal
tradition 1700-1850.
Two compositions
(maximum IO
minutes) of which
one must be
capable of being
realised in unit 3.
Unit 2: Developing
musical ideas
•
A portfolio of
composition
technique exercises.
•
One composition.
Questions on three set works,
including a detailed analysis of
short recorded excerpts and
printed passages, and a choice
of essay questions.
•
Area of study: Change and
development in a musical genre,
style or tradition.
•
Essay question on a topic
chosen by the teacher.
Unit 3: Listening and understanding
•
Short answers and/or notional
exercises on timbre and texture,
comparison of perfonnances.
•
Two structured questions based
on the areas of study.
OCR
Unit I; Performing
Unit 2: Composition I
•
Solo performance (5-8
minutes), of at least
two pieces.
•
•
Choice of one from:
Performing on a
second
instrument.
•
Performing in a
duet or ensemble,
or as accompanist.
•
Performing own
composition.
Unit 6: Performing
•
•
•
•
A programme of
solo music.
A viva voce
session of
approximately
three minutes on
stylistic,
technical and
interpretative
aspects.
Expressive use of
instrumental
techniques; one
option from two.
Area of study 4: The origins and
developments of the western
tonal tradition /700-1850.
A solo recital of
at least 20
minutes on one
or more
Aural extracts.
Prescribed works.
Contextual study.
Area of study 3: Musical genres
and the musical setting of text in
the 2dh and 21'1 centuries.
Structured questions based
on up to five excerpts of
recorded music, including
structure, harmonic, melodic
and rhythmic features,
compositional techniques,
instrumentation, performing
and recording techniques.
An investigation of two
works connected by aspects
such as genre, place or
occasion but separated by
at least 100 years.
A report on these findings.
The composition of one
piece of music that is
informed by some aspects
of the two works selected
for investigation.
•
Questions on the musical
setting of a given text.
•
Essay questions on one set
work.
Unit 4: Specialist options
Unit 6: Analysing music
Pathway A
•
A listening paper.
•
Five questions based on the
extended study and the new
area of study.
Pathway B
•
•
•
•
Unit 5: Investigation, report and
composition
•
Unit 4: Specialist
options
Language of
Western tonal
harmony: six
exercises.
Unit 3: Introduction to historical
study
•
Compositional portfolio.
•
Two compositions, one
from each of the two
chosen topics.
instruments.
Unit 5: Performing
(and composing)
•
OCR
•
•
Compositional techniques
examination.
Performing
during the
course, one or
two must be solo
performances.
Unit 4: Performing:
interpretatron
•
Unit 5: (Performing and)
composition
A solo recital
lasting between
12 and 15
minutes on one
instrulJlent.
Performance
investigations:
comparative
study of recorded
interpretations
Unit 5: Composing 2
Areas of study: Tonality and
words and music.
•
•
Vocal composition.
Stylistic techniques or
composition assignment
(film storyboard).
Unit 6: Historical and analytical
studies
•
•
Aural extracts.
•
Synoptic essay.
Prescribed historical topic
(one from four).
The perspective of England's National Curriculum shares a focus with all of the frameworks
studied by the author in this chapter, as well as with the South African frameworks, namely
that of acquiring a habit of lifelong learning: "to inspire in pupils a joy and commitment to
learning that will last a lifetime" (England 1999:3).
To this a dimension of maturity in the development of the learners is added: "Progression in
music also occurs within each level in terms of pupils' increasing confidence, independence
and ownership" (England 1999: 67).
•
To ensure that pupils develop from an early age the essential literacy and numeracy
skills they need to learn;
•
To give teachers discretion to find the best ways to inspire a joy and commitment to
lifelong learning in their pupils.
These aims are very valid for the Southern African perspective, and could, in the opinion of
the author, be kept ifl mind for all structures of music education.
In the British framework, the composing (creating) skills are considered important and are
very often regarded as primary skills. This differs from other frameworks, for example the
framework of the USA, as well as the South African practice, which regards the performance
aspect of music education as a high priority. "Composing is widely practised and is generally
thought to be both desirable and feasible" (Swanwick 1996:28). Furthermore: "Composing
(including improvising) offers greater scope for choosing not only how but also what to play
or sing and in which temporal order" (Swanwick 2000: 10). In South Africa, a performanceweighted
approach
may be enriched by incorporating
an improvisational
aspect into
performance. Improvisation skills were a familiar facet of performance in Western Classical
music before 1900, and still are an active ingredient in the popular genre of jazz, the
indigenous genre of African music as well as in Indian music.
In the various work~hops and discussions held by the MEUSSA group, it was also generally
agreed that theory of music should not outweigh performance. The tendency to teach music
from a "director's
chair" without providing opportunities to participate in and experience
music-making, was regarded by the group as highly undesirable. The author is also of the
opinion that practical experiences
in music-making
will provide learners with a better
understanding of music concepts than a mere explanation of theoretical components.
Another important focus of the National Curriculum is on singing, rooted in the acquiring of
the skill of learning to sight-sing from notation. With few resources available in the Southern
African situation, the voice must be regarded as an important medium of participation in
music-making.
The National
Curriculum
of England
acknowledges
the multi-cultural
character of schools, and does not want to limit musical experience only to the Western
classical tradition (Swanwick 1996:24). The use of jazz, pop and rock, world musics and
ethnic styles are thus widely accepted. Once again this approach is a very valid one for the
Southern African situation in schools, and widening the scope of musical experience and
learning will be strongly advocated by the MEUSSA group.
The following table outlines the difference between the core and non-core subjects of the
USA, Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa. Core subjects are marked with ~,
and non-core subjects with #.
Table 3-12: Comparison of core and non-core subjects of the USA, Australia, England, New
Zealand and South Africa.
SUBJECT
ENGUSH
MATHEMATICS
SCIENCE .........
....
..•..........
ARTS
USA
....
AUSTRALIA
ENGLAND
NEW
ZEALAND
SOUTH
AFRICA
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
#
~
Visual and
Performing Art
CIVICS AND
GOVERNMENT
~
ECONOMICS
~
FOREIGN
LANGUAGES
~
GEOGRAPHY
~
#
HISTORY
~
#
#
Citizenship
~
#
#
Languages
other than
English
Modern Foreign
Languages
Languages
~
TECHNOLOGY
~
INFORMATION
TECHNOLOGY
~
~
HEALTH AND
PHYSICAL
EDUCATION
STUDIES OF
SOCIETY AND
ENVIRONMENT
#
#
#
~
#
,
#
~
Physical
Education
,
#
Design and
Technology
Social Studies
#
Information and
Communication
Technology
ART AND
DESIGN
#
MUSIC
#
#
.
The direction of South African Education is taken mainly from the New Zealand framework,
using the concepts of unit standards, a national qualification authority, as well as credits and
qualifications earned. The flexible and transferable nature of unit standards, as well as the
way of measuring credits by means of notional hours, are taken directly from the framework
developed by the New Zealand Qualification Authority.
The New Zealand concept of achievement standards, with three levels of accomplishment
(namely credit, merit or excellence), may provide a progressive dimension to the current
South African process. This could encourage increased performance standards in learning
areas, and motivate learners not to accept mediocre or low standards in their own work.
In the opinion of the author positive aspects of all four countries viewed in this chapter
should be kept in mind, and not only those employed in the New Zealand framework. For
example, the English approach of integrating the listening aspect with the three concepts of
performing, composing and appraising may also prove valuable in the South African context.
A separate listening exam, consisting of both repertoire recognition and aural evaluation (as
currently being practised in English schools as part of the GCSE course), is, in the opinion of
the author, a sensible and estimable way of integrating practical music elements into a music
curriculum.
By synthesising feasible and attainable options available from the four countries studied in
this chapter with the unique Southern African situation and challenges, a healthy perspective
may be gained, avoiding the blind following of a recipe that may work for one country but
prove problematic for another. South African education is currently in a favourable position
to gain from the best in the world, provided that a flexible approach is maintained.
This chapter will provide a perspective on recent shifts in Western culture, intellectual
discourses and Weltanschauung. The author will, in the ftrst place, provide a broad overview
of modem and postmodern
developments
in the area of cultural activities such as
architecture, literatur~, art and music. Because the exploration of postmodern activities is still
relatively unknown in the field of Southern African formal music education, especially at the
level of secondary schooling, the author will present a detailed explanation of both modem
and postmodern outlines. Limited space also prompted some choices regarding exponents
and characteristics of both modernism and postmodernism.
Following this, a rationale and alternative approach for music education at the beginning of
the 21 st century will be deducted for Southern Africa. Music education has in principle been
viewed from the (modernist) perspective of Western art music, which has normally excluded
genres such as popular or indigenous music, and this is still the case in many educational
ins~itutions. It is only at the end of the 20th century that these styles came to be regarded as
substantial enough to deserve academic scrutiny. This then, will be considered as a viable
enrichment or alternative for music education.
During the chapter the author will use many direct citations. The rationale for this lies in the
hesitation to paraphrase primary philosophical sources, as well as to provide an overview of
the wealth of secondary sources concerning postmodernism, indicating the current lively
debate on this subject.
The current age or culture is generally, in Western societies, being considered as a
postmodem age or culture. Important cultural shifts over roughly the last forty years of the
th
20
century began shaping the understanding of the world we live in. A rethinking of the
traditional foundations and paradigms of thought has proliferated "which problematise the
great ordering principles of rationality, unity, universality, and truth, recasting them as
special cases of contingency, plurality, historicity and ideology" (Kramer 1995:xi). For the
project of writing unit standards for music to be relevant, it is necessary to reflect on these
changes.
Because of an increasing acknowledgement of a postmodern condition in Western societies,
it is also necessary to describe this condition, for the reason that it profoundly inf!uences
policies and other activities undertaken in the area of arts education within a specific culture.
Although postmodernism, as intellectual practice, is primary a Western phenomenon, the
widespread influen~e of Western culture throughout the world, made possible by the
processes of modernisation, technology, telecommunications, globalisation and the spread of
Western popular culture, has made its mark on virtually every comer of the globe (Adams
1997:2).
According to Rossouw (1995:75), the culture of a specific society may be described as
having three important functions:
•
Firstly, it is the mechanism through which the members of a society understand each
other and the reality around them.
•
The last function is to organise relationships between members of a society, and
between those members and the world around them.
The author does not want to offer such a wide definition, but will stay within the
sedimentation of art forms in the culture of a society, therefore understanding culture as the
mechanism through which members ofa society handles and interprets reality. The focus will
be on architecture, literature and especially music, because in these manifestations of culture,
a condition of postmodernism relevant to this thesis may be clearly observed. The reader
must note that, because this theme poses a minefield of conflicting notions, the author is
often forced into simplification for the sake of finding conclusions appropriate to music
education.
The period preceding postmodernism, namely modernism, extended from more or less the
last third of the 19th century roughly to three-quarters through the 20th century. The nature of
this culture of modernism underwent its most significant change after World War II,
th
gradually preparing the path for a postmodern culture towards the end of the 20 century.
Many people are aware that Western societies since the Second World War have
radically changed their nature in some way. To describe these changes social
theorists have used various terms: media society, the society of the spectacle,
consumer society, the bureaucratic society of controlled consumption, postindustrial society. A fashionable description of such societies is that they are
postmodern (Sarup 1988:117).
Because music is generally accepted as one of the basic expressions of culture, it is important
to situate it within the sphere of postmodern culture. Changes in cultural conditions
essentially exercise an influence on the musical practices of a society and, in the perspective
of this thesis, the approach and content of music education. Postmodernism evolved as a
critique on, a reaction against and an extension of modernism, therefore it is essential to take
cognisance of modernism, as well as postmodern culture's stance regarding these issues.
The terms modernism/modernity and postmodernism/postmodernity,
before embarking
"postmodernism"
cultural
on a discussion.
uses the words "modernism"
and
to describe the cultural period, ideology or worldview manifesting in the
reproductions
"postmodernity"
The author
must first be clarified
and
activities
of a specific
society,
and
"modernity"
or
to describe the social formation or condition within a society (Epstein
1999:1). Modernity
may, in this sense be considered
a necessary pre-condition
for
modernism.
In this chapter the author will therefore first provide a brief description of general and
cultural events, especially in the field of modernist music that preceded the development of
postmodernism. The trends and characteristics of postmodernism will then be discussed, with
a specific perspective provided for music education at the beginning of the 21 st century.
Postmodernism
is an elusive subject. The development
of postmodernism
in Western
societies has not gone uncontested or without critique, and the outcome is still far from clear,
but its impact is unmistakably evident, recognisable and undeniable (Kramer 1995:xi).
Postmodernism
is often described in terms of, and in contrast to, modernism: "No one
exactly agrees as to what is meant by the term, except, perhaps, that 'postmodernism'
represents some kind of reaction to, or departure from, 'modernism'"
(Harvey 1990:7).
Klages (1997: 1) also defines postmodernism in terms of modernism when she says that the
easiest way to start thinking about postmodernism, is perhaps by thinking about modernism,
the movement from ~hich postmodernism seems to grow or emerge.
An accurate and simple definition of postmodernism is very difficult because it comprises a
wide array of smaller definitions and trends. In the opinion of the author the difficulty in
defining postmodernism points to and contains one of the key elements of this condition,
namely that it contains a wide diversity of perspectives,
possibilities
and individual
approaches to living and thinking, all valid and part of the same condition.
When describing postmodernism :from the departure point of modernism, this last concept
must then first be thoroughly understood and defined, because modernism contains the
seedbed from which postmodernism evolved.
In this section, the author will provide a brief description of modernist culture. This will be
done in the first pla~e by briefly looking at the history, mood and underlying philosophy of
this era, roughly between 1870 to 1960, and then by comparing this with the way the
character of the period is reflected in the music.
The era of modernism in the arts encompassed approximately the last third of the 19th and the
biggest portion of the 20th centuries, a time associated with rapid industrial and technological
developments. "The condition of modernity is often spoken of as the rapid pace and texture
of life in a society experienced as the result of the industrial revolution" (Berman, as quoted
in Piercy 1999:4). Modernism, as worldview, often carries the connotation of transgression
and rebellion associated with fast and drastic changes in society.
An important origin of modernism was the phenomenon of urban migration and an explosive
urban growth, together with industrialisation
and mechanisation.
"The pressing need to
confront the psychological, sociological, technical, organisational and political problems of
massive urbanisation was one of the seed-beds in which modernist movements flourished"
(Harvey 1990:25). The impact of living in the city was, for example, vividly illustrated in the
work of 20th century artists and architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Otto
Wagner.
The genesis of modernism as a period and style in the arts is usually associated with the first
signs of Impressionism, which signified a break with Realism as a style in the visual arts. In
philosophy, modernism is equated with the scientific worldview of the Enlightenment of the
18th century.
I
The focus of the dogma of the Enlightenment
turned away from the church as power
structure, seeking to provide the people with sovereignty. A line of social and scientific
theorists such as Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer
and, later, Nietzsche,
were part of this
philosophical frame of thought, of which the last pronounced that God was dead and that a
race of supermen were destined to rule the world (Solomon 2001 :1).
According to Solomon (2001: 1), the world of the Enlightenment
was a world ruled by
dictators and monarchs, enforcing a belief that civilisation was steadily progressing from
primitive beginnings to perfection. Reductive science, master codes, exploration, imperialism
and colonisation were characteristic of this era. Society was ruled by the Newtonian principle
that the future could be determined and mastered completely by applying the powers of
reason - abstract theories were regarded superior to subjective observations, and the universe
was viewed as a huge deterministic machine which had to be explored and controlled.
The modern age of the early 20th century was the fmal stage of the European Enlightenment,
with the extreme cillmination of the social theories of progress, knowledge and culture
resulting in the atrocities of two World Wars. The Enlightenment was rooted in what JUrgen
Habermas (1985:8) refers to as the project of modernity. "That project amounted to an
extraordinary intell~ctual effort on the part of Enlightenment thinkers 'to develop objective
science, universal morality and law, and autonomous art according to inner logic'" (Harvey
J
The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement in the 18th century that believed human reason could be used
to combat ignorance, superstition and tyranny exercised by authorities such as the Roman Catholic. Church and
the aristocracy. By applying reason, it was believed that nature could be progressively understood, thereby
building a better world (Brians 1998: 1). One of the earliest advocates of the Enlightenment was Descartes, and
other followers were inter alia Voltaire, Rousseau and Locke.
The project of modernity was established roughly during the middle of the 18th century as the
product of a group of philosophers such as Descartes, Pascal, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot
and Rousseau (RemPel 200 I: I).
Modernity is equated with the scientific worldview of the Enlightenment. This
powerful and successful approach to nature and culture has come to dominate the
modem university and our social, economic, moral, and cognitive structures.
Human reason, as exemplified in the deductive thought of mathematics and
physics, would come to replace the superstitious worldviews of religion and other
forms of irrationality. Reason, science, technology, and bureaucratic management
would improve our knowledge, wealth and well being through the rational control
of nature and society (Grassie 1997:1).
Rose (2000:2) explains that the project of modernity "was that epoch in which man was to
master himself and to legislate for himself'. Art and science, so the exponents of this project
believed, could be made' autonomous by applying the human mind and reason.
One of the foundations of modernity, according to Rempel (2001:1), was the faith in the
instrument of reason rather than in a mere accumulation of knowledge. The Enlightenment,
as a movement of .thinkers, believed that science could explain nature, and encouraged
society to employ science, exploring nature and questioning established frames of thought.
People were encouraged to participate in government and to rethink old ideas such as
feudalism (Dowling 2001: 1). They believed that human reason could be used to combat
ignorance, superstition, and tyranny and to build a better world, and their principal targets
were religion (embodied in France in the Roman Catholic Church) and the domination of
society by a hereditary aristocracy (Brians 1998: 1).
The basic ideas of the Enlightenment, as briefly described by Klages (1997:1, 3) correspond
with the main characteristics of modernism as described by (Rossouw (1995:3-6):
•
There is a stable, coherent and knowable self. This self is rational, conscious and
universal, with no physical conditions or differences affecting the functioning of the
self.
•
This self knows itself and, importantly, the world through reason, which is proposed
as the highest form of mental processing, and the only objective form of knowing.
•
The mode of knowing produced by this rational and objective self is "science", which
can provide universal truths about the world.
•
Reason is the ultimate judge of what is true, what is right and what is good.
Therefore, in a world governed by reason, the true will always be the same as the
good and the right, and there can be no conflict between good and right
•
Science is neutral and objective, and stands as the paradigm for any useful form of
knowledge.
•
Language, as the vehicle of expression used in producing knowledge, must be rational
also and serve only to present the real world observed by the rational mind.
Habermas (1985:9) describes the "extravagant" expectation of Enlightenment thinkers that
the arts and sciences would promote not only the control of natural forces, but also
understanding of the world and of the self, moral progress, the justice of institutions and even
the happiness of human beings.
"Totality is basic to modernist thought" (Kramer 1995:8). In modernist terms this meant that
central truths could be proved valid for all people. A prominent theme in the modernist era is
the theme of grand narratives, or meta-narratives,2 which may be simply described as a
comprehensive system of general truths (Kramer 1995:8) or the story that a culture tells
about its practices and beliefs. An example of a grand narrative may be that democracy is the
most advanced form of government, and that it can lead to universal human happiness
(Klages 1997:4). Other examples are ideologies such as Marxism and Darwinism. This
culture of grand narratives further established itself in aspects such as the prescription of
genres in art and literature, and governmental control of music played by broadcasting
corporations. Decisions were, for example, made by central authorities on the nature and kind
2
The term meta-narratives as defined by Lyotard (1979), is used as functioning within a culture to explain
indigenous practices and principles. Within the context of this thesis, it is employed to indicate large-scale
theoretical interpretations, purportedly of Wliversal application.
visual art that was acceptable in a society (Hamm 1995:47). In this way modernism tried to
create order amidst a perception of chaos.
According to Hamm (1995:1-2), whose significant research on popular music in his book
Putting Popular Music in Its Place is used extensively in this chapter, meta-narratives were
extended to national power structures, as the modem era was signified by a concentration of
power in the form of new, large nation-states and colonialism. These macro powers
swallowed smaller, previously autonomous city-states, regions and smaller countries, leaving
military and economic control to a handful of large countries (Hamm 1995:1). It goes without
saying that these macro powers then determined policies and principles for the relevant
societies, serving as .meta-narrativesunderlying the reality of everyday life.
This notion of unifying smaller units into one big corporation, country, state or morality, was
one of the main characteristics of modernism. Smaller enterprises very often had to merge
with these giants in order to survive in the huge cities that formed. In the same way smaller
stories or narratives that deviated from the prescriptive principles were regarded as invalid.
Furthermore the functioning of meta-narratives served to keep the modernist values of order
and rationalism alive and legitimate. Anything not fitting in with these was regarded as
leading to chaos and was therefore illegitimate.
Another characteristic of modernism was the condition that one set of rules or truths was
valid for every member of a society. This was quite evident in the Enlightenment project of
the late ISth century, which took it as axiomatic that only one ideal answer was to be found
for each question (Harvey 1990:27). This answer was true only if it was possible to find it
rationally, by reason. Therefore, if it is possible to find one universal moral law, or universal
reason, this law, answer or reason could be proved valid for all people. "Doctrines of
equality, liberty, faith in human intelligence, and universal reason abounded" (Harvey
1990:13).
A further development after 1945 became apparent when a period of "high modernism",
drawing even more on values of universalism and rationalism, became characteristic of .
Western societies. Art of this period was absorbed into establishment and power structures,
and was meant to run parallel with the modernisation of European economies to restore war-
· tom communities and governments. After World War II, the dominant powers in society
became more stable, and "the belief in linear progress, absolute truths and rational planning
of ideal social orders under standardised conditions of knowledge and production was
particularly strong" (Harvey 1990:35).
The two world wars, especially World War II, were the great turning points of the 20th
century in the Western world. Mitchell (1997:10) alleges that much of the drive for
postmodern thinking has sprung from World War II, of which the consequent human
suffering and powerlessness is viewed by some as leading to the ultimate collapse of the
modernist paradigm.
In the period after World War II, America and its leaders played an essential role in
determining the future of the post-war world, with, for example, the headquarters of the
United Nations stationed in New York. Countries wrecked by war were economically,
physically and politically assisted by the American government, which became one of the
two macro powers ih the world (the USSR was the other macro power at this stage). In the
same vein, developments regarding cultural, especially popular culture, directions also
largely originated from America (Hamm 1995:7).
The period after 1945 was also the period that experienced a return of the worship of the
efficient machine to embody all human aspirations. The extremes of this approach were
illustrated by not allowing or approving personalised design - house tenants were, for
example, not allowed to modify their environment to suit personal taste and needs, and the
students living in Le Corbusier's Pavillon Suisse had to "fry every summer because the
architect refused, for aesthetic reasons, to let blinds be installed" (Harvey 1990:36).
Isaacson (1999:18,22) notes that the 20th century, especially the first two-thirds, was marked
by exceptional scie.ntific discoveries and achievements: "The 20th century will be most
remembered for its earthshaking advances in science and technology, in particular for our
ability to understand and then harness the forces of the atom and the universe."
The anticipation that scientific achievements would lead mankind along the road to a
peaceful, happy, healthy life (Hamm 1995:67) and the admiration for the scientists who were
showing the way, were important characteristics of this period in history. An optimistic view
of humans being uplifted by the sciences was common amongst modernists. A full and
rational comprehension of scientific laws would, for example, promote understanding and
consequently domination of the world, thereby making life easier and happier. The general
view was that tec~ology
and science would free people by alleviating the burdens of
everyday struggles while promoting understanding and therefore domination of the forces of
nature. Francis Bacon, British modernist philosopher (as quoted by Rossouw 1995:34), said
in this regard that the aim of science is to enrich everyday life by means of new discoveries
and the utili sing of nature's powers.
Hamm (1995:65) even states that the years after World War II witnessed such a succession of
scientific discoveries promising a better life, that merely listening to the radio or reading a
newspaper became an exciting event, anticipating yet another scientific marvel or miracle.
These scientific marvels included achievements such as the first supersonic flight, a roundthe-world airways service, global telecommunication
services, the beginnings of satellite
technology, miracle drugs combating diseases such as polio and mental illnesses, and colour
television broadcasts. "Indeed, our century may be noted most for the work of those who
went out to their garages (metaphorically,
at least) and helped bring us televisions and
transistors, plastics and penicillin, computers and the World Wide Web" (Isaacson 1999:4).
This mood of optimism was gradually brought to an end, being replaced with pessimism and
doubt towards the last third of the century that technology and science will ever make life
significantly better. Habermas (1985:9) stated that: "The 20th century has shattered this
optimism". The optimistic mood was replaced by disillusionment
and bitterness, as the
emancipation that was promised by mobilising the powers of technology and science did not
result in improved quality of life or freedom from daily struggles, but in the two World Wars.
The image of science was tarnished as it continued to develop more powerful and
terrible weapons for warfare, to furnish procedures and means for industry to
pollute and poison the air, earth and water, and to drink up billions of dollars from
the national 5udget for such things as the space program, an exciting adventure but
of little immediate benefit to the millions of people who still needed decent shelter,
food, clothing, medical care and education (Hamm 1995:86).
Knowledge in the modem paradigm had a distinctly rational character. This meant that
phenomena that could not be explained by means of reasoning had no place. This also
implied that modernism is inherently reducing in character (Bosman 2001:13).
The ideal of rationality was, after World War I, gradually extended to a metaphor of
rationality incorporated in technology and machines. Rationality was now defined as
technological efficiency. In this sense a city was referred to as a "living machine", houses
and cities were openly designed as "machines for living in", and language was thought of as
ideally conforming to machine efficiency.
A poet such as Carlos Williams "specifically held that a poem is nothing more or less than 'a
machine made of words'" (Harvey 1990:31). Language was furthermore seen as a transparent
signifier referring to or describing an object (as sign), with its only function being to serve as
medium between object and reader.
Postmodem language is seen as a network of signs (Klages 1997:4) and the meaning of
language is constructed by the relationship between words. The origin of language is
furthermore seen more as forming the subject than being formed by individuals (Bosman
2001: 14). The rule of reason is furthermore broadened by utilising, reaffirming and exploring
the powers of religion and spirituality. Not all matters can be explained in terms of
rationality, and not all existing matters had a rational or single explanation.
This trend of a broader rationality had an enormous impact on the music of postmodemism
that was to follow from roughly the last forty years of the 20th century.3This could especially
be seen in the lesser support of the so-called rationally or mathematically inspired music of
the mid-20th century, shifting to music influenced by mysticism and religion such as that of
the Russian Orthodo"XChurch. This shift will be discussed later in this chapter.
3
As with all other periods in history, no cut-off date can clearly be provided for a conclusion of modem ism and
the onset of postmodernism. The 1960s are generally accepted as showing the first manifestations of a new
condition following modernism. While the new paradigm was starting to emerge, modernist activities were, and
still are, continuing. The onset ofpostmodernism
does not imply the end of modernism.
4.4.6 The essence of modernism
According to Harvey (1990:27), it still remains difficult to determine the essence of
modernism. He offers the following viewpoint for modernist reasoning in the following
sequence of logic:
•
The ideal of a universal approach to problems exists, in other words only one possible
and ultimately valid answer to each question.
•
This means that the world could be controlled and rationally ordered if we could
picture and represent it accurately.
•
This in turn means that a single correct mode of representation, which could be
scientifically and mathematically uncovered and would provide an answer to the
original question, exists.
Mitchell (1997:5) describes the chief characteristic of modernism as "the attempt to take
command ofhumanity's destiny and this world, in the interest of moving towards·a utopia of
some sort". This modernism can be found in:
•
the segregation of the individual's activity into isolated compartments of work,
leisure and belief;
•
a society of individual strangers rather than communities, the elimination of
difference or the deviant;
•
transformational technical achievements like the computer, television, car and
aeroplane;
•
the elevation of dispassionate professional judgement over that of intuition or "lay"
experiences; and
•
the enshrinement of the rights of the individual.
Between roughly 1910 and 1920, modernist trends underwent a radical transformation. The
viewpoint of a singular, fixed idea or answer was gradually and increasingly challenged,
reaching "its apogee shortly before the First World War" (Harvey 1990:28). It was during
this time that the arts entered a mode of experimentation and shifting of boundaries. A few of
the cultural benchmarks produced during this time were:
•
Literary wor~s such as Death in Venice (1912, T Mann), Sons and Lovers (1913, DH
Lawrence), and The Wasteland (1922, TS Eliot),4
•
Emerging importance of art works by artists such as Klee, Braque, Kandinsky,
Matisse and Picasso.
•
Music by composers such as Bartok, Berg, Schonberg, Varese and others,
incorporating different sounds, textures and techniques;
•
Psychoanalysis and Freud.
The radical nature of change that took place within this short space of time is notable. A
sceptical approach to previously set ideas and formulas came to the foreground. Harvey
(1990:29) provides t.woreasons for this changed perspective:
•
Political upheaval instigated by a class struggle resulted in a gradual loss of faith in
the Enlightenment mode of thinking. Furthermore, the effects of capitalism made the
disparities between rich and poor more and more evident. In some instances art and
artists were directly involved with radical political parties, in this way casting doubt
over the idea of "auratic art" (art that shrouded the artist with a certain exclusive
aura), and the artist as individualistic. Political parties, such as the Communist Party,
also strove to mobilise culture in the service of their aims.
•
The seeds of disorder and despair sown by Nietzsche, the scenario of political
restlessness and instability between the two World Wars, and the articulation by
Freud of "erotic, psychological and irrational needs" (Harvey 1990:30), further
necessitated a shift in the tone of modernism. Gradually a position of multiple
perspectives and relativism started to emerge, laying the foundation for a postmodern
view of the world.
To understand postmodern art and conditions, it is useful first to understand the roots and
trends of modernist art, together with influences that helped shape this culture. The reason for
this is that postmodernism and postmodern art may also be viewed from a post-modern
perspective - in other words, postmodernism did not signify a total break with modernist
principles, but a culmination of modernist developments.
