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date: 02 June 2020

Giving Voice to Children

Abstract and Keywords

This article begins with a brief overview of The Oxford Handbook of Children’s Musical Cultures, which represents an interdisciplinary enquiry into children and their musical worlds. It then reviews previous studies of musical children followed by a discussion of the difficulty of defining childhood. An outline of the principal themes explored in this book is also presented.

Keywords: musical culture, children, musical worlds, childhood

Children’s engagement with music is universal. They are awash with music, and the rhythms and melodies they exude from an early age are evidence of ways in which the music of their culture lives within them. From infancy, across their childhood years, and onward into their adolescence, they sing, dance, and play music because they must. They consume it as they also create it. As avid listeners, they escape to it and find safe haven in it. Their natural propensity for musical engagement is fostered and facilitated by families, communities, schools, and the media. Music defines them as children even as it distances them from those who do not share the same interests. They evolve a pastiche repertoire that grows from their living in cultures in which music is valued, and they find their way into music somehow—even if societal odds are against it. Children develop their musical sensibilities as their surroundings allow it, and from their innate instinct to be musical they grow more musical through cultural interaction and education. Yet they are not passive recipients of the music they value but active agents in choosing the music they will take time to listen and respond to, to make, and to choose to preserve, reinvent, or discard.

This volume represents an interdisciplinary inquiry into children and their musical worlds—their songs, chants, rhythmic speech, movement and dance routines, listening interests, sociomusical interactions, and creative expressions, alone and together, and on instruments and a diversity of everyday objects. Scholars from ethnomusicology and education, as well as those with expertise in folklore and developmental psychology, have contributed to this collection on the content and context of children’s music making and the function and meaning of these musical expressions to them. They provide circumstantial evidence and critical commentary for why children engage musically; how music is differentiated by age, gender, race and (p. 2) ethnicity, and socioeconomic circumstances; and whether the music children make is associated with the adult music of their experience or linked cross-culturally to the expressive practices of childhood that happen everywhere.

The thirty-five essay-chapters offer perspectives on children’s musical cultures from a broad geographic base of mostly musical ethnographies from around the globe. They provide descriptions and assessments of the musical world of children in specific settings, their enculturation and possibilities for their musical education and training, the sources of knowledge and materials, and the range of music available to them, taught, expressed, invented, and preserved by them. Some chapters survey the extent of local music in children’s use, or in particular contexts in which children gather (e.g., schools, homes, and playgrounds), and others offer an understanding of music from a “child’s eye” perspective, investigating children’s musical world and allowing their voices to be heard. The volume involves looking both at the nature, structures, and styles of the music preferred and used by children—with a broad definition of “childhood” encompassing early childhood well on into adolescence—and the meanings and messages that this music acquires and conveys both for the children and for those who are providing the music to them. It considers the ways in which particular musical styles or even specific pieces known and valued by children may represent different views of the world or of cultural heritage. An underlying weave in the writing is the premise that there are processes common to children’s development regardless of where in the world they may live, and yet there are cultural factors—local, national, and global—that influence their thoughts and ways of being.

A Retrospect of Studies of Musical Children

The study of children has long challenged scholars working across a number of disciplines. Such a challenge has necessitated the development of manuals and reflective words that advise methodological approaches and issues (Bluebond-Langner 2007; Graue and Walsh 1998; Holmes 1998; Montgomery 2009). Anthropologists have historically refrained from examining the life worlds of children, viewing them as imperfect and unimportant because they are only in the gradual process of becoming culturally competent adults (James and James 2008; Lancy 2008). Yet this view has been contested, such that anthropology is based on the premise that “culture is learned, not inherited” and children’s capacity to learn culture is remarkably strong to have merited so little interest in the annals of contemporary anthropology. Hirschfeld observes that, although there have been a number of individual studies of children since the 1930s, “this work has not coalesced into a sustained tradition of child-focused research” (2002: 611). Only since the advent of the twenty-first century has there been a substantial increase of interest in the study of children within (p. 3) the discipline of anthropology, leading to the setting up of a special interest group for Children and Childhood within the American Anthropological Association in 2007 (American Anthropological Association 2011).

Ethnomusicology had also paid little attention to children, and reviews of the field have turned up a surprisingly small body of literature and research (Minks 2002). John Blacking’s historic study of the Venda children of South Africa (1967) broke a new pathway, although his impetus was the study of adult musical culture to which the children belong. Even earlier, Richard Waterman’s study of the Yirkalla, an Australian indigenous group, examined musical enculturation in the life cycle of boys and girls, who were socialized into their cultural values and traditions through song (1956). The bimusical environment in which young Australian Aboriginal children were raised (this time, the Pitjanjara) was noted in Margaret Kartomi’s study of their experience with traditional songs as well as Western popular music and missionary hymns (1980). More recently, the oral-kinetic texts in double-dutch competitions of African American girls was studied ethnomusicologically by Kyra Gaunt (2006), bringing attention to the communally valued rhythmic, timbral, and melodic effects of vernacular speech in their performance practice. Yet despite a few scattered studies of children here and there, ethnomusicologists are just now making strides in their views of children as autonomous and separated from the adults of their culture. Like their colleagues in anthropology, they are emerging from a history of observational reports of their own making, into an understanding that children are capable of expressing themselves (James 2007: 261). Further, in ethnomusicology as in anthropology, the emphasis given to diversity over commonality has prevented the examination of patterns of children’s practices (Minks 2006: 217) when in fact childhood may be best viewed for its global as well as cultural-specific entities.

From the end of the nineteenth century to the last years of the twentieth century, children’s song appeared to be of great interest to scholars who collected, dissected, and discussed their composite parts. Children’s song was seen by folklorists as a fixed cultural artifact that, like all folk song, could be examined for text, melody, and rhythm. Collections amassed, such as William Wells Newell’s Games and Songs of American Children (1884) and Lady Alice Gomme’s two-volume Traditional Games (1894–1898). Folklorists were particularly keen to study the texts of songs, chants, and rhymes as well as riddles, teases, and taunts. Beginning in the 1950s, the works of folklorists Iona and Peer Opie paid heed to children’s songs and singing games for their lore and language and for the steady state of some characteristics as well as the variations across renderings of the song, in various regions and contexts. Their classic work, The Singing Game (1985), was intended to document the “final flowering” period of children’s song, for fear that it would soon disappear (although it continues to this day).

