Handout - Talking Points
(A Brief Overview)
Evidence from ancient artifacts and from all contemporary cultures
underlines the point that making music is a regular pastime of man, and
probably one of his earliest accomplishments.
In primitive societies music fulfills a basic function as an accessible
agent of tribal tradition, aesthetic meaning and personal expression in
which all participate.
Evidence exists that the original structure of Greek education was built
on music and gymnastics, although music and poetry were considered one
art. Music was for the soul, while gymnastics were prescribed for the
body. Characteristic instruments of the Greeks were the lyre and the
cithara (string) and the aulos (oboe‑like). The Greeks felt that there is
a form of education in which the students (boys) should be trained, not
because it is useful or necessary, but as being liberal and noble.....the
point is proved by music.
Middle Ages.....6th century Boethius prepared five texts (De Musica )
and these along with ancient manuscripts provided the point of reference
for the music curriculum in the cathedral and monastery schools. At this
time, music was studied as a pure science, not requiring any understanding
or skill in performance areas. Rise of the troubadours and trouveres was a
manifestation of the power of secular trend in music.
Renaissance.....With the rise of Protestantism, the necessity for
universal music education became more evident. Luther and Calvin supported
the idea of vernacular schools that would enable the common people to
interpret scriptures and become good citizens.
Early America.....Music for use in religious
ceremonies, the Bay Song Book (1640). In 1712, John Tufts published the
first practical instruction book in singing. Organization of "Singing
Schools" in New England about 1720 strived to improve the quality of musical
performance. Masters of these schools included William Billings, Lowell
Mason and Francis Hopkins. For a century these schools were the primary
institutions for music training for the average citizen. Music education
was first introduced into the standard curriculum at Hawes School in Boston
in 1838 (Lowell Mason) Sacred Harp
Development.....The expansion of the country, with increased
communication capabilities, allowed touring concert groups to perform in
many towns and communities [Ole Bull, Jenny Lind, Theodore Thomas, Gilmore,
Reeves, Conway and Sousa] First college level music.....the Boston Academy
in 1832, Oberlin in 1835. In 1876 Music Teachers National Convention was
formed. Rise of "pragmatism" as espoused by Charles Pierce, William James
and John Dewey. Pragmatism is based upon the belief that knowledge is used
to guide behavior, its truth is established only by testing it in action.
First school bands were developed in the years preceding WWI. Development of
contests in the mid‑1920's further fostered music in the public schools.
Current Trends.....Suzuki, Kodaly, Orff, Dalcroze - KERATechnological Gains
and Advances.....Computers, Synthesizers, Audio/Video Recording
Kentucky.....KERA and Block Scheduling