Snyman (1995:67) describes the developments in the world of art in the nineteenth century,
starting with art being viewed as alternative discourse within the project of modernity. Art
retained the potential to act as agent for alternative forms of rationality, and to achieve this
the artist had to emancipate himself from the demands of social structures. But parallel to this
emancipation a new social elite, namely the financially well off art lovers, started to,
determine the marketability of art works. This meant that the autonomy of artists was
gradually subjected to the value of their art works in the market place. Art now turned into
events, with only the most interesting art works selling, and the artist posing as "the
individual who can afford to challenge social and aesthetic codes continuously and be seen to
do it" (Snyman 199~:68).
The role of the modernist artist, according to Baudelaire (as quoted in Harvey 1990:20-21),
was to "concentrate his or her vision on ordinary subjects of city life, understand their
fleeting qualities, and yet extract from the passing moment all the suggestions of eternity it
contains". The mode of representation became an important aspect of the artist's work,
therefore innovation was considered essential. The artist had to create new codes and
significations, sometimes using shock tactics, to bring home the message he wanted to
convey. But it also meant that artists had to struggle against each other and against their own
,
tradition in order to sell their products, resulting in an individual effort to produce a unique
work of art finding a unique place in the art market.
The era of "high modernism", according to Klages (1997:1) was roughly between 1910 and
1930. The founders of 20th century modernism and the major figures defining poetry and
fiction in this time were authors such as Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, TS Eliot, Mallarme
and Kafka. The author will mainly focus on this era of modernism in this chapter, as many of
the defining cultural activities were produced during this time.
•
an emphasis on HOW things are perceived, rather than WHAT is perceived; It
implies, in other words, subjectivity in writing and self-consciousness of the author;
•
a blurring o~ distinctions between genres, "so that poetry seems more documentary
(as in TS Eliot), and prose seems more poetic (as in Woolf or Joyce)";
•
a tendency towards a self-conscious creation of art, so that each piece calls the
attention of ~e reader to its independent stature as production, rather than fixing it on
the subject, for example the story, of production;
•
a rejection of elaborate and formal aesthetics, favouring minimalist designs, as well as
a movement away from formal aesthetic theories in order to advance discovery in
creation.
This atmosphere of change had inspired some of the 20th century's biggest achievements,
with perspectives and approaches drastically shifting and changing. Rosenblatt (1999:44-45)
describes this chain of events in Time Magazine:
Art's elimination of semblances to the physical world correspond vaguely vltith
Einstein's way of seeing time and space, but it really sprung from an atmosphere
of change, in which Einstein was yoked with Freud, Marx, Picasso, Bergson,
Wittgenstein, Joyce, Kafka, Duchamp, Kandinsky, and anyone else with original
and disruptive ideas and an aggressive sense of the new. By that tenuous
connection did the discoverer of relativity become a major figure of a world
consisting of individuals interpreting the world individually. He was similarly
associated with the pluralism of modem music and the eclecticism of modem
architecture.
The invention of photography, film, radio and television had a huge impact on the concept of
the artist's social and political role. Pop artists of the 1960s, for example, reflected the
ominous reality of the mass media in such as way that the image of the newspaper, radio and
television itself became a theme. By doing this, it was shown that these communication
media had radically changed the consciousness and perceptions, the sense and values and the
relationship of citizens with their surrounding world (Staudek 2001:3).
The technical ability to reproduce and sell books, the concept of an increased influence of the
media such as film, radio and television, also "radically changed the material conditions of
the artist's existence and, hence, their social and political role" (Harvey 1990:23). Art and art
possessions were no longer a sought-after luxury, meant only for the very rich, but made
accessible by means of the mass media and mass production. It now became difficult to
define the elements that classified a great work of art, because reproduction and technology
were accessible.
In this way art was gradually conforming to a culture of mass-production and consumption,
which characterised the 20th century. Snyman (1995:69) describes the de-mystifying nature
of art in a consumer society as seen by Benjamin - instead of being a diversion, it
participates in the class struggle; instead of being used as decoration, it is employed as a tool
to help change the world. Modernist authors such as Woolf and Joyce put into words the
view that the world of 1910 was felt to be much more complex than the world .of the 19th
century.
As a reaction to developments and changes before World War I, such as new conditions of
production (machines, factories), new systems of transport and communications, as well as
consumption (the rise of mass markets, advertising and mass fashion), modernist artists
provided ways to "reflect upon and absorb and codify these changes" (Harvey 1990:23). An
institution such as the German Bauhaus, for example, viewed the machine as a modern
medium of design, in this way influencing production and design to make it more attractive
to the masses for which the products were intended. "The [Bauhaus] design school itself
preached rational attitudes based on social needs and mass-production techniques" (Munro
1961:264). Le Corbusier took the possibilities inherent in the machine, factory and improved
transport system to create a utopian future. American households were, in this sense, depicted
as "a factory for the production of happiness" as early as 1910 (Harvey 1990:23).
Cubism, Dadaism, Absurdism, Surrealism and the other "isms" of the early 20th century
viewed formal and defined ideals as outdated. They moved away from traditional or fixed
viewpoints, sometimes even describing art as "nonsense activities", fusing high art with
popular culture and everyday commodities. "Behind abstract art lies a long history of
declining interest in subject matter of the traditional kind" (Munro 1961:259). Schickel
(1999:90) describes the drastically new direction of the arts as follows:
The shock of the new drew much of its re-shaping, revolutionary force from
frustration with outworn artistic conventions and had been gathering strength and
energy out of repression and dismissal for at least 50 years.
The music of the modem era reflected the changes in society accomplished by technological
inventions, the growth of a capitalist economy, and improved transport and communication
systems. An interest~g perspective is provided by Russolo, composer and spokesman for a
group of pre-World War I futurists (quoted by Ewen 1991:ix) to explain a new set of
aesthetics with which to express the modem world in music: "Life in ancient times was
silent. In the nineteenth century, with the invention of machines, noise was born".
Music as an interpretation of the machine of the industrial age, was an important theme in the
modernist idiom of Western art music. Examples of this are Honegger's
locomotive in Pacific 231 and Mossolov's
tribute to the
description of a factory in Iron Foundry. The
incorporation of extra-musical noises such as the clicking of typewriters, the whirring of
roulette wheels and the sounds of airplane motors in Satie's ballet Parade of 1917 (Ewen
1991 :x), as well as sirens and machine-produced sounds such as hissing or whistling sounds
in many ofVarese's
Furthermore,
compositions, were also exploited.
the explosive
growth of popular musicS is another important
modernist
characteristic:
Popular music, as we understand the term today, was a product of the modem era,
extending from the late eighteenth century through the first two-thirds of the 20th
century, or from the industrial revolution through late capitalism (Hamm 1995: 1).
American culture, especially with regard to popular music, was a determining force for this
culture in the rest of the world. The roots of popular music, at that stage the antithesis of
5
Popular music is used here as an umbrella term for a wide range of styles and sounds, including the so-called
sentimental ballads of the post-war era, other styles such as jazz, blues and rock-and-roll, as well as extreme
styles such as punk and rock.
serious music or "high art", were laid with genres such as jazz and rock-and-roll,6 which
originated in America. For this reason the perspective of this chapter will mainly focus on
events happening in the USA.
After the Second World War, "musical life in America was rich and complex" and "many
people lived with music most of their waking hours". Both light classical and popular music
flourished, and Hamm (1995:68), describes musical life in America during this time as
follows:
School, community and regional symphony orchestras were founded in
unprecedented numbers, as were amateur and semi-professional opera groups. The
locus of music instruction shifted dramatically from private instruction and
conservatory instruction to music schools and departments of music in colleges
and universities. Not only music majors but other students as well involved
themselves in choral groups, school orchestras, various chamber ensembles and
opera, performing for large audiences.
A division in the Western world between the music of the elite classes (so-called "high art"
music) and the technically less demanding music of the working class (or "low art" music),
was an important manifestation of culture in the modernist era. Because the social distinction
between the higher and lower social classes was even more distinct by the end of the 19th
century, these musical divisions also became even more rigid. In this regard, the classical
genre represented music of a more permanent and ordered nature, while the popular music of
the people "was taken to be regional and ephemeral", sometimes passed on orally more than
being notated and preserved (Hamm 1995:3).
Popular genres earl:)' in the 20th century, for example rock-and-roll,
were described as
important because of the role they played in voicing the social history of the people through
the use of lyrics and melody. The music itselfwas not considered by musicologists in general
as having much artistic merit or quality (something which Hamm [1995:7] calls the "myth of
inferiority"), but it was rather regarded as having value because of the combination of words
6
According to Henry (l989:vii), rock-and-roll originated as a fusion of black rhythm-and-blues
country-and-western
and white
music, with two early sub-genres being underground rock and punk-rock. Later
developments included glitter-rock (David Bowie).
and music describing the way of living and thinking, by catching the mood of an era in
history. Belz (1972:ix) mentions that the many essays available on the subject regularly
feature the exponents of the style, but generally fail to impose a critical view of its
characteristics.
Because the value o~music was considered, for the best part of the modem era, to rely on the
intrinsic residual value of the composition itself, and not in its reception or use, an ideal of
"higher" and "lower" music genres was developed by academics and scholars. The division
between the masses and the elite was pursued throughout the 20th century, with specific
powers within the discourse7 of modernist music reserved more for the academic elite than
for the exponents of popular music (Henry 1989:vii).
For the author, one way of reflecting on modem music is to view it from two perspectives,
namely
The true artist in the modem era was, ideally, obedient only to the laws of art, not adhering to
any prescriptive authority (Rossouw 1995:20). This meant that originality was of utmost
importance: the role of artist meant constantly shifting boundaries and constantly breaking
out of the traditional boundaries. The artist was, in other words, autonomous. The artist came
to be regarded as isolated and alienated from society, and "place[d] himself high and dry"
(McGowan as quoted in Piercy 1999:9). The creation of exclusive art had as its aim not to
satisfy the cultural taste of the masses.
This kind ofmodem,ist art has always been, as described by Harvey (1990:22) "auratic art, in
the sense that the artist had to assume an aura of creativity, of dedication to art for art's sake,
in order to produce a cultural object that would be original, unique and marketable at a
monopoly price". The artistic process, in other words, had to be characterised by a struggle
and creative dedication on the part of the artist, with the work of art finding a unique place in
the world. The ideal of the artist was autonomy, to be obedient only to laws of art, and free of
any prescriptions by external powers (Rossouw 1995:20). Sarup (1988: 133) explains that the
modem aesthetic was organically linked to the conception of an authentic self and a private
identity which can b~ expected to generate its own unique vision of the world and to forge its
own style.
One way to achieve this autonomy was to strive for originality, to do something that had
never been done or said before in a widely different way than before, and by doing this, to
find the hidden and universal truth concealed behind the veil of art (Hamm 1995:69). This
trend was intended as a reaction to popular culture, which was mass-produced, commercially
rooted, widely' available and affordable to the middle class. These highly individual works of
autonomous artists also served to interpret and re-construct reality through the eyes of the
artist.
During the first half of the 20th century this, in the opinion of the author, was one of the main
differences between popular culture and exclusive art. Exponents and consumers of mass
cultural art very often chose not to reflect the grim reality in their cultural products, but chose
to escape to a more ideal and imaginary existence. Exponents of "serious art", on the other
hand, reflected the stark reality using sometimes shocking techniques and subjects. This
power to interpret society was sometimes even used for revolutionary purposes by artists
such as the French Dadaist painter Marcel Duchamp, and architects like Le Corbusier and
Walter Gropius.
Music, as exclusive art, was also meant to explore the advanced and complicated state of
science, philosophy
and mathematics.
Hamm (1995:74), for example, quotes Babbitt, a
modernist American composer, in explaining the correlation between modem science and
contemporary music from a modernist perspective:
The time has passed when the normally well-educated man without special
preparation can understand the most advanced work in, for example, mathematics,
philosophy and physics. Advanced music, to the extent that it reflects the
knowledge and originality of the informed composer, scarcely can be expected to
appear more intelligible than these arts and sciences to the person whose musical
education usually has been even less extensive than his background in other fields.
hi other words, the complicated nature and content of science and related subjects had"to be
matched by music, which was viewed as another form of science by many modernist
musicians, composers and musicologists. Music, as ultimate cultural expression of a society,
could not be conceived as a simple or straightforward product, accessible to people of
average educational level, but had to reflect the current progressive status of science and
intellectual advances in a society. In this way, technological advances such as synthesisers
and tape recorders ~ere incorporated as new avenues of artistic endeavour, for example i~
the music of classical composers such as Varese, Boulez, Stockhausen and Penderecki.
In the genre of classical music, composers were moving away from the confining walls of
structure, tonality, rhythm, metre, harmony and traditional sounds while experimenting with
new sounds and compositional techniques. The first definable division of the first half of the
20th century arose between, what Pettitt (in Ewen 1991:xix) calls, the "serialists", those who
radically reflected the mathematical characteristics of music in their compositions8
(Stockhausen, Berlo) and the "non-serialists" (Bart6k, Hindemith).
Many approaches were used in the modernist style period; since 1945 ''the world of music
has seen such a bewilderingly rapid rate of change, at least until the late 1970's, that
observers have had no time to take breath and identify trends with any degree of certainty"
(Ewen 1991:xix). Electronic media, for example tape recorders, synthesisers and computers,
were"increasingly utilised by composers such as Babbitt, Stockhausen, Berio and Xenakis
(Ewen 1991:x). New instruments, such as quarter-tone instruments (quarter-tone pianos,
trumpets and clarinets) were also invented and used in experimental compositions. John Cage
concocted a "prep~ed piano", giving this instrument percussive qualities previously
unknown (Ewen 1991:xi).
Composers opened new areas of sound by combining tonalities, rhythms, metres
and notes which never before had been joined for artistic ends. Some composers
exploited noises from non-musical equipment, such as sirens and whistles and
8
Ewen (1991 :xxiv) uses the music of Xenakis as an example of serialist and computer-aided
uncompromising
composition" .
music: "[It] is
in its use of the laws of mathematics and physics, as well as computers as aids to
motors, and after that by enlisting the seemingly limitless resources of electronic
instruments to produce still newer noises and sounds.
This series of events, however, in the opinion of the author, alienated classical music from
many of its listeners. Music in this style is often conceived as difficult to listen to, and not as
accessible as music of the earlier styles such as the Baroque or Classical style periods. The
result was that audiences were gradually shrinking to the informed and curious, with the
general music consumer resorting to more accessible listening material, in spite of serious
composers trying to bridge the gap between audience and composer.
Kramer (1995:4-5) explains this process as the result ofa combination of factors, inter alia as
the result of an increasing professionalisation of musicology, music analysis, music
performance and music theory, as well as the increasing world of sound recording and mass
entertainment that led to a decrease in the culture of home performances. The net effect was
that classical music ~nthe sense of "high art" was gradually passing out of the public sphere,
and that the abyss ,betweenpopular and serious music was gradually becoming deeper.
In 1997 Larry Wilker, president of the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC, drew the
consequences of the scenario painted above when he explained that there are not enough
young people in the audiences. The reason, according to Wilker, was that a whole generation,
now in their twenties and thirties, have had no exposure to the performing arts. "It's not that
they reject the experience - its not on their radar screen" (Church 1997:32).
The modernist ideal of exclusive artists and intellectuals, consciously keeping a distance
from the average citizen and separated from a capitalist society (McGowan as quoted in
Piercy 1999:9), created a cultural vacuum, because their expressions in art were not readily
accessible to the general citizen. This vacuum was filled by mass or popular culture: "Mass
or popular culture inevitably springs up to fill the vacuum created by the elitist artist's
divorce from a wide audience" (Piercy 1999:9).
Thus it happened that the other side of the coin, with regard to modernist art, was the creation
of a culture accessible to the masses. Schickel (1999:90) describes this growing popular
culture as an antidote to serious artists who tried to acknowledge the "agony and horror of
modern life". He further explains this mass culture in the following way (SchickelI999:91):
It was not that tunes would suddenly disappear from music or realistic
representation of the world from art or narrative cohesion from fiction.
Increasingly, though, these comfortable and reassuring sources of pleasure were
segregated in a popular culture that was dismissed by finer sensibilities as
aesthetically retrograde.
In staying within the limits of a comfortable and ideal reality, Schickel (1999:91) describes
how practitioners of popular culture in modern art were helping along the "destruction of the
artwork's 'aura' or magic". This was done by keeping the content of films, popular music
and television "stubbornly locked to the 19th century traditions of melodrama and romance".
No artistic struggle or shocking originalities were utilised here, but exponents of popular
culture surrounded their products with a soft cloud of sentimentality, something that
addressed the masses much more effectively.
This situation gradually changed towards the second half of the 20th century, in other words
by the end of modernism. Styles such as rock-and-roll originated in the United States in the
early 1950s, exploiting rebelliousness and nihilism as themes. "Elvis Presley and James Dean
had become idols of a youth culture whose aim was sexual liberation and emancipation from
the constraints of a petty-bourgeois star cult which was subordinated to the cliches of the
Hollywood movie industry" (Staudek 2001:1).
The 1960s experience(l an even more aggravated form of rebelliousness - Kimball, for
example, describes the spirit of the Sixties in what it undermines more than what it
champions. It also encompasses protest, youth culture, a "new permissiveness together with a
new affluence: Dionysus with a bank balance and a cause" (Kimball 1999:1).
The Sixties is often called "the long decade", because the characteristics of this period started
during the late 1950s and only ended in the early 1970s (Kimball 1999:1-2). The contrast
between the moods of the 1950s and the 1960s may be captured by using the following
fragments, quoted by Kimball from The Sixties by Arthur Marwick (1974), and adapted by
the author:
Rigid social hierarchy
Subordination of women to men and children to
parents
Cliche-ridden popular culture, especially popular
music
Changes in personal relationships and sexual
behaviour
Black civil rights
Popular music based on Afro-American models
Cold War hysteria
Emergence of "the underground" and a
"counterculture"
Strict formalism in dress codes, language, etiquette
Youth culture and trend-setting by young people
Unquestioning respect for authority in the family,
education, government, law, religion, national
symbols
Protest
Optimism and faith in the dawning of a better world
Apart from protest' and the emergence of civil rights movements, the 1960s were also
characterised by a cultural phenomenon commonly known as Pop Art. This form of popular
culture evolved around consumerism and commercialism, often depicting these consumer
objects in a distorted, enlarged or decorated version, or using mechanical means of
production. The initial aim of pop art was to break down the barriers between art and life,
mirroring contemporary reality and involving everyday commodities in works of art.
Subsequently it resulted in the de-individualisation of art, giving it a mechanical and
anonymous quality. Visual artists of this style include Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein in
the USA, as well as David Hockney and Clive Barker in Britain (Staudek 2001:4).
By signifying the cultural choices of the working class as inferior, the elite class was trying to
achieve the opposite, according to MacDonald Smith Moore (as quoted in Harvey 1990:7),
namely to privilege the art of their choice: This art included films such as Citizen Cane,
music such as Strayinsky's The Rite of Spring, or literary works such as TS Eliot's The
Wasteland. The consumers of popular art, however, were gradually claiming their share of
both the economy and the arts, gaining support by the rapid spread of radio and the media,
and in this way dictating the content of both.
This stage is put in words by authors such as Piercy (1999:9): "The frenzied expansion of the
mass media is a mark of our postmodemity". In other words, if it made money, it was played
on the radio and heard by a nation. The resulting mass-culture with regard to music and
visual arts is described by Hamm (1995:7-10) as an important perspective on modernism and
modem art. This phenomenon was reinforced by two factors, namely that:
•
the masses dictated the content of the cultural goods because they were buying the
records and art works; and
•
the media, because their livelihood depended on the money spent by the masses,
produced the cultural content that was wanted by the masses.
Furthermore popular styles, such as rock and pop, were oriented towards the radio because
the music was generally and primarily meant for the recording industry rather than for live
performances
(Belz 1972:45). "F. Scott Fitzgerald had it right: Culture follows money"
(Schickel 1999:91).
4.4.11 Popular music in a modernist discourse
The emergence of popular music had its early roots in a post-war youth culture, and this
genre of music is often linked with delinquency, protest and rebellious youth, spreading
rapidly because of a·growing recording industry. The development of popular music was also
catalysed both by the post-war surplus cash and leisure time of the youth, as well as the
growing dimensions of the recording industry, placing recorded music well within the
financial reach of teenagers and young people (Hamm 1995 :21).
Popular music was regarded as inferior by music scholars, inter alia because of its
ephemerality. Classical music in the Western tradition was, however, considered superior,
one of the reasons being that it had its structure and material written down in a specific
notation system, therefore being fixed and accessible to all future generations. "High art" was
regarded as belonging to the classical genre, implying the tradition of Western art music.
The development of ways to preserve popular music and providing it with a permanent status
overturned this early modernist argumentation. The debate now turned to ways to distinguish
between higher and lower forms of art within a popular genre itself. Hamm even goes as far
as to say that the "c~assical" repertoire within the jazz genre was gradually being recognised
towards the second half of the 20th century, meaning those pieces that earned permanency
and status because of an inherent, artistically fine quality. Eventually more genres were
added to this classical defmition: "The notion that a canon of artistically superior and hence
'classic' pieces can -be identified within a given popular genre has now spread from jazz to
Broadway musicals, popular ballads, and even country-Western music" (Hamm 1995: 18-21).
It is interesting, once again, to note that these divisions of "classical" and "lower" repertoire
within the popular genre were imposed on the art by scholars and academics trying to
describe the music, and not by the mU&iciansand audiences themselves.
Popular music only became the subject of significant scholarly and academic interest in
1981, when the first issue of the journal Popular Music was introduced, and the First
National Conference on Popular Music Research was held in Amsterdam (Hamm 1995:2324). Before this year a handful of articles and books appeared on the subject, but no academic
discipline or profile was committed to the specific study of popular music or the inclusion of
popular music in the field of musicology. It was about this time that academics started to
debate the topic of popular music, because "one cannot deny that they [the exponents of
popular music] are. part of the rich, or at least multifarious,
pattern of American (and
everyone else's) life" (Mellers,9 as quoted in Hamm 1995:34).
In spite of the difference in approach between music from the classical repertory and popular
music (the former being considered mainly from the perspective of abstract musical concepts
and the latter mainly for its social interaction, political commentary and context), the musical
contents of popular music were increasingly being analysed by musicologists. Aspects such
as blue notes and syncopated rhythms in jazz and Renaissance harmonies were increasingly
being described in terms of the resulting expressionist qualities (Hamm 1995:33-34).
Still, the academic discourse on popular music was mainly practised by outsiders, and the
music that was being discussed normally excluded commercially successful products. It was
supposed that artistic value and commercial value are not the same, and that the second
usually excludes the first. The modernist narrative which views the cultural taste of the
masses as crude and unrefined was still very alive by the end of the 1980s and early 1990s.
This modernist approach to popular music was, according to Hamm (1995:37-40), restricting
the understanding of this genre in its social context. Because musicologists compared music
9
Wilfrid Mellers, American composer and historical musicologist, undertook a comprehensive history of
American music, Music in a New Found Land (1965). The revised edition (1987) included genres not only from
the "high art" music, but also topics on popular genres such as folk, jazz, country and pop_
from the classical repertory with music in the popular genre, using the same criteria such as
musical concepts and abstract analysis, the principle of viewing popular music as a valid
cultural product was misformed.
Belz (1972:8) offers. an alternative perspective when he explains that a particular song in rock
style must be judged for the specific and immediate realities (of experience) that it offers, and
not for the quality of musical or literary concepts within the song, concepts that are used to
judge classical music. He also alleges that the realities in a particular song carry greater
significance than the art of that song - rock music has been a confrontation with reality rather
than a confrontation with art.
Street (1993:4-9) also presents his readers with an alternative approach to judging and
analysing popular music. Because the criteria used in musicology do not accurately and
completely capture the characteristics of popular music, he offers the idea that the study of
popular music may be viewed either as an expression of cultural products, or as the product
;
of an industry. Both these options offer a sociological viewpoint of popular music more than
a musicological
one, in this way accounting for some of the problems experienced by
musicologists in the genre of popular music.
Music in the popular genre was not considered within the academic discourse, because it did
not contain any universal or higher meaning, appropriate for all people. Henry (1989:vii)
writes that the relative newness of a style such as rock-and-roll, together with the rebellious
and experimental nature of this genre, insulated it from serious scholarly study. In general,
the artistic merit of popular music was not (and still is not) considered to be on the same level
as music from the classical repertory (Hamm 1995 :6). One of the reasons for this, in the
opinion of the author, lies in the character of the audience - according to Belz (1972:ix),
juvenile delinquency,
drugs and mysticism were common amongst the rock audiences.
Scholars trained in the intelle~tual vigour of Western art music did not feel themselves at
home in a society of informally trained exponents of aggressive art.
The following quotation by Denis Stevens,lo one of the previous directors of graduate studies
in musicology at Colombia University and a noted writer in early music (in Hamm 1995:43),
serves to illustrate the viewpoints previously held by musicologists in general on the intrinsic
value of popular music as well as the audience of young people listening to this kind of music
during the second half of the 20th century:
Many immatUre quasi-illiterates understand perfectly the atavistic, hysterical and
social appeal of this noise. For noise most of it is, if you will consider the
deafening volume at which most of it must be produced, and the incidence of
permanently damaged eardrums among its practitioners. [It is] primitive vomiting
noises wallowing in over-amplified imbecility that typifies most "commercial"
non-music of today.
The followers of serious or high art used strong words to describe these "lower" form~ of art
practised by the masses. In this regard D.G. Mason,
11
professor of music at Colombia
University (as quoted by Hamm 1995:8-9), alleged that "It is a fundamental axiom that
majority taste is always comparatively crude and undeveloped. As an instance of this crudity
of majority taste one may cite the case of jazz". Serious music, or "high art", on the other
hand, was regarded as a rational and intellectual phenomenon, with serious musicians trained
at university or college, holding academic positions and publishing articles.
The modernist character of one central truth for all mankind was also evident in the popular
music of that time. "Most decisions affecting the lives of Americans were made by the
institutions of the ~ountry (political, religious, educational, economic, social), that people
were under the impression that they were offered freedom of choice but this choice was from
other options that were essentially the same" (Hamm 1995:47). The popular musicl2 of the
mid-20th century did not question the American way of life, or the principles regulating
society. The lyrics, mood and musical style were limited within a narrow field and listened to
by a homogenous group of people (affluent, mainly white Americans), while the content
II
D.G. Mason. 1931. Tune in, America. New York. According to Hamm (1995:9), Mason uses the term "'jazz"
in this context as a comprehensive term for the products of the music industry.
12
Popular music in this ~ense include ballads and songs by singers such as Perry Como, Doris Day, Frank
Sinatra and Pat Boone, in other words the non-eritical and soothing styles common to the years after World War
II. Belz (1972: I6) places artists such as Perry Como and Eddie Fischer in the style of Pop, and calls it an
extension of the ballad tradition of the I940s.
almost always included the theme of romantic love between man and woman. Styles such as
jazz, blues, rock, country music and folk music were performed and listened to by a minority
group living in poverty and repression, as the majority chose not to be disturbed by music
offering social commentary on American society, or deviating from the post-war consensus.
This situation changed after the second half of the 20th century, with Belz (1972:16) and
Hamm (1995:45) offering the year 1954 as a dividing line. Belz mentions that three general
fields existed within the field of popular music (in America) until roughly 1954, namely Pop,
Rhythm and Blues, and Country and Western. An interesting perspective is offered by Hamm
(1995:45,48), when'he quotes the list of the top ten songs of the years 1954 and 1970:
The songs of 1954 :were very alike regarding criteria such as content, style and lyrics, and
appealed to adult taste and values. The homogeneous nature of this repertory (which Hamm
calls "sentimental ballads"), also extends to the style of texture and orchestration: "Each was
sung by one singer, or occasionally
a small vocal group, to the accompaniment
of an
orchestra dominated by strings but making some use of winds and brass. Each used the same
melodic style (diatonic, tonal, and heavily dependant on sequential writing) supported by a
common harmonic style. Each is written in precisely the same form, in the same meter,
moving at more or less the same tempo" (Hamm 1995:46).
By the time of the gradual dismantling of this modernist axiom of popular music, the hit
songs of 1970 differ in important aspects from those of the 1950s. This change in approach
and sound represented the general disillusionment of a central rational truth or meta-narrative
offered by authorities, and is evident in novels, films and journalism, as well as in the popular
music of the time. Belz (1972:31) calls it a "protest art", because it rebelled against the music
of the past and of an older generation, as well as against the values of that generation as they
were expressed in the softer, sentimental style of popular music.
The content of the hit songs and the style of the popular music at this period in the century
was less concerned with romantic love, but instead offered different perspectives on
American life, love, relationships, religion, war, drugs and politics. The style, melody and
orchestration of songs moved away from the homogeneous sound of the mid-century hit
song, with influences from other styles such as black music, folk music, art music, country
music, electronic music, rock-and-roll, blues and jazz. These influences were also notable in
the equally wide range of musical forms (Hamm 1995:48-52).
Belz (1972:4) explains how the style of rock music for example emerged as a youth
movement in response to a series of changing values and as a reflection of a way of life
which radically changed from the 1950s. The character of music as the voice of the people
rather than an abstract expression of art was inherent to popular music of that time.
Another interesting observation provided by Belz (1972:18) is that the impact of rock
influenced not only the content and style of popular music, but also its commercial structure.
According to him, many people in the business felt that the music industry had been
transformed into chaos and unpredictability.
In summary, four general styles can be identified towards the final stages of modernism,
namely:
The training standard of musicians in the Western musical tradition was usually very high,
while (black) jazz musicians were largely untrained and usually could not read music. Even
when the genre of jazz became known to white audiences and played by white players, the
original character was largely retained, with an informal training based on oral traditions
(Hamm 1995:76).
According to Belz (l972:viii), the original character of jazz was rooted in live performances
(in contrast with, for example, rock, which primarily relied on the recorded music industry).
Furthermore jazz musicians had an unbroken improvisation
tradition, something which
classical music lost in the 20th century (Nicholson 2001 :50).
This informal and untrained character of jazz gradually changed as the 20th century advanced,
with some groups 13 even using formal structures such as the fugue, and formal dress for their
performances. The combination of Western classical musical elements, such as contrapuntal
techniques, and traditional jazz aspects was called third stream jazz (Such 1993:3). Western
influence served to ~roaden the technical and structural resources of this style of jazz.