A number of significant features of the music of childhood have become evident in the analysis by music scholars of collections of songs, chants, rhythms, and musical utterances, particularly of children in North America, Australia, and northern and western Europe (Campbell 2007; Marsh and Young 2006; Nettl 2005). (p. 4) Children’s invented and reinvented songs and singing games are seen as featuring small vocal ranges of less than an octave, typically a sixth, and sometimes only a fourth. Three-tone, four-tone, and pentatonic melodies are frequent, and major and minor seconds and minor thirds are prominent. Duple-metered songs are common, although the complexities of cross-rhythms come into play when children sing in duple and move (as in clapping hands) in rhythms felt in triple meter. Syncopations abound in the melodies of children’s songs, although straightforward binary rhythms are also evident. Children’s songs, especially in English-speaking communities, tend to fall into repetitive and cyclical forms, particularly strophic form, although there is a sizable number of through composed songs in their invented song repertoire, too. The rhymed chants of children may be rhythmic but not pitched, or they may feature just two alternating pitches of a second or a third. Of their spontaneous singing, children engage in musical utterances, short melodic segments that include sustained pitches of a few notes to a wide diatonic spread of pitches, adding words and nontranslatable sounds that flow freely and expressively (Campbell 1998). The music of children reflects their environmental influences, such that the idiomatic nuances of popular song and other adult-made music surface in their melodies and rhythms. Elsewhere in the world, in parts of Africa and Asia, children’s music exhibits similar features in the way of their uses of music and its social meanings as well as some of its sonic properties (Dzansi 2002; Lew 2005).

Educationists have traditionally approached children as recipients of knowledge transmitted to them by adults with training in subject matter and developmentally appropriate delivery techniques and systems. Researchers have viewed children as blank slates and have represented children as primitive, as copycats, as personality trainees, as monkeys, and as critics (Holmes 1998: 109–111). Only since the early 1990s have specialists in music education sought to expand their views of children, utilizing ethnographic fieldwork techniques to query their musical engagement outside the realm of formal schooling. One early project was Campbell’s, Songs in Their Heads, published in 1998 and updated in 2010 (Campbell [1998] 2010). Campbell sought to construct a multidisciplinary study of children’s musical interests and actions that allowed children to speak for themselves, with conversations set alongside standard descriptions and interpretations inherent in fieldwork. Of this same ilk are the works of music educators who have examined the processes by which children create and recreate songs, preserve them intact and vary them, and transmit and learn them through processes that fuse watching, listening, and imitating (Corso 2003; Harwood 1998; Lum, 2007; Marsh 2008; Riddell 1990). Recent years have also seen the publication of two volumes of children and their music, many of the essays written by those attuned to the musical education of children: McPherson’s edited volume The Child as Musician (2006) is a thorough review of the musical development of children and the ways in which they engage with music, Musical Childhoods and the Cultures of Youth (edited by Boynton and Kok 2006) is a collection of essays by musicologists and ethnomusicologists that addresses the manner in which children are socialized into the musical life of their communities, both in past and contemporary circumstances, and Musical Childhoods of Asia and the (p. 5) Pacific (Lum and Whiteman 2012) offers views of children in their musical worlds through methodological lenses prominent in education research.

The historic and continuing efforts of specialists across several disciplines and fields contribute to an understanding of children and the music they make, know, and value. Yet musical childhood is largely overlooked and underresearched, particularly with attention to a child-centered approach that gives voice to the children who create their culture, in which music plays a significant role. The intent of this volume is to advance a perspective of the world of music as children know it, in their own words, and as articulated by adults who can foreground children and their social realities, however ensnarled and entwined that process may be. The great leap forward from what has come before has resulted in further discovery of the complexities of the roles and meanings of music in the lives of children.

Defining Childhood

The struggle to define childhood is long and varied. From the Middle Ages, when children were depicted as miniature adults (with heads and bodies out of their childlike proportions), the emphasis has been on who children would become rather than who they really are (Ariès 1962). They were described as less developed, compared to adults, and defined more by what was missing than by the essence of this rich period of their early years. Even now, children are defined by age but not fully recognized for their agency and are assigned roles rather than allowed to experience and discover what is meaningful for themselves. Childhood is not so easily defined, and the simple and straightforward descriptions of the past may be tidy but also off the mark.

Children are in a unique liminal position, one that continues from birth clear through to their achievement of independence from the family in later adolescence, as subjects and objects of enculturation, education, training, induction, consumerism, peer pressure, and exploitation. They are variously accommodated, amused, or educated, often through the media, in a community—a reservation of sorts—that is made for them and by them in schools, after-school programs, sports activities, and social and service clubs especially designed for their needs. Even as the construct of childhood is defined by maturational, social, and cultural factors, so also are children, and they are fashioned by adults to fit into cubbyholed conceptualizations of who they are and are not, with little attention to their own sense of themselves. Children define themselves differently than adults define them (Valentine 2000), and we might predict that there is also variance in children’s self-definitions as children from one place in the world to the next as they respond and interact with specific contexts.

Within the English language, there is a wealth of literature that has established some of the attributes of children in ways that emphasize aspects of the adult view of childhood. In the Bible, for example, St. Paul advised the Corinthians, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. When I became (p. 6) a man, I gave up my childish ways” (1 Corinthians 13, International Standard Version). This view attends to the progression of children toward adulthood, and proposes that the giving up of “childish” ways is the indicator of progression to the state of “man” through personal autonomy rather than the control of society. William Shakespeare (1623) also offered a vision of childhood in As You Like It, when Jacques observed:

At first the infant,

Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;

And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Unwillingly to school. (act 2, sc. 7)

For Shakespeare, representing views of his time, the early stages of life are bounded by the body; the physical inabilities that inhibit action and communication by the intellect. In the twentieth century, we now know that those early weeks and months of “childishness” are the site of the most rapid learning, growth, and experimentation of the entire human existence. Children experiment with their new bodies, trying out their voices as they acquire language but also exploring a far wider range of vocalizations. It says much for some societies that this enthusiasm can be reduced to “creeping to school” within a few short years.

