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ERIC Number: EJ804688
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 29
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-1545-4517
Amateuring in Music and Its Rivals
Regelski, Thomas A.
Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, v6 n3 p22-50 Nov 2007
With its focus on reason and science, the 18th century began a history of increased specialization. As a result, professional degrees and certificates eventually came to define and control practices that had once been the domains of amateurs. By the end of the 19th century, many practices of lay enthusiasts had been pushed aside; where they were not actually outlawed (e.g., to protect the public), their continuing practice was accorded a lowly status by specialists. This was particularly the case for Classical music; but other musics were also even further demoted by the ideas of "good music" and "good taste" promoted by the new aesthetic theory of the late 18th century. Music, thus, was increasingly left to the professionals, of whom there were more and more, representing more and more specialties. Today, even "popular" musics have their specialists. As a result of these broad trends to specialization, music's role in people's lives today consists more often of passive consumption than of active, enthusiastic participation. The stigma attached to amateurs, and the cultural pedigree behind it, are increasingly major problems for the health and well-being of music and music education in society today, professional musicians abound. Yet the richness of the "music world" depends on far more, and amateurs--including especially audiences--are the key. In this article, the author begins by scrutinizing the amateur "status" and proposes alternative understandings to serve as bases for resurrecting or rehabilitating musical amateuring. He also shows that amateuring is a valid socio-musical practice in its own right, one that warrants a central "curricular focus" within school and community music education. Along the way the author also surveys what and who the "rivals" are to musical amateuring. (Contains 56 notes.)
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 - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A