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Mahler is a DJ. Reconducting classical music education

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

In this paper we reconceptualize general music education as a “classical music education,” departing from speculative reflection on the notion of conducting. We constitute this notion as an interpretative axis connecting, on the one hand, a different perspective on what classical music might mean in the context of general education, and, on the other hand, a more dynamic, techno-ecological concept of both music and education. This paper develops these connections by thinking along with a concrete specimen of classical music in the strict sense, Mahler's First Symphony, in order to show exactly how thinking about such works may actually take on an aspect that is classical in a more properly general educational sense. Beyond a dichotomy between aesthetical and praxial appraisals of the classical musical work, with their exclusive emphases on intelligible form and socio-critical praxis respectively, our idea of classical music education implies a dynamic (re)conducting of the works. Through practices of (re)conducting, music education can treat works, not as static monuments of eternal beauty or instances of socio-historical criticality, but as catalysts of self-differentiating, transhuman musical experiences—of playing, listening, composing, and thinking—in which human, instrumental, and other techno-ecological agencies mutually transform each other.
Journal: Philosophy of Music Education Review
ISSN: 1063-5734
Issue: 2
Volume: 28
Pages: 220 - 238
Publication year:2020