Outside the English-speaking world, however, there are points of pause on recognition of the challenges of the universal child (or childhood), when the meaning of words like “children” or “children’s musical culture,” and even “music,” take on different meanings as they translate problematically between languages. In some locations, children are expected to be responsible for contributing to the economic necessities of an adult world, and there is little time for childhood wonder, exploration and experimentation, and play. Children grow up quickly in these climes, if ever they were permitted to behave like children. They may know brief childhoods, too, with little recognition of the vast spaces between childhood and adulthood when, in their adolescence, they teeter between dependence and independence. Children are at one level and in some settings highly sophisticated in their interactions with others, learning very quickly to draw meaning from a large range of cultural and social indicators and behaviors, while they are at the same time naïve about the possible intentions and manipulations practiced on them. They can articulate their feelings, emotions, and preferences straight from the heart, spontaneously and in emotionally unrestricted ways, even as they are also capable of thoughtful and deliberate choices and (at a certain age) explanations and reflections on the experiences of their childhood.

The Principal Themes of This Volume

Principal themes and supporting strands of inquiry and intrigue emerge in the varied contexts of this volume. These function to create a framework for an examination (p. 7) of children, their musical lives, and their identities in music. Local cultures in which children are living, learning, and developing are described, with attention to their homes and families, their neighborhoods, schools, community centers, and social groups, as well as national and cultural imperatives that press upon the young lives of children within school and on the far outside. On numerous occasions, historical streams of influence within local, regional, and national realms are traced as they function to shape children’s lives, their learning, and their interests and values, and attention is paid to traditional and imported cultural strands that influence children’s perceptions of music, the arts, and culture. The chapters collect around three broad topics:

  • Engagements with Culture: Socialization and Identity, within which there are determinate subthemes of (re)making cultures by and for children, including updating tradition, cultural identities with multiple meanings, and personal journeys in and through culture

  • Music in Education and Development

  • Technologies: Impacts, Uses, and Responses (particularly as they influence their musical engagement and interests)

This framework for the study of children’s musical culture is an assemblage of front-end questions that launched the volume and is furthered by emergent themes from the chapters within. They are not discrete themes but overlap and deepen understandings of the nexus of children, music, and culture. Although these themes and strands have been used to order the chapters, the contributors are not constrained by them, so that authors’ views of the factors affecting their specific contexts may appropriately range across a wider range of inquiry than the specific section title. Some of the threads will be teased out later in this introduction.

Engagements with Culture: Socialization and Identity

(Re)Making Cultures for/by Children/Updating Tradition

Ethnomusicologists have always acknowledged “traditional” music as an area of primary interest, while recognizing that musical traditions by men and women have to be created, invented, and constantly refreshed if they are not to enter a state of preservation (or made static through the process of museumization). Concern for the preservation of traditional music, also often termed “folk” music, has been evident in the United Kingdom for at least three centuries since it began to be “collected” (Harker 1985). During the past half century, publications and professional organizations dealing with “tradition” in some way are almost too numerous to mention (p. 8) and include, for example, The International Council for Traditional Music, the now classic Folk and Traditional Musics of the Western Continents (Nettl 1965), Music & Tradition (Widdess and Wolpert 1981), and Cahiers de Musiques Traditionelles, from volume 1 of 1998 to the latest, volume 23 of 2010 (Ateliers d’ethnomusicologie). These all tend to focus on the nature of the adult-made music and the circumstances of its transmission as well as the meaning and place of the music within its culture. There are few mentions of children in relation to tradition, save the occasional reference to a specific genre of children’s music or a group of children learning traditional music as part of an initiation into adulthood. Expert adult musicians and cultural elders assume the role of culture bearers, responsible for remembering and performing cultural tradition, overseeing its performances by adult members of the community, and ensuring that it is passed on at an appropriate time and fully understood by the following generation. This is, of course, a partial view, since children also frequently play a part of musical traditions, both contributing to them and absorbing their heritage. But within the realities of formal education across the majority of the world, children are typically removed from the adult world and located in a special enclave called “school” for much of their time, where they are taught adult-valued knowledge and offered adult-structured experiences. Curricular content for children is typically that knowledge believed by adults to have universal application, for communication or for a community’s economic development via technology, manufacturing, or farming. If the arts are ever included in a school curriculum, they are more likely to be offered from a national or international canonic standard rather than local perspective, and they may be taught more as knowledge rather than through direct experience, which then alters the nature of learning as well as precisely what is learned. In the end, these societal decisions for children’s education may offer little recognition of, and support for, their own valued traditions and their own culture-bearing qualities.

Children’s lives, their learning, and their interests and values are the outcomes of historical streams of influence that have existed for generations, or even centuries, within local, regional, and national realms. Time-honored cultural traditions in music and the arts may be untraceable to the circumstances of their origin and evolution, and yet they may have always been there—innate, inherited, indigenous. Some of the strongest traditions are as likely to have been imported as they are indigenous, and their presence may be wrapped into colonial histories in which some nations once exerted undue pressure and influence upon other nations. The music of a culture, including the music that children make, preserve, and pass on, may be embedded in a colonial heritage. The music children learn at school, or perform at churches, may well be vestiges of that earlier history: English-language songs in Hong Kong preschools (see the chapter by Chen-Hafteck—subsequent references to chapters in this volume will give just the author name) and in English-language classes in the Gambia (Koops); the study of Western classical instruments (and the examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) in the schools of Hong Kong and Singapore (Chen-Hafteck; Lum and Dairianathan); the use of Wesleyan hymnals in the children’s choir of a village church in Sierra Leone (Bartolome). (p. 9)

The continuation of traditions within indigenous societies is complicated by their locations within the priorities of a second nation, as in the case of the Aboriginal Australians (Mackinlay) and the Yakama of the western United States (Pitzer). In fact, children of these societies live in two worlds, code switching in and out of two cultural systems, their values, and their languages. They know the music of their first nation from birth and in all of the customary rituals and practices that thread through the seasons of their childhoods, even as they learn the music of their second nation through its mediated sources as well as the government-sponsored standards of the school curriculum. Their cultural histories are complicated and continuing, and they struggle with their multiple identities at large and in music.

