Tutor profile: Ben U.
Subject: Music Theory
When studying musical form and analysis we use the terms of motive, phrase and period. What would be the analogous terms to the English language and literature?
As playwrights and poets use words, sentences and punctuation to construct dramatic productions and prose, so do composers to produce marches, sonatas and symphonies. As words embody singular ideas of action, feelings and thought, so does the motive – the smallest musical idea. Entire symphonies have been orchestrated around a four-note motive (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5). Composers use the musical period as punctuation and phrases as sentences, which added together to make specific sections or ‘Acts’ as in a drama/screen play. When Acts are combined together to complete symphonies and dramatic works are created. It is the form and analysis of music that has helped us understand genius of great composers of the past and present.
What influence did the Tanglewood Symposium have in encompassing technology into music education?
In the summer of 1967, over eight hundred musicians, educators and arts council advocates convened in Boston at the Tanglewood Symposium, sponsored by the National Association for Music Education (formally the Music Education National Conference) to examine the role of music education in an American society that was facing rapid social, economic, and cultural change. The Tanglewood Symposium’s objective was to chart NAfME's future course by defining, among other topics, the role of music education and technology. It was here that the utilization of technology in music education was first addressed due to the increasing use of technology in society and the need for an expanding knowledge base for research. The symposium proposed major policies regarding technology and music education in an attempt to address the “... swiftly moving tides of technological change [in education].1 Among the suggested guideline were a need for music educators to comply with the mandates of the science/math initiatives, implementation and utilization of technology to meet the training of pre-service and retraining of inline teachers to address changing technology environments and promote and support the use computer technology in music education to help in the educational process. Due to the forward thinking of the planners at the conference, a strong foundation for technology in music education was realized for many years into the future. 1. Choate, Robert A., Charles B. Fowler, Charles E. Brown, and Louis G. Wersen. 1967. "The Tanglewood Symposium: Music in American Society." Music Educators Journal no. 54 (3):49-80, p. 19.
What significant role did the launching of the Soviet satellite, Sputnik I, have in the American educational system, especially in music?
With the launching of Sputnik, the U.S. educational system felt it had to play ‘catch up’ with the perceived learning gap between the U.S. and the Soviets. Educational reformers began to shift the emphasis of learning from the Dewey’s “Life-Adjustment” paradigm which focused on practical arts, family living, and civic participation to a curriculum stressing mathematics and science, promoted by Admiral Hyman Rickover. Rickover, who had directed the development of the U.S. Navy’s atomic submarine program, became an influential voice and supporter of the new agenda on educational reform. He argued that Americans had become soft and undisciplined due, in part to what students learned in the classroom. The Admiral wanted the American educational system to cut out all the ‘frills’ such as art and music, and was a strong proponent of an educational system more akin to Europe and his country of origin, the Soviet Union.1 Speaking in Washington D.C. at the 40th anniversary of the Sputnik launching, Rodger Bybee reflected on the importance of the Sputnik launching in social and educational terms: “It [Sputnik] has become a historical turning point. For the public, it symbolized a threat to American security, to our superiority in science and technology, and to our progress and political freedom.”2 1. Mark, Michael L., and Charles L. Gary. 2007. A History of American Music Education. Third ed. 2. Bybee, Rodger W. 1997. The Sputnik Era: Why is This Educational Reform Different From All Other Reforms? In Reflecting on Sputnik: Linking the Past, Present, and Future of Educational Reform. Washington DC: Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education National Research Council, p.1.
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