By the end of the 1940s jazz was entering the arena of academically trained musicians, and
their audiences were listening quietly and seriously, rather than physically responding to the
rhythmic elements. Nicholson (2001:52) describes how jazz moved out of the dance hall
(with styles such as Swing) and into the club during the 1940s to 1950s, with styles such as
Bebop, hard bop and free jazz. These styles experimented with chromatic harmony, which
replaced the use of modes as basis for improvisation by the late 1950s.
The sudden and unexpected
rise of rock transformed
the jazz scene and the musical .
landscape (Nicholson 2001 :53). The reason for this was that rock took over from jazz in
13The Modem Jazz Quartet and Dave Brubeck can be mentioned as examples of this style, using similar
techniques, and having similar backgrounds. They also incorporated instruments usually found in Western
classical music, such as flutes, cellos and violins (Such 1993:3).
popular culture, re-articulating
the essence of popular music culture and thereby almost
casting jazz out into musical obscurity. Jazz musicians answered by fusing these two styles
and forming jazz-rock bands during the 1970s, combining jazz elements such as big-band
riffs with rock rhythm.
This fusion resulted in the jazz style being commercialised
and homogenised
into jazz-
influenced pop mus:ic. So-called free jazz survived mainly in artistic circles, returning to
more traditional styles (Nicholson 2001 :56).
Postmodem jazz, as Nicholson (2001 :56) calls it, started when the club The Knitting Factory
opened its doors in 1986. This provided the forum for musicians to transform practices,
fragments and "signifiers" from different musics and cultures and to relocate them within
their own expressionism. The new era in jazz was, according to Nicholson (2001:56), created
by the decontextualisation and juxtapositioning of these different references. Postmodern jazz
was characterised by the absence of a single, coherent style. "The sheer stylistic diversity of
postmodemism
resisted categorisation, so its impact was restricted to the recognition of a
single player" (Nicholson 2001:56).
The success of trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who simultaneously won Grammy awards for a
jazz as well as a classical recording, encouraged record companies to sign up jazz musicians.
This resulted, during the 1980s and 1990s, in the rebirth and commercial
.
success of
.
traditional styles such as the hard bop style of the late 1950s and early 1960s (Nicholson
2001 :57). Commercial achievement meant that jazz was no longer exclusively steered by the
American musical scene. "Many thirty-something European jazz musicians set about putting
the pieces of the jazz puzzle together in their own distinctive ways" (Nicholson 2001:57),
thereby extending jazz as a global phenomenon.
Apart from being influenced by styles such as rock, jazz also provided for fertilisation in the
classical genre. Composers such as Gruenberg (1884-1964) and Shostakovich (1906-1975)
incorporated the stylistic features and techniques of jazz into serious concert music. As an
example Gruenberg's Jazz Suite for orchestra (1929) and Jazzettes for violin and piano (Ewen
1991 :328), as well as Shostakovich's two Jazz Suites can be cited.
Modernism had its roots in the critique against a simplified, linear world-view of the
Enlightenment and the previous era of Realism and Naturalism. The development of the
principle of relativity provided momentum towards the development of a broadened
awareness of relativism, eventually leading to a crisis in legitimisation during the postmodem
era (Muller 1992:397). In this new direction the visual arts, architecture and literary arts took
the lead.
The artist assumed a new role in the search for an accurate version of a complex world.
Because modernism proclaimed that it was no longer possible to pinpoint reduced essences
or simple, linear pro'gress in history, the recognition of a complex coherence of world-views
and the expression thereof often took on an appearance of provocative reactions on the one
hand, or the auratic isolation of the artist on the other. The place of popular culture, however,
still remained outside the academic discourse.
Lyotard,14who is considered one of the foremost philosophers on postmodernism, describes
the postmodern condition as the "condition of knowledge in the most highly developed
societies" (1979:xxiii). Jencks, one of the foremost spokesmen on postmodern architecture,
calls postmodernism a "social condition and cultural movement" (in Giroux 1994:1).
The use of the terms "postmodernity" and "postmodernism" must first be explained, because
these two words may easily cause confusion. For this chapter the author will chiefly apply
the latter term, as "postmodernism" usually refers to a social or cultural movement, while
"postmodemity" is normally used in the context of the condition in which the late 20th
century finds itself.
14
Peters (1999b:l) describes Lyotard's groundbreaking
work The Postmodern Condition: A Report on
Knowledge (1979) as an original interpretation of the status and development of knowledge, science and
technology in advanced capitalist societies. It is considered important because he "brought together for the first
time diverse threads and previously separate literatures in an analysis which many critics believed to signal an
epoch break with not only the 'modem' era but also with various traditionally 'modem' ways of viewing the
world".
The temptation here: would be to place modernism and postmodernism in opposition to one
another, because the "post" of postmodernism may be interpreted as a reaction to modernism,
Postmodernism,
however, cannot simply be viewed as anti-modernist,
but rather as the
conclusion of modernist ideas; it builds upon modernist culture and cannot be understood
separately (Bosman' 2001:7). Foster (1985:xi) is of the opinion that the deconstruction
of
modernism did not take place in order to close it off, but to open it and to rewrite it in the
postmodern idiom and to challenge its meta-narratives. Postmodernism is not, according to
Jencks (postmodern architect and theorist, quoted in Mitchell 1997:6), anti-modem, because
for the most part it accepts and builds upon many modernist achievements
medicine
and industrial
technology.
It rather amalgamates,
continues
in science,
and transcends
modernism.
The simplest, and in the opinion of the author an effective, definition of postmodernism is
coined by Adams (1997:2) when he argues that it is a way ofrecognising
that the world is in
a period of transition. The last thirty to forty years of the 20th century may most accurately be
described as an epoch that has ceased-to-be, but not yet assumed a new or definite character
of what it is.
Kwok (1998:15) states that the postmodern age was initiated by disappointment caused by
the two World Wars, environmental problems, and by the fact that man's longing for ultimate
meaning has not been fulfilled by the progress brought by science, technology and economic
growth. In other words, disillusionment with Enlightenment dogma gave momentum to the
advance of postmodernism, as modernism did not provide the final truth and freedom it had
promised. Postmodernism
is rooted in the perception that "there is no going back to the
certainties of the universalist project of modernism" (Mitchell 1997:5). Another momentumgiving factor was the emerging of a global culture in the last third of the 20th century
(Solomon 2001 :1).
Events paving the way to postmodernism were, inter alia, the 1968 student protests in Paris
and the Algerian War of Independence (Chagani 1998:2-3). Forerunners to the postmodern
way of thinking were philosophers such as Nietzsche (1844-1900) and Heidegger (18891976). These thinkers have, in the words of Chagani, led the attack on modernism and rooted
the alternative in the form of postmodernism,
to be taken up by confirmed postmodern
thinkers such as Lyotard and Baudrillard. Postmodem roots can also be traced to literary
criticism in the 1950s, rising to global conceptualisation in the 1980s (Kwok 1998:15).
Harvey (1990:41) considers the year 1968 as a starting point of the postmodem movement.
This year was characterised by global instability and, although not coherent, an accumulation
of the counter modem movement into a full-blown postmodem culture.
"Postmodemism [... ] has only emerged as an area of academic study since the mid-l 980s..
[It] appears in a wide variety of disciplines or areas of study, including art, architecture
music, film, literature, sociology, communications, fashion and technology" (Klages 1997:1).
Gablik (as quoted in Piercy 1999:10) explains that the origin ofpostmodemism in the arts
can be traced to the point near the end of the 1970s when it referred to a loss of faith in a
stylistic mainstream. At that point is seemed as if the whole history of styles had suddenly
become unstuck and uprooted. Therefore postmodernism has also been described as a
"constantly shifting condition" (Davies 1996:3). Sarup (1988:131) writes that some
philosophers view postmodernism as a concept whose function it is to correlate the
emergence of new features in culture.
A single definition of postmodernism is impossible, as it comprises a variety of
developments in art~, intellectual culture, literature and fashion since the 1970s and 1980s.
There are, however, certain trends that can be said to fit into the postmodem perspective, and
these will be briefly discussed.
4.5.1 Main aspects of postmodernism
A common ground for the main postmodem philosophers is the opinion that the project of
modernity has become questionable and is "now deeply problematic" (Foster 1985:ix,
Snyman 1995:63). Although this project is still at work where the purity of each art form and
the autonomy of culture as a whole are valued, it provoked aggressive reactions in the form
of avant-garde movements, this reaction returning (in revised form) in postmodem art (Foster
1985:x). Chagani (1998:3) describes this as a radical anti-essentialism or antifoundationalism, in other words not to be contained under one umbrella as ideally foreseen
by the project of modernity.
From the 1950s onwards a series of unrelated arts and political events started the gradual
dismantling of the modernist idiom. Matters such as human rights of individuals and
minorities, commentary on the negative effects of scientific achievements in the name of
technological progress, critique on the restricting of opportunities for women (particularly
married women), the importance of having meaningful inter-personal relations rather than
exclusively assisting the machinery of science, and criticism on war and war-related activities
were gaining more and more prominence. A growing consciousness that science was
destroying the natural environment was campaigned by artists and writers. "We, who are
creatures of modernity, must confront a crisis of faith in [science's] notions of progress and
universal social betterment" (Burbules 1995:2).
An essential factor in the developing of a postmodern condition, was the rapid spreading and
interaction of loc~
and global knowledge, made possible by the explosion of
communications technology. This led to globalisation processes, the shifting and even
dissolving of cultural boundaries, and manifestation in cross-cultural interaction (Weiss &
Wesley 2000:2).
Jencks (as quoted by Piercy 1999:8), in his critique on the postmodern debate, and Giroux
(1994: 1) offer a short summary of themes or aspects relating to this condition:
•
Philosophical principles of canonicity and the notion of the sacred have become
suspect.
•
Fixed boundaries of academic knowledge have been challenged by a "war on totality"
and a disavowal of all encompassing, single worldviews. Giroux (1994:1) also
maintains that the postmodern challenge involves a contextual discourse that has
challenged specific disciplinary boundaries in fields such as literary studies,
education, feminism, architecture, performance art and many other areas.
•
Rigid distinctions between high and low culture have been rejected by insistence that
the products of mass culture, popular and folk art forms, are proper areas of study.
•
The modernist faith in rationality, science and freedom has incurred deep-rooted
scepticism, as did the Enlightenment line of reason connecting history and progress.
•
History, as unilinear process that moves the West progressively
towards a final
realisation of freedom, is spumed.
•
The fixed and unified identity of the humanist subject has been replaced by a call for
narrative space that is pluralised and fluid.
Chagani (1998:4) and MUller (1992: 398) also explain that the clear distinctions between/act
and fiction have also been gradually dissolved, with no necessary relationship between words
and things, signifier and signified, subject and object. Harvey (1990:49) mentions that the
connection between the signified (what is said) and the signifier (how it is said) is continually
breaking apart and re-attaching, forming new combinations.
Porter & Grey (2001: 1) add
another dimension in this regard, namely that image and reality are blurred, for example in
the creation of television personalities.
Broadly speaking, these characteristics of postmodernism
may be put together under one
overarching concept, namely that of a pluralistic approach. This means that there is no longer
one universally acquired and singular stance, or meta-narrative, on any matter, be it science,
arts, literature or architecture, but a multiplicity in the acceptance of many other worlds,
cultures, possibilities, narratives and perspectives. The following paragraphs will explain the
impact of this approach in more detail.
4.5.2 Dismantling of "grand narratives"
According to Snyman (1995:63), the modernist quest for reason reduced the world into a set
of categories for the sake of control. This was realised as a trend of colonisation, suppressing
that which did not fit into the overarching categories of control. As illustration, the violence
of the Nazi gas chambers and the destruction of Hiroshima during World War II, as well as
the colonial impulses of the major Western powers, may be quoted (Mitchell 1997:7).
In contrast to the macro power structures and large-scale economies of the modern era, the
postmodern era is characterised by "fragmentation, discontinuity, ephemerality, and chaos in
economics, politics, social relations, and the arts" (Hamm 1995: 1). Those aspects that would
not fit into the mould of modernity now had to be identified. Totality has changed places with
fragmentation and pluralism. In the place of a set of comprehensive truths or meta-narratives,
postmodernism embraces what Lyotard (1979) calls "the infinity of heterogeneous finalities"
(Owens 1983:64).
Lyotard (1979:xxiv) provided a now-famous definition of the postmodem, namely as
"incredulity towards meta-narratives". Owens (1983:57) describes postmodernism as a crisis
of cultural authority, specifically of the authority vested in European culture and its
institutions. Narratives are rejected when they become associated with broad philosophies of
history. According to Sarup (1988:133), grand narratives have also become associated with a
political programme or party, with little narratives linked to localised creativity.
In postmodernism, as reaction to the overarching belief in meta-narratives, alternative
thought and local perspectives are valued. Priority is given to an inclusive, rather than an
exclusive viewpoint; the co-existence of mini-narratives or petites histoires, as Hassan calls
them (in Harvey 1990:43), is one of the main tendencies in postmodernism.
During the 1960's and early 1970's an era in American culture dominated by
institutional control over the minds and hearts of individuals and groups was
giving way to an era in which such imposed consensus was questioned and
resisted. Even more simply, the modem period was giving way to a postmodem
era.
Lyotard (1979:xxiii) defines a discourse as modem when it appeals to one or more of the
grand narratives (which he calls meta-discourses) for its legitimacy. These narratives could
be, for example, the hermeneutics of meaning, emancipation of the rational subject, the
accumulation of wealth, the belief in unlimited development and progress, or the classless
society.
In this context, the evaporation of the grand narratives of the postmodem era has an
important momentum - Klages (1997:4) describes postmodemism as the critique of grand
narratives. "Postmo~ernism, in rejecting grand narratives, favours mini-narratives, stories
that explain small practices, local events, rather than large-scale universal or global concepts.
Postmodem mini-narratives are always situational, provisional, contingent and temporary,
making no claim to universality, truth, reason or stability". The postmodemist also believes
that there is no single theoretical discourse that could offer an explanation for all forms of
social experience and relations, or for every mode of political practice (Sarup 1988:135).
One of the implications of the stance quoted above is that the power-discourse relation, the
question of who determines the direction and content of the discourse, is unstable. A central
theme is the relation between power and knowledge, a direction explored by Foucault
(Harvey 1990:45). When universally accepted meta-narratives are no longer taken for
granted by the postmodern citizen, it also implies that the positions of power within the
discourse, as well as the canon, or the content of the discourse, are being challenged.
Klages (1997:2) is of the opinion that postmodern art has many similarities with modern art,
especially the modern art of the first half of the 20th century. Those include rejecting
boundaries between high and low forms of art, not complying to rigid genre distinctions,
emphasising irony and playfulness, fragmentation, self-consciousness and discontinuity, to
name but a few. The difference between modernism and postmodemism, however, lies in the
attitude toward these trends (Klages 1997:3):
Modernism, for example, tends to present a fragmented view of human
subjectivity and history (think of T. S. Eliot's The Wasteland, for instance), but
presents that fragmentation as something tragic, something to be lamented and
mourned as a loss. Postmodernism, in contrast, doesn't lament the idea of
fragmentation, provisionality or incoherence, but rather celebrates is. The world is
meaningless. Let's not pretend that art can make meaning, let's just play with
nonsense.
Postmodernism bridged the gap between serious and popular art in a way that was different
from modernism, namely by embracing both and thereby legitimising the latter. Mitchell
(1997:7) refers to the dismantling of the distinction between "high culture" (for example
opera, literature, ballet and theatre) and "low culture" (such as film, TV, popular music, and
Mills and Boon novels), but shrouded more in a postmodem veil than Klages did. In this
respect the debate over canon, in other words, the question of power within the discourse and
especially who determines the canon, is relevant.
The phenomenon of Pop Art - a fine art style that has been directly stimulated by popular or
mass culture - provides another example of the fusion between "high" art and "low" art. This
movement in the fine arts has brought the utilities of everyday life, for example supermarket
billboards, comic strips and advertising banners into the realm of serious art, encouraging the
notion that the "entire panorama of life can be viewed as a work of art" (Belz 1972:4).
Wicks, however, is of the opinion that the "classical-music-only"
orientation is still dominant
in educational institutions world-wide. She claims in an article (1998: 1-2) on popular music
versus classical, European-originated
art music, that education authorities almost exclusively
focus on music generated outside their own culture, ignoring both the indigenous and popular
music traditions. She strongly advocates a widening of perspectives and inclusion of more
music genres in formal study, because these "academic elite perspectives run counter to the
wider American public's attitudes about music" (Wicks 1998:3).
The author of this thesis agrees that popular music is often neglected by many music
teachers. The world of the electronic media, a world familiar to the majority of learners, is
filled with an overwhelming proportion of popular music when compared with classical
music, and this has to be taken into consideration when teaching music in a postmodern era.
The 1960s were the .age of free speech, underground movements and permissiveness (Hamm
1995:87). This was the time of exceeding boundaries set up by institutions and administrative
powers, and this protest was carried by film makers, actors, feminist movements, student
movements such as the Hippies, and characterised by the general breakdown of blind faith in
education, churches and states. In short: individuals were starting to do their own thing,
breaking away from institutionalised authority.
Lyotard (1979:81) further describes the work of art of the postmodern time as not being
governed by pre-established
rules, and that it cannot be judged by applying familiar
categories or criteria. The postmodern artist and writer are working without rules, and in this
way the work of art takes on the character of an event.
Schickel (1999:91) provides an important perspective on this postmodern approach to art in
th
the medium of film or narrative genres. The generation born in the last third of the 20
century was "born with a TV remote in its hand, hip-hop on the CD player and a computer
screen on its face". Therefore this postmodern generation will not easily acknowledge the
traditional narratives or boundaries:
They will speed it [traditional narratives] up, scramble it - and render it in new
tonalities, using new palettes. You can see it in the way Pulp Fiction or Run Lola
Run toys with time. It's a kind of back formation from computer language, this
narrative revolution manifesting itself in film. It will extend to the other arts. It reorders our perceptions more surely than Matisse and Stravinsky did, for a pixel unlike paint, canvas or score paper - has no past to overturn, is radically innocent.
It has no tradition to draw on.
This protest extended to the arts. Giroux (as quoted in Piercy 1999:8) is of the opinion that
the postmodem condition constitutes a challenge to specific disciplinary boundaries in fields
such as literary studies, geography, education, architecture, performance art, feminism, and
many other areas. Mitchell (1997:7) describes the dispute of boundaries between disciplines
and between nation-states in the same breath as the segregation between the sexes. Vander
Dungen (1996:8) provides an example of this mode of thinking, when he states that the
sterile division between human and natural sciences is questioned. "The combination of
modern techniques with 'something else' which takes into account history, and which is able
to communicate
with its users is indeed typical of the postmodem
approach
and its
entanglement with art." This "something else" is very often a cultural approach, something
which Kramer (1995: 5-6) calls "cultural-constructed
way,
"postmodem
strategies
of understanding
subjectivities and objectivities". In this
are incorrigibly
interdisciplinary
and
irreducibly plural" (Kramer 1995:5). In practice this couId also mean that popular music
could make use of techniques
reserved for classical music, for example contrapuntal
techniques used in jazz, or jazz rhythms in serious music.
Literary science provides another example: postmodem literature often ignores boundaries
between author, character and reader, or the world of the story and that of the author, and
allows the text to fold in on itself (MUller 1992:399). In architecture
"traditional limits have
become indistinguishable, so what is commonly on the outside of a building is placed within,
and vice versa" (The Prentice-Hall Guide to English Literature as quoted in Piercy 1999:6).
Postmodemism
is even said to create and enjoy chaos and play as contrast to formal
intellectual structures: "It delights in excess, play, carnival, asymmetry, even mess, and in the
emancipation
of meanings"
(Piercy 1999:7). The boundaries
between play and formal
structures, in other words, are challenged in fields such as architecture, music and literature.
Therefore, in the words of Kramer (1995:10), the mandate ofpostmodernism
is to establish a
means of conceiving, valuing and practising that is very mobile and contingent in nature.
4.5.5 The nature of knowledge
The definition of knowledge is another important tool in discriminating between modem and
postmodern trends. For the modernist, knowledge was only true and valid when it was
acquired rationally, scientifically and objectively. Modernist theories such as Marxism were
based on referential truth, scientific fact and a belief in progress. Habermas (1985: 14-15)
explained that knowledge is always served by a specific interest, the interest of modemis~
knowledge being the discovery o(truth.
Rose (2000:2) provides an important perspective on modernist knowledge when he explains
that the epoch of mO,dernism became rooted in justification of reason because it overcame the
dictates of authority; knowledge was not to be justified by its origin of authority (for example
the state or the church), but by an appeal to reason by the individual himself. "For an
individual to accept the truth, he must reflect on it and see the truth for himself'.
The postmodem mode of thinking and knowledge contrasts with this modernist emphasis on
rational thinking, and is rather "committed to modes of thinking and representation which
emphasise fragmentations, discontinuities and incommensurable aspects of a given subject"
(Piercy 1999:6-7). Context determines truth. This means that several truths may co-exist at
the same time, because the contexts and their relevance to these truths differ. "Postmodernist
reason always serves interests other than truth, and by that means enables itself to serve truth,
however imperfectly" (Kramer 1995:7). One of the conditions of postmodem knowledge is
partial perspective, manifesting as local truths.
Kramer refers to the relative orientation of knowledge in the disciplines to which it is
subordinated, or the fields that produce and circulate knowledge. The contexts of different
disciplines are a determining factor of the relative truth or knowledge. Knowledge is also
inescapably "affected by and affecting the knower's position in a cultural, social or physical
matrix" (Kramer 1995 :6-7). This is the direct opposite of the ideals of modernism and the
European Enlightenment which called upon the impartiality of reason to know the world,
independent of and unintimidated by any social or religious context or authority.
"Postmodernity
is seen as involving an end of the dominance of an overarching belief in
scientific rationality and a unitary theory of progress" (The Harper Collins Dictionary of
Sociology as quoted in Piercy 1999:6). Instead, a certain reason is only "temporarily
considered to be true by a limited' set of highly specialised sign-interpreters, and their
conclusions are relative, fallible and open to refutations" (Van der Dungen 1996:9).
This belief in objectivity by modernists forms the essence of the reaction experienced in
postmodern thinking. Underlying this "avant-garde of the modernism", as it was called by
Eco (quoted in van der Dungen 1996:7), is the belief that no knowledge is absolute and
objective, but all propositions are time-bound and context-sensitive. This does not mean that
reason and logic are no longer valid, or that irrationalism is freely invited, but that the
importance of an overall coherence, complexity and interdependence of systems is
recognised. Postmodernism is not irrational, but a co-existence of a broader rationality and a
context-driven perspective is an inherent characteristic.
Rose (2000:1) describes the reaction to the modernist notion of legitimising all knowledge
through the constraints of universal reason as twofold:
•
The cultural relativist declares reason, but this reason is relative to one's tradition and
cannot be overcome.
•
The pluralist accepts that any form of truth is but a perspective and therefore not
absolutely or universally binding.
Modernist knowledge was controlled by the intellectual and political elite, who usually
underwent years of dedicated and specialised training. Because knowledge was power, the
diffusion of knowledge was strictly screened by the intellectual minorities (Adams 1997:4).
Postmodernism, however, brought along a momentous change. Satellite television networks,
computers with modems and fax machines, even in remote, non-Western countries, have
made both censorship and control obsolete. Knowledge is no longer controlled by the
intellectual and political elite, but is freely distributed by communications networks.
Influences on the way in which knowledge is acquired, classified, made available and
exploited are threefold, as offered by Lyotard (1979:4):
· As early as 1979 Lyotard offered more than a hint that modernism has changed because the
technical and social conditions of communications and knowledge have changed (Harvey
1990:49). In a discussion on education, viewed through the lens of performativity, Lyotard
(1979:49-51) argues that the goals of education should be to create the skills that are
indispensable to the social system. These skills can be broadly classified into two groups,
namely professional skills (for example doctors or teachers) and technical skills (in other
words a workforce that can address new domains of knowledge by means of new techniques
and technologies). Without the last group, the first group would advance slowly and with
difficulty.
This is because bOth the nature and communication of knowledge have undergone
considerable change between the modem and the postmodern era. According to Sarup
(1988:118) and Lyotard (1979:4), the impact of technological transformations has especially
led to this altered stance of knowledge in postmodern culture. Lyotard maintains that the two
principal functions of knowledge - research and the transmission of acquired learning - are
already feeling the effect of technological advances to such a degree that ''the transmittance
of knowledge is only possible if it can be translated into quantities of information" (Lyotard
1979:4). The ultimate will be that anything in the body of knowledge that is not translatable
in computer-based language will be abandoned, and the direction of new research will be
dictated by the possipility of the eventual results being computer-translatable.
In other words, the postmodernist, with the explosion of computer technology and global
communication starting in the 1960s, could regard anything that cannot be translated into a
form recognisable ~d storable by a computer, as irrelevant. Because it is not computermanageable it will therefore cease to be knowledge (Klages 1997:5). This definition of
computer-driven knowledge is, like the modernist idiom of reason-driven knowledge,
reductionist in character, although these two are the direct opposites of each other.
Computer-based knowledge was taken a step further with the development of the World
Wide Web and the Internet. Van der Dungen (1996:8) describes this modem method of
distributing knowledge as a "new type of global culture" facing the multi-cultural, pluralistic
and eclectic nature of a postmodern world and "challenging the fossilised limitations invoked
by societies which embraced (or were forced into) modernism". Added to this was the
growing influence of the computer with its manipulative capacity. In the words of Rosenblatt
(1999:114): "He [Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web] took a powerful
communications system that only the elite could use and turned it into a mass medium."
Lyotard (1979:5) even states that knowledge, as a form of informational commodity
indispensable to productive power, will perhaps be the major stake for competition for
power.
Furthermore, science no longer has as its only goal the discovery of truth, but rather the
empowerment of the subject. Science for the sake of science has no objective value any
more, but the performativity of the products of science are relevant. "The question now being
asked by the student, the state or the university is no longer 'Is it true?' but 'What use is it?'"
(Sarup 1988:125, Lyotard 1979:48-50). In the place of science being regarded as autonomous
and worthwhile in itself, the postmodern citizen wants to know to what use the scientific
advances can be put. Kramer (1995:11) quotes J.L. Austin when the latter suggests that
modernism privilege the constative, that which is judged true or false, over the performative,
that which is judged successful or unsuccessful. The postmodern privileges neither of the
two, but acknowledges that while all constative acts are also performative, not all
performative acts are constative.
The status of science in the postmodern idiom means that the natural sciences, especially
physics, no longer prescribe the model of scientific knowledge. Universal criteria for
scientific knowledge shifted to different academic disciplines, each developing their own
criteria for integrity (Rossouw 1995:38). Together with this, the postmodern citizen no longer
accepts that anything sprouting from scientific research is necessarily valuable, or that the
natural sciences hav~ objective value. Other sciences, such as social sciences, are gaining in
importance and validity.
Without the authority of Western meta-narratives, a plurality of perspectives and values is
left. In the place of a singular stance towards truth, knowledge or culture, postmodernism is
marked by a pluralistic approach. Giroux (1994:4), one of the foremost postmodern
philosophers, alleges that postmodemism pluralises the meaning of cu,lture,while modernism
firmly situates it theoretically in apparatuses of power. In a lighter tone, Adams, a theologian,
quotes a colleague in saying that postmodernism equates intellectual Velcro dragged across
cultures (Adams 1997:1).
An oversimplification of pluralism, in the sense that all positions in culture and politics are
open and equal, that anything goes, is however not part of the postmodern idiom, although
many writers use this stance to criticise it. This culture is rather marked by uneven
developments (Foster 1985:xi).
The roots of pluralism in the postmodern sense, were sown by the realisation that "the
concepts with which man thinks are not pure, nor can such a pure state be reached by the
suspension of our cultural identity" (Rose 2000:3). The categories and manifestation of
understanding are interwoven with our own tradition and language, therefore a meaningful
way of knowing is to know and to talk within the horizon of one's own tradition. No pure or
universal concepts, standing aside from tradition, are therefore possible. Where the
Enlightenment was; designed to eliminate uncertainty and to emancipate humanity from
mysticism and tradition, postmodernism has again resurrected these aspects (Mitchell
This means that, once no universally and rationally acquired knowledge is possible within a
postmodern culture, the only valid and possible forms of knowledge are local ones deriving
from local traditions. Authority is not derived from a universal truth, but within the
manifestation of one's own tradition, and the establishment of local knowledges.
This truth, acquired from the manifestation of a local tradition, is furthermore not absolute
and binding, but merely serves as a perspective. This implies that many perspectives within
different traditions are possible, and this opens up the way to pluralism, in other words,
accepting and respecting the different views and perspectives of other traditions. The
assertion of modernist theory that only one foundation exists upon which to build a critical
theory, was thus replaced by the assertion that there are many foundations (Grassie 1997:4):
The postmodern view of self comes as a natural consequence of its view of reality
and truth. Like the truth and reality, the modern self is also a social construction.
The problem of the modern self is not that it is a construction but that it claims to
be the only. valid one. To a postmodernist, there does not exist any given or
essential nature of man or self. Man constructs his own self. It is man who
wrongly put himself at the centre of the world. It is man who naively believes that
he is the master of this world. The constructed modern self is oppressive and
violent. Therefore, a postmodern man should deconstruct the modern self.
Postmodernism dismantles the humanism of modernity. Modernists are activist,
optimistic, and self-confident. Postmodernists are passive, cynical, and insecure.
A postmodernist welcomes the idea of a decentred self because in this way one can be
whoever one wants to be. There is no need to take on a fixed self. "The keyword here is
pluralism. Everyone should be in a process of constructing and deconstructing one's self. In
other words, the self becomes a carnival type of costumes and roles. We are all role-playing"
-(Kwok 1998:24).
The widening and loosening of boundaries is another characteristic postmodern phenomenon.
The canon of what constitutes the study material in the liberal arts is even widened to be
without boundaries - Mitchell (1997:8) provides a few examples of this process:
•
Novelists are enticed to explore juxtaposition and playfulness in their novels, to
confuse and to remain inconcl~sive. The reader is also invited to participate in
determining meaning rather than seeking the intention of the author.