The element of a familial history emerges, too, in considerations of children’s musical lives, one that is linked in a linear way to living generations ahead of them, including parents and grandparents as well as aunts and uncles, who surround children and contribute to their musical sensibilities. Such is the account of three generations in a family that traces its musical heritage to Puerto Rico (Berríos-Miranda), where a first generation remembered the live music of carnaval and the bomba and plena music on the Motorola radio, a second generation was raised on salsa’s rhythms and instrumental improvisations, and a third generation now responds to reggaeton’s electronic mix of hip-hop and reggae. The pathways of young musicians are rooted as well in a family history of professional musicians, in which fathers and grandfathers, steeped in musical knowledge of the brass band world, were the influential models for a third generation (Booth). As mentioned earlier, a colonial heritage or context is a significant historical element in many places. While there is not space in this volume to reexamine the extensive research from the perspective of children’s musical heritage, the chapters by Lum and Dairianathan, Chen-Hafteck, Wiggins, Koops, Bartolome, Mapana, Nannyonga-Tamusuza, Smith, Mackinlay, Berríos-Miranda, Moore, Pitzer, Sturman, and Vallejo all offer some comment on and insight into colonial legacies.

In her chapter, Downing specifically explores issues of young girls as tradition bearers in creating a new gamelan ensemble in Bali, a dichotomy that both subverts tradition by innovating a girls’ gamelan and propagates gamelan tradition more widely, as the girls’ gamelan is a popular tourist attraction. Cultural continuity is mostly a concern of adults who want to ensure that a succeeding generation is inculcated with appropriate attitudes and mores, often carried and indicated by the performance of songs in which the musical qualities render the words more memorable. This use of songs is explored in two religious contexts in the United States (Cohen; Miller and Miller): as part of the creation of Japanese identity in the first part of the twentieth century (Manabe) and in traditional gender roles and expectations in Uganda (Nannyonga-Tamusuza). A unique choral repertoire, supported by an equally unique written script to communicate the language, is the subject of Vallejo’s research in Georgia. This area has become known for its adult choral tradition, and Vallejo begins the process of inquiry into the ways in which children learn in this context. Singing, as well as learning an instrument, is also the medium through which children learn in the Mexican context explored by Sturman. The development of orchestral playing by (p. 10) children in South America has achieved wide notice, often referred to as “El Sistema,” but Sturman’s inquiry also encompasses the ways in which children are the medium for the creation of a culture that sets out to bring together traditional music and language with adopted skills. Other fascinating insights come from Pitzer, who provides evidence that the Yakama traditions are becoming reenergized and owned by a new generation, and from Moore, who delves into the traditions of African American children that have survived as the culture of and for children for multiple generations.

A view of children as passive recipients of adult culture is also partial and does not recognize the capacities of children to change adult culture (rather than only imitating it), aligning it more with their interests. In some cultures, there are genres of children’s music, passed between generations of children, who are then also culture bearers. Children often live in a plural context that is the nexus of local and national issues, dealing with different identities as well as a variety of inheritances from immigrant communities. Several chapters explore the relationship between local identities and a sense of nationality, mostly located in Africa (Bartolome; Emberly; Koops; Mapana; Wiggins) where postcolonial national boundaries include more than one indigenous ethnicity as well as a colonial legacy. Bodkin-Allen has a different view of parallel issues in New Zealand/Aotearoa as children “play” with their identities, and Kent both traces a historical tradition and maps the contemporary situation for an underrepresented Cornish culture within the United Kingdom. Mackinlay observes the issues in Australia for culture bearers located within a dominant culture whose policies are not always supportive of Aboriginal traditions, while Marsh examines the cultural heritage and materials of newly arrived immigrant children. National cultural imperatives for the transmission of appropriate materials also appear as issues in Hong Kong (Chen-Hafteck), Singapore (Lum and Dairianathan), and Korea (Kim), where Western classical music is the state-sponsored music of choice over indigenous forms.

Discussions about culture and interactions with it tend to assume a model of an individual who interacts directly with that culture as an autonomous person: an adult. For children, the situation is more complex and there is a series of modalities affecting their interaction with cultural materials, with their domestic setting providing a major context within which they are first exposed to cultural materials. Children are gradually allowed autonomy in their choice of their active engagement within the culture, subject to social and economic constraints. With the increasing availability of music through the media, the home is less the site of active family music making than was formerly the case, but perhaps most mothers still sing to their children—at least in private. Whiteman explores the ways in which young children construct their world at micro- and macrolevels in relation to their family and local community, considering locations in Australia and Hawaii.

The tendency in many households to leave the radio or television (or perhaps both) playing and to use big-screen entertainment as placeholders for absent parents and caregivers, means that children may hear more music in their childhood than they would previously have heard in a lifetime. This may contribute to the phenomenon of “continuous partial attention” in which an individual monitors several diverse sources, (p. 11) trying to avoid missing anything (Stone 2010) but also pays less specific attention to any source and is more easily distracted by something else because it might be significant. Parents may leave their choice of media playing but are also likely introduce a child to radio or TV programs made specifically for them at an early age. There is little quality control, such that programs made for children range from educational, through edutainment, to programs whose sole aim seems to be to sell merchandise. Hoefnagels and Harris Walsh explore some of these issues in Canada, looking at the repertoire and intentions of the performers. The extent to which this is a local culture is complex; some aspects of the repertoire present a global village where the world comes to a given locality, but this is also culture at the national level, inducting children into a North American context. By contrast, the family and locality of the culture that Miller and Miller observe in an American church is highly focused. It rejects many aspects of the surrounding general culture but is linked to other churches internationally by shared beliefs. Parental control of what is heard and done by the children continues for longer in the church setting so that the children are better prepared to pass on this aural-oral culture. Nannyonga-Tamusuza also reports on a local culture in Uganda, where music and songs support and inculcate family roles and there is a designated person, a paternal aunt, who is responsible for the transmission of knowledge and culture.

The Amazonian riverine culture that Ilari explores is very local, mostly due to geographic location, and there is a sense that this is a liminal community from a wider Brazilian perspective. Very local family and community cultures may find themselves under pressure from media access in the future, as such access enables children to identify the individuality of their cultural behavior and to question it; music is often a powerful tool to ensure that the traditional behaviors and roles are embedded within children’s consciousness at an early stage. The Aboriginal culture in Australia that Mackinlay reports on is already under pressure from a dominant national culture. Thus, the indigenous culture, based on the extended family, is struggling for meaningful survival and exploring how they will respond to the influences of this dominant culture. In contrast, Kleber and Souza report on community projects in Brazil, where cultural activities, particularly music that extends across both traditional and more international styles, are offering a medium through which socioeconomic hardship, antisocial behavior, and low self-esteem are being addressed. Of course, because children are not simply recipients of local culture, they create their own culture within peer groups, negotiating an environment drawing on the cultural inheritance from their families and their own experience. The detailed observation of a group of children in Nicaragua by Minks shows how the rules and behaviors for games work within this cultural web.

