Chapter 47 begins with a discussion of the question, “What Is Opera?” for the purpose of defining a platform for the historiography of opera. It then explores theories of genre, criticism, and biography that tend to obscure accepted definitions, leading to a deeper analysis of the relationship between a work and its creator. The central portion of the chapter concerns the fluidity of the operatic work, focusing on examples by Rossini, Verdi, Bellini, Donizetti, and several works of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The central issue of the chapter is the need for historians to find ways to address opera’s “complete history,” including the interrelationships of composition, performance, and revisions when writing a historical narrative for opera.
This chapter examines censorship in pre-unification Italy by focusing on opera composer Giuseppe Verdi. Before explaining how Verdi’s thorough involvement in the creative process of his works makes him a central figure in the discourse on censorship of the period, the chapter analyzes what he meant when he wrote the words “From Nabucco onward I haven’t had, one can say, an hour of peace. Sixteen years in prison!” in a May 12, 1858 letter to his close friend, the Milanese countess Clarina Maffei. More specifically, it discusses the censorship of some of his operas, including Rigoletto and Un ballo in maschera, and its musical implications. It also considers Verdi’s reactions to the censorship of several of his works.
The tradition of music and song in freedom and liberation movements is a long one. However, each generation begins to craft new songs and new music to address its own social context and stylistic tastes. From the slave chants of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to the protest songs of the 1960s, there has been a thread of resistance and freedom in the music of African Americans. However, one of the most generative and creative forces—hip-hop music and culture—has been popularized to represent depravity, misogyny, racism, and homophobia. This chapter explores the revolutionary and resistance roots of hip-hop and describes how teachers might leverage the genre’s attraction to engage youth in social justice teaching and learning.
This chapter explores some of the influence Sondheim’s mentor Oscar Hammerstein II may have had on the composer. With close analysis of the ways in which lyric patterning guided the structure of the music in several Rodgers and Hammerstein shows, the chapter suggests that one of their primary contributions to musical theater was to structure the dramatic dynamic of a show into the score through a use of extended song-form. I note in particular the way this works in Carousel (1945), Allegro (1947), and South Pacific (1949). The chapter then speculates about how Sondheim has developed this technique through a modular montaging of scenes and through the creation of palindromic trajectories within a whole show in A Little Night Music (1973) and Sunday in the Park with George (1984).
Kenneth H. Phillips, Jenevora Williams, and Robert Edwin
Development of the singing voice is especially important for the young. Those who learn to sing early reap a lifetime of benefits, which, in addition to developing aesthetic awareness, include personal, social, and educational outcomes. Singing is a skill that requires disciplined study if the singer is to develop his/her potential. While vocal music teachers agree that children can and should learn to sing, some have considered it inappropriate to teach singing to children via formal instruction. Fortunately, this opinion is changing. The authors agree that structured singing is a learned behavior and formal vocal instruction is appropriate for most young people. This article presents specific information for developing child and adolescent singers.
Youth choirs provide a unique opportunity for young people to develop as musicians. In order to highlight perspectives regarding possible elements that are significant in creating excellent youth choirs, the author, a choral conductor, teacher, and researcher, undertook a study involving interviews with singing teachers, composers and choral conductors who work in the specialised field of youth choirs. She sought to explore their thinking and ideas relating to youth choirs, to the repertoire that they perform, and to the ways that the voices are conducted. Interviewees chosen for the study came from the UK, Estonia, Sweden, Australia, Switzerland, South Africa, the USA, Israel, and Latvia, and the choirs referred to tend to be formed of selected singers who are mostly from specialised musical backgrounds.
Randall Everett Allsup, Heidi Westerlund, and Eric Shieh
Music teachers and researchers are looking more closely at the young people in their classrooms, as if in response or in reaction to increasing diversity and globalization. Relevance is no longer assumed to be automatic, and a quest for so-called real-world or authentic musical experience is sought as a way to direct what gets taught and why. However, such questions of worth and value, with their attendant concerns with authenticity and identity, are imperfect. Rather, youth culture is more adequately understood as cultures of youth—creative, plural, contradictory, dynamic, and purposeful. Thus, with no essentialized view of adolescence to guide educators, and a suspicion about what counts as real or unreal, the central questions that guide contemporary music education should be those which address agency and criticality. How do youths develop critical and creative agency through the study of music, and what role do the cultures of youth play in this development? Using this conceptual frame, this article repositions the varied literature on the culture industry, popular music, informal learning, and community music in search for a space of praxis, where the tensions between cultural integration and youth agency might be negotiated and the business of education conducted. In doing so, it advocates a pedagogy that addresses both the present and future lives of youths, and their multiple and contingent cultures.
As youth are increasingly braiding, blending, and blurring learning spaces, modes, structures and practices, they are transforming their music engagement in ways that are increasingly autonomous and self-directed. These are key features of the dynamic, interactive, and transformative approach to music learning that the author refers to as transformative music engagement. The aim is to enable and encourage youth empowerment in music education in ways that strengthen young people’s engagement in music learning, as well as their resiliency and capacity for well-being and musical flourishing. The chapter discusses this conceptualization and considers how educators might create expansive music learning opportunities within a social justice orientation that guide youth toward developing their distinctive voice and the capacity to express and redefine what matters to them in pursuit of social justice.
This article discusses the history of the Yakama Nation and the musical lives of four youths involved in the traditional music program offered by the Yakama Nation Tribal School (YNTS). YNTS, founded in 1980 and located in Toppenish, Washington, currently serves about 100 students in grades 7 through 12. It was originally founded as an alternative school to serve tribal youth experiencing difficulties in the public school system. However, over the past ten years the school has emphasized the teaching and preservation of Yakama culture. As a part of this focus, a program teaching native drumming and flute has been established in the past several years.
Youth orchestras are central to the music education of tens of thousands of children and teenagers throughout the world, yet studies of their social function, cultural significance, and pedagogical value remain largely unexplored. Even if students receive their principal musical training through individual lessons and school ensembles, participating in a separate youth orchestra can be a life-changing experience for many musicians. This article defines youth orchestras in an international context, and then articulates and measures the pedagogical value of them in one particular case study: the ethos and educational outcomes of the Young Australian Concert Artists program of the Australian Youth Orchestra.