•
Musical taste and consumption are eclectic in nature, encouraged by a choice-laden
radio-dial.
•
In philosophy, attempts to eliminate the mind, soul or God from the brain are cast
aside in favour of relativism.
•
Urban planners and engineers seek not only to provide housing, but to enhance a
person's or a community's sense of place and belonging.
•
Politics is no longer bipolar and ideological, but enmeshed in "murky tribal conflicts
and global terrorism".
Another example is provided by Harvey (1990:41) when he quotes McHale in arguing that
the postmodem novel is not characterised by an epistemological nature, but rather by an
ontological one. A singular reality has moved to the background in order to make space for
questions such as the co-existence, colliding and interpenetrating of radically different
realities - constituting pluralism.
A further consequence of the postmodem, pluralistic world is the labyrinth of choices that are
available. Mitchell (1997:8) regards television as the principal tool reinforcing consumer
culture, and Giroux (1994:4) warns educators that the mass media playa decisive role in the
lives of young people. In the current culture of consumerism the rampant virtues of choice
and freedom are sometimes marked by anxiety and doubt. This is vividly illustrated in the
following quotation by Joe Jackson (quoted by Mitche111997:8): "It's all too much for me to
bear, what kind of shampoo suits my hair, two hundred brands of cookies, 87 kinds of
chocolate chip. They say choice is freedom, I'm so free it drives me to despair".
Another aspect of pluralism is the possibility of different groups speaking for themselves,
"something the universalistic concepts of Enlightenment no longer allow" (Mattson 1990:4).
As a consequence of this post-structuralist
relativistic situation, one of the most valued
virtues in the postmodem world is one of tolerance. Because truth is relative, no judgement
should be passed, because no-one is in a position to advance one point of view above
another. In educational matters, postmodem culture for example requires instructors to teach
students how to think, rather than teaching the truth. Therefore teachers expose students to
different viewpoints on an issue without presenting one as the central truth (Kwok 1998: 19).
The postmodem world is, in contrast to the modernistic assumption, characterised by a notion
that one expert does not have the only or final word, and that minority groups may not be
represented by a singular power. It is also characterised by an interpretation of history not as
the mission to find tpe truth of the past as one story of powerful decision-makers, but as the
inclusion of the narratives of "everyday folk and oppressed groups, like ethnic and religious
minorities, and of women" (Mitchell 1997:8). Harvey (1990:49) explains that the pluralistic
stance of postmodemism implies the legitimisation of experiences and views of groups such
as feminists, blacks· and colonised people, and that these groups have acquired the right to
speak for themselves.
Feminism, as repressed and marginalised discourse, constituted one of the earliest forms of
critiques on authority and universal
claims (Foster
1985:xiii; Harvey 1990:48). Other
minority groups now being offered liberalising potential are for example ethnic groups, the
working class, religious groups, gays, ecologists, and various other groups or disciplines who
had little recognition in the dominant discourse of modernist culture. "The idea that all
groups have a right to speak for themselves, in their own voice, and have that voice accepted
as authentic and legitimate is essential to the pluralistic stance of postmodernism (Harvey
1990:48). The notio~ to legitimise the voices of marginalised groups can therefore be viewed
as an extension of the postmodern concept of pluralism.
The terms postmodernism and post-structuralism are often used synonYmously,for example.
by Sarup (1988:118), who views postmodernism in part as a description of a new type of
society, but also, in part, as a new term for post-structuralism in the arts. Postmodernism (as a
description of style in the arts) is also, according to Foster (1985:x), hard to conceive'without
the structuralist and post-structuralist movements (the latter two being language-based
theories).
The difference between postmodernism and post-structuralism, according to Kwok
(1998:15), lies in the fact that postmodernism had its origins in America, while the
association with post-structuralism started in France with deconstructivists such as Derrida
and Foucault. Post:structuralism originated from the resistance to ideological (such as
socialism and Marxism) and scientific grand narratives. The common ground is the attempt
to transcend what was seen as the self-imposed limitations of modernism; a position of
treating deconstructionism as the philosophical basis and theoretical formulations for the
postmodern worldview may be a valid one in this context (Kwok 1998:15; Jones 2001:1).
Post-structuralism is an extension of structuralism, which held that a work has intrinsic
meaning, and that this meaning is already there before it is discovered and identified (Lye
1997b: 4-5). Post-structuralism also prescribed that an ontological reality exists and can be
explored by means of empirical research, or that a central truth is locked away in social
constructions and could be uncovered by philosophical reason. This structuralist mode of
thought originated from scientific thought; the ideal of an objective science of epistomology
generated by the natural sciences and reason, held in the modernist era, was dominated by
scientific thought ~ a whole. The rejection of knowledge based on tradition and authority
(for example, as prescribed by churches such as the Roman Catholic Church in the premodern era), was now replaced by an epistomology based on reason and natural science
(Morley 2000: 1).
This meant that four criteria. derived from the natural sciences, were applied to the nature of
knowledge, namely that it should be:
For any science to be regarded as true, it had to conform to these four criteria.
The modernist sciences also used (and still use) the idea that truth is locked away in the
object, and that this truth may be discovered through scientific research. David Goodstein,
professor of physics and applied physics at the California Institute of Technology, was
quoted as saying at a conference in 1995, IS "All scientists have a fundamental faith - and it is
a faith - that there is a real world out there that has rules and that can be understood by
rational means" (Hoke 1995:2).
This ultimately meant that there is only one truth to be
discovered, and this could be done by closely analysing or investigating the object.
Postmodernism has many facets. A central theme is that the natural world cannot be
perceived directly and objectively. This has been reiterated in constructivist movements such
as social constructivism, radical constructivism and post-structuralism. These movements
state that perceptions pass though filters such as language and culture which define our
understanding of the world (Hoke 1995:2), The constructivist movement furthermore opened
the eyes of the scientific community to the fact that the scientist himself makes a constitutive
contribution to knowledge, in the sense that knowledge is perceived subjectively. The first
step in this direction was taken by the radical constructivists,16such as Ernst von Glasersfeld,
Gebhardt Rusch and Niklas Luhman, who stated that knowledge is formed to such an extent
by the mind-processes of the scientist/observer that it is impossible to speak of inter-
IS
This 1995 conference was sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences and called "Flight From Science
and Reason".
16
The tenn "Radical Constructivism"
was coined by Ernst von Glasersfeld in 1974, with the basic tenet that any
kind of knowledge is constructed rather than perceived through the senses (Riegler 2000: I).
subjectivity, or a sharing of knowledge. This implied that knowledge is purely subjective,
exists in the mind of the individual only and cannot be shared. It also ultimately challenges
the modern project of science as a whole because different understandings of reality may all
prove viable, with an infinite number of "real experiences and therefore realities" (Holtorf
1997:2-3). It is also impossible to find out whether a certain state of knowledge represents
reality, because the observer cannot step outside the conditions of mind and society which
determines knowledge.
The post-structuralists challenged this approach, moving away from such a radical
perspective. In language and communication, instead of a tight and identifiable relation
between· what was· said and how it was said (message and medium), post-structuralist
thinking sees this process as continually breaking apart and reassembling in new
combinations (Harvey 1990:49). Post-structuralism, however, retained the essence, namely
that "there is no direct experience of reality without interpretation; and all interpretation is in
some sense corrupted by the cultural and personal prejudices or pre-judgements of the
interpreter (Grassie 1997:3).
Another reaction to radical constructivism was to move the focus to a social construction of
knowledge (Kenneth Gergen, Lev Vygotsky, and others). "For the social constructivist, the
multiplicity of possible interpretations about an 'object', all socially justifiable, prevents
objectivity, because realities exist in the form of multiple mental constructions, socially and
experientially based, local and specific, dependent, for their form and content, in the persons
who hold them" (Mazzotti 1999:2).
The movement of social construction of knowledge resulted in the acknowledgement that
there is no objective knowledge; it also resisted the subjectivism of the constructionist
movement. Meaning in/of language is constructed by the speaking or writing subject, and is
not given or fixed (~wok 1998:17). Social constructivism means that knowledge is localised
within a specific community, and many local truths may exist at the same time. In this way
the claims of universal truth are avoided. The social construction of knowledge is therefore
not a subjectivistic process that only takes place in the mind of the researcher, but within a
community of scientists or researchers (or learners) sharing a common language. In this way
a network of local truths may be established.
The direct and extreme consequences of the post-structuralist view of truth and reality, in
other words by constructing it socially, are relativism and anti-foundationalism (Kwok
1998:18). That means that no universal objective foundation exists on which truth may be
discovered, and all ~th is relative, depending on the position of the subject. "Since there is
no objective foundation for knowing the truth, no truth can claim to be absolute" (Kwok
1998:18).
•
It has led to developments in the field of feminist research, psychoanalysis, literary
theory, anthropology, sociology and history.
•
It has also led to cross-fertilisation among different disciplines, as well as intellectual
advances in newly configured fields such as film theory, medieval studies, postcolonial studies, feminist and gender studies, queer theory, Afro-American and
Hellenistic stUdies,and cultural studies.
4.5.9 Affinities and differences between structuralism and post-structuralism
Peters (l999b:4) interprets post-structuralism as a philosophical response to the alleged
scientific status of structuralism, a movement which sought to decentre the structures,
systematicity and scientific status of structuralism, and to extend it in a number of different
directions while preserving central elements. Lye (l997a:2-5) and Peters (1999b:4)
summarlse its main theoretical tendencies in terms of affinities and differences with
structuralism, of which the author selected a few items relevant for this study:
Affinities:
•
Both share a suspicion of phenomenology's and existentialism's belief in autonomous
and accessible human consciousness as the sole basis of historical interpretation,
understanding and action.
•
A general theoretical understanding of language and culture interprets the
interrelation of constituent elements as more important than the elements considered
in isolation ftom one another.
•
A general belief that hidden structures in socio-economic forces and the Unconscious
(as clinically investigated by Freud) govern and constrain behaviour. Freud's study
especially undermined the notion of pure rationality and self-transparency of human
behaviour.
•
Post-structuralism challenges scientism in the human sciences, and seeks a new
emphasis on perspectivism in interpretation. It criticises the capacity of the
structuralist approach to identify universal structures of all cultures and the human
mind. Instead it offers a theory of culturally based and environmentally shaped
configuration of the self.
•
A critical philosophy of technology based on the writings of Heidegger, is also
brought to the foreground in post-structuralism, one that criticises the role of
technology in our existence as a system that can alter our mode of being.
•
A philosophy of difference characterises a post-structuralist approach. Lyotard (as
quoted in Peters 1999b:6) explains this as a "case of conflict between (at least) two
parties that c~ot
be equitably resolved for lack of a rule of judgement applicable to
both arguments". Post-structuralist notions of difference have subsequently been
developed in the field of gender studies and ethnicity.
•
Post-structur~lism rejects the concepts of canonicity, final vocabularies, and totalising
or foundationalist meta-narratives. Instead it sees "reality" as being fragmented,
diverse, ephemeral and culturally-specific.
Finally, the post-structuralists emphasise the local and contingent and "have a hatred of all
overarching theories" (Sarup 1988:150).
According to Rossouw (1995:19), the most spectacular effect in the sphere ofpostmodernism
took place in the arts. Extreme positions are taken by philosophers, some supporting
postmodernism as P9pulist and attacking modernism as elitist, others supporting modernism
as elitist (proper culture), discarding postmodernism as mere kitsch (Foster 1985:xi).
The postmodern architect Charles Jencks, according to Harvey (1990:39), dates the start of
postmodernism as "4.32 PM on 15 July 1972, when the Pruitt-Igoe housing development in
St Louis (a prize-winning version of Le Corbusier's 'machine for modem living', which was
built only twenty years earlier), was dynamited as an uninhabitable environment for the lowincome people it housed". According to the Encyclopaedia
Britannica
(1999:1) several
similar apartment blocks in Europe and North America were demolished in the following
decade, but it was at:St Louis that the postmodemist era was begun.
Architecture is considered one of the original and continuing roots of postmodern influence,
because (according to Solomon 2001:2) it is in architecture that the manifestations of this era
are most clearly visible, and therefore most easily described. Architecture is also viewed by
Jameson (1984, as quoted by Terranova 2001:1) as the privileged aesthetic language of
postmodernism. "Postmodern architecture seeks to be true to a particular place, to affirm the
unique environment, to borrow from many styles or traditions in order to create something in
harmony with the site and its uses. To add a bit of decoration or pastiche for its own sake
would also be an aspect" (Mitchell 1997:4).
Pastiche, central to postmodemism,
is often used in postmodern architectural designs. The
juxtaposing of different cultures in a contrasting and eclectic way, or the combination of a
style from the past together with designs for comfortable living, is described by Solomon
(2001 :2). In the visual arts, a collage of techniques and materials is more acceptable than
:
having to choose between them. Furthermore, the borders between disciplines and spheres
are transgressed
marginalised
to widen the meaning of art, including
groups in a society (Snyman
being social agent for the
1995:70-71). As such, postmodernism
may
represent a period of transition, because a uniform aesthetic style has not yet matured.
The avant-garde movements of the 1920s in the arts are seen by some as one of the
momentum-giving
happenings to postmodemism, because art, as an autonomous institution,
was criticised by groups such as the Dadaists and Surrealists (Sarup 1988:128-129). The past,
which culminated in World War I, was powerfully rejected and criticised by the ,challenging
of accepted techniques and media. According to Harvey (1990:59) movements such as Dada,
early Surrealism, Constructivism and Expressionism also attempted to bring art to the people
as part of a modernist project of social transformation. This rapprochement (as it is called by
Harvey 1990:59) between popular culture and what has once remained isolated. as "high
culture" had a revolutionary undertone, as it was meant to take down the pedestal on which
the artist had placed himself and bring art to the people. It is ironic to note, however, that the
anti-artistic protest of groups such as the Dadaists failed to such an extent that their
techniques are now being used for artistic ends and their works exhibited in museums.
When compared to movements such as the Dadaists, the closing of the gap between auratic
art and popular art in the postmodern sense of the word has completely lost the character of
social commentary.
It is, on the contrary,
often
described
as commercialised
and
commodified, answering a gap in the market of mass culture (Harvey 1990:59).
The 1960s saw several counter-modem movements with new values such as "individualised
self-realisation,iconoclastic
habits (in music, dress, language and life-style), and the critique
of everyday life" (Harvey 1990:38). The shift in cultural, social and economic orders was
such that it could no longer be ignored. Although the modernist sentiments were generally
rejected by this time, it was still not clear exactly what systems of thought and living replaced
them, and exactly what the postmodern
trends and styles entailed. The existence
of
postmodernism was gradually and generally accepted, but the nature of this change in feeling
and condition was still not quite clear.
The ~rst signs of p~stmodernism manifested in architecture, as a reaction to the "monotony
of universal modernism's vision of the world" (Harvey 1990:9) and the "restricting purism of
modernism"
(Encyclopaedia
Britannica
1999: 1). Modernist styles lacked the irony and
complexity that enrich historical architecture, and left modem buildings without meaning. It
is interesting to note· that an architect such as Le Corbusier was still, in 1961, regarded as "the
greatest architect of our century"
(Munro
1961:261V7
Approximately
ten years later,
however, his concepts were regarded as uninhabitable. In this respect the impersonal, abstract
and linear designs of architects such as Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd
17
"He built large Unites d'habitation (residential units), immense monolithic buildings standing on piers,
housing not only large numbers of flats but also all the shops and social facilities that are part of life" (Munro
1961:261).
Wrightl8 were opposed with trends to design for people rather than for man (Harvey
1990:40). The AT&T building in New York City (1978, Philip Johnson), the Vanna Venturi
House (1962, Robert Venturi) and the Disney Studios (1990, Michael Graves) may serve as
examples of postmodern architecture (Pennsylvania State University 1999:2).
This meant that the architectural trend moved away from abstract concrete blocks and glass
towers to user-friendly
buildings. Encyclopaedia
imitations of mediaeval styles, fishing villages and ornamented
Britannica
distinguishes
three styles that followed the purist
modern styles, namely:
•
a neo-rationalist or elementist approach that echoes the stripped classicism of the 19th
and early 20th century.
Capitalism,
especially the consumer capitalism of the second half of the 20th century,
generally provided the average man with more money in his pocket than the 19th century
citizen. This also meant that he had a greater say as to the nature of his likes and dislikes,
what type of house he preferred, the furniture he wanted in his house, the entertainment he
preferred and the clothes he wanted to wear. In this way the value of individuality came to be
highly regarded. This, in its turn, influenced the destruction of universal values and truths,
and the advance of postmodern axioms.
Individualism in styles of living manifested firstly in the habitat of living. In this same breath
the concepts of town planning moved from soulless, machine-effective
cities to a collage of
individualised spaces and structures. The process of urbanisation in a postmodern sense is
uncontrollable, even chaotic. Keep (1993: 1) describes this eclectic style as follows:
Modernism's valorisation of the new was rejected by architectural postmodernism
in the 1950's and 1960's for conservative reasons. They wanted to maintain
elements of modern utility while returning to the reassuring classical forms of the
18
Early modernist architects drew a lot of their inspiration from the "purely functional possibilities inherent in
the machine, factory and automobile age, and projected them into some utopian future" (Fishman 1982, as
quoted in Harvey 1990:23).
past. The result was an ironic brick-a brack or collage approach to construction
that combines several traditional styles into one structure.
Postmodern architecture (Pennsylvania State University 1999:3), evolved from modernism,
but is:
•
eclectic combinations of convention, collage and design; and
Because the subject of deconstruction is contained within a specialised field of philosophy, it
is not the intention of the author to embark on a discussion of philosophical matter. Therefore
only appropriate
aspects, characteristic
of a postmodern
approach to literature, will be
mentioned.
In literary discipline~ the postmodern novelist views the world not as exhibiting or containing
a singular reality and truth, but as a co-existence
of different valid realities. The set
boundaries between reality and fantasy may even be trampled over, with the reader led into a
world occupied by both. The postmodern novel is not regarded as, for example, a mastercode of a specific genre, but simply as an open text, containing its own rhetoric. Characters in
a postmodern novel often "seem confused as to which world they are in, and how they should
react with respect to it" (Harvey 1990:41). No universal truth, meta-theory or meta-narrative
is considered valid anymore and the possibility
of a superior rational prescription
or
description of reality does not have any foundation left.
Regarding literature, postmodern literary criticism, or structuralist hermeneutics, implies that
the writer does not have control over the text, once it is being read. "The text is radically
influenced by the author's
intentional construction
of the word, but also has its own
independence from the author, as a text always has a life of its own. Because the writer uses
the basis of all other previous texts read and encountered, the same can be said of the reader,
"who also has personal psychological and social~cultural presuppositions that radically
influence how the text is read and understood. So the reader operates within a context"
(Grassie 1997:3). This concept of intertextuality means that every text is conditioned and
influenced by a network of relations and experiences, which in turn affects the meaning of
that text (Adams 1997:5).
This means that communication of any kind is a series of intertwined texts and encounters,
producing
"intertextual
weaving
with
a
life
of
its
own"
(Harvey
1990:49).
Deconstructionism, as pioneered by Derrida, 19 means that no one texrO has a universal truth
to be discovered by the reader, but that the consumer must look into one text for another text,
either dissolving or building one into the other. The effect is to deconstruct the power that the
author has to impose meanings on his readers, or to offer a continuous narrative (Harvey
1990:51, Orban 19~8:2-4). It seeks to examine a text from all possible perspectives so that
individual bits of information are extracted and separated from each other (Adams 1997:5).
In this way the hermeneutical dynamic of understanding "explodes in complexity" (Grassie
1997:3), dissolving the idea of an overarching or single meaning. Kramer (1995:11-12)
summarises this approach effectively when he concludes that the author is sowing without
hopes of reaping a harvest.
The concept of different worlds within one space is another important trend in postmodem
literary and cinema art forms. The co-existence of more than one fragmented and contrasting
world is, for example, exploited in the groundbreaking film Citizen Kane (1941). Kobal
(1988:9) describes how the director, Orson Welles, discarded the conventional, linear and
chronological narrative style in order to construct his character like a jigsaw puzzle, using the
subjectivity of the various people who knew him. In this way multiple perspectives and
19
Jacques Derrida (1930-) is regarded as a post-structuralist and sceptical postmodernist. In much of his writing
he is concerned with the deconstruction of texts and the relationship of meaning between texts (Weiss & Wesley
2000:5).
reminiscenses of the: main character are gathered in order to understand him. Run Lola Run is
a recent example ofa film that "toys with time" in a postmodern sense (SchickeI1999:91)
as
it has three different endings.
The pop star MadOlma is considered by Newitz (1993:5-6) as a self-conscious postmodern
icon, especially in the way she represents herself in her music videos. According to Newitz,
she understands her own identity as a series of images and representations, distinguishable
from each other mainly by understanding
Monroe
personification
what they refer to (for example her Marilyn
or her fascist dictator
lesbian
image).
By displaying
multi-
dimensional facets of her image, she conveys different and contrasting reflections of her
character.
Another aspect of different worlds within one space is also illustrated by the Madonna music
video "Express
yourself'.
In this video
she presents
many
versions
of her image
simultaneously, inter alia with two frames being used at the same time. In one frame, for
example, she is shown "watching" herself in the other frame (Newitz 1993:4).
Another characteristic of postmodern art is the populist character it gained, according to
some philosophers by giving the masses the power to determine their own cultural identities,
finding a so-called "consumer culture". This meant that "auratic art" was largely replaced by
pop art, pop culture and mass taste (Harvey 1990:60). "The modem, romantic image of the
lone creative artist was abandoned for the playful technician (perhaps computer hacker) who
could retrieve and recombine creations from the past" (Keep 1993: 1).
One of the reasons for this was that the unrepeatable, for example a masterpiece such as Da
Vinci's Mona Lisa, could now be immaculately
reproduced,
achieving an exact image.
Postmodern artists, in contrast with modem art delving for eternal truth, are not concerned
with eternity and truth. They concentrate on the immediate and superficial reality, relating to
a consumer society (Rossouw 1995 :21).
This mass culture also implied that fashion, pop art, television and other forms of media
image were mobilised and became part of urban daily life. Klages' (1997:4) adds another
dimension to this reaction against "auratic art", namely the fact that in postmodern society
there are no originals - only copies. She names CDs or music recordings as examples, of
which millions of copies may be sold at roughly the same price, with no original being kept
in a vault. The concept of virtual reality, found in the world of computer games, such as Sim
City and Age of Empires, represents another version of this concept of non-originality,
because this reality is no reality, but only created by means of simulation.
The eternal and timeless character of masterpieces, which disappeared with the advent of
immaculate reproduction facilities, are instead, in the opinion of the author, being replaced
by the high esteem' in which artists in the different genres and styles are held. Auras of
celebrities, such as concert pianists or violinists, film, rock and television stars and, to a
lesser degree, visual artists, are instigated and kept alive by the very media that reproduce
their works of art, namely the communication media. In this sense the performing artists
became as important as the author or composer.
Expressions of art such as fashion, television, cinema, advertisements, the print media and
recording technology have imposed a significant influence upon daily life. The matter of
collage, for example, has manifested to a great extent in the way millions of people watch
television, namely in a fragmented, interrupted and superficial way. Television programmes
are mostly produced with this approach in mind, namely to entertain by putting together an
eclectic composition of images or situations. Magazines are read by people not wanting to
spend time and effort reading in-depth books, but rather wanting to be entertained by
fragmented and non:related information.
The death of the author is signalled by the interpretation of the spectator or reader being as
important as the intention of the creator or author.
Viewing the cultural environment from the perspective outlined in the previous paragraphs, it
is clear that the postmodern
process is one of "happening"
rather than "staying",
and
"participation" rather than "dictation". History, also, is being rid of continuity and progress,
and rather being viewed in a subjective manner, absorbing whatever is useful for the present.
This, in turn, leads ~o an eclectic style of architectural, literary and visual art forms, using
whatever is useful for the purpose and putting it together, rather than being dictated by genre
or style.
An aid to view the differences between modernism and postmodemism
is provided by the
. following schema df Hassan, one of the first writers to describe postmodem theory and
culture, as quoted by Harvey (1990:43), Weiss & Wesley (2000:9) and Solomon (2001 :3-5).
The author selected only appropriate comparisons, valid for a focus on postmodemism in the
arts, to use in this taple:
Table 4-3: Schematic comparison of modernism and postmodernism
(adapted from Harvey
1990:43 and Solomon 2001:3-5)
Design
Chance
Narrative / grande histoire
Anti-narrative / petite histoire
Form (closed)
Antiform (open)
Hierarchy
Anarchy
Art ~bject/ finished work
Process/performance/happening
Centred
Dispersed
Selection
Combination
Determinacy
Indeterminacy
Purpose
Play
Depth
Surface
Interpretation
Against interpretation
Genre, boundary
Text, intertext
Mechanical
Electronic
.
Multi-pathed
Reductive, analytic
Synthetic
Harmonious, integrated
Eclectic, non-integrated
Utopian, elitist
Populist
European, Western
Global, multi-cultural
Newtonian mechanics, relativity
•
The synthesis of classical and popular styles in the works of composers such as Philip
Glass;
•
Punk and new wave rock (The Velvet Underground, a punk group also associated
with Andy Warhol, Alice Cooper and the Sex Pistols);
Music in postmodern culture is, typically of this condition, fragmented in style and of various
genres. Styles as far apart as pop art, spiritually-inspired
Western art music, jazz, light
Viennese classical, ethnic music and punk all have achieved validity and supporting
audiences. An example of this eclecticism, in the opinion of the author, is the combination of
pop songs, opera arias and Gregorian chant on the same Top Twenty list of hits. A fusion of
styles is also very common. As an example, later developments in the jazz genre may be
cited: "While fusion seemed to dominate the jazz market in the 1970's and early 1980's. there
were other developments
as well. Some performers started borrowing from 20th century
classical music as well as African and other forms of world music" (Sabatella 1992: 14).
Kramer (1995:13) is of the opinion that modernist conceptions of music are profoundly at
odds with the postmodern ethos. The author agrees with this statement, in so far as the
legitimisation of a variety of genres, styles and traditions is concerned. This perspective will
be further explained in the following paragraphs by using three genres of music as illustration
of postmodernism in music, namely classical music, rap and punk.
The prelude to a postmodern
condition in (classical) music was, according to Hamm
(1995:88-89), first seen in the experimental mode of music notation accompanying avantgarde music explorations. A system of staff notation, acceptable for Western music for many
centuries, was challenged and alternatives subsequently offered. This was because composers
were creating music that could not always be notated in the traditional system, resulting from
an expanded exploitation of timbre, melody, texture and rhythm. "All such innovations call
for new kinds of musical notation which, in many avant-garde compositions, resemble plans
for guided missiles" (Ewen 1991 :xiv).
An important
performance,
change of direction
was to allow musicians
to merely co-exist
in a
defying any order imposed by aspects such as structure, barlines, key or
traditional tonal structures. In this respect John Cage, according to Bernstein (1999:1) played
an important role in "postmodernising"
music. He started as an exponent of the avant-garde,
but, according to Hamm (1995:xi) and Bernstein (1999:1), a transition from modernism to
postmodernism
occurred later in his work. Elements such as the co-existence of events,
which came to be typically postmodern, are characteristic of his work (Hamm 1995:xi):
[John] Cage imagined a non-linear universe in which things simply existed,
without the connecting tissue of cause and effect. His proto-postmodern aesthetic
proposed that an uncountable number of different events take place, none of them
privileged in significance of power over any others and none of them
understandable from the perspective of a single dominant system of meaning. This
is not rampant relativism, but rather an affirmation of the uniqueness and value of
each happening.
This view of postmodernism in music means that "every musical event is equally worthy of
attention" (Hamm 1995:xii), and ultimately legitimises the study and practice of any genre of
music, from Western art music through to popular music and world music. Porter & Grey
(2001 :1) note that, as different musical structures convey different forms of meaning, it is no
longer possible to operate notions of musical value from content alone - context must also be
employed to define meaning and value.
According to Kramer (1995:4), however, classical music is in trouble, losing its prestige and
popularity, with a shrinking and greying audience. One possible reason for this, according to
him, is the loss of
a viable
public discourse about classical music. Another reason, in the
opinion of the author, may be that the core repertoire of classical music is still associated
with the modernist narrative, and therefore poses a challenge to the postmodern citizen who
is exposed to daily d,oses of easily-accessible popular music.
New directions in classical music, however, started to emerge towards the 1970s and 1980s,
with many composers investigating sounds, structures and tonalities different from those
explored during the period of high modernism, as well as pre-modernist styles presented on
the same magnitude of popular music concerts (for example the successful concerts of the
Three Tenors). Any attempt to offer a streamlined summarisation of recent directions would,
however, be impossible, because of differing currents and continuous forking taking place
within classical music. Therefore the author will offer a few examples of various trends of
the last twenty to thirty years.
One of the trends is explained by Adams (1997:2) as the "unsecularization" of the world,
while Stephens (1999:134) calls it the creation of a timeless quality in surveying human
culture. Modernism, the search for new and sometimes radical approaches in music and the
arts, was constantly seeking a new language and purity of vision. Postmodernism, in contrast,
deviates from this singular stance and embraces elements from high and low culture, future
and past, secular and religious traditions. The revival and renewal of traditional religions are
undoing the rule of reason insisted upon by modernist philosophers and scientists, and
Adams (1997:2) even states that there is a direct relationship between the decline of
modernism and the rise of traditional religions.
Therefore an impo~t
direction followed in postmodern music is one that moves away from
complicated and mathematically inspired styles, such as serialism, to intuitive, spiritually
inspired styles. This last category includes styles that signify, according to Steinberg
(1992:6), the return to sacred foundations, some of which are influenced by religions such as
the Russian Orthod~x Church. The English composer John Tavener (born in 1944) is one of
the major exponents of this last-mentioned style. A brief overview of the titles of some of his
compositions will illustrate the nature of this music:
In his large oeuvre, the overarching theme of the music of John Tavener is one of spiritually
inspired, mystical influences, which is in stark contrast to the serial and mathematicallyinspired music of the early and mid-20th century. He often combines the long phrases of
eastern chant (of various orthodox traditions) with a more active spirit of western sacred
music; the' fusion of different spiritual styles and influences makes for a unique sound. The
Akathist o/Thanksgiving,
for example, is based on the Byzantine theory of musical tones, and
·draws on actual Russian chants. His treatment of orthodox tradition, however, is radical as he
presents traditional motifs and Orthodox spirituality in a freer form (Stephens 1999: 133).