Cultural Identities with Multiple Meanings

An important element in the journey through childhood and adolescence is the development of a conscious identity. This personal identity is shaped and defined by language, ethnicity, and religious beliefs and is often publicly expressed (and (p. 12) personally determined from tween-age, or even earlier) through dress, music, and dance. Derived from a sense of belonging to a particular group, identity is frequently oversimplified, summarized by a single word or reference. Said observed,

No one today is purely one thing. Labels like Indian, or woman, or Muslim or American are no more than starting points…. Yet just as human beings make their own history, they also make their cultures and ethnic identities. (1994: 407–408)

As young as they are, children make their own identities, and these are not purely one thing. They are familiar with and sensitive to labels, and they learn early on their power to include, exclude, and cause hurt. Yet childhood is marked by a growing awareness of the meaning of multiple symbols of cultural and social location. Young children use music because they find it appealing, and it is only as they mature that they recognize the symbolic meanings attached to music’s place in the construction of their personal identity. The widespread availability of global materials through locally available media such as radio, TV, films, and the internet has led to a “glocal” situation for many children, so their identity is shaped by elements and influences in local, national, and global spheres. The question of how local identities are recognized at the national level, the materials that support local identity, and the presence and attraction of national and international media, is in play for children in New Zealand (Bodkin-Allen), Sierra Leone (Bartolome), South Africa (Emberly), Brazil (Ilari), the United Kingdom (Kent), the Gambia (Koops), Australia (Marsh), the United States (Pitzer), India (Sarrazin), and Trinidad (Smith). In contrast, Hoefnagels and Harris Walsh examine the glocal world specifically created for children by adult performers in Canada. Language usage is another interesting aspect often associated with songs. Although linguistic code switching is not always indicative of identity (Depperman 2007: 35), Minks explores the linguistic codes in operation around a children’s game in Nicaragua.

Personal Journeys in/through Culture

It would be surprising if reflections on the role and function of music within the spheres of culture, socialization, and identity did not result in the reexamination by some authors of their own childhood development and experience. This might have resulted in the reinvention of history with twenty-twenty hindsight, such that what would come forward would be either a glowing reminiscence of a childhood in which it was always a golden summer or a damning indictment of past practices that did not measure up to our present advanced state of knowledge. In fact, a balanced and reasoned set of personal journeys emerged instead through autoethnography, a mode of writing that has become established relatively recently as an accepted form of academic inquiry (see, e.g., Holman-Jones 2005 and the 2009 music-focused collection by Bartleet and Ellis). Four contributors to this volume examine issues for a community specifically through their own experience, often studying children who are now at a similar stage as a comparator and (p. 13) reference point. Lum and Dairianathan explore the acculturative issues raised by the strong presence of Western instruments and examinations in Singapore, with its continuation of Chinese (and Malay and Indian) cultural traditions and values. Mackinlay interrogates the childhood experiences for Aboriginal children in northern Australia, where there are many unresolved cultural differences between a traditional upbringing and the values expressed by state-controlled educational practice. Moore reflects on both the delights and challenges of an African American upbringing in the southern United States, while Berrios-Miranda considers the continuities and changes for her mother, herself, and her children in Saturce, Puerto Rico and Seattle, United States, over the course of these three generations. In parallel with Lum and Dairianathan, and with Mackinlay, Mapana considers music education in Tanzania, focusing on his experience in the Wagogo cultural region and probing how music experiences in and out of school can be local and national, while Chen-Hafteck explores the ongoing dialogue around identity for herself and children today in Hong Kong.

Music in Education and Development

The place of the arts, and specifically music, in formal education has always been a matter of debate and justification, particularly after the early years when “play” is valued. Reasons put forward for music’s maintenance in educational institutions, communities, and individual families include its inherent artistic qualities, its impact on children’s cognitive development, its contribution to children’s emotional well-being, its communication (in song texts) of social values and required behaviors, its long-standing presence in a traditional school curriculum, its prospects for the economic livelihoods of adults who have amassed skills from their school years onward, and even its social status. National and cultural imperatives press upon the presence of music in schools for children’s greater good, even as there are local communities that stand in support of its place in their state-sponsored system of education. In the case of governments that recognize the arts as an economic product, there are attempts to maximize their income from it, in which case they may sponsor the training of highly productive young musicians while providing little musical education for all others. In various societal circumstances, children learn music more or less well as a result of the education and training that is offered to them in schools, preschools, free or family-afforded special music schools, after-school programs, or private tuition (as in the case of piano lessons). Children’s musical education may function to develop their musicianship, their creative thinking processes, and their knowledge of history and culture. For very few, music may become their livelihood and professional work (e.g., Booth; Lum and Dairianathan), while for most children, their musical education will lead to later leisure activity and an outlet for their personal expression alone and in groups. (p. 14)

In the schools, musical study by children frequently leads to the acquisition of skill sets and repertoires by children through their participation in instrumental and vocal music ensembles as well as through listening lessons and guided experiences in creative musical invention. Such aims fall short when students’ musical needs and music education actualities are ill matched, as has happened in those German schools where lessons are more tailored to passive listening than to engaging children in the process of making music (Kertz-Welzel). Likewise, the government-mandated content of Euro-American art music within the schools of Singapore (Lum and Dairianathan) and Tanzania (Mapana) and other nations with European colonial histories does little to develop a connection of students to their own living local musical cultures. In Brazilian programs, where there is an honoring of children’s social realities, the results of musical training and education are positive and meaningful (Kleber and Souza). Membership in musically demanding school programs in Hong Kong, Mexico, the United States, and elsewhere fire up children and youth, who forge their personal, social, and cultural identities alongside the development of their musical skills (Abril; Sturman). Government, religious, and private sponsors of schools are well aware that the musical content of the curriculum may be chockfull of societal values and mores, too, and that songs are vessels of language learning (Chen-Hafteck; Koops) and cultural understandings that are deemed important for children to acquire (Manabe).

The rise of attention in many of the world’s nations to the early education of young children, especially infants, toddlers, and prekindergarten children, has prompted specialist-teachers to seek out playful and multisensory experiences that enhance children’s cognitive and socioemotional growth. Increasingly, music is a compulsory subject of study in the certification training of early childhood educators. Preschool children are commonly engaged in singing, listening, moving, and playing rhythm instruments (Adachi; Kim; Whiteman), and for some there are the additional after-school experiences through the global network of trademarked music education providers such as Kindermusik and Gymboree (Chen-Hafteck). While the musical education of young children figures importantly in a wide array of national and regional policy papers, it is valued within local cultural communities as well, where musical threads are woven through kindergartens, childcare centers, and immersion centers as a means of teaching language and cultural values (Bodkin-Allen).

