Jared Burrows and Clyde G. Reed
Freely improvised music lacks commonly used mechanisms (e.g., scores, conductors, shared performance practices) that serve to coordinate choices across performers in other musical genres. This chapter analyses problems and solutions of musical coordination in free improvisation through the lens of “path dependence,” an analytic framework used in economics to model situations in which agents perceive a high pay-off to coordinating market choices. Key results in the path-dependence literature are the likelihood of multiple equilibria and “lock-in” to inferior outcomes. The interpersonal skills identified as critical for coordination in free improvisation closely parallel the skills that have been identified by social scientists as essential for high-functioning group behavior in non-musical pursuits. This suggests a pedagogical role for improvisation in enhancing economic and personal well-being with regard to human capital formation and happiness.
While Western Europe heralds a celebrated tradition of classical choral music, conductors and choral pedagogues from other continents are often astounded to learn of the disparities among choral music education programs throughout the region. This chapter sets out to contextualize the role of music education in the curricula of the typical public or private school, and how private enterprise has evolved to provide music opportunities for those pursuing musical artistry and classical training. Does choral art thrive in a more diverse cultural landscape and a less regulated environment? How does the organizational context of school choir, church choir, community choir, choir club, or private initiative, predispose and shape the choral experience and the success of its endeavors? Is there a European methodology to teach choral music? Finally, how are artistic concepts such as the quest for a “German” choral music passed on?