In the same vein, much of the music of leading British composer James MacMillan (born in
1959) is also inspired
by religion.
Griffiths
(1999:32)
even calls him a "Catholic
expressionist". An example of this style is his Easter triptych Triduum (composed in 1997),
in which "his intense religious faith has found expression in his music" (Lambton 19~9: 18).
The symphony, forming part of this triptych, specifies the use of a battery of percussion,
including a large plywood cube, thunder sheet, and a piece of pipe struck by a metal hammer.
Harrison Birtwhistle (1934-), another major English composer, wrote music which is "rugged
and earthy, often dealing with ritual and myth" (italics by R. Bosman, Griffiths 1999:32).
One of his operas, The Last Supper, was also spiritually inspired. This opera was premiered
in 2000 by the Glynt/ebourne Touring Opera (Hayes 2001), and was also performed in, inter
alia, London's Queen Elizabeth Hall and Berlin's Staatsoper during 2001.
Within the perspective of postmodernism and Western classical music, the return to sacred
music - liturgically .inspired and accessible to a wider audience - is therefore an important
change of direction. Another shift was the cross-fertilisation
countries
and cultures
and Western traditions.
between the musics of other
The American
composer
Steve Reich
(integrating West African drumming rhythms) and the Chinese composer Tan Dun may serve
as examples of this crossing of cultural barriers (Stephens
1999: 133). Tan Dun mixes
Chinese sounds and traditions with Western ideas - in his Ghost Operd' (1994) a Western
string quartet performs together with the pipa (a Chinese lute), water, paper, stones, gongs
played with a bow, Tibetan bells and paper whistles.
It is interesting to note that Reich did not approve overt exotic connections or sounds in his
music, criticising the imitation of non-Western music in Western styles. Rather, the study of
(in his case) African music must be integrated with "the instruments, scales, and any other
sound one has grown up with" (cited in Griffiths 1981: 178). Glass has also, according to
Griffiths (1981 :178), in spite of a striking resemblance to Balinese gamelan music in some of
his compositions, started a process ofre-investigation
21
in his Western heritage.
In the Chinese tradition the performer in a ghost opera has a dialogue with his past and future life. In the
Ghost Opera by Tan Dun, the past life is China and the future life is the West (Stephens 1999: 134).
Eclecticism is illustrated in the music of the Russian composer of German descent, Alfred
Schnittke (1934-98), who developed a "startlingly eclectic technique of combining, adapting
and assimilating styles of the past" (Stephens 1999:134). His four string quartets, written
between 1966 and 1989, may also serve as an example of the transition from modernism to
postmodernism. "The first quartet is serialist (with a thorny serial complexity), the second
quartet more rhapsodic and intuitive. The fourth quartet, with its ineffable sadness, seems
like a summation, and so its poly-stylism is more extreme" (Schwarz 1998:1). His Concerto
Grosso no. 4/Symphony no. 5 (1988) embraces two styles in the very title of his piece
(Stephens 1999:134).
Minimalism, another different current in music from the 1960s with Philip Glass and Steve
Reich as two main exponents, is concerned with sounds or textures of long duration. The
nature of music in this style is therefore repetitive and drone-like in character, requiring
streamlined rhythmic precision (Griffiths 1981:177).
In England, as well·as in Europe, the scene of serious music bloomed since the late 1970s.
According to Griffiths (1999:32), the musical compositions of British origin have
proliferated to such a state of abundance that good pieces no longer have scarcity value.
Furthermore, Griffiths also mentions that the composers who dominated the scene in the
1960s and early 1970s were but a handful, but that he could now easily name fifty successful
composers of classical music in England alone.
Griffiths (1981:294) offers a common identity that sets the music of the modernist culture
apart from postmodernism, namely the concern of composers "not so much with musical
composition in the abstract, as with the effect of music on the listener." An important
dimension of the musical experience is therefore provided by the listener, depending on
factors such as where the listener is seated, sub-melodies heard within repeated melodic
patterns by individuals, or opportunities of analysing and forming perceptions while listening
to a performance.
4.5.11.2 Rap as postmodern genre
Mattson (1990:2) is of the opinion that rap music is postmodern art par excellence: "It relies
on media generated sounds which are then combined through high technology and tape loops
into a pastiche type of music with a grinding beat." Best & Kellner (1999:5) compares rap to
other postmodern
artistic products, because "rap
IS
eclectic and pastiche-oriented,
and
subverts modernist notions of authorship."
Rap, according to Toop (as quoted by Street (1993:11), originated from the project housing
slums in New York, as an indigenous ghetto expression. Audiences, however, gradually grew
into both black and white listeners, cutting across class and ethnical boundaries. He describes
rap as a combination of music, vernacular poetry, attitude and style, reflecting the conflicting
moods, strategies and experiences of young African-Americans.
As a postmodern form of
music, rap is a manifestation of games played with words and sounds without conveying a
clear and unambiguous meaning.
Best & Kellner (1999: 1) describe this genre as an articulation of "black rage" spilled over to
white audiences. It embodies a postmodern aesthetic because it absorbs widely different
musical styles while migrating to various national cultures. It has also influenced other
musical styles by laiocking down boundaries between music, spectacle and everyday life. Its
close relation with music technologies also placed the style in a postmodern approach. In the
words of Best & Kellner (1999:2), rap became "the flagship of the global popular, bringing
style, attitude and voice to marginalised groups".
Music videos of, inter alia, rap may serve as an illustration of the fragmented character of
postmodernism,
because of a random blending of unrelated visual images. These images
seldom represent the content of the music~ but rather attempt to reproduce the "structures of
feeling not easily reducible to words" (Coe 2001 :4).
Davies, in an article called "The Future of 'No Future': Punk Rock and Postmodern Theory",
investigates the connection between a postmodern culture and punk-rock style music. This
investigation was rooted in punk groups' approach to resist meta-narratives, their attack on
consumer capitalism by means of shocking their audiences, and their resistance to being
recuperated as heroes. The punks were the "progenitors of a plurality of petites histoires at
the same time that they wreaked havoc with the smooth self-image of corporate culture"
(Davies
1996:13). Van Dorston describes how the concept of the group, The Dream
Syndicate, was to sustain notes for two hours at a time, an endeavour that was undoubtedly
fuelled by the acid, opium and grass that the group was dealing in. Their aggressive worship
of drugs, sex and anything decadent further brought them to new heights of obscenity (van
Dorston 2001: 3,4).
The 1970s were even more rebellious in nature than the 1960s: the philosophy of "no future",
as taken from a song by the Sex Pistols (one of the most famous punk-rock bands), was
central to the music of this time and in this genre (Henry 1989:vii). Pessimism, nihilism and
political commentary
were also characteristic:
"Constituting
itself musically against the
bOring old farts of the mid 1970s hit parade, and politically against the post-war consensus,
punk deals with the issue [of consensus] explicitly" (Davies 1996:4). In this article it is also
noted that the punks' lack of musical skill removed barriers between performer and audience,
demystifying artistic production. "Punk had always been inseparable from working-classyouth rebelliousness. As a movement or a fashion it offered an oppositional identity" (Davies
1996:5). Van Dorston (2001:6) also describes the "musical ineptness" of the punk group
Dolls, with one of the band member's guitar as harmonically unstable and unpredictable as
the viola-player in the Velvet Underground,22 a punk group of the early 1960s, resulting in "a
sound like the screech of the New York subway". One of the characteristics
of a punk
performance was that the performers and audience could easily change places, because both
parties had more or less the same musical skills. The positive side of this genre of music,
however, was that it was capable of cutting across class, and ethnic and regional boundaries.
Music in styles such:as punk, rock and heavy metal no longer aimed to satisfy the sentimental
taste of the middle-class
masses, but chose to confront its (younger, more aggressive)
listeners with a stark version of reality. According to van Dorston (2001:12) the most
important aspect of punk was that "most of its significance lay within the barriers of language
and expression that were broken down. It was a breakthrough in free speech for underclass
youth who rarely have a voice, neither culturally nor politically".
22
According to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Paddison 2001 :384), Velvet Underground
became one of the most influential bands in the history of rock music. The Punk rebellion, the New Wave music
of the 1970s, art-rock and the phenomenon of "cross-over" can all "trace their origins to the radical
experimentation of the group's first three albums:' Influences were provided by, inter alia, rhythm-and-blues,
rock-and-roll, the avant-garde music of John Cage and Le Monte Young, as well as the pop art of Andy Warhol.
Extreme reactions, such as designing punk paraphernalia as trash or throwaway' art, or not
numbering fanzines (small magazines catering for fans), were common, in this way reflecting
the nihilistic philosophy of this genre. An aggressive viewpoint was adopted against the
cultural mainstream, even making punk and punk culture inaccessible for outsiders. British
and American punk originally represented working-class youth reacting against the bourgeois
status quo (Henry 1989:viii-ix; van Dorston 2001:12), claiming the right to speak in their
own voice.
In summary, the growth of a mass culture during the modernist period seems to be balanced
by a growth in accessible serious music in a postmodern era. The experimental mode of
expression in the classical music of the early and mid 20th century did not find a wide
supporting audience; on the contrary and in the opinion of the author, it gave momentum to
an audience preferring either accessible light classical music or popular music. However, the
wheel seems to be turning, starting in the last two to three decades of the 20th century, with
musical heroes in both broad genres of popular and classical music having a long line of
followers as well as commercial success.
One application is the collage of original and previously composed classical and popular
music, extensively
used in films. This form of entertainment
has done much to both
juxtapose different genres, and to popularise classical music previously considered elitist in
nature. An excellent example is the Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber, primarily made
popular because it was used in the film Platoon. Furthermore, current composers in the
classical tradition such as Arvo Part, John Tavener, Gorecki and Andrew Macmillan "seem to
be among the most popular of our times" (Stephens 1999: 134).
Not all philosophers support the conditions of postmodernism
enthusiasm: "Postmodernism
with the same measure of
has many opponents. They see it as the ungrateful enfant
terrible of the Western intellectual tradition. It is destructive, relativistic, nihilistic,· and, worst
of all, it is trendy"; (Chagani 1998: 1). Hartman (1996:2) disposes of the relativism that
underlies postmodernism quite cynically: "Although nothing, according to the postmodernist,
can be 'determined to be 'true', postmodernism itself is, of course, 'true"'. According to
Giroux (1994:1), many theorists would, rather than come to grips with the new forms of
knowledge, experiences and conditions that constitute postmodernism, write its obituary.
A notion to reject all that is modernist, adopting postmodernism as the only viable
alternative, is, in the opinion of the author, short-sighted. "Tradition always operates as a
prejudgement in our reading of the present/ed moment. We adopt some critical lens~s,
through which to interpret the present/ed structures and projected possibilities of some better
future. Whatever change does occur is always continuous with the past" (Grassie 1997:7).
Therefore it would be naive to embrace postmodernism as the only viable approach in music
;
education, discarding everything modernist as outdated. A postmodern view can, however,
provide a wider and richer perspective to view the world, and especially the world of music.
It is therefore important, in the process of maintaining a balanced approach, to take note of
the problems within 'postmodernism as well.
One of the main objections to the postmodern condition is the notion to view everything as
relative. This, in its extreme form, could mean that NO truth or value exists any longer, and
all knowledge, truth and values are relative. On the other end of the scale it could also mean
that all alternative forms of knowledge, values and truth be regarded as equally valid. For this
situation, Giroux (1994:4) offers an alternative argument: "Rather than proclaiming the end
of reason, postmodernism can be critically analysed for how successfully it interrogates the
limits of the project of modernist rationality and its universal claims to progress, happiness
and freedom".
The fact that postnlodernism rebels against the scientific and universalistic approach of
modem thinking, and the relativism with which this notion was replaced, is criticised by
many writers on the subject: "It is not the case that all systems of knowledge are equivalent
and culturally relatiye. Some knowledge is truer than other knowledge" (Carleton 2001:5).
The replacement of one basis of universally accepted knowledge with a pluralistic stance on
the matter does not necessarily, in other words, constitute equally legitimate and valid sets of
knowledge.
Consensus is regarded as an escape route from postmodernism' s fragmentation and
relativism (Davies 1996:1,3). In a constantly shifting condition without set definitions and
parameters, such as postmodernism, consensus is regarded as one way to progress within
fragmented academic discourses. This would imply that a group of researchers (such as the
MEUSSA research group) construct or agree upon a version of reality as they see it.
Rosenau (in Weiss & Wesley 2000:8) sees contradictions within postmodernism. Not all are
relevant to the current area of study, but the following may be noted in this context:
•
Postmodernism
stresses the irrational, although instruments
of reason are freely
employed within the perspective.
•
Postmodernists
contradict themselves
by relinquishing
truth claims in their own
writing.
•
Postmodernists
criticise the inconsistency of modernism, but refuse to be held to
consistency norms themselves.
The trends of postmodernism are furthermore discarded by some philosophers as a fashion
hype, meant to be short-lived and not taken seriously. The author would here take the stance
of Giroux (1994: 13), who is of the opinion that a resistant postmodernism seems invaluable
in helping educators and others to address the changing conditions of knowledge production
"in the emerging m~s electronic media and the role these new technologies are playing as
critical socialising agencies in redefining the meaning of pedagogy."
The sediment of
postmodernism has been layered for too long to merely write it off as a fashion trend. For
educators, and music educators, to provide a meaningful approach and content to learners,
they need to come to grips with the world their pupils are living in. Postmodernism is to be
neither romanticised nor casually dismissed.
Adopting a postmodern approach to music education means that the musical events of not
only the modernist era, but all eras before that as well, must not be dismissed or discarded.
The current developments
in the music scene are built on a tradition of not only the
modernist time, but of many centuries before that as well. The postmodern culture urges
;
music educators to take cognisance of current trends and values in music, and to make those
available in education. But tradition accumulated in times before the postmodern also needs
to be taken into consideration in order to provide a balanced perspective. In other words, the
entire curriculum arid approach to music need to be reconsidered and re-structured, with the
parallel lines of all major and noteworthy musical events conceived as part of musical
encounters. Postmodernism is, finally, continuous with modernism.
The MEUSSA group, as a research group, has experienced the postmodern fragmentation of
discourse and the shifting intellectual stances among its members, learning to tolerate
differences and to adapt set modernist viewpoints.
Postmodern knowledge is not simply a tool of the authorities; it refines our
sensitivity to differences
and reinforces
our ability to tolerate the
incommensurable. Its principle is not the expert's homology, but the inventor's
paralogy (Lyotard 1979:xxv).
The MEUSSA project for music education in Southern Africa was initiated at the turn of the
20th century, roughly thirty to forty years beyond the modern era. This project endeavours to
be a postmodern research project in its broad approach as well in the detail of the research:
•
The project takes place within a specific research community that shares a common
language, namely music and music education.
•
Furthermore the project generates knowledge by a process of social construction.
New perspectives, definitions and structures were formulated by means of workshops
as well as bY,debating central issues. In this way, a new local concept of knowledge is
being constructed.
It would, however, be a simplistic perspective to view all processes within the musIc
education
community
of Southern Africa as postmodern.
Different
communities
find
themselves in different stages of the transition from pre-modernism to postmodernism. most
still largely relying on the narrative of universally generated truths, valid for all mankind. In
the same vein it would,
however,
also be narrow-minded
to expel all modernist
characteristics from the music educational scene. In the process of writing unit standards for
musics in Southern Africa, the MEUSSA group had to acknowledge both the modernist
roots, and take cognisance of the postmodern condition world-wide as well as in its midst.
The following aspects of this project illustrate the postmodern condition within the MEUSSA
group:
•
In the detail ;of the research output it acknowledges and embraces music genres and
styles that were formerly marginalised and suppressed. In this regard music that
formerly fell outside of the broad mainstream of what was regarded as worthwhile of
research is now taken into account and considered on the same level as music that was
previously regarded as mainstream, such as Western art music.
•
The reality of South Africa, with varied music practices within its borders, needed to
be accommodated
within a formal structure, resulting in a social construction of
knowledge. This was realised to be of importance because, in the words of Mngoma
(1988: 11) "the pooling of such resources would accelerate the kind of cohesion we
want in South[ern] African music education".
•
Because the group agreed that music, in whatever style or genre, must be viewed as
practical experience and treated as such, concepts, rather than genres, were used in the
model developed by Petro Grove, one of the group members. In this way the wide
array of styles and genres practised in Southern Africa could be accommodated.
Extensive discussions and lengthy argumentation during the various workshops on the
matter of Western music versus world music and popular music served to widen
perspectives of all group members regarding the inclusion of all music genres as a
basis for music education, recognising the principle of various local truths.
•
The fact that specialists from a wide cross-section of music practices were assembled
to co-operate
in this project furthered the construction
of a localised research
community. Music education in Southern Africa with its unique situation requires an
adaptation of research criteria and traditions, in order to fill the need for relevant unit
standards. This was applied in the MEUSSA group, with exponents of different music
styles and practices striving for one goal, namely unifying the microcosms of musics
in Southern Africa.
•
Facilities of e-communication and Internet information, the technology of post modern
culture, was extensively utilised. The author will even go as far as stating that without
these (postmodern)
technological
advances, this project would have been either
impossible or much more difficult to accomplish.
The group has experienced the diversity and pluralism of culture, characteristic
of a
postmodern condition, in the process of writing unit standards, and had to develop tolerance
towards widely different perspectives and towards each other. In this sense, the process of
social construction of knowledge is a first in this country for music education.
The mood of the time is reflected by the cultural content of a nation, of which music is one of
the essential expressions. For music education to be relevant, it is imperative to recognise the
different modes of expression in music and the current cultural shifts, and then to incorporate
these modes and shifts into the content of, or approach to, music education.
Giroux (1994:4) fixes the attention on the hesitation of modernist intellectuals to grasp the
contemporary experiences of youth and the wide-ranging proliferation of forms of diversity
within "an age of declining authority", economic uncertainty, the proliferation of electronic
mediated technologies and the extension of, what he calls, "consumer pedagogy". These
aspects are integral to daily life during a postmodern era, and must be acknowledged.
For music education to be relevant, it is necessary to understand the world in which both
music and education functions. Giroux (1994:3) provides an important motivation
for
understanding the culture of the current era:
[The postmodern condition] is a fundamentally important discourse that needs to
be mined critically in order to help educators to understand the modernist nature of
public schooling. It is also useful for educators to comprehend the changing
conditions of identity formation within electronically mediated cultures and how
they are producing a new generation of youths who exist between the borders of a
modernist world of certainty and order, informed by the culture of the West and its
technology of print, and a postmodern world of hybridised identities, electronic
technologies, local cultural practices and pluralised public spaces.
Southern Africa, in the constitution of its people, resources and skilled music educators,
poses a unique problem. The matter is not a simple one of treating all learners as
understanding and living in a postmodern culture, because a large number of learners are, for
example, not even computer-literate. The scope of resources such as the Internet varies from
pre-modem to postmodern conditions within the borders of the country, as many schools
have neither electricity nor computers at their disposal, and others have computers in almost
each classroom. The world that the majority of learners are experiencing
is, however,
changing, with the media reaching even the most remote villages in the form of radio and
television. It is therefore imperative that the nature of postmodern
especially the decentralisation
of meta-narratives
narratives in music,
in the form of the Western canon (as
outlined above) be taken into consideration, and the objectives, content of and approach to
music education in Southern Africa harmonised with these narratives. Educators must be able
to communicate with their learners in a meaningful way while trying to find common ground
between the learners' world after school and the school curriculum.
The dilemma here is, in the opinion of the author, that both classical music and education are
at odds with a postmodern condition, both functioning better in a modernist establishment.
The reasons for this will be explored in more detail in the paragraphs below. Opposite to that,
the dilemma is that the canon, as we understood it, is "changing, being renegotiated, or
disintegrating (depending on one's point of view), under the pressure of too many 'others'"
(Koskoff 200 1:546). The "others" entail, according to Koskoff, the valuing of many different
and often conflicting voices, a scenario that may result in chaos.
Koskoff approaches the aspect of widening the canon of music education from a different
angle. Instead of viewing this from the perspective of (multiple) canon(s), she suggests an
approach of problem solving in a two-stage process (Koskoff 2001 :538). The first part
involves becoming comfortable with moving effortless from "own music" to the music of
others, something she calls "living with likeness and difference". This implies that inherent
values and complexities of cultural systems have to be recognised and considered in the
content of syllabi, without loosing the foothold of one's "own music".
The second stage would be to help learners pass through the labyrinth of possible canons and
values "with an underlying bedrock philosophy that all values, just like all people and all
musics, have equivalent meaning to someone, somewhere" (Koskoff 2001 :538). This means
that the canon has to be de-canonised, resulting in, what she calls, a "superview" of all
possible canons.
In South Africa, the first stage has just started with the forming of three multi-cultural SGBs
for music and the resulting formulation of neutral unit standards for the musics of South
Africa. The canon of music education still centres around a core repertoire of Western art
music, while music educators have long been advocating the inclusion of more styles and
genres (Hauptfleisch
1997:10). The condition of postmodernism
in music education must
therefore, in the first place, serve to sensitise music educators to the values of all the "others"
practising music in this country before the second stage advocated by Koskoff, namely that
of helping learners to discover their own music, may be attempted.
The basic constitutional activities of education, in the words of Burbules (1995:7-8), pillars
on the following:
•
every teaching act implying a judgement on those things that will lead towards these
two aspects, constituting privileged knowledge and values;
•
authority, implying a decision-making
body, as an inevitable dimension of every
educational relation in which we encounter one another; and
•
education involving activities of bringing people to become more alike, at least in
certain respects, in other words normalising pupils.
Each of these dimensions, namely progress and betterment, privileged knowledge and values,
authority and normalising, are challenged by a postmodern approach. A valid question to ask
regarding postmodemism
and education, according to Burbules (1995:6), would then be:
"What sustains a commitment to education in the face of postmodern doubt? How does this
change in commitment change also our conception of education and of the activities that
constitute it?"
When adopting and integrating a postmodern, post-structuralist approach to music education,
the implications
are profound, both with regard to teaching and research methodology
(Mifflin 2001:1). A: myriad of education theories (for example by Piaget, Vygotsky and
,
others) are on the table, and it is not the intention of the author to present these in this study.
The aim is merely to provide a broad postmodern perspective to the approach to and content
of music education, .in this way supplying a basis for the project of writing unit standards for
musics in Southern Africa.
•
Firstly, he is of the opinion that the engagement among persons, and between persons
and the matters to be explored, must maintain a critical distance. Authority and
methods of inquiry must be interrogated, exploring both their usefulness and the
limits of their usefulness, as authority in itself is not blindly accepted by postmodern
youth.
•
Secondly, the purposefulness and direction of education must stay open to the
unexpected and multi-faceted moment. Having a certain purpose in mind must not
mean squandering other educational opportunities while slavishly following this one
direction, but sometimes to provide for the multiplicity of educational purposes not to
be all fully realised. Giroux (1994:14) refers to this as the production of new maps of
meaning to be understood within new cultural practices.
•
Thirdly, the conception of growth or development is also under pressure. In a
postmodern sense, growth is neither linear in nature, nor steady and unambiguous.
Here, a high tolerance of difficulty, uncertainty and error is valued. These three are
even viewed not as "flawed states to be overcome, but as ongoing conditions of the
educational process itself - indeed, as educationally beneficial conditions, when they
can serve as correctives to complacency or arrogant surety" (Burbules 1995:7).
•
The status of betterment, in the fourth place, is also being questioned. Apparent gains
and successes, when turned upon themselves, become ambivalent, partial and
provisional, so that ''when we attain a kind of betterment it is not unalloyed"
(Burbules 1995:8). Furthermore, the convictions of today may, from a future vantage
point, be seen as laughable or containing blundering errors.
These four guidelines are indeed, in the opinion of the author, valid points of challenge for
education in a postmodern era. The temptation for a postmodern educational system may be
to succumb to an extreme relativistic, pluralistic, fragmented and chaotic system - one that is
in line with the postmodern environment. Experienced teachers, however, will be able to
testify that a learning environment that is fragmented, succumbing to chaos and without
structure is not conducive to learning, exploring or experimentation, and as such may not
facilitate optimal personal growth or the acquiring of knowledge and skills.
Both sides of the coin have to be considered, however. A postmodern perspective built as
extension of modernist principles, pointing to the critical interrogation of limits, the
exploration of different perspectives on a matter, the construction of local and culturallybased truths, or the inclusion of different genres of so-called "lower" and "higher" art genres
in the classroom, may lead to an enrichment of curricula and the personal growth of learners.
Koskoff (2001:546), however, also points out that it is impossible to structure an ideal
curriculum, and that there is 'no way to add any more to the canon without leaving out
something important, something that has been taught up to now.
Giroux (1994:5) also considers the tension between schools as "modernist institutions" and
the fragmented nature of a postmodern culture, saying that this conflict must be increasingly
faced as it poses a challenge for critical educators. Giroux sees three problems here:
•
Firstly, there is the challenge of understanding
the modernist nature of existing
schooling, with a specific view of knowledge, culture and order.
•
Secondly, the background of a new generation of youth, influenced by postmodern
economic and cultural conditions, is to a large extent still being ignored by schools
and education authorities;
•
Thirdly, the significant
importance of critically integrating those elements of a
postmodern pedagogy that might be useful in educating today's youth is still more of
a challenge than a reality.
Rationality and the role of reason still feature and govern as modernist trends. Regarding the
first problem, Giroux describes the dominant features of public schooling as utterly relying
on instruments of reason, and the standardisation of curricula, seen in the rigid forms of
testing and sorting. Furthermore, the rule of reason "reveals its Western cultural legacy in
highly centred curricula that more often than not privilege the histories, experiences and
cultural capital of largely white, middle class students" (Giroux 1994:6).
Regarding the diversity of cultural expressions and the integral role of communications
technology and the mass media in a postmodern culture, Giroux is also of the opinion that
public schooling refuses to incorporate popular culture or take account of new electronically
generated
media
characteristics,
and
information
,systems.
Although
these
are typical
postmodern
it is, in the opinion of the author, also true that these two aspects of
postmodernism are being denied a formal educational position in South Africa.
Although the racial mix of schools in South Africa has drastically changed over the last few
years, and learners can no longer be viewed through a lens of cultural uniformity, a new
postmodern culture of difference, plurality and multiple narratives is still only theoretical in
nature. Already in 1988, Mngoma (1988:2-3) suggested an approach of "enrichment". While
the Western component of music syllabuses should be retained as a kind of lingua franca, it
should not be limited to that. Other types of music must be evaluated and interpreted in terms
of themselves, as part of the many styles of music performed in Southern Africa. The
heritage of varied musical styles "implies greater resources for the music educator" (Mngoma
1988:4), and therefore a richer music education.
The propagation of Western music (Popular and art music) is powerfully advanced by means
of the mass media, partly because it has developed an "advanced paleography that has been
stimulated by technological advances and advances in compositional techniques" (Mngoma
1988:2). But it is also true that musics that were positioned as minority musics in the
narratives of modeI:Il music education, has, in a postmodern culture, gained respect and
should be included in formal music education.
In the light of this, the entire curriculum of music should be rethought, reconstructed and
decentred in order to reflect the postmodern trends of the world around us and to open up
new pedagogical spaces. When generating unit standards for musics in Southern Africa, it
should be regarded as imperative
to include the aspects of pluralism,
diversity
and
fragmentation, characteristic of a postmodern time, and not to insist on a rigid framework in
which all learners and cultures should be forced to fit. Keeping pace with a postmodern
condition, the boundaries between different fields of study should be softened so as to
illustrate the extension of the canon.
The postmodern understanding of the future, not as part of a fixed meta-narrative, but as
uncertain, changing and open-ended, should also influence the approach and content of
curricula. In this sense, curricula should not be designed as closed and centred, but openended and sensitive towards differences and change. Postmodernism should be appropriated
as part of a broader pedagogical project while engaging the most progressive aspects of
modernism (Giroux 1994:7).
A critical stance towards postmodern trends should, however, be taken, in order to cancel out
the negative dimensions of postmodernism
aspects. A postmodern
pedagogy
while appropriating some of its more positive
must address the shifting
attitudes,
representations,
preferences and desires of a new generation of youth being educated within the current
junction of culture, politics and history. Educators need to understand how different identities
among youth are being produced in spheres generally ignored by schools and curricula.
Pedagogy needs to redefine its relationship to modernist and postmodernist forms of culture,
art, and canonicity, but it must also serve as vehicle of cross-fertilisation between these two
conditions. Furthermore, the mission of schools needs to be re-examined and adjusted to the
meaning of work and labour in a postmodern world.
•
to institutionalise conditions for change and plurality among postmodern youth, rather
than institutionalise set master narratives;
•
to balance these conditions for change with the most advantageous aspects of
modernism's order and structure;
•
to address the conditions of teaching and in the process taking note of a world in
which the youth lives that is vastly different from the situation offered in most
modernist versions of schooling.
Postmodern discourSes offer the promises, but not the solutions, to alert educators to a new
generation of "border youth" - youth that is growing up amidst postmodern uncertainty and
randomness.
The constructivist theory, one of the popular theories in postmodernism and discussed earlier
in this chapter, manifested .in educational theory in a very specific way. In educational
constructivist theory, two approaches have emerged, namely cognitive
or genetic
constructivsm (Piaget) and social constructivism (Vygotsky). These approaches are different
in emphasis, but have many common perspectives regarding learning and teaching. It does
not fall within the scope of this thesis to explore the detail of these educational theories, but
merely to provide a basis for postmodern education, using a constructivist perspective. A
more detailed consideration will be offered in another MEUSSA
team member's
contribution.23
23
The reader is referred to the work in progress by Elma Britz, one of the MEUSSA'team members, entitled
Unit Standards for Music Education within the context of Arts Education and Music as an elective sub-field in
South Africa. MMus in progress, University of Pretoria.