Children learn music formally in after-school programs, in nongovernment organization–sponsored projects (Kleber and Souza), and in specially designated music schools (Vallejo), where they may go once their academic studies at school are finished for the day. They may know “an education through music,” arranged by their parents who immerse them in private lessons and daily practice routines and even a carefully selected list of required Euro-American musical works for listening and learning (Lum and Dairianathan). The regulated study of piano, violin, flute, trumpet, guitar, and a host of instruments is its own industry and encompasses adult performers who teach, specially trained music pedagogues, an industry of instrument makers, books, recordings, tuners and repair services, and the supply (p. 15) of supplemental materials such as metronomes, strings, and reeds. The music(al) education of children is at once a humanistic endeavor, a social system, and a business enterprise.

The shifting spheres of children’s interests and engagements in music are associated with their age and development. The gamut of childhood, from infancy through the teen years, offers them a grand variety of musical encounters in which they may become increasingly involved (and at more sophisticated levels of involvement). As children grow physically, intellectually, socially, and emotionally, their capacities to listen, respond to, and actively make music undergo considerable change. Children’s potential for skill development continues across their childhood years, as does their understanding of music, its structures, and its meanings. The way children use music in their lives also evolves, often in response to changes to their emotional needs and social circumstances.

Developmental psychologists have long been interested in children’s growth, and a rich literature has amassed on children’s ability to perceive and make cognitive sense of music (Trainor 2005), to sing in tune and in time (Welch 1998), to move in rhythmically responsive ways to music (Metz 1989), and to developing the motor skills and aural acuity to play instruments (McPherson 2005). Attention to infants and toddlers is considerable, and musicologists and biologists alike are finding fascination in mother-baby chatter for the qualities of a communicative musicality (Malloch and Trevarthen 2009) that arise within the first months of life. This interest has now begun to map skills of language and music that develop before birth, with a recent report stating, “Human fetuses are able to memorize auditory stimuli from the external world by the last trimester of pregnancy, with a particular sensitivity to melody contour in both music and language” (Mampe et al. 2009: 1994). Neuromusical researchers intent on finding keys to incipient language and its development are finding parallels in the ways in which the sustained pitch vocalizations of song are emerging simultaneously with the building blocks of language—phonemes, words, short phrases—that are sounded by infants and toddlers (Patel 2008). Motivational studies are also considerable, too, in discerning from a sociopsychological perspective how musically impassioned children continue their musical studies into adolescence while others slow their interest or drop out altogether (McPherson and Davidson 2006). Music educationists have contributed to the literature on children’s musical growth, especially on questions that pertain to establishing a schedule of instruction that is resonant with children’s readiness to learn within formal school programs (Campbell and Scott-Kassner 2010).

Across the cases of children’s musical cultures that comprise this volume, children of various ages are documented and described. Whiteman observed that even very young children of indigenous Hawaiian and various Australian families are active agents in determining which of the songs and rhythms from home, church, and preschool they will value and share. Preschools are the sites of examination by Bodkin-Allen, where music is threaded through the day’s activities in New Zealand childcare centers and kindergartens to deliver to young children a sense of their nation’s bicultural identity and multicultural society. Chen-Hafteck, and Kim turn (p. 16) their lenses, albeit briefly, to preschools in Hong Kong and Korea as the portal of formal education in music, where children’s songs are sung, rhythm patterns are chanted and played, and learning through play is held as an ideal that merits continuous reminding in order to be achieved. They observe children’s socialization through a repertoire of songs and listening experiences and ways in which early learning is consciously linked to some of the national imperatives to preserve and transmit culture to young children. Adachi’s review of preschools in Japan suggests that children engage regularly in teacher-directed activities of singing familiar and new songs, listening to music, and movement to music. The early education of young children appears replete with musical experiences, perhaps in acknowledgement of the natural appeal that music has had for them in their early years of development.

School-age children, especially between the ages of five and twelve years, are in the midst of a time of singing, dancing, and playing music “for fun,” with increasing proficiency as a result of their maturation, experience, and learning opportunities. They sing in school the songs they are taught by teachers (Ilari; Kent; Manabe; Nannyonga-Tamusuza), with some of the repertoire embedded with political meaning or cultural values they may not yet fully grasp. Beginning with their entrance to school, children may engage in individual and group lessons for honing skills and repertoire on instruments such as piano—as in Singapore (Lum and Dairianathan), Hong Kong (Chen-Hafteck), and Mexico (Sturman). In institutionalized settings outside school, they play in ensembles especially meant for them, including junior-sized gamelans in Bali (Downing) and steel pan ensembles in Trinidad (Smith). They sing in community choirs in the former Soviet republic of Georgia (Vallejo), in regional cultural pageants and festivals (Kent), and in church choirs in Sierra Leone (Bartolome) and in African American communities (Miller and Miller). In specially funded after-school social programs in Brazil, they start as children and continue into adolescence the development of necessary skills to play music in a range of instrumental ensemble styles that include Brazilian chorinho, pagode, samba, and hip-hop (Kleber and Souza).

Music happens among children on the far outside of school in peer and mixed age groups, especially between the ages of five and twelve years, whether they are singing together and playing singing games (Emberly; Koops; Marsh; Minks; Moore; Roberts; Sarrazin), dancing to music in the family home (Berríos-Miranda), or listening to the songs supplied by the music industry at home or in family-oriented concerts of children’s singer-songwriters (Hoefnagels and Harris Walsh). The songs children invent, appropriate from mediated sources (Emberly; Marsh), or transmit intact (or with variation from earlier generations of it), are playful, sometimes teasing, reflective of their valuing of friends and family (Moore), present and future relationships—both real and imagined (Koops; Minks; Sarrazin)—and cultural customs passed to them that they do not yet understand (Nannyonga-Tamusuza). Occasionally, these songs are intended by children to have shock value as they role-play situations through the songs that are within their experience (Roberts). Children collect and share these songs in same-age (and same-grade) groups, with (p. 17) peak interest by children ages five to eight years, and older children may also model these songs for younger children coming into the fold of singing games. As they progress into their middle childhood years, children are increasingly prone to share music via the available technology (Bickford; Chen-Hafteck; Mackinlay; Marsh; Sarrazin), and this activity continues through their adolescent years (Kertz-Welzel; Kim; Wiggins).

