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Taking part and playing parts: Musical identities, roles, participation, and inclusion at Dartington International Summer School

Ruck Keene, Hermione; (2018) Taking part and playing parts: Musical identities, roles, participation, and inclusion at Dartington International Summer School. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Dartington International Summer School of Music (DISS) is an annual residential summer festival of predominantly classical musical learning and performance. Open since 1948 to amateurs, aspiring and established professionals, it represents an unusually diverse and multi-generational musical community. This study explores this Utopian vision of inclusive music-making through a qualitative ethnographic case study, utilizing unstructured interviews, observations, participant diaries and field notes. It addresses the following research foci: residents’ musical identities in relation to their musical background, expectations, and aspirations; playing roles at DISS; relationships with the act of making music and musical participation; and concepts of musical inclusion in the DISS context and beyond. Framed by conceptions of Utopia and the carnivalesque, and drawing on the sociology of work and leisure as well as theorisations of musical and dialogic identity, the study finds that DISS plays a significant role in the development and possible disruption of musical identity, allowing for creative risk-taking and the emergence of a ‘DISS identity’. Playing different musical roles – learner, teacher, performer, ensemble member, audience member - opens up the possibility of new, fluid, relationships with musical behaviours, as well as re-imagining and interrogating conceptions of musical talent. A ‘DISS pedagogy’ is discussed, which at its best draws on principles of dialogic teaching to include a diverse range of learners, whilst also presenting challenges in relation to teaching this mixed community. DISS is considered as a site for alternative performance practice in terms of audience-performer relationships, tutors as performers, and amateur-professional collaborations. Tensions between musical process and product, participation and ‘standards’ are revealed, as well as subtle hierarchies of socio-economic status and longevity of attendance. The potential of DISS as a site for musical inclusion is revealed to be richest in terms of inter-generational music-making possibilities.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Taking part and playing parts: Musical identities, roles, participation, and inclusion at Dartington International Summer School
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10050492
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