Constructivists view learning as the result of mental construction, fitting new information in
with what is already known, and actively constructing own understanding. "Constructivism's
central idea is that human learning is constructed, that learners build new knowledge upon
foundation of previous learning" (Hoover 1996: 1). The most important implication is that
learning, from a postmodem point of view, is student-centred.
Social constructivism
in
education also emphasises the critical importance of culture, as well as the social context for
cognitive development. This, in a postmodem reference, means that no overarching metanarrative or single truth may be offered, but that all knowledge
is context-driven
and
culturally related.
According to Mifflin (2001: 1), all constructivists share some common beliefs about the ways
of knowing:
•
Constructivist knowing assumes that learning and perceiving take place actively,
•
Prior knowledge and experience are the springboard for useful, personal knowledge
construction. There is no tabula rasa on which new knowledge is etched.
•
Learning experiences
of a constructivist
nature include reflective
thinking
and
productivity, authentic and original activities (individual projects as well as student
collaboration), and the consideration of multiple perspectives.
•
Teachers act as facilitators
between students'
worlds, creating learning environments
prior knowledge
and their active
that will help them develop increasingly
complex understandings, skills and knowledge.
The assumptions of constructivist learning are therefore that
•
Knowledge is active, situated in real and lived worlds.
•
The emphasis is on learning and reflecting, not teaching.
•
Individuals construct knowledge. Learning is therefore seen as a process, facilitated
by enquiry and critical experience by the learner.
•
Meaningfull,earning is built on what the student already knows.
•
The learning style and attitude of the student is taken into consideration, as well as the
context in which learning takes place (Hoover 1996: 1-2; Chen 2001: 1).
Teaching, then, cannot be seen as merely the transmission of knowledge from the informed
to the uninformed. The role of the teacher becomes that of mediator, facilitator and strategist.
In Southern Africa a shift in cultural narratives was, and still is, increasingly
being
experienced together with the change in the political scene. The shift from modernism to
postmodernism in Western societies during the last third of the 20th century also necessitates
a basic and fundamental
re-evaluation
of music education in Southern Africa. This re-
evaluation proved valid not only for the roots and principles, but for the content and approach
of music education as well.
The question of the validity of the arts, and more specifically music in education, has
experienced a revival during roughly the last two decades, with many relevant investigations
being undertaken by renowned researchers. As an example, the controversy and interest
aroused by the so-called Mozart effect, Undertaken by Rauscher and Shaw of the University
of California in 1993, may be cited.24 Music education as an academic discipline has acquired
a renewed status.
The members of the discourse now also include not only academic experts, but also teachers,
members of the music industry, exponents of popular as well as classical music, and the
community. In short, the canon, as well as the power in the discourse of music education, is
no longer clearly spelled out. According to Stephens (1999: 134), one of the results of the
modernist and avant-garde revolution in music during the early 20th century is that composers
(and educators) now have an enormously
wide choice of directions in which musical
language and education can be developed. This development is ideally suited for a multicultural society.
To stay relevant, a renewed content and approach of music education in Southern Africa need
to be considered. Giroux (1994:2), for example, says that "postmodernism
as a site of
'conflicting forces and divergent tendencies' becomes useful pedagogically when it provides
24
Other references to research projects on the effects of arts education, and specifically music education, are
provided in chapter 2.
elements of an oppositional discourse for understanding
and responding to the changing
cultural and educational shift affecting youth".
The meta-narrative of Western art music as the only valid framework in music education is
being challenged as a tool for teaching formal music in schools. At the beginning of the 21 st
century, it is still true that a restricted era in the span of music history, as well as a limited
choice of repertoire, is often used in the classroom. Although it is true that other genres are
being explored in class music, this is not considered valid for examination purposes. The core
of formal teaching seems to be avoiding quality music in genres other than classical Western
music (Wicks 1998).
When considering popular music as teaching tool in schools, traditional musicology must be
reconsidered and reinvented, because the conditions and context of popular music demands
and expanded approach to aspects such as composition methods and sound production.
Covach (2001:468-469) explores the issue of popular music, and he is of the opinion that the
study of popular music may enhance traditional musicology, because
•
The compositional process used in popular music (combining the creative input of
more than one composer, for example the Beatles' Lennon & McCartney) differs from
the accepted classical method. Alternative
versions of older hitsongs are often
included as "bonus tracks" on many CD repackaging, casting light on the process
musicians used to produce the final version.
•
The role of the recording producer has no direct parallel in art music. Covach
(2001:469) quotes the way the music of Elvis Presley, for example, changed when he
moved from Sun Studios in Memphis to RCA's Nashville studios, each with a
different producer. In this way the notion of an artist controlling all aspects of a
work's creation is conceived differently in the genre of popular or classical music.
•
The history of popular music is still largely unmapped. This field is very often
difficult for scholars of Western art music, because "tracing the history of any
popular-music style demands that the musicologist be immersed in the popular culture
from which the music arose" (Covach 2001 :468).
The implications of positioning oneself within the postmodern condition with regard to music
education in Southern Africa can be summarised as follows:
•
Music educators must take cognisance of the postmodern condition in terms of the
nature of knowledge, the importance of the arts, the increased role of minority groups
and their expression through music, as well as the diminishing role of broad or overarching meta-narratives. It is· imperative that educators be sensitive towards the
postmodern condition in the arts. The music educationalist must critically place himor herself within this condition, especially in the way it manifests in cultural
expressions such as music.
•
A discriminating distance must be taken both from the modernist and postmodernist
approaches in the arts. Everything that is postmodern must not blindly be accepted as
the norm and all modernist items be regarded as wrong or outdated. It is true that
different societies experience postmodernism in different measures, and that
acknowledging the postmodern mood of an era does not mean that a clean break with
modem trends has to be made. The author is of the opinion that the progressive
aspects of modernism are still very active in Southern Africa at the beginning of the
21sl century, both in styles of living and in music education. But it is also true, in the
opinion of the author, that the principles of modem culture underscore effective
education more comfortably than postmodem parameters. Therefore, in the words of
Giroux (1994:5), the relationship between modernism and postmodernism must
become "dial~ctical, dialogic and critical" in order for postmodernism to be relevant.
•
In doing this, music educators themselves must have a thorough knowledge of
different music genres and styles. This is necessary in order to acquire a balanced
position on the musical traditions of different peoples in this country, as well as trends
worldwide.
•
Music education policy and content must take the practices of minority groups into
account. To achieve this, teachers must have access to in-service training to
familiarise themselves with music practices outside their own field of expertise.
Music education in Southern Africa must, in order to stay relevant, take cognisance of the
cultural expression through different musics of all peoples in the country, the music in the
world of the learner outside school hours, and the music that may form part of the extension
of the canon. This may transpire while building on the backbone of an extended core
repertoire.
When writing unit standards for musics in Southern Africa, this perspective seems to the
author to be of utmost importance. Therefore, a sensitive, informed and discriminating
approach, with contents relevant to the world-owning youth of the 21st century, has to be
made available in the postmodern classroom.
The skill of performing on an instrument, often acquired by informal means or private
tuition, is, for the majority of learners, their primary point of active involvement with
music. Therefore it is of utmost importance to provide unit standards for performing on
all instruments, because the "how" of formulating unit standards is determined by the
"who" they are aimed at. Therefore unit standards should serve as guide to (SAQA
2000f:8):
•
the educator and/or assessor (defining the learning and acquiring of skills, as
well as the areas of assessment to be done); 1
•
the student or learner (describing the level of performance and enabling a
uniform but flexible system of education);
•
the provider and/or the materials designer (describing the learning content and
materials needed to assist in the learning process); and
•
the parent (knowing what to expect from the educational system and how to
assist his child).
The beneficiaries of the unit standards and qualifications, registered on the National
Qualifications Framework, are:
•
learners (who benefit from quality education and the provision of qualifications
that enjoy national recognition as well as, where appropriate, international
comparability);
• workers (who benefit from clear working paths in the qualification structure, to
facilitate and support life-long learning and career advancement);
I
Because of the limited supply of manpower in South Africa, the reality in the majority of schools means
that the roles of educator and assessor are very often performed by the same person.
•
employers
(who benefit from a work force which is competent in skills and .
attitudes required in a competitive global economy); and
•
society (which benefits from a learning nation).
As part of the MEUSSA team, the author will compile a set of unit standards for
Aerophones in this chapter, based on the model for music education developed by Petro
Grove, another of the members of the MEUSSA team. This model will be briefly outlined
later in the chapter.
5.2 Unit standards
for Aerophones
in the GET and FET phases
This section will oriefly explain the components of education and training relevant to the
generation of unit standards for Aerophones (performance).
5.2.1 Starting with an instrument
The tuition of instruments to children has different ideal minimum starting times. This is
due to:
•
the level of difficulty of acquiring skills on the particular instrument;
•
the level of physical maturity
and development of lung capacity or muscle
control needed to perform on the instrument; and/or
•
the level of music background.
When attempting an instrument such as violin or cello, the ideal starting time is as early
as possible, with an optimal starting age of between four/five to seven/eight years of age.
Piano or keyboard tuition may start later, any time between the ages of roughly four or
five years until well beyond primary school age.
Woodwind tuition should, ideally, only start when the child's physical maturity meets the
physical requirements of the particular instrument (Bosman 1999:28). Factors such as
breathing and lung capacity, the size of the hands and the stage of teeth development are
crucial factors in determining an ideal starting time. For this reason many children only
start a woodwind instrument from rougWy nine/ten years of age or later, taking advantage
of this extra time by learning the basic music rudiments while receiving tuition on another
instrument.
The aspect of aural training should receive constant attention, because it can be
considered one of the building blocks of music training. Therefore a pre-school learner
should be led to distinguish, for example, between high or low pitches, fast or slow music,
a sad or happy mood, or different basic timbres. These skills should be integrated into the
process of learning an instrument, as they are inseparable from other musical skills.2
According to Olivier (2000: 15), a standard is an acknowledged basis for measuring
attainment or criteria, with statutory organisations usually mandated to set standards.
Within the framework of the NSB, the bodies responsible for the setting of standards are
the SGBs. Three music SGBs (for GET, HET and Music Industry) have been recently
registered to start with the process of generating and registering unit standards.
A unit standard ,is defined by SAQA (2000b:4) as a "nationally registered statement of
desired education and training outcomes and their associated performance, with assigned
credit ratings on the basis of one credit equal to ten notional hours of learning" (SAQA
2000b:4). Unit standards originated in industry because of a need to formalise specific
skills and knowledge required to perform a task, for example to drive a large passenger
service vehicle safely and in a fuel-efficient manner (NZRT & ITO 2001:1).
Some unit standards may be considered compulsory because they describe core skills and
knowledge, and others will be regarded as elective because they may be achieved
supplementary to compulsory standards. The New Zealand system allows for some
additional, optional unit standards to be grouped as a strand, but this is not applied in the
South African system.
2
One of the MEUSSA team members, Annarine Roscher, generated unit standards for, inter alia, aural
training at the foundation phase. The reader is therefore referred to A. Roscher, 200 I: Music Standards for
the Foundation Phase and Teacher Training in South Africa. Doctoral thesis, University of Pretoria.
The decision as to what unit standards will be considered core and elective will be made
by the appropriate SOBs appointed by education and training stakeholders.
Unit standards and qualifications are predetermined SAQA-approved standards and
combinations of standards that must be achieved by means of learning and doing. This
learning will be verified by a quality assurance body, such as an ETQA, to either confirm
compliance or facilitate corrective measures.
5.2.3 Qualifications
Qualifications are compiled of unit standards in specific associations. SAQA (2000b:4)
describes a qualification as "a planned combination of learning outcomes which has a
defined purpose or purposes, and which is intended to provide qualifying learners with
applied competence and a basis for further learning".
Two types of qualifications, both equally valid, are provided for in the NSB regulations,
namely
•
qualifications based on exit-level outcomes (which capture the planned
combination of learning outcomes required for competence at the particular level
of the qualification); and
A learning programme (the sequential learning activities associated with curriculum
implementation) leads to the achievement of a particular qualification, partial
qualification (SAQA 2000b:5) or short course. A programme consists of a coherent set of
courses, and leads to a certain certificate, diploma or degree. Different ways of arriving at
a qualification are possible by means of a core curriculum and optional courses
(Vroeijenstein 1995, as quoted in SAQA 2000b:5).3
Three categories oflearning are described (SAQA 2000f:42-43):
•
Fundamental learning describes the learning that forms the basis needed to
undertake the education, training or further learning.
3
A more detailed discussion of the structure of SAQA and the National Qualifications Framework is
provided in the thesis of one of the MEUSSA members, J.P. Grove.
Credit structure: a minimum of 20 credits at levels 1-4 from the. field of
Communication Studies and Language, and a minimum of 16 credits in the
field of Mathematics).
•
Core learning describes compulsory learning required for a contextually relevant
qualification.
•
Elective learning describes a selection of additional credits at the specified NQF
level.
Credit $tructure: a minimum of 36 credits between the core and elective
learning categories at levell, and a minimum of 52 credits between them at
levels 2-4).
5.3 A framework for Aerophones, with specific application to flute playing
In this section, unit standards for Aerophones will be presented in two formats. Tables
illustrating the integration of generic and specific outcomes, and assessment, will be the
main form of presentation. The format that complies with the SAQA specifications entails
duplication when presented for all unit standards, therefore only one unit standard will be
presented as an example.
The present qualifications framework, as prescribed by SAQA and the NQF, requires the
first qualification only at the exit of the first level, namely at the end of grade 9, or NQF
level 11ABET 4. The MEUSSA group, however, agreed that it would be shortsighted to
present the first set of outcomes at this level only. Instead, a holistically conceived
approach is suggested, implying that outcomes for the stages before grade 9, and which
would gradually lead to acquiring the first NQF qualification, should be specified.
For this reason, unit standards for the foundation phase were, or are, in the process of
being generated by MEUSSA members, and the author of this thesis prepared a unit
standard for a preparatory level to be applied before NQF level!.
When designing a system of unit standards for music, it must always be kept in mind that
music consists of 'several conceptual layers that are being applied simultaneously. One
cannot, for example, single out the aspect of rhythm without regarding concepts of
melody, harmony, tempo, form or texture. It may well be possible to focus on one of
. these .conceptsat a time, but it is important never to lose sight of the broad application of
all music aspects. These aspects are valid for any genre, regardless of style or cultural
origin.
When the approach to unit standards in music is based on the accrediting of music
concepts, rather than music content based on one style or context (for example Western
art music or African music), the learner will be gradually equipped to value and judge any
style of music, using a firm set of guidelines. The ability to distinguish between higher
and lower quality music in any genre must, for example, be considered one of the
valuable outcomes of music education. This principle also forms the basis for a culture
. of
.
lifelong learning with applications in all spheres of life.
It must also be kept in mind that the NQF prescribed a set of critical outcomes, which are
"an additional mechanism through which coherence is achieved in the framework"
(SAQA 2000a:8). They describe the kind of citizen that the education and training system
should try to produce, and are common for all learning areas. They are the following:
•
Identify and solve problems in which responses display that responsible
decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made.
•
Work effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or
community.
•
Communicate effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the
modes of oral and/or written presentation.
•
Use science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility
towards the environment and health of others.
•
Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by
recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.
In addition to these seven critical outcomes, five more aspects should underpin any
programme of learning (SAQA 2000a:8-9):
•
Participate
as responsible
citizens m the life of local, national and global
communities.
These outcomes must continuously be integrated with the specific and generic outcomes
for music education.
As the credit structure for NQF level 1 is provided by another member of the MEUSSA
team,4 the following structure is proposed for learners in NQF levels 2, 3 and 4 in the FET
phase, in other words, from grade 10-12. The reader must note that learners usually have
to take a minimum of six subjects between NQF levels 2-4, of which Music may be
currently assigned to one or two subjects. The author suggests that three options be made
available, namely
•
taking music as two subjects,
specialising
in performance
or composition
(GMAP and MPP or MCP);5 and
•
taking music as three subjects, specialising in performance and composition
(GMAP, MPP and MCP).
When three music subjects are taken, the author suggests that the third subject be taken as
a seventh subject.6 The reason for this is that learners still have to receive a rounded
education while at school, and a total of three Music subjects out of a maximum of six
presents an unbalanced learning programme.
4
The reader is referred to J.P. Grove, 2001. Music Education Unit Standards for Southern Africa: A Model
and its application in a General Music Appraisal Programme. DMus thesis, University of Pretoria,
Pretoria, p. 44.
5
MPP: Music Perfonnance Programme; MCP: Music Composition Programme.
6
The reader is referred to the discussion of the National Curriculum of England in chapter 3, where this
system is explained.
Table 5-1: Graphic illustration of one, two or three music subjects at NQF levels 2-4, or
grades 10-12
At least 15 credits
At least 21 credits
At least 21 credits
*Listening (1)
*Listening (1)
*Listening (1)
Conceptualising
(2)
Conceptualising
(2)
Conceptualising
(2)
Contextualising
(2)
Contextualising
(2)
Contextualising
(2)
Analysing (2)
Analysing (2)
Analysing (2)
Literacy (2)
Literacy (2)
Literacy (2)
First instrument at
NQF level 2-4 (6)
First instrument at
NQF level 2-4 (6)
First instrument at
NQF level 2-4 (6)
Second instrument at
NQF level 2 (4)
Second instrument at
NQF level 2-4 (4)
Composition at
NQF level 2-4 (6)
Group:
Group:
Group:
•
•
•
•
Ensemble (2)
•
Ensemble (2)
Choir (2)
•
Choir (2)
Revue (2)
•
•
•
Revue (2)
Revue (2)
Band/orchestra (2)
•
Band/orchestra (2)
•
•
Ensemble (2)
Choir (2)
Other art forms:
Other art fonns:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Dance (2)
Drama (2)
Visual art (2)
* Listening and appraising must
be integrated with other concepts,
but assessed separately.
Band/orchestra (2)
Other art forms:
Drama (2)
•
•
Drama (2)
Visual art (2)
•
Visual art (2)
Dance (2)
* Listening and appraising must
be integrated with other concepts,
but assessed separately.
Dance (2)
* Listening and appraising must
be integrated with other concepts,
but assessed separately.
Core standards are marked in bold. A minimum of 15 credits for GMAP and 21 credits
for MPP or MCP is indicated. In case of MPP, the core standards, marked in bold, add
up to 15 credits, and the learner must choose between the remaining options to earn the
minimum of 21 credits. This may be done by, for example, performing on a second
instrument and as well as performing in an ensemble.
Extra credits may be earned by choosing between the other remaining options. For the
MPP option, the learner may achieve the required 21 credits by electing any of the
available options, which does not necessarily have to include a
2nd
instrument. In this
way, recognition for extra work done will be reflected on the certificate earned at each
exit level, namely NQF levels 1-4.
Learners will further be able to perform on one or two instruments, depending on the
programme. For GMAP, one instrument is included as core standard, and this is referred
to as "first instrument". When doing the Music Performance Programme (MPP), one
instrument is considered as part of the core standards, with another as possible elective
standard. These are referred to as "first" and "second" instruments. The Music
Composition Programme (MCP) describes only one instrument as core standard, referred
to as the "first" instrument.
When following both the Music Performing and Music Composition programmes, no
duplication in the choice of instruments may be allowed. In this case, learners may
offer one instrument each for MPP and MCP, totalling two (different) instruments. An
option of performing on three different instruments is available when following the MPP
and MCP options. Offering three instruments for MPP is, however, not included.
Accommodating all genres, styles and practices in Southern Africa posed a challenge to
the MEUSSA group. The first step was to develop a suitable model for music education;
one that could be applied in a flexible way. The model for music education in Southern
Africa was developed by Petro Grove, one of the MEUSSA group members, and refined
during many work-shopsby the process of action research. A detailed discussion of this
model is provided in her thesis as part of the MEUSSA project.7 A brief outline will be
provided in the paragraphs below.
The model is in the form of a Rubik's cube, with six different sides, each side consisting
of nine smaller and moveable sections (Grove 2001:4). The possibility of changing
combinations by turning the surfaces of the cube, when applied to music education,
presents an almost endless array of potential associations. Such a variety of associations,
contained within one "self-contained whole" (Cube History, as quoted by Grove 2000:4),
was seen as poteRtially accommodating all the diverse music practices and styles of
Southern African music.
The aim of the model, according to Grove, is to "structure unit standards in an organised
and musically logical way." It does not attempt to prescribe syllabi, curricula or
methodology. The model is divided into two categories, namely music skills (composing,
performing and, appraising, according to the English standards), and music knowledge,
integrating styles and practices, knowledge and NQF levels/assessment.
A diagrammatic version, with the six columns representing the six flat surfaces of the
cube, may be presented in the following way (Grove 2001:5):
Table 5-3: Mapping the context of the MEUSSA modelfor music education in South
Africa (Grove 2001:5)
Coueeptualising
Contextualising
Idiophones
Conceptualise
Melody
S. African music
8
A
Membranophones
(Knowledge)
Rhythm
Art music
7
S
Aerop~ones
Contextualise
Dynamics
Indian music
6
S
Chordophones
(Style)
Texture
Folk music
5
E
Electrophones
Listening
Timbre
Popular music
4
S
Vocal
(Analysis)
Harmony
Jazz
3
S
Technology
GrouplEnsemble
Technology
Fonn
World music
2
I
Notation
Theatre
Notation
Tempo
Technology
1
N
Assessing
Assessment
Assessment
Notation
Notation
ABET
G
Improvising
Arranging
Composing
7
J.P. Grove, P. 200 I: Music Education Unit Standards for Southern Africa: A Model and its application in
a General Music Apprf/isal Programme. DMus thesis, University of Pretoria.
The three-dimensional
verSIOn of the MEUSSA
model will be illustrated
following two figures (Grove 2001:10):
Figure 5-1: MEUSSA model: Music knowledge, styles & practices and NQF levels
(Grove 200 I: 3)
,
,
;",,//
2
"
;"/,,,
3
,."
---------7~---------rf:--------,,"
//
"I'"
4
//'
/'
5
/'
ABET
"
I
------ ---,.,,:---------,!':-- ------,,"
,"'/
//'
,,,"
MUSIC
STYLES
:;
,,"
7
.
:.
1
I
~r"
8
,/'
...
/'l
"
/
.••.••
AFRICAN : ,..,
MUSIC /(
,,/"
:
ART
I
I
:
:
: ,,;/
.../
: MUSIC,..,f
.,'.,
t
,'1
/,"
OTATIOJ'J : ...-,,"
:
/f rECI"IN0- :
,/
,
,/
.•.
:
:
: LOGY
:
1
I
I
I
I
I,
POP
MUS1C'
&
PRACTICES
in the
The following diagram outlines the different components of the MEUSSA Model. As
guidelines, colours will be applied as explained in Table 5-4:
Table 5-4: Explanation of the components of the MEUSSA model, as usedfor Aerophones
STYLES AND
PRACTICES
NQF LEVELS,
ASSESSMENT
The nature of the model for music education in South Africa, as developed by the
MEUSSA team members, is such that it can be adapted according to the genre or style of
music applied in the classroom. Once the generic standards for the different components
have been met, the educator can integrate appropriate aspects, relevant to the specific
genre and style of music practised.
The aspect of improvising is included as a generic standard for all genres or styles in the
standards for Aerophones. Although it constitutes an integral part of genres such as
African music and jazz, it does not currently form part of the system of Western art music
as presently taught in schools. The reason for the inclusion of improvising
for all
Aerophones students is taken from a viewpoint that creativity should be nurtured and
encouraged. Improvising, as a component of unit standards, is one way of achieving that.
The aspects ofk.nowledge and appraising will constitute a smaller part in the standards for
Aerophones (Performance),
as they will be included in unit standards for History of
Music and other related areas. They will, however, be integrated to a lesser degree with
aspects such as contextualising and conceptualising.
The contents of the unit standards for Aerophones (performance) may be interpreted in
many ways, because the flexible nature of the MEUSSA model allows for the substitution
of some components with others, according to the specific geme and style that is chosen
for performance.
Ensemble is considered as one of the eight generic standards, therefore a part of each unit
. standard. It will al~o be possible to specialise in ensemble, and in this case the reader is
referred to standards generated by another MEUSSA team member, Antoinette Hoek.8
For this option, the focus will be on playing together using available instruments.
The MEUSSA model lends itself to different interpretations. Various versions supplied in
the following section will provide examples of its application to different gemes or styles
as it may be applied to performing on Aerophones. The general remarks in the following
paragraph must be read together with all applications of this model.
•
The different cells are divided by broken lines. This demonstrates the
interchangeable and flexible nature of this model.
•
Because of a lack of a standardised alternative, the grade levels of accepted
examining ?odies, such as ABRSM, UNISA and Trinity College of Music, are
used as reference for standard of performance, equalling eight levels of
assessment as well as a beginners grade.
•
History is captured by contextualising, and may be facilitated using oral
assessment on related aspects during the practical assessment.
•
Technique will contain all related scale and arpeggio structures, as well as other
appropriate technical exercises. These must be described in relevant range
statements.
8
A. Hoek., 2000: South African Unit Standards for a General Music Appraisal Programme and an
Ensemble Specialisation Programmefor Available Instruments. DMus thesis, University of Pretoria.
•
Ensemble means the combination of any number of instrumentali~ts, in a
combination of the leamer's own preference, and at a standard corresponding to
the standard of performance in the relevant NQF level.
•
The standard of sight-reading is usually two grades below the standard of
performance.
•
The open cells may be substituted with one or more of the options arranged
around each version of the MEUSSA model. According to the style or genre, the
other cells may also be interchanged with relevant cells.
•
Pitch and intonation is categorised as an appraising/listening activity, because it
involves accurate and trained listening and adapting to other players.
•
As the figures on the following pages only indicate one side of the threedimensional model, other relevant components, such as timbre, rhythm,
harmony or dynamics may be added as part of the unit standard.
5.5.3 Different applications of the MEUSSA model
In the following section, the MEUSSA model will be explored to exhibit the different
styles and genres of music(s) practised in Southern Africa. According to the flexible
nature of the model, the open cells in each cube may be substituted with anyone or
combination of the floating cubes.
NQF
LEVEL
,,
,,
,,
,,
,,
,
,
_____________
1
•
This version
of the MEUSSA
_
model utilises the generic
standards
for
Aerophones, as explained later in this chapter.
An interpretation of the MEUSSA model, such as explored in figure 5-3, may be mapped
using a diagrammatic version. Table 5-5 offers the basic application of the MEUSSA
model explained above and on the following pages in a diagram.
MUSIC KNOWLEDGE
MUSIC SKILLS
CREATING
PERFORMING
Improvise
Recital
Ensemble
Technique
Tone
Articulation
Revue/band!
orchestra
APPRAISAL
Pitch and
intonation
Contextualise
(style)
Conceptualise
(knowledge)
KNOWLEDGE
(Conceptualise)
Harmony
Dynamics
Form
Tempo
Notation
Melody
Rhythm
History and
composer(s)
Texture
Timbre
Western art music
NQF
LEVELS
(assessment)
Levels 1-8
lndian music
ABET 1-4
STYLE
(Contextualise)
Popular music
World music
African music
South African
music
NQF
LEVEL
•
Contextualising will depend on the music style(s) chosen to study, in this case
jazz.
•
Ensemble will utilise instruments typically used in a jazz band.
•
Conceptualising will include the building blocks of music, such as tempo, form,
dynamics, rhythm, melody and timbre.
This version utilises the unique concepts and practices of jazz, while utilising the generic
standards for Aerophones as basis.
~
,
,,
··· ··..·------- ·-1
,
i
§
TONE
CONTROL
.....................
_ _ _...............
~
TECH,.!
NIQUE·
1
;.....,;,;"....~ J
REVUE!
BAND
•
Improvisation, as one of the generic standards for Aerophones, is indicated as
one of the components in this interpretation of the MEUSSA model.
•
Notation may be applied to the component of knowledge (using the colour red)
or to the process of creating (using the colour green) when applied to
composition or improvisation.
•
~
Ie aIItI - pnwiatiD.
are gro
fDgdbec.,
bec;ame ememJ Ie playing
m dDisstyle odBien im~!va; creatiDg by meam ofimprovismioo.
./ IDhe ln~
'lMQfS
iinttr~
milii~Jflr~
c1f(£l!ilJllihiiotldl ~:mrdI
'dl
~
b tftre ~
tVXfAlii:iicml
~:nt1fue
~
~
.~
pqp <dluriilm a ~~
lUlIli~d'~.
iU; ~
Wllll
~ AIiiit:ma
R:$ Jl."!)'
1bl}y lM.t1kii ~~
... d!L
•
History will be captured by contextualising,
depending on the chosen music
practice and genre, in this case Indian music.
•
Sight-reading as well as improvisation and creating forms an integral part of
notation.
[."E::=G~
t
....
~
:
II
NQF
TONE
~
;:
LEVEL
CONTROL
SIGHTREADING
•
•
As the skill of arranging
is very often considered as component of popular
music, this is grouped together with composition,
with both concepts applied as
creative activities.
•
The history
of popular
music is captured by contextualising,
and will be
different in content from history as, for example, part of the genre of Western art
music or Indian music.
In this section unit standards for the MPP, or Music Performance
Programme strand
(Aerophones), will be provided. Unit standards for the GMAP strand are designed by
other members of ~e MEUSSA group, and must be read together with the unit standards
provided in this chapter. Unit standards for the MCP strand do not fall within the scope of
this thesis.
The following eight standards are proposed as general guidelines, or generic standards,
with specific application in the learning area of Aerophones (Performance).
For NQF'
levels 6-8 the 3rd outcome, namely that of technical dexterity, must be integrated with the
performance and not necessarily assessed separately.
The author consid~rs these eight generic standards as the point of departure for all aspects
of performance on Aerophones at NQF levels 1-8.
•
Deliver a balanced recital of varying time durations,
as described
In the
outcomes f?r each NQF level.
0
•
Demonstrate tone control appropriate for the level of study and the instrument.
•
Demonstrate sufficient knowledge and control over technical exercises and scale
I
structures.
•
Participate as member of an ensemble together with other instrumentalists
of
own choice, at an appropriate level of performance.
•
Demonstrate
understanding
of music
concepts
in relation
to repertoire
performed.
