UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A song of songs : a/r/tography, autoethnography, and songwriting as music education research Bakan, Daniel Lowell


This dissertation is an a/r/tographic inquiry in which I explore how songs and stories about songwriting can serve as a means for theorizing new ways of conducting research in music education. I a/r/tographically braid music, lyrics, scholarship and research, autoethnography, and other creative analytical practices to demonstrate how songs and memories can be used as interpretive texts for understanding artistic identity and the nature of being a musician. Through a collaged and multi-modal method of inquiry, I show how music and its renderings, i.e., recordings, lyrics, videos, memories, and lived shared expressions (e.g., performance) can hold and uncover new ‘knowings’ about music making, the self, and society. Using a bricolaged métissage approach, I explore how and why the ethnographic study of autobiographical material and artistic renderings through (and about) song can broaden understandings of the lived experiences of musicians, music learners, and teachers. Supported by Pinar’s re-conceptualist theory of currere, hermeneutic epistemologies, and praxial approaches to music education, this dissertation exemplifies performative autoethnography as research through music-making. I ultimately arrive at two interwoven outcomes: 1) song may function simultaneously as the method, results, and interpretation of research; and 2) the lived experiences and ‘musicings’ of musicians may be considered as a form of artful scholarship. Digital audio and video files of six original songs are attached to this dissertation not only as data in support of the research, but also as a representation and report of findings through storied/scholarly renderings in lyric, prose, image, and music.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada