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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Music appreciation and education Zenker, Renate Andrea Ruth


There are many aspects of music education which require a firmer conceptual basis for their implementation in the school system, especially since questions about the necessity of music education itself have been raised throughout the history of education in Canada. In my thesis I address the question: What does it mean to appreciate music? I examined conceptual research on music appreciation, but discovered that as a body of literature it failed to present a coherent conceptualization of music appreciation. The bulk of my thesis consists in a careful conceptual unpacking of music appreciation and the related notions of listening and hearing, conceptual apparatus and expression in music. To determine a sense of music appreciation which is educationally relevant, I begin with a conceptual analysis of appreciation and determine its relationship to the complex nature of music. The epistemological sense of appreciation focuses on evaluation of music based in knowledge of its structure and its ability to express something to us through that structure. This is achieved through listening to music with a reflective conceptual apparatus which allows us to hear the music in such a way that we can ascribe value to it and in the most sophisticated forms of music appreciation, justify our value claims by articulating what we hear. In the final chapter, I discuss the educational implications of my conception of music appreciation and areas for future research.

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