10 This constitutes the following aspects: the quality of the tone, breath control, appropriate articulation
technique, accurate and musical performance of dynamics, and control of intonation.
5.6.2 Specific unit standards for Aerophones
The following section contains the unit standards for Aerophones (Performance). Because
of a current lack of other suitable systems, range statements are explained in terms of
internationally accepted examination boards such as the Associated Board of the Royal
Schools of Music; Trinity College of Music, or UNISA. These boards share a general
standard of performance, and are widely used in South Africa in formal music education.
The National Qualifications Framework of England recently recognised the full range of
examinations offered by Trinity College of Music by accrediting it on the Qualifications
and Curriculum Authority (QCA). Corresponding regulatory authorities in Wales
(ACCAC) and Northern Ireland (CCEA) did the same (Trinity College of Music 2000:1).
With the majority of learners in formal music education in South Africa playing
examinations offered by either UNISA (the South African examination board), ABRSM
or Trinity College of Music, the standard of performance presented by these three bodies
may, in the opinion of the author, be considered and/or officially integrated in the
framework of music education in Southern Africa.
One of the advantages of doing this is that both the content and standard of all three
bodies are fairly ~ell-known amongst teachers and players, and could therefore present a
benchmark against which a common standard of performance throughout the country
could be measured. Another advantage is the fact that the ABRSM (2000/2001:1) offers
some examinations in the genre of jazz (currently limited to piano grades 1-5 and jazz
ensembles in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand), and candidates for Trinity College of
Music examinations may offer their own compositions as part of the performance for
grades 1-8 (Trinity College of Music 2000:3-6). Utilising these standards may present
valuable guidelines for the implementation of standards for popular music or composition
in a Southern African context.
A huge disadvantage, however, is that neither UNISA nor Trinity College provides
;
opportunities for formal examinations in jazz, with the ABRSM offering limited options
as described in the previous paragraph. Not one of the examination bodies that are
currently offering examinations in Southern Africa makes any provision for African or
Indian music.
Because the field of performance on an instrument constitutes a complex integration of
music skills, knowledge and appraising, each standard contains substantially more
outcomes than an; average unit standard. SAQA (2000f3) recommends that a unit
standard usually contains between four and six specific outcomes, but each unit standard
for Aerophones in this chapter presents' eight generic outcomes with specific outcomes
classified under each generic standard. Compiling this, the author followed the example
of standards generated for High School Concert Band and High School Jazz Band as
interpreted by Omaha Public Schools in the USA (Omaha 1997:1-8), which utilise eight
"topics" with one "goal" underneath each.
Each NQF level is initially explained in tables. An example of the format as required by
SAQA is provided for the first unit standard only, because the reproduction of all
standards for NQF levels 1-8 entails, in the opinion of the author, too much unnecessary
duplication.
Following the example of the New Zealand system, assessment may be done on four
levels, namely no credit, basic, proficient and advanced. Antoinette Hoek, one of the
MEUSSA team members, defined the three levels of assessment for South African
learners as follows.(Hoek 2001:5.11):
•
Basic represents the level of achievement expected by learners who made
distinct progress but have not yet reached the proficient level.
•
Proficient represents the (minimum) level of achievement expected of every
learner, according to NQF levels 2,3 or 4.
•
Advanced represents achievement above the advanced level, for example, gifted
learners.
She further classifies proficient and advanced achievement into different stages of
difficulty, for example:
Stage 1
•
•
•
Stage 1
•
Difficult
•
Requires advanced technical and
interpretative skills
•
Contains key signatures with numerous
sharps and flats
•
Irregular metres
•
Complex rhythms
•
Subtle dynamic requirements.
Easy
Easy keys, metres, and rhythms
Limited ranges.
Stage 2
•
Moderately easy
•
Moderate technical demands
•
Expanded ranges, and
•
Varied interpretative requirements.
Stage 2
•
Very difficult
•
Suitable for musically mature students of
exceptional competence.
Stage 3
•
Moderately difficult
•
Well-developed technical skills, attention to
phrasing and interpretation
•
Ability to perform various metres and
rhythms in a variety of keys.
For the sake of uniformity within the MEUSSA group, the author regards it as essential
that a common system of assessment be utilised for the ranges of NQF level 1 (grade 9,
and ABET level 1-4) and levels 2-4 (grades 8-12). Therefore it is suggested that the three
levels of assessment
(basic, proficient
and advanced)
be implemented
in the unit
standards provided further in this chapter, as well as by the rest of the MEUSSA group.
This means that the standard of performance be assessed on one of these three levels for
all styles and genres.
According to SAQA (2000f:40) not all specific outcomes or assessment criteria require
range statements. This is also true for outcomes in the field of music, specifically
Aerophones.
The minimum
statement of performance
standard,
where relevant,
is
partially provided :within each standard under the heading of specific outcomes. Range
statements for technical requirements,
summarised in Table 5-7.
with specific application for flute players, are
5-25
Table 5-7: Range statements/or
scale structures (flute)
MAJOR
Harmonic:
MINOR
MeIodk
'MINOR
CHROMATIC
D, E (2 oct)
D, E (2 oct)
D, E (2 oct)
D, E (2 oct)
"WHOLE
TONE
?
. Pr~p(l-st)
th
G, A (12
)
B flat, B
th
G, A (12
D (2 oct)
th
G, A (12
)
G (1 oct)
)
B (1 oct)
B (1 oct)
D (2 oct)
D (2 oct)
F (I oct)
(1 oct)
D (2 oct)
E,F,G
th
( 12 )
E, G (12
F, G (1 oct)
D (I oct)
F (I oct)
D, E, F (2 oct)
D, E flat
(2 oct)
D,E
th
th
E, G (12
)
)
B (1 oct)
B (I oct)
B flat (Ioct)
Gr,~(1st)
C, D, E flat,
E, F (2 oct)
C,D,E,F
(2 oct)
C,D,E,F
(2 oct)
'NQFlevel
11 ABET
level 4
G, A (12th)
G, A (12th)
G, A (l2
B (1 oct)
B (1 oct)
B (1 oct)
C, D, E flat,
E (2 oct)
C,D,E
(2 oct)
C,D,E
(2 oct)
F,G,A
th
( 12 )
F, G A (12
(2 oct)
th
th
)
)
D, E flat (2 oct)
D (2 oct)
D (2 oct)
D, E flat, E, F,
F#, G (2 oct)
E, F,
(2 oct)
C,D,E
(2 oct)
D, E flat, E
D, E flat (2
oct)
E,F
(2 oct)
F#,G
(2 oct)
C,D,E,F,
G
(2 oct)
th
F, G A (12
)
B (I oct)
B (I oct)
C,C#,D,E
flat, E, F, G
(2 oct)
C, D, E flat,
E,F,G
(2 oct)
C, D, E flat,
E,F,G
(2 oct)
A, B flat, B
th
(12 »
A flat, A, B
th
(12 )
A flat, A, B
th
(12 )
C,C#,D,E
flat, E, F, G
(2 oct)
C,C#,D, E,
F (2 oct)
C,C#,D,E,
F (2 oct)
G, A (12th)
G, A (12
B (l oct)
B (I oct)
C,C#,D,E
flat, E, F,
F#, G, G#.
A, A flat, B
(2 oct)
C,C#,D,E
flat, E, F,
F#, G, G#.
A, A flat, B
(2 oct)
B flat, B
(I oct)
G":I0(lst}
NQFlevelZ
Gi"io (2P~1
. Prep (1st)
A, Bflat, B
(12th)
C,C#,D,E
flat, E, F.
F#,G,A
flat, AI B
flat, B (2
oct)
(2 oct)
th
)
C, C#, D, E flat,
E, F, F#, G, G#.
A, A flat, B (2
oct)
5-26
D, E flat, E, F,
F#, G (2 oct)
E, F (2 oct)
D, E(2
oct)
C#-B (2 oct)
C#-B (2 oct)
C (3 oct)
C (3 oct)
C (3 oct)
C (3 oct)
C,C#,D,
E flat, E, F
(2 oct)
C, C#,D, E
flat, E, F,
F#,G
(2
oct)
C,C#,D,E
flat, E, F,
F#, G (2 oct)
C, C#, D, E flat,
E,F,F#,G
F#,G
C,D, E,F
(2 oct)
(2 oct)
C,C#,D,E
flat, E, F, G
(2 oct)
C,C#,D,E
flat, E, F,
(2 oct)
C,C#,D,E
flat, E, F,
(2 oct)
A flat, A, B
flat, B (12th)
G, A flat, A
(l2th)
G, A flat, A
(12th)
B flat, B
B flat, B
(1 oct)
(1 oct)
C#-B (2 oct)
C#-B (2 oct)
C (3 oct)
C,C#,D,E
.flat, E, F,
F#, G (2 oct)
;
A flat, A, B
flat, B
(2 oct)
A flat, A, B
flat, B (l2th)
A flat, A, B
flat, B (12th)
Table 5-8: Range statements for arpeggio structures (flute)
ARPEGGIOS
MINOR
MAJOR
DlMINISHED
"7TBS starting on
D, E (2 oct)
D, E (2 oct)
th
G, A (12
DOMINANT
7msin
,the key.of
D (2 oct)
G, A (2 oct)
D (l oct)
G (1 oct)
D, F (2 oct)
A, B flat (2 oct)
D, F (1 oct)
G, A flat, A (2 oct)
D, E flat, E (2 oct)
F, F#, A flat, A, C,
G, A (12th)
)
B flat, B
B (1 oct)
(l oct)
D (2 oct)
D (2 oct)
th
E, F, G (l2
Gr:'de_~ (l~
NQFJevelil
ABETlevei4
)
E, G (12th)
B flat (loct)
B (l oct)
C, D, E flat, E,
F (2 oct)
C,D,E,F
G, A (12th)
(2 oct)
th
G, A (l2
)
B (1 oct)
B (1 oct)
Grade 9 (200)
C, D, E flat, E
(2 oct)
F, G, A (l2th)
C, D, E (2 oct)
F, G A (l2th)
B (1 oct)
B flat, B
(1 oct)
GrlO(l~
NQFleveU
,
C, C#, D, E flat,
E, F, G (2 oct)
C, D, E flat, E, F, G
(2 oct)
A, B flat, B
th
(l2 »
A flat, A, B (l2th)
(2 oct)
5-27
;\( ';::
»i>'?',t,
-: '.~ ';':':,,'
GrtO <24't '(J
·P~p(lst) .
C, c#, D, E flat,
E, F, G (2 oct)
A, B flat, B
(12th)
C, C#, D, E, F (2 oct)
D, E flat, E (I oct)
A, B flat, C (2 oct)
F, F#, G (2 oct)
F, F#, G, A flat, A,
B flat, B, C (2 oct)
G, A flat, A (2 oct)
G, A (12th)
B (I oct)
C, C#, D, E flat,
E, F, F#,G,A
flat, A, B flat, B
(2 oct)
C, C#, D, E flat, E, F,
F#, G, G#. A, A flat, B
(2 oct)
C, C#, D, E flat,
E, F, G (2 oct)
C, C#, D, E flat, E, F,
(2 oct)
D, E flat, F, G flat
A flat, A, B flat,
B (12th)
G, A flat, A (12th)
(2 oct)
B flat, B
(I oct)
C#-B (2 oct)
C#-B (2 oct)
C (3 oct)
C (3 oct)
C, C#, D, E flat,
E,F,F#?G
C, C#,D, E flat, E, F,
F#, G (2 oct)
(2 oct)
A flat, A, B flat, B
(12th)
A flat, A, B flat,
B (12th)
A, B flat, B (2 oct)
All keys (2 oct)
F, G flat, G (2 oct)
F, F#, G, A flat, A,
Unit standards for a preparatory level for Aerophones
B flat, B, C (2 oct)
are provided, using the same
outcomes as for NQF levels 1-8, in order to prepare learners for formal qualifications, as
outlined from NQF level 1.
The following table will illustrate the integrative nature of generic outcomes, specific
outcomes and asse~sment criteria. Duplication in the explanation of the different levels is
unavoidable, as it may be necessary to extract a specific set of outcomes in its complete
form.
Deliver a balanced recital of a
total duration of 7-10 minutes.
11
Demonstrate basic tone control,
appropriate for the level of study
and the instrument.
Demonstrate sufficient
knowledge and control oYer
technical aspects of performance.
Perform at a standard of an
internationally accepted body
grades 3-4 (151 instrument) or
grades 1-2 (2nd instrument).
Assess the recital in formal
examination or public concert
conditions.
Demonstrate the ability to
perform in different styles and/or
genres.
Assess the performance regarding
different styles and/or genres.
Perform a balanced programme
with understanding and
musicality.
Assess the content of the
programme, as well as the
standard of performance.
Demonstrate a basic ability to
play with a focused tone, relative
to this standard of performance.
Assess tone control, whether
being clear and reliable, while
controlling aspects such as
projection, intonation and clarity.
Demonstrate appropriate breath
control, basic understanding of
phrasing and corresponding
breathing opportunities,
depending on the level of study
and instrument.
Assess the musical approach to
breathing and phrasing.
Demonstrate a basic control of
tongue technique and articulation
in using legato and staccato.
Assess the accurate musical and
technical control of legato and
staccato tongue technique, as well
as articulation indications.
Demonstrate a basic ability to
perform with a good tone and
so.me degree of dynamic control,
without negatively affecting
intonation.
Assess intonation and dynamic
control at a basic level,
appropriate for the specific
instrument, style and genre.
Demonstrate technical fluency
over selected scale and arpeggio
structures. Technical exercises
may substitute scale and arpeggio
structures where appropriate.
Assess the technical control over
scales and arpeggio structures or
technical exercises, appropriate to
this level of playing.
Assess the tone control and
musical approach to scales and
arpeggio structures.
Demonstrate understanding of
context according to style, genre
and history.
Research basic contextual aspects
relating to repertoire performed,
such as information on composer,
style and history, form and key.
Assess understanding of context
relating to style, instrument and
genre.
Participate as member of an
ensemble together with other
instrumentalists of own choice, at
an appropriate level of
performance.
Demonstrate the ability to
perform in an ensemble with two
or more instrumentalists of own
choice.
Assess the ability to perform as
member of an ensemble.
Demonstrate a developing ability
in improvising.
Improvise in a style chosen by the
learner at an elementary level.
Assess the improvising
proficiency at an elementary
level. .
Demonstrate sight-reading ability
at a level of two grades below
performance standard.
Perform music read from sight
accurately up to a standard of an
internationally accepted
examining body two grades
below performance standard.
Assess the accurate version of a
piece read from sight, up to a
standard of an internationally
accepted examining body two
grades below performance
standard.
Research the application of basic
music concepts to repertoire
performed.
Assess knowledge on basic music
concepts in relation to repertoire
performed.
:
Demonstrate understanding of
music concepts in relation to
repertoire performed.
Assess the musical outcome of an
ensemble.
When interpreted in the format required by SAQA, outcomes described in the table
presented above will be offered in the following version.
Preparatory level
PURPOSE AND RELATIONSHIP TO QUALIFICATION
This unit standard is a preparatory standard towards a General Education and Training
Certifica,tein Music Performance on the National Qualifications Framework level I. It
provides learners with the opportunity to access learning and experience in Music
Performance, with specialisation in Aerophones. The learner must be prepared to further
hislher studies in focused music education from grade 9 onwards.
Learners will be able to integrate fundamental,
contextual
and focused learning
outcomes, as well as to exercise accurate judgement as to the quality, structure, music
elements and technical contents of repertoire which have been studied.
Learners will, at the end of this qualification, be able to demonstrate competence in their
instrument by means of a satisfactory tone production, and competent technical skills, as
well as by integrating these skills with music content such as theory and history. A short
performance, in concert-type or formal examination circumstances, of differing lengths at
different levels, will serve as demonstration of musical and technical skills acquired.
Repertoire of different genres and styles will have been studied, and the learner will
demonstrate sufficient understanding of these genres and styles. Contextual aspects such
as cultural background, historical information as well as conceptual music knowledge will
be integrated with music skills.
Learners will have a choice of the following elective areas, w1)ere they will be able to
apply knowledge and skills outcomes in:
•
oboe and re.1atedinstruments;
•
bassoon and related instruments;
•
euphonium~
•
other instruments determined by the needs of the performer, and which may be
categorised as Aerophones.
The fundamental h~arning acquired will be applied in the sub-field of Music, preparatory
level.
•
Learners will have attained a working knowledge of an appropriate notation and
theory of .music system applicable
to the style and genre of the chosen
performance instrument( s).
•
Learners will have attained language and communication
proficiency
at a
satisfactory and workable level.
•
Learners will also have an elementary knowledge of the elements of sound, for
example pitch and dynamics.
•
Learners will have a workable knowledge of history and style appropriate to the
chosen genre( s), and appropriate to this level.
•
Perform at a standard of an internationally accepted examining body grade 3-4
(1st instrument) or grade 1-2 (2nd instrument).
•
Demonstrate a basic ability to play with a focused tone, relative to this standard
of performance.
•
Demonstrate appropriate breath control, basic understanding
of phrasing and
corresponding breathing opportunities, depending on the level of study and the
instrument.
•
Demonstrate a basic control of tongue technique and articulation in using legato
and staccato.
•
Demonstrate a basic ability to perform with a good tone and some degree of
dynamic control, without negatively affecting intonation.
•
Demonstrate technical fluency over selected major, harmonic minor, melodic
minor and chromatic scales, as well as corresponding arpeggio structures and
diminished sevenths. Technical exercises may substitute scale and arpeggio
structures where appropriate. Optional: whole tone, blues, pentatonic scales and
dominant sevenths.
•
Research basic contextual aspects relating to repertoire performed, such as
information on the composers, styles, history, form, key and character of music.
Participate as member of an ensemble together with other instrumentalists of own choice,
at an appropriate level of performance.
•
Demonstrate the ability to perform in an ensemble consisting of three or more
instrumentalists of own choice.
•
Perform music read from sight accurately up to a standard of an internationally
accepted examining body, grade 1-2 (1st instrument) or beginners level (2nd
instrument).
•
Assess tone control, whether being reliable, while controlling aspects such as
projection, intonation and clarity at a basic level.
•
Assess the accurate musical and technical control of legato and staccato tongue
technique, as well as articulation indications.
•
Assess overall intonation, appropriate
for the specific instrument, style and
genre.
•
Assess the technical control over scales and arpeggios appropriate to this .level of
playing.
•
Assess understanding of context relating to style, instrument and genre.
•
Assess the accurate version of a piece read from sight, two grades below
performance standard.
•
Anyone assessing a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an
assessor with the relevant ETQA.
•
Any institution offering learning that will lead to achievement of this unit
standard must be accredited as a provider through the relevant ETQA by SAQA.
•
Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to
the moderation guidelines in the relevant qualification and the agreed ETQA
procedures.
The minimum standard of Performance will be that of an internationally accepted
examining body beginner's level (2nd instrument) to grade 2 (1st instrument).
Suggested range statements for scale and arpeggio structures will be provided separately
for different instruments, and may deviate from or enrich the scale ranges used by
internationally accepted examining bodies.
The following table will illustrate ·the integrative nature of gene~c outcomes, specific
outcomes and assessment for NQF level 1:
Deliver a balanced recital of a
total duration of 10 to 12
minutes. 12
Demonstrate tone control
appropriate for the level of study
and the instrument.
Demonstrate sufficient
knowledge and control over
technical aspects of performance.
Perform at a standard of an
internationally accepted
examination body grades 4-5 (l Sf
instrument) or grades 2-3 (2nd
instrument .
Demonstrate the ability to
perform in different styles and/or
enres.
Perform a balanced programme
with understanding and
musicality.
Demonstrate the ability to play
with a clear and focused tone,
relative to this standard of
performance.
Assess the recital in formal
examination or public concert
conditions.
Assess the performance regarding
different styles and/or genres.
Assess the content of the
programme, as well as the
standard of performance.
Assess tone control, whether
being clear and reliable, while
controlling aspects such as
projection, focus and clarity.
Demonstrate appropriate breath
control, understanding of
phrasing and corresponding
breathing opportunities,
depending on the level of study
and instrument.
Assess the musical approach to
breathing and phrasing.
Demonstrate a basic control of
tongue technique and articulation
in using legato and staccato.
Assess the accurate musical and
technical control of legato and
staccato tongue technique, as well
as articulation indications.
Demonstrate a basic ability to
perform with a good tone and
some degree of dynamic control,
without negatively affecting
intonation.
Demonstrate technical fluency
over selected scale and arpeggio
structures.
Assess the overall tone,
intonation and dynamic control,
appropriate for the specific
instrument, style and genre.
Assess the technical control over
scales and arpeggios appropriate
to this level of playing.
Assess the tone control and
musical approach to scales and
arpeggio structures.
Demonstrate understanding of
context according to style, genre
and history.
Participate as a member of an
ensemble together with other
instrumentalists of own choice, at
an appropriate level of
oerformance.
Demonstrate a basic ability in
improvising.
Research basic contextual aspects
relating to repertoire performed,
such as relevant information on
the composer, style, history, form
and tonality.
Demonstrate the ability to
perform in an ensemble in a style
and with two or more performers
of own choice.
Improvise in a style chosen by the
learner at an elementary level.
Demonstrate a sight-reading
ability at a level of two grades
below performance standard.
Perform music read from sight
accurately up to a standard of an
internationally accepted
examining body two grades
below performance standard.
Demonstrate understanding of
music concepts in relation to the
repertoire performed.
Research the application of basic
music concepts to the repertoire
performed.
Assess the understanding of
context relating to style,
instrument and genre.
Assess the ability to perform as a
member of an ensemble.
Assess the musical outcome of an
ensemble.
Assess the improvising
proficiency at an elementary
level.
Assess the accurate version of a
piece read from sight, up to a
standard of an internationally
accepted examining body two
grades below performance
standard.
Assess knowledge of basic music
concepts in relation to the
repertoire performed.
Table 5-11 will illustrate the integrative nature of generic outcomes, specific outcomes
and assessment for NQF level 2:
Assess the recital in formal
examination or public concert
conditions.
Deliver a balanced recital of a
total duration of 12 to 15
minutes. 13
Assess the performance regarding
different styles and/or genres.
Demonstrate improved tone
control appropriate for the level
of study and the instrument.
Demonstrate developing breath
control, understanding of
phrasing and corresponding
breathing opportunities,
depending on the level of study
and instrument.
Demonstrate a developing control
of tongue technique and
articulation in using legato,
staccato and mezzo staccato.
Demonstrate appropriate
knowledge and control over
technical aspects of performance.
Demonstrate an improved ability
to perform with a good tone and
some degree of dynamic control
without negatively affecting
intonation.
Demonstrate technical fluency
over selected scale and arpeggio
structures, as well as technical
exercises where applicable.
Assess the content of the
programme, as welI as the
standard of erformance.
Assess tone control, whether
being clear and reliable, while
increasingly controlling aspects
such as projection, focus and
clari .
Assess the improved musical
approach to breathing and
phrasing.
Assess the accurate musical and
technical control of legato,
staccato and mezzo staccato
tongue technique, as welI as
articulation indications.
Assess overall intonation,
appropriate for the specific
instrument, style and genre.
Assess the successful and musical
application of dynamic control.
Assess the technical control over
scales and arpeggios appropriate
to this level of playing.
Assess the tone control and
musical approach to scales and
arpeggio structures.
Demonstrate understanding of
context according to style, genre
and history.
Participate as member of an
ensemble together with other
instrumentalists of own choice, at
an appropriate level of
performance.
Demonstrate a developing ability
in improvisin2.
.
Demonstrate a sight-reading
ability at a developing level.
Demonstrate understanding of
music concepts in relation to the
repertoire performed.
Research contextual aspects
relating to repertoire performed,
such as information on composer,
style, history, form and tonality.
Demonstrate the ability to
perform in an ensemble in a style
and with two or more performers
of own choice.
Improvise in a style chosen by the
learner at an improved level.
Perform music read from sight
accurately up to a standard of an
internationally accepted
examining body two grades
below performance standard.
Research the application of music
concepts to the repertoire
performed.
Assess understanding of context
relating to style, instrument and
genre.
Assess the ability to perform as
member of an ensemble.
Assess the musical outcome of an
ensemble.
Assess the improvising
proficiency at an improved level.
Assess the accurate version of a
piece read from sight, up to a
standard of an internationally
accepted examining body two
grades below performance
standard.
Assess knowledge of basic music
concepts in relation to the
repertoire performed.
Table 5-12 will illustrate the integrative nature of generic outcomes, specific outcomes
and assessment for NQF level 3:
Deliver a balanced recital of a
total duration of 15 to 20
minutes. 14
Assess the recital in formal
examination or public concert
conditions.
Assess the performance regarding
different styles and/or genres.
Demonstrate improve4 tone
control appropriate for the level
of study and the instrument.
Demonstrate an improved breath
control, understanding of
phrasing and corresponding
breathing opportunities,
depending on the level of study
and instrument.
Demonstrate an accurate control
of tongue technique and
articulation in using legato,
staccato and mezzo staccato.
Demonstrate an improved ability
to perform with a good tone and
dynamic control, without
negatively affecting intonation.
Demonstrate the improved ability
to control dynamics without
negatively affecting other aspects
of performing.
Assess the content ofthe
programme, as well as the
standard of rformance.
Assess tone control, whether
being clear and reliable, while
increasingly controlling aspects
such as projection, intonation and
clari .
Assess the improved musical
approach to breathing and
phrasing.
Assess the accurate musical and
technical control of legato,
staccato and mezzo staccato
tongue technique, as well as
articulation indications.
Assess overall intonation,
appropriate for the specific
instrument, style and genre.
Assess the successful and musical
application of dynamic control.
Demonstrate appropri~te
knowledge and control over
technical aspects of performance.
Demonstrate technical fluency
over selected scale and arpeggio
structures.
Assess the technical control over
scales and arpeggios appropriate
to this level of playing.
Assess the tone control and
musical approach to scales and
arpeggio structures.
Demonstrate understanding of
context according to style, genre
. and history.
Research contextual aspects
relating to repertoire performed,
such as information on composer,
style, history, form and tonality.
Assess understanding of context
relating to style, instrument and
genre.
Participate as member of an
ensemble together with other
instrumentalists of own choice, at
an appropriate level of
performance.
Demonstrate an improved ability
in improvising.
Demonstrate the ability to
perform in an ensemble in a style
of and with two or more
performers of own choice.
Assess the ability to perform as
member of an ensemble.
Assess the musical outcome of an
ensemble.
Improvise in a style chosen by the
learner at an improved level.
Assess the improvising
proficiency at an improved level.
Demonstrate a sight-reading
ability at an improved level.
Perform music read from sight
accurately up to a standard of an
internationally accepted
examining body two grades
below performance standard.
Assess the accurate version of a
piece read from sight, up to a
standard of an internationally
accepted examining body two
grades below performance
standard.
Research the application of music
concepts to the repertoire
performed.
Assess knowledge of basic music
concepts in relation to the
repertoire performed.
:
Demonstrate improved
understanding of music concepts
in relation to the repertoire
performed.
5.6.4.5 NQF level 4
The following table will illustrate the integrative nature of generic outcomes, specific
outcomes and assessment for NQF level 4:
Deliver a balanced recital of a
total duration of20-25 minutes.
Demonstrate advanced tone
control appropriate for the level
of study and the instrument.
IS
Perform at a standard of an
internationally accepted body
grades 7-8 (IS! instrument) or
grades 5-6 (2nd instrument).
Assess the recital in formal
examination or public concert
conditions.
Demonstrate a developed ability
to perform in different styles
and/or genres.
Perform a balanced programme
with developed understanding
and musicality.
Assess the performance regarding
different styles and/or genres.
Demonstrate an advanced ability
to play with a clear and focused
tone, relative with this standard of
performance.
Demonstrate advanced breath
control, understanding of
phrasing and corresponding
breathing opportunities,
depending on the level of study
and instrument.
Assess the content of the
programme, as well as the
standard of performance.
Assess tone control, whether
being clear and reliable, while
increasingly controlling aspects
such as projection, intonation and
clari .
Assess musical approach to
breathing and phrasing.
Demonstrate advanced control of
tongue technique and articulation
in using various forms of
articulation, specific to the
instrument.
Assess the accurate musical and
technical control of tongue
technique, as well as articulation
indications.
Demonstrate an advanced ability
to perform with a good tone and
dynamic control without
negatively affecting intonation.
Assess overall intonation,
appropriate for the specific
instrument, style and genre.
Demonstrate appropriate
knowledge and control over
technical aspects of performance.
Demonstrate technical fluency
over selected scale and arpeggio
structures.
Assess the technical control over
scales and arpeggio structures
appropriate to this level of
playing.
Assess the tone control and
musical approach to scales and
arpeggio structures.
Demonstrate understanding of
context according to style, genre
and history.
Research contextual aspects
relating to repertoire performed,
such as information on composer,
style, history, form and tonality.
Demonstrate the ability to
perform in an ensemble with two
or more performers and in a style
of own choice.
Assess understanding of context
relating to style, instrument and
genre.
Participate as member:of an
ensemble together with other
instrumentalists of own choice, at
an appropriate level of
performance.
Demonstrate an advanced ability
in improvisin~.
Demonstrate a sight-reading
ability at an advanced level.
Demonstrate advanced
understanding of music concepts
in relation to the repertoire
performed.
Improvise in a style chosen by the
learner at an advanced level.
Perform music read from sight
accurately up to a standard of an
internationally accepted
examining body two grades
below performance standard.
Research the application of music
concepts and compositional
techniques or harmonic devices to
the repertoire performed.
Assess the ability to perform as
member of an ensemble.
Assess the musical outcome of an
ensemble.
Assess the improvising
proficiency at an advanced level.
Assess the accurate version of a
piece read from sight. up to a
standard of an internationally
accepted examining body two
grades below performance
standard.
Assess knowledge of advanced
music concepts, compositional
techniques and harmonic devices
in relation to the repertoire
Derformed.
Because NQF levels 5-8 consist of after-school programmes and qualifications, a higher
level of minimum requirements regarding content, notional hours and standard of
performance necessitates a separate structure for the accumulation of credits. The
allocation of credits was calculated using two guidelines, namely
•
A percentage of the total number of credits for the qualification, based on 120
credits per year for all learning programmes, was calculated.
