Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music
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Philosophy of Music Education Challenged

Martin Heidegger

In the current world of education, politics and public opinion, it is our experience that the musical experience is increasingly threatened. It is designated ever more as an expendable luxury. Music is gradually being pushed into the role of unnecessary cream on top of the educational cake.

This kind of general trend has hardly left the thinking in our field of music and music education untouched. Inspirations are felt from the objectivizing, technical rationality of our time.

As we see it, this rationality effects an oblivion of the ontology. Examples of such oblivions are: (i) The objectivization of musicality as a measurable object, (ii) the tendency of music teaching to focus on the outer, technical layers of the musical work, (iii) the influence from the ’hard’, quantitative research of music psychology (as science) that has inoculated the field of music education against ontological reflection, and (iv) instrumental thinking within music education.

In this music educational philosophical project, which will be published as an anthology (edited by Pio & Varkøy, Springer 2014), Martin Heidegger’s thinking concerning the human existence in the world, artworks and notions like “being” (Sein) and “oblivion-of-being” (Seinsvergessenheit) will be elaborated by scholars within the field of music education as well as musicology.

The scholars come from the Scandinavian countries; Denmark (Frederik Pio), Norway (Morten Carlsen, Elin Angelo, Einar Rusten, Hanne Fossum, øivind Varkøy) and Sweden (Erik Wallrup, Susanna Leijonhufvud & Cecilia Ferm). Also scholars from Germany (Karl Heinrich Ehrenforth, Lars Oberhaus), Great Britain (Charlie Ford & Lucy Green) and New Zealand (David Lines, Chris Naughton) will join the project.

The authors are both music educators and musicologists. All of them however will connect their texts to both "being", "music" and "education" (including "Bildung"). Heidegger’s way of thinking invites us all into a philosophical world where a most natural thing to do is to transcend traditional borders – for instance as those borders between music educational and musicological research – in a common interest in music, being and education/Bildung. We hope that this approach will be interesting for a broad audience both in music education and musicology.

øivind Varkøy’s text in this book is an essay called “The Intrinsic Value of Musical Experience. A Rethinking: Why and How?”.