In their search for identity as adolescents, music becomes them. It sweeps over them, fascinates them, and subsumes them. Children generally graduate from “childhood” at about age eleven into what is referred sometimes referred to as “youth,” when the growing pains are as much socioemotional as they are physical. The search for identity intensifies through the teen years, especially ages thirteen to eighteen as they make their ways through junior and senior secondary schools and as they gradually figure out who they are personally and collectively and to which groups they belong. Some continue the musical involvement that they knew as children, whether in perpetuating children’s songs (Emberly), participating in ensembles (Downing; Smith; Vallejo), or playing on solo instruments (Lum and Dairianathan; Sturman). A coming to grips with who speaks for them, sometimes through the mediated songs they listen to, is very much within the midst of the adolescent angst that they negotiate (Ilari; Kertz-Welzel; Sarrazin). As well, adolescents are exploring their identity through the songs they invent (Pitzer) and in the roles they fill within the school ensembles that they join (Abril). Some adolescents are making their way to the work they will do in the world, and the music that they have played from childhood onward occasionally develops into their economic mainstay (Kleber and Souza; Booth).

Technologies: Impacts, Uses, and Responses

An important feature of this volume is children’s engagement with the glocal elements in their lives, now made so apparent through the rapid inclusion, almost as toys, of social networking, cell phones, and DVD and MP3 players in children’s lives. This is, in some ways, an inversion of the concept of “glocal,” usually defined as “think globally, act locally.” Children may act globally by virtue of their developmental passage but think locally. Even where socioeconomic circumstances or remote location mean that some children may have less direct access to these technological “toys,” children are aware of them via friends or people passing through. New technologies are also starting to make a significant impact on the documentation of many cultures, occasionally by the children themselves. In earlier times, anthropologists and ethnomusicologists arrived at a location, pointed their lens and microphone at those things they considered important, and later considered ceding some control to local people as researchers became more aware both of the effect of their work and the implications for their relationship with the people being observed. Emberly offers a telling anecdote of tables turned on her by a child, who pointed the video camera at her and asked direct questions; she willingly gave the floor to the child as she had yearned for (p. 18) such an opportunity to learn since the inception of her work. Culture-bearing adults, and now children, are becoming more aware of the value of documenting their lives, both to demonstrate what they have achieved and for the status this demonstrates. Audio and video recorders, and even cell phones, have been used and become progressively cheaper and more readily available in most parts of the world, with economic circumstances as the only barrier to children as researchers.

Technology and the media are increasingly evident in children’s lives, and their impact has not gone unnoticed by parents and teachers. Current generations of children are growing up in a “digital-ready” world, and they accept as standard practice the ability to communicate easily with others, build their social network of friends from near and far, and access information immediately. If given the opportunity, children are rapid learners in how to access the menu-driven methods of commanding, organizing, and accessing most digital devices. Booth observes the presence of the digital age in India as a young man (and gender seems to be a part of the complex equation) organizes the family technology and learns how to operate and program a keyboard, in spite of not understanding the manual. In the United States, Bickford documents the use by children in an American school of these new technologies in remarkable ways: splitting earbuds to share mediated music with a friend and tapping out text messages in lieu of passing notes or whispering. Kim mentions the gamut of electronics in use by Korean schoolchildren, from MP3 players and cellular phones, to gaming activity on computers and via the internet; she notes also the strong influence of media stars on the preferred songs that Korean children listen to and learn.

The pervasive presence of television, radio, film, DVDs, CDs, and the internet in homes, and sometimes at school and in community settings, offers images that have a marked influence on children’s real and fantasy worlds. Chandler’s review of research suggested that children’s perception of reality changes substantially over the course of their development between the ages of four and twelve (Chandler 1997). He reported that although young children from the age of three realized they could not influence events on television, they invariably assumed that it was all “real” in a number of ways. From the age of around seven or eight, children tend to discriminate on the basis of their knowledge that “things like that do happen” as one of the factors. This is a significant backdrop for understanding the world that Hoefnagels and Harris Walsh observe, in which children are inducted into the “global village” created for them by adults, so that they know songs from many places around the world—all of it presented to them in a context and arrangement that is familiar, with the world represented as happy and carefree. This contrasts strongly with India, where Sarrazin charts the impact of the video CD and the sound systems of passing buses on children. These media experiences offer an “other” world in many respects and enable many children to access the Bollywood film music, a marker of their membership in Indian society.

In some societies, the range of music available through technology and the media is of concern for the sustainability of traditional music. Music broadcasts by even the most local radio or TV stations are often dominated by the availability of (p. 19) prerecorded and imported media, and the ability of stations to represent the diversity of local culture is very limited—as is the case for localities in Ghana (Wiggins) and South Africa (Emberly). In comparison, Lum and Dairianathan observe music in Singapore, a highly technologized society, where the media availability of Western classical music supports the genre’s preeminent position in society, which is substantially funded by the government.

As was mentioned earlier, the threads of interest and inquiry in this volume are not bounded by the headings under which the chapters have been grouped. In this following section, we enumerate and explore other strands that have emerged from our collected writings.

A Children’s World?

For a majority of adults, and parents in particular, the creation and maintenance of a world for children where they are not exposed to the worst of the adult world is a high priority. Adults recognize that children understand in ways appropriate to their maturity and create music that they believe will appeal to children (Hoefnagels and Harris Walsh). They intentionally provide songs for children’s contemporary enjoyment that carry encoded messages for future socially appropriate behaviors and values (Nannyonga-Tamusuza). There is, of course, potentially a darker side to this adult-sponsored music for children, with notions of induction typically summarized by the phrase Give me the child until he is seven, and I will show you the man (Singer 2000). Music may be used as an element of control, as children are recipients of the embedded morality of songs that were intentionally selected by parents, teachers, and caregivers to distance them from matters they perceive to be harmful to their ethical development. Some elements of this can be seen in Manabe’s writing about children in Japan during World War II, and some of these darker issues also emerge in Roberts’s analysis of historical recordings from New York. Children may also themselves use the power of song to make negative comments on others more immediate and memorable (see, e.g., Bjørkvold 1992: 71; Campbell 2010: 44–45). Given the extent of hardship and conflict around the world, fascinating work lies ahead as to the role of music for children in challenging situations of work as child soldiers and of their struggles in families suffering the effects of failing economies. Such research would be difficult to arrange, and it should be no surprise that there is very little extant literature about the darker side of music by and for children that could be included in this volume.