Table 5-14 provides descriptions of possible credit allocation for NQF level 5. It is
important to keep in mind that this, as well as the suggested credit allocation for NQF
levels 6-8, is onl~ a proposed distribution of credits, because the compilation of the
complete qualification was not yet available at the time this thesis was completed.
Solo instrument
(35)
at NQF level 5
Composition
at NQF level 5 (20)
Group:
First instrument
(20)
•
ensemble (5)
Group:
•
orchestra/band (5)
•
ensemble (5)
•
accompaniment
•
orchestra/band (5)
•
accompaniment (5)
(5)
Second instrument at NQF level 5
(18)
* Listening
and appraising must be
integrated with other concepts, but
assessed separately.
16
at NQF level 5
* Listening and appraising must
be integrated with other concepts,
but assessed separately.
The accumulation of credits is based on one hour contact time and nine hours non-contact time a week.,
for an average of 40 weeks per year. A total of 240 credits, equaling 120 a year in all learning areas, is
expected at this level.
The following table will illustrate the integrative nature of generic outcomes, specific
outcomes and assessment for NQF level 5, which indicates programmes and
qualifications that may be achieved after the school career (NQF levels 1-4) is finished:
Table 5-15: Specific outcomes and assessment for NQF level 5 - Aerophones
Deliver a balanced recital of a
total duration of 45-60 minutes. 17
Demonstrate advanced tone
control appropriate for the level
of study and the instrument.
PeIfonn at an advanced standard
appropriate to the field of
specialisation.
Demonstrate an advanced ability
to peIfonn in different styles
and/or genres.
PeIfonn a balanced programme
with refined understanding and
musicality.
Demonstrate an advanced ability
to play with a clear and focused
tone, relative with this standard of
peIfonnance.
Demonstrate an advanced breath
control, understanding of
phrasing and corresponding
breathing opportunities,
depending on the level of study
and instrument.
Demonstrate an advanced control
of tongue technique and
articulation in using various
forms of articulation. specific to
the instrument.
Demonstrate an advanced ability
to ~Ifonn with a good tone and
dynamic control without
negatively affecting intonation.
Assess the recital in formal
examination or public concert
conditions.
Assess the peIfonnance regarding
different styles and/or genres.
Assess the content of the
programme, as well as the
standard of peIfonnance.
Assess tone control, whether
being clear and reliable, while
convincingly controlling aspects
such as projection. intonation and
clarity.
Assess musical approach to
breathing and phrasing.
Assess the accurate musical and
technical control of tongue
technique, as well as articulation
indications.
Assess overall intonation and
dynamic control, appropriate for
the specific instrument, style and
genre.
Demonstrate advanced
knowledge and control over
technical aspects of performance.
Demonstrate appropriate
technical fluency and control in
performance.
Assess the technical control over
scales and arpeggio structures
appropriate to this level of
playing.
Assess the tone control and
musical approach to scales and
arpeggio structures.
Research contextual aspects
relating to repertoire performed,
such as information on comJX?ser,
stvle, history, form and tonality.
Demonstrate the ability to
perform in an ensemble with two
or more instrumentalists of own
choice.
Assess understanding of context
relating to style, instrument and
genre.
:
Demonstrate understanding of
context according to style, genre
and history.
Participate as member of an
ensemble together with other
instrumentalists of own choice, at
an appropriate level of
performance.
Demonstrate an advanced ability
in improvising.
Demonstrate a sight-reading
ability at a developed level.
Demonstrate understanding of
music concepts in relation to the
repertoire performed.
Improvise in a style chosen by the
learner at an advanced level.
Perform music read from sight
accurately up to a standard of an
internationally accepted
examining body two grades
below performance standard.
Research the application of music
concepts and compositional
techniques or harmonic devices to
the repertoire performed.
Assess the ability to perform as
member of an ensemble.
Assess the musical outcome of an
ensemble.
Assess the improvising
proficiency at an advanced level.
Assess the accurate version of a
piece read from sight, up to a
standard of an internationally
accepted examining body two
grades below performance
standard.
Assess advanced knowledge of
music concepts, compositional
techniques and harmonic devices
in relation to the repertoire
performed.
Table 5-16: Credit structure/or NQF level 6
MUSIC PERFORMANCE
PROGRAMME
(MPP)
Solo instrument
at NQF level 6 (54)
Composition
at NQF level 6 (30)
Group:
First instrument
•
ensemble (6)
Group:
•
orchestralband (6)
•
ensemble (6)
•
accompaniment (6)
•
orchestralband (6)
Second instrument at NQF level 6 (30)
•
accompaniment (6)
*
* Listening and appraising must be
integrated with other concepts, but
assessed separately.
Listening and appraising must be
integrated
with otHer concepts,
but
assessed separately.
at NQF level 6 (30)
The following table will illustrate the integrative nature of generic outcomes, specific
outcomes and assessment for NQF level 6:
Deliver a balanced recital of a
total duration of 60-90 minutes.
18
19
Perform at a standard comparable
to an international performing
arts standard.
Assess the recital in formal
examination or public concert
conditions.
Demonstrate an advanced ability
to perform in a wide range of
different styles and/or genres.
Perform a balanced programme
with refined understanding and
musicality.
Assess the performance regarding
different styles and/or genres.
Assess the content ofthe
programme, as well as the
standard of performance.
A total of 360 credits, equaling 120 a year in all learning areas, is expected at this level. Performance was
calculated at one sixth of the total amount of credits for this qualification.
Demonstrate refined and
advanced tone control 'appropriate
for the level of study and the
instrument.
Demonstrate an advanced ability
to play with a clear and focused
tone, relative with this standard of
performance.
Assess tone control, whether·
being clear and reliable, while
convincingly controlling aspects
such as projection, intonation and
claritv.
Assess musical approach to
breathing and phrasing.
Demonstrate advanced breath
control, understanding of
phrasing and corresponding
breathinJi!:opportunities.
Demonstrate an advanced control
of tongue technique and
articulation in using various
forms of articulation, specific to
the instrument.
Demonstrate an advanced and
refined ability to perform with a
good tone and dynamic control
while accurately manipulating
intonation.
Research contextual aspects
relating to repertoire performed,
such as information on composer,
style, history, form and tonalitv.
Demonstrate the ability to
perform in an ensemble with two
or more instrumentalists of own
choice.
Assess the ability to perform as
member of an ensemble.
Assess the musical outcome of an
ensemble.
Improvise in style chosen by the
learner at an advanced level.
Assess the improvising
proficiency at an advanced level.
Demonstrate a sight-reading
ability at a developed level.
Perform music read from sight
accurately up to a standard of an
internationally accepted
examining body two grades
below performance standard.
Demonstrate understanding of
music concepts in relation to the
repertoire performed.
Research the application of music
concepts and compositional
techniques or harmonic devices to
the repertoire performed.
Assess the accurate version of a
piece read from sight, up to a
standard of an internationally
accepted examining body two
grades below performance
standard.
Assess advanced knowledge of
music concepts, compositional
techniques and harmonic devices
in relation to the repertoire
performed.
Demonstrate understanding of
context according to style, genre
and history.
Participate as member .of an
ensemble together witli other
instrumentalists of own choice, at
an appropriate level of
performance.
Demonstrate an advanced ability
in improvising.
Assess the accurate musical and
technical control of tongue
technique, as well as articulation
indications.
Assess overall intonation and
dynamic control, appropriate for
the specific instrument, style and
genre.
Assess understanding of context
relating to style, instrument and
genre.
5.6.5.3 Credit structure/or
NQF LeveL7
As this level constitutes an advanced level of study, the performance unit standards as
part of a possible qualification will require substantially more time of study and therefore
offer more credits to the student.
At least
240 credits20 (60 per year,
over 4 years)
over 4 years)
Solo instrument
(200)
at NQF level 7
Group:
•
ensemble (40)
•
orchestra (40)
•
accompaniment (40)
Second instrument at NQF level 7
(60)
*
At least 240 credits (60 per year,
Listening and appraising must be
integrated with other concepts, but
assessed separately.
Composition
(150)
at NQF level 7
First instrument
(80)
at NQF level 7
Group:
•
ensemble (10)
•
orchestra (10)
•
accompaniment (10)
* Listening and appraising must
be integrated with other concepts,
but assessed separately.
The following table will illustrate the integrative nature of generic outcomes, specific
outcomes and assessment for NQF level 7:
S~~N~;';:
~!~~~;D~~;j
Deliver two balanced recitals,
each of a total duration of 60-90
minutes.21
Demonstrate refined and
advanced tone control"appropriate
for the level of study and the
instrument.
Demonstrate understanding of
context according to style, genre
and history.
Perform at a standard comparable
to an international performing
arts standard.
Demonstrate an advanced ability
to perform in a wide range of
different styles and/or genres.
Perform balanced programmes
with refined understanding and
musicality.
Demonstrate an advanced ability
to play with a clear and focused
tone, relative with this standard of
performance.
Demonstrate advanced breath
control, understanding of
phrasing and corresponding
breath in 0 ortunities.
Demonstrate an advanced control
of tongue technique and
articulation in using various
forms of articulation, specific to
the instrument.
Demonstrate an advanced and
refined ability to perform with a
good tone and dynamic control
while accurately manipulating
intonation.
Research contextual aspects
relating to repertoire performed,
such as information on composer,
style, history, form and tonality.
Assess the recitals in formal
examination or public concert
conditions.
Assess the performances .
regarding different styles and/or
genres.
Assess the content of the
programmes, as well as the
standard of performance.
Assess tone control, whether
being clear and reliable, while
convincingly controlling aspects
such as projection, intonation and
c1ari .
Assess musical approach to
breathing and phrasing.
Assess the accurate musical and
technical control of tongue
technique, as well as articulation
indications.
Assess overall intonation and
dynamic control, appropriate for
the specific instrument, style and
genre.
Assess understanding of context
relating to style, instrument and
genre.
Participate as member of an
ensemble together with other
instrumentalists of own choice, at
an appropriate level of
performance.
Demonstrate an advanced
ability in improvising.
Demonstrate the ability to
perform in an ensemble with two
or more instrumentalists of own
choice.
Assess the ability to perform as
member of an ensemble.
Assess the musical outcome of an
ensemble.
Improvise in style chosen by the
learner at an advanced level.
Assess the improvising
proficiency at an
advanced level.
Demonstrate a sight-reading
ability at a developed level.
Perform music read from sight
accurately up to a standard of an
internationally accepted
examining body two grades
below performance standard.
Assess the accurate version of a
piece read from sight, up to a
standard of an internationally
accepted examining body two
grades below performance
standard.
Assess advanced knowledge of
music concepts, compositional
techniques and harmonic devices
in relation to the repertoire
performed.
:
Demonstrate understanding of
music concepts in relation to the
repertoire performed.
Research the application of music
concepts and compositional
techniques or harmonic devices to
the repertoire performed.
5.6.5.5 Credit structure/or NQF level 8
As part of the unit standard for NQF level 8, a student has to offer three recitals of a time
duration of 60-90 minutes each. In order to achieve this, a substantial amount of
preparation (contact and non-contact) time has to be spent. Therefore the credit allocation
is considerably more than at NQF level 7.
Solo instrument
(350)
at NQF level 8
Group:
•
ensemble (50)
•
orchestra (50)
•
accompaniment (50)
Second instrument at NQF level 8
(150)
* Listening
and appraising must be
integrated with other concepts, but
assessed separately.
22
Composition
(300)
at NQF level 8
First instrument
(100)
at NQF level 8
Group:
•
ensemble (20)
•
orchestra (20)
•
accompaniment (20)
* Listening and appraising must
be integrated with other concepts,
but assessed separately.
A total of 600 credits, calculated at a total of 120 credits per year for five years, are described for NQF
level 8 (Grove 2001:4-4). A minimum of two thirds (or 400 credits) of the complete qualification must, in
the opinion of the author, consist of performance credits.
5.6.5.6 NQF level 8
The following table will illustrate the integrative nature of generic outcomes, specific
outcomes and assessment for NQF level 8:
Deliver 3 balanced recitals, each
of a total duration of 60-90
minutes.23
Demonstrate refined and
advanced tone control appropriate
for the level of study and the
instrument.
Demonstrate understanding of
context according to style, genre
and history.
Participate as member of an
ensemble together with other
instrumentalists of own choice, at
an appropriate level of
performance.
Perform at a standard comparable
to an international performing
arts standard.
Demonstrate an advanced ability
to perform in a wide range of
different styles and/or genres.
Perform balanced programmes
with refined understanding and
musicality.
Demonstrate an advanced ability
to play with a clear and focused
tone, relative with this standard of
performance.
Demonstrate advanced breath
control, understanding of
phrasing and corresponding
breathing opportunities.
Demonstrate an advanced control
of tongue technique and
articulation in using various
forms of articulation, specific to
the instrument.
Demonstrate an advanced and
refined ability to perform with a
good tone and dynamic control
while accurately manipulating
intonation.
Research contextual aspects
relating to repertoire performed,
such as information on composer,
style, histo , form and tonali .
Demonstrate the ability to
perform in an ensemble with two
or more instrumentalists of own
choice.
Assess the recitals in public
concert conditions.
Assess the performances
regarding different styles and/or
genres.
Assess the content of the
programmes, as well as the
standard of performance.
Assess tone control, whether
being clear and reliable, while
convincingly controlling aspects
such as projection, intonation and
c1ari .
Assess musical approach to
breathing and phrasing.
Assess the accurate musical and
technical control of tongue
technique, as well as articulation
indications.
Assess overall intonation and
dynamic control, appropriate for
the specific instrument, style and
genre.
Assess understanding of context
relating to style, instrument and
genre.
Assess the ability to perform as
member of an ensemble.
Assess the musical outcome of an
ensemble.
Demonstrate an advanced ability
in improvising.
Improvise in style chosen
by the learner at an advanced
level.
Assess the improvising
proficiency at an
advanced level.
Demonstrate a sight-reading
ability at a developed level.
Perform music read from sight
accurately up to a standard of an
internationally accepted
examining body two grades
below performance standard.
Assess the accurate version of a
piece read from sight, up to a
standard of an internationally
accepted examining body two
grades below performance
standard.
Assess advanced knowledge 0
music concepts, compositional
techniques and harmonic devices
in relation to the repertoire
performed.
:
Demonstrate understanding of
music concepts in relation to the
repertoire performed.
Research the application of music
concepts and compositional
techniques or harmonic devices to
the repertoire performed.
The unit standards offered in this chapter form part of a new dispensation in music
education for Southern Africa. For music to become relevant and part of general
education, and to assist in producing rounded, civilised, creative and responsible citizens,
it is imperative that the canon of styles and genres be widened to include the music
practices of all learners in the country in formal education, while striving for high
standards. This approach was followed when generating unit standards for Aerophones,
with the aim of aCGommodatingas many learners as possible.
.Generating unit standards for music(s) in Southern Africa entails an ongoing process.
Because relevant SGBs for Music, namely for Music Industry, Music GET and Music HET,
have been officially positioned only months before this study was concluded, it means that
the standards written in this thesis may be heeded as suggestions towards the future direction
of music education in Southern Africa and not as the final format or content of unit standards.
6.2 Answering the main research question
The main research question for this study was:
What outcomes are desirable for performance on Aerophones, and how would
this translate into unit standards for Southern Africa?
After studying the content of relevant unit standards in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and
England in chapter 3, the most progressive aspects, appropriate for the South African context,
were utilised in the generic and specific outcomes for instrumentalists.
considered· by the author as desirable for Aerophones (Performance),
The outcomes,
were subsequently
outlined in chapter 5'.
During the process of exploring and describing desirable outcomes, a philosophical basis for
widening the canon to include music of various cultures and genres, as well as the potential
to include Aerophones that are not part of the Western Classical practice (for example
African or Indian instruments and styles) were explored in chapter 4.
Action research conducted during many workshops and discussions within the MEUSSA
group, analysis of relevant standards generated in other countries, as well as the author's own
experience in the field of performance
and teaching of Aerophones,
sedimented in the
formulation of a set of generic standards for Aerophones. These were used to form the
backbone of specific outcomes for the different NQF levels. The author concluded that the
following generic outcomes are essential for each unit standard, namely
•
Deliver a balanced recital of varying time durations, as described in the outcomes for
each NQF level.
•
Demonstrate sufficient knowledge and control over technical exercises and scale
structures.
•
Participate as member of an ensemble together with other instrumentalists of own
choic~, at an appropriate level of performance.
The following sub-questions were formulated in the process of generating unit standards and
outcomes for Aerophones as part of the MEUSSA group:
To answer this question, the author will briefly refer to the performance standards of the four
countries studied in ~hapter 3.
I
This constitutes the following aspects: the quality of the tone, breath control, appropriate articulation
technique, accurate and musical performance of dynamics, and control of intonation.
The USA frameworks differentiate between content and achievement standards, the latter
upgraded gradually to reflect an increase in difficulty. Of the seven outcomes into which
music is grouped, performing on an instrument and improvising, both utili sed by the author
for the unit standards generated in this thesis, comprise the 2nd and 3rd outcomes.
The content standard for performing is formulated as follows: "Performing on instruments,.
alone and with others." The achievement standards for performing in the K-4 phase include:
•
performing on pitch and in rhythm (using appropriate dynamic levels and maip.taining
a steady tempo);
•
performing in groups (blending instrumental timbres, matching dynamic levels and
responding to the cues from the conductor); and
•
An accurate and independent performance, alone and in small ensembles, on at least
one instrument.
•
An expected minimum difficulty of 2 on a scale of 1 to 6 for at least one string, wind,
percussion or classroom instrument (for example recorder-type instruments, chorded
zithers, mallet
instruments,
simple percussion
instruments,
fretted instruments,
keyboard instruments and electronic instruments).
•
Participation in instrumental ensembles must be on a level of difficulty of 3 on a scale
ofl to 6.
•
Performing on a difficulty of 4 on a scale of 1 to 6 with adequate technical accuracy
and expression.
•
The demonstration
of well-developed
ensemble skills while performing in small
ensembles with one student per part.
The petj"orming achievement standard for grades 9-12 (advanced standard) consists of one
standard:
In the opinion of the author, the content of the achievement standards for grades 5-12 does
not constitute a clear enough guide to the interpretation of this standard. Therefore the set of
eight generic standards provided by the author in chapter 5 were applied in the same way as
the content standards in the USA structure, while increasing the grade of difficulty and
minimum expectations from NQF level 1 through to level 8.
The method of indicating performance standard by using, for example, a minimum level of
difficulty on a scale of 1 to 6 may prove useful in a South African context. It is the opinion of
the author, however, that the scale of difficulty may comprise more levels to make room for
both disabled and gifted children. Therefore the author made use of the standards of existing
examination bodies, comprising 8 levels of gradation, with levels that are well known to
music teachers throughout the country.
In the Australian framework, no specific unit or achievement standards for performing could
be found. Of the four outcomes applicable to the five arts strands (Dance, Drama, Music,
Visual Arts and Media) the 2nd outcome seems to present the logical slot for this area of
music education:
•
Arts skills and processes, which are the skills, techniques, processes, conventions and
technologies used to generate art works.
A possible reason for this lack of focused unit standards for Performing could be that the
Australi3.Q structure: is still undergoing construction
and development,
with the different
states in different stages of implementation. Therefore the author did not utilise any of their
unit standards or outcomes for the area of Aerophones (performance).
The education structure in New Zealand applies two kinds of standards, namely achievement
standards and unit standards. Achievement standards provide for a moderated assessment as
well as four levels of assessment (no credit, credit, merit, excellence), while unit standards
are assessed internally only with assessment done on a level of credit or no credit. The
assessment of standards on different levels of achievement is considered by the author as a
particular aspect that may be explored in future endeavours.
Performing is slotted into the first of four domains, namely Making Music. In this domain
aspects such as performance
on a first or second instrument,
composing,
arranging,
rehearsing, conducting, ensemble playing and improvising are described at random, and the
author of this thesis could not utilise the content of specific unit standards for performing.
The aspects of performing on a 1st or 2nd instrument, improvising and ensemble playing were,
however, integrated into the unit standards generated in chapter 5 of this thesis.
From key stage 2, or years 4-6, it is considered important in the English frameworks to
present rhythmically
accurate and controlled
performances
with an awareness of the
audience (refer to chapter 3, section 3.9.8). This aspect, namely performing in front of an
audience, is also considered by the author as an important part of performing. Therefore the
first generic unit standard in chapter 5 prescribes a recital which may be assessed either in
front of an audience .or in formal examination circumstances.
In the English system, an increased technical demand in instrumental or vocal performance is
prescribed from key stage 2, and an "increasing control of specific techniques" is expected in
key stage 3. In the AS level, musical ideas should be performed with technical and expressive
control, a sense of style and awareness of occasion and/or ensemble (chapter 3, section
3.9.11). Eight attainment levels as well as a level for exceptional performance are used to
assess learners at the end of a key stage, but no specific indications for performance
standards are indicated. In the opinion of the author clearer indications for performance
standard could be provided, for example a scale of 1-6 (as in the USA frameworks), or the
equivalent of an internationally accepted examining body, as used by the author in chapter 5.
The duration of recitals are furthermore used as an indication of the expected standard of
performance in the AS and A2 years in England, with a 20 minute recital prescribed in the
specialist option during the 13th year. Because the author of this thesis considers the
assignment of recital duration to different performance levels an effective method of grading
performance standards, the same principle was also applied in chapter 5 to indicate the
gradual increase in technical ability expected between the different NQF levels. Therefore a
recital of7-10 minutes is suggested for the preparatory level, a 20-25 minute recital for NQF
level 4 (the equivalent of the AS level), and finally three balanced recitals of 60-90 minutes
each for NQF level 8.
What role did the current philosophical climate, such as postmodernism, play in the forming
of a project such as the MEUSSA project?
Postmodern inclinations, when used as a tool to refine our senses towards music practised
outside the current music education discourse, may encourage a qualified widening of both
the power and the content within the discourse. Musicology is challenged with a paradigm
shift to include, for example, popular music within its discourse. Different approaches have
been proposed to achieve this, and it is the opinion of the author that a musicology that is
context-driven, in other words one that derives its criteria from the text at hand while locating
it within the context of origin, should be encouraged.
The MEUSSA project of the University of Pretoria was initiated early in 2000. The present
developments in restructuring education in Southern Africa had a direct influence on the
forming of the MEUSSA group, as it was a foreseen absence of unit standards for music(s)
that initiated the project. In character as well as in detailed research content, this project
represents the broad outlines of a postmodern condition. The challenging of accepted metanarratives in music education formed part of the dynamics within the group, and the project
endeavoured to include more than a narrow repertoire of Western Classical music in a new
structure for music(s) in Southern Africa, representing a widening of the accepted canon.
Postmodern tools of communication, such as the Internet and e-mail facilities, proved to be
essential equipment within the group, and the author is of the opinion that the project would
not have been possible without these technologies. This statement is substantiated by the fact
that it was often difficult to network with the few MEUSSA members who did not have ecommunication. Contrary to this situation, those members with e-mail facilities formed a
lively communication system, discussing and exchanging ideas in cyber space.
What is the influence of postmodernism on the widening of the canon in music education in
Southern Africa?
The hesitation
of many modernist
intellectuals
and educational
experts to grasp the
contemporary experiences of youth within a period generally known as postmodernism,
prompted the author to investigate the influence of this era on music education. If the general
characteristics of postmodernism may be formulated as a wide-ranging proliferation of forms
of diversity, a mood of declining authority, economic uncertainty, the extended nature of
electronic mediated ;technologies, alternative methods of knowledge accumulation and the
challenging of meta-narratives, this condition must certainly be acknowledged as having a
profound influence on (music) education.
The potential effect" of postmodernism on music education is impossible to capture in one
sentence, in the same way that it is impossible to provide a simple formulation of this
condition. Therefore the author will, while suggesting that this needs to be explored
substantially in further studies, reflect on the current scenario in very broad lines.
It is not possible to treat all learners in South Africa, and therefore music education in
general, as part of postmodern culture. Depending on available resources, ways of living in
South Africa may be considered on a continuum from pre-modernism to postmodernism. It
is, for example, not possible to explore postmodern
approaches to knowledge without
electricity or the Internet.
The other side of the coin, however, is furnished by international
movement such as postmodernism
trends, of which a
invites music education to acknowledge changes and
shifts on the music scene. If the validating of marginalised groups is considered, it means that
other genres, such as world music and popular music should be deliberated within the
discourse. The dismantling of meta-narratives urges the widening of a canon currently
consisting of a narrow range of repertoire spanning roughly 350 years of history of Western
art music.
Applying these suggestions would entail a context-driven musicology, one that could include
relevant criteria for the study of more genres than Western art music. While retaining
Western art music a$ the backbone of serious music studies, positive elements from different
styles and genres could be applied to benefit the learners in Southern Africa, for example:
Because a project of this nature is a first for South Africa and Southern African musics, not
all possible problems could be envisioned, and some had to be addressed during the course of
time.
The members of the MEUSSA group are situated within the vast borders of South Africa and
Botswana. This means that an effective and reliable communication system was one of the
critical conditions for the capable functioning of the group.
Three ways of communication have been used, some extensively. The main system of
communication, and the one that proved to be most effective, was using the Internet and email facilities. Problems were, however, encountered as not all members of the MEUSSA
group had private e-mail facilities, and a further portion of the group did not respond to their
e-mail correspondence timeously and regularly.
Apart from regular workshops that were held at the University of Pretoria, telephone
conferences with members who could not attend these workshops proved to be very
effective, and were held on a regular basis. In this way the Pretoria members could exchange
opinions with members in Durban, Botswana and the Drakensberg. Video conferencing was
also utilised, but was found to be more expensive than the telephone conference, while not
more effective.
The fact that the MEUSSA group had wide differences with regard to background and
practice in the music field proved to be both problematic and enriching. In this regard the
group divided naturally into a Western-orientated group and a group practising other musics
such as jazz, Indian music and African music. For the success of the project it was realised
that these two groups had to find common ground, and much discussion and e-mail
communication was utilised to achieve consensus. A joint mission and vision were also
formulated and described in the theses of other members of the MEUSSA group.
Widening the field .of music education by including musics of all genres and cultures in
Southern Africa, is, in many respects, still undefined and unstructured. Therefore the main
challenge for the author was to structure the research. For this reason a chapter on modernism
and postmodernism was included, because the process of inclusion and breaking away from
the "main truth" or meta-narrative of Western art music is understood better when viewed as
part of the postmodern condition world-wide.
Another problem was the relatively unknown field, within the formal scenario of music
education, of African and Indian music. As the Western-oriented approach to music
education was challenged within the group, it was realised by the author that inclusive unit
standards, encompassing specific styles and genres, had to be generated. For this, the
expertise of appropriate members within the group was utilised extensively.
Unit standards are,' in nature, non-prescriptive in the sense that they do not stipulate a
curriculum. It is the task of each provider, for example schools, colleges or training
institutions to compile learning programmes, and in this process to specify a curriculum
using the unit standards as benchmark. It is, however, necessary to prescribe a minimum
standard of performance when designing unit standards for focused music performance. In
this, the author recommends that the criteria applied by the most successful providers be used
as backbone for the generation of unit standards, and not the average or below-average
schools or educational institutes. The emphasis on skills-based education, encouraged by an
economic recession, must also not result in a (world-wide) lowering of the value of music
education. The aim must not be to produce average scholars, but to allow learners to excel
themselves while striving for high standards. This approach would result in a schooling
system that could compete with world standards.
Furthermore, the current practice of "fixed music", or music strictly prescribed by the printed
page, must be expanded to include creative aspects such as improvisation
and 'musical
creativity. The tragic truth is that a rigorous discipline such as Western art music very often
stifles and subordinates young musicians' natural musical creativity, and this vacuum may be
addressed by allowing more freedom of expression in terms of improvisational explorations.
A postmodern approach to music education also entails an encounter with a diverse range of
styles and genres. It is therefore the opinion of the author that:
•
The content of the Classical repertoire should be broadened to include a wider span of
history,
investigating
pre-Baroque
as well as very recent
developments
and
compositions .
.•
Examples of high quality music from the popular music scene, as well as the history
of popular music, may be included in formal music studies.
•
Learners should be given the opportunity to formally study music from their own
culture, such as Indian or African music, from the first year at school.
•
Music education of a high quality should be made available to all learners from their
first school year. Employing skilled and motivated teachers, therefore providing
quality training and sufficient resources, are essential in achieving this goal.
Music from a variety of cultures may be included in formal music studies while working
towards quality education, because that would be in line with the postmodern condition
active in Western societies.
The content and approach of music education in Southern Africa is in need of urgent readjustment and re-evaluation. Music in all its facets and sounds must be deliberated and
considered while addressing the musics of all nations forming part of this country. To
achieve this, Western art music may, in the words of Mngoma (1988:3), be used as a "lingua
franca", but the canon needs to be widened to include popular music, African music, Indian
music, other world musics and Music Technology. The sources of music practices available
in Southern Africa may, in other words, be mined to enrich the content of music education,
while keeping the foundational concepts and components of a quality education in music
alive.
The process of generating unit standards for music(s) in Southern Africa has only just begun.
The set of standards for Aerophones (performance), provided in this thesis, indicates the
commencement of a new process of restructuring music education. In doing this, music
educators must utilise the opportunity to integrate the after-school environment of the
. learners during school hours, thereby helping them to make sense of their world while
benefiting from all the advantages that a quality music education can offer. This must be
done without sacrificing the achievement of high standards, and by exploiting prime music
examples.
The following themes may still be explored for future research:
•
How can a common ground for music education, applying to both Western art music
and popular music, or Western art music and African/Indian music be found?
•
What does a systematic and practical application of postmodernism to music
education result in?
•
What does a comprehensive history of popular music entail, and how would that
differ from History of Music, as currently understood?
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Examinations (Woodwind and Brass Instruments). London: Associated Board of the Royal
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Adams, D.J. 1997. Toward a Theological Understanding ofPostmodemism.
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24/4/2000. <http://elwood.pionet/-hub7/value.htm>
Apel, W. 1976. Harvard Dictionary of Music (2nd edition). London: Heinemann Educational
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