NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1089737
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1545-4517
El Sistema as a Bourgeois Social Project: Class, Gender, and Victorian Values
Bull, Anna
Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, v15 n1 p120-153 Jan 2016
This article asks why classical music in the UK, which is consumed and practiced by the middle and upper classes, is being used as a social action program for working-class children in British music education schemes inspired by El Sistema. Through exploring the discourse of the social benefits of classical music in the late nineteenth century, a particular classed and gendered morality in relation to music can be traced that has parallels today. This paper argues, first, that classical music education fits with a middle-class disposition by rewarding investment in a future self; second, that it cultivates an ideal of hard work as a moral project; and third, that classical music allows young women to perform a "respectable" female identity. UK Sistema-inspired programs, in drawing on Victorian ideas of the "civilising influence" of culture, symbolise hope for the continuation of the bourgeois social project into the future.
MayDay Group. Brandon University School of Music, 270 18th Street, Brandon, Manitoba R7A 6A9, Canada. Tel: 204-571-8990; Fax: 204-727-7318; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A