Subversive Behaviors by Children

Children have a great facility for imitation. This appears in the form of mimicry, which serves a key role in the identification and cohesion of a social group. Children intentionally use and adapt words, graffiti, labels, and clothing for personal and (p. 20) group ends. Moore reports children’s imitation at play of adults talking to them (“Oh-oo-oo child, I’m so tired, I’ve got to go home”). Bickford observes many aspects of imitation as well as invention in children’s use of MP3 players. As they listen to adult-made mediated music, children decorate their players in individual ways, sometimes showing disregard for the economic value over the social function of technology in ways that adults find subversive, such as breaking a pair of headphones in order to share them. This subversion also extends to the musical realm of fidelity and quality. MP3 players, although using a compressed format, are capable of delivering high-quality music, usually downloaded via a computer. This is of little importance to the children who swap tracks among themselves using the headphones and built-in microphones, which greatly reduces the quality of the sound and introduces additional environmental sounds to the track. That fidelity is less important than social function is clearly illustrated when a child refuses an offered download because he has already recorded that track via the microphone in a car. Cohen illustrates the ways in which American adolescents create and maintain their own subculture through subverting the words of songs, with the knowledge and collusion of the “adult” world, all of whom have passed through this same process of induction and inclusion and have now graduated or been excluded from this world by the function they now assume. Similar processes in a different setting are also described by Roberts who examined historical recordings of children in New York City in the mid-twentieth century, where children take and remake music from the adult world that surrounds them.

Children, Music, and Gender

The extent of musical engagement of children does not tilt in the direction of one gender over the other, and boys as well as girls are enmeshed in music as children, though somewhat differently. Gendered codes are in active play in some cultures, which then elicit expectations for gender-specific roles. In Bali, for example, it is traditionally expected that boys are noisy and boisterous while girls are silent and demure, such that government-funded cultural projects are now underway to engage women and children in artistic practices once reserved for men alone. Downing reports on the establishment of a girls-only gamelan in which players feel a sense of pride in preserving Balinese culture even as they simply enjoy being together as friends, as they would in any girls’ club, sharing stories, laughing, and joking. Gender roles have been inculcated through song texts, too, as the Japanese military marches (gunka) of World War II memorialized male soldiers for their loyalty and bravery on the battlefield (Manabe); gunka texts declared the primary activity of boys and men in wartime while also conveying the implicit message that supporting roles be played by girls and women.

Particularly in infancy, in toddlerhood, and until entrance to school, most boys and girls enjoy making music, listening to it, and responding to it through movement and dance—and they do so together, with little notable differences between (p. 21) genders (Opie 1985: 27–28). Societal notions begin to affect the course of musical activity by school age, however, and girls more than boys embrace the singing games of playground practice (Marsh; Minks; Moore). The content of songs sung mostly by girls encompasses subjects that include boy-girl flirtation, romantic relationships, and even forecasts of marriage (Sarrazin), which girls particularly enjoy playfully mentioning to partners or around the circle. Girls may use singing games to construct and contest forms of gender and sexuality, as information on eventual sex roles emerges in songs (Nannyonga-Tamusuza), and sexual innuendo surfaces even when the meaning may not be understood (Nannyonga-Tamusuza; Roberts).

In the dances in which Puerto Rican children engage, girls learn to develop a sense of personal security, understanding how to negotiate the physical advances of male partners—a behavior that is socially significant far beyond the dance floor (Berríos-Miranda). Some of the myths that thread through songs sung by riverine girls of the Brazilian Amazon feature supernatural creatures (encantados) who warn young girls of the dangers of city life, handsome young men, and becoming pregnant too soon (Ilari). Likewise, junior calypsonians in Trinidad create songs that warn against crime, HIV/AIDS, and the consequences of sexual relationships before marriage (Smith).

Boys of school age are frequently less active than girls in informally organized singing groups and in choirs, although membership in choirs in the former Soviet republic of Georgia (Vallejo) and a village choir in Sierra Leone (Bartolome) appears to maintain a gender balance. In one denomination of an African American church choir, there are particular tasks that belong only to boys, including the Shepherd Boy with his staff leading the procession of children, and the bugler, who signals the beginning of a service, and thus boys remain active musical participants (Miller and Miller). Where rural children in India continue to fill traditional gender roles, the extent of their musical play reflects these roles; boys who attend school regularly devote their time to study over play, including musical play (Sarrazin).

In many cultures, there are tendencies among adolescents toward male or female behaviors in accordance with traditions that are strictly monitored by the youth themselves. In North America, traditional gender stereotypes are continued in the selection of instruments to play in the school band, where flutes are almost exclusively “girl instruments” and lower and larger brass instruments remain within the realm of boys and, once selected, are played clear through secondary school (Abril). Song leader positions at the Reform Jewish summer camps are open to adolescent girls and boys who play guitar and sing with a strong voice, although boys appear to rise more frequently than girls to these leadership opportunities (Cohen). Until recently, only boys of the Yakama Nation Tribal School played drums, while girls were permitted to dance to and sing some (but not all) songs; Pitzer observes that this gender barrier has been lifted. In India’s Muslim communities in which men work to earn money while women stay home to raise children and keep house, Booth documents how boys raised in musical families acquire skills fit for working their way into lives as professional musicians. In many venues worldwide, cultural expectations have it that girls often continue in musical activities they began (p. 22) in childhood, be it group singing and singing competitions, piano lessons, various instrumental ensembles, dancing, or informal listening.


This volume will expand and deepen understandings of children for their expressive practices in music. Varied circumstances of children are depicted, dissected, and then drawn together for their shared and distinctive features of music for its sonic and sociocultural qualities and for its meanings and values to children who listen to it and make and remake it to their personal taste. The chapters are ordered by some central themes but can be interrogated through many other links, as we have set out to show. A map of the world illustrates the geographical distribution—for every fascinating location, another is omitted and awaits future research. Each chapter offers its own explicit lens and, like children, is not only one thing or approach (nor is it located solely under one heading) but consists of multiple themes that overlap and intersect. Together, the collected chapters comprise a rich weave of understandings of children’s musical cultures.


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