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Aural education and its pedagogical conceptualisation in higher music education

Andrianopoulou, Monika; (2018) Aural education and its pedagogical conceptualisation in higher music education. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

‘Aural training’ has been a part of Western tertiary formal music education from the latter’s beginnings in the 19th century. Traditionally, it focuses on pitch and rhythm, and features the practices of solfège and dictation, which can be traced back to the work of Guido d’ Arezzo in the 11th century. Guido’s system, as well as later uses of solfège and dictation in 19th-century European and American schools and choirs, aimed to aid and facilitate musical learning for both children and adults. More recently, however, empirical research has shown music teachers and students to be often negatively predisposed towards this branch of music education, across different levels. Criticisms pertain to issues such as a perceived narrow focus on pitch and rhythm, acontextual treatment of musical material, emphasis on reproductive activities and on verbalisable musical knowledge, along with a longstanding neglect to forge links between ‘aural training’ and music psychology. During the last four decades or so, many educators across countries have proposed different approaches to broadening the content and methods of this type of course, aiming to highlight its connections with other subjects of the music curriculum and enhance its overall relevance for the music student and their future professional needs. Aiming to contribute to this discourse, the present study seeks to explore the practice of ‘aural training’ from historical, pedagogical, psychological and cultural perspectives. As a result of this investigation, a number of pedagogical principles are proposed, as a possible way of widening ‘aural training’ into a broader, more relevant and effective form of ‘aural education’. Findings emphasise the multi-faceted and subjective character of our relationship to music; the inter-connection between different ways of experiencing musical sound; the ubiquitous presence of emotion in all of these; the richness of implicit forms of knowing; and the inestimable importance of assimilated aural experience for learning, performing and improvising music. A more holistic approach, which will acknowledge the richness of our relationship to music and be rooted in absorbed aural experience, is proposed as a possible alternative to 'aural training'.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Aural education and its pedagogical conceptualisation in higher music education
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043813
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