Bonnie C. Wade, Thinking Musically (Oxford University Press: New York, 2004) and Patricia Shehan Campbell, Teaching Music Globally (Oxford University Press: New York, 2004) [Book Review]

Philosophy of Music Education Review 15 (1):81-90 (2007)
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Abstract

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Reviewed by:Thinking Musically, and: Teaching Music GloballyJames AckmanBonnie C. Wade, Thinking Musically ( Oxford University Press: New York, 2004)and Patricia Shehan Campbell, Teaching Music Globally ( Oxford University Press: New York, 2004).Thinking Musically and Teaching Music Globally, the first two volumes in The Global Music Series, for which Wade and Shehan are general editors, offer concisely stated themes that permeate their texts and the authors' extensive use of cross-referencing provides music educators at all levels the resources to achieve their educational and musical goals.Thinking Musically begins with Bonnie Wade's statement of the purposes of the book, which are to offer "a basis for the contrast and comparison of diverse 'musics,'" "provide a set of unifying topics that recur in multiple case studies," and "frame and complement a series of cases studies in The Global Music Series."1 Wade states unequivocally that Thinking Musically is ultimately a study of musical practices and ideas from around the world and that at its core, Thinking Musically "is a teaching book."2 A unifying theme throughout the volume is the view of how people constantly make music meaningful in their lives, including how music functions within a social group or particular society.3Thinking Musically includes a fifty-nine track CD containing musical examples that are designed for inclusion in the lessons and projects outlined in the [End Page 81] series. These provide aural illustrations of the topics discussed in each chapter. Activities include musical examples chosen by students which relate to the topic. The first chapter, "Thinking About Music," is based upon the concept of furthering students' awareness of musics beyond their everyday comfort level. Wade states that music is a process and not simply a method of organized sounds or compositions,4 and discusses music in terms of sound, values, and aesthetics.A striking aspect of this chapter is Wade's in-depth discussion of the contextual meaning of music within various cultures. Using such exotic examples as Central Javanese gamelan and a Navajo work song,5 she explores the rich variety of aural experiences available to students. The suggested activities exhibit Wade's understanding of educational philosophy and her awareness of what educators require in structuring appropriate musical experiences for their students.In Chapter 2, "Thinking About Instruments," Wade examines the roles of musical within a particular society and the topic of cultural diffusion.6 A succession of examples of instruments and musicians emphasizes her point that music has historically been interwoven with culture and society. Suggested activities include identifying extra musical links with instruments7 as a method of increasing students' awareness of music in daily life events, "the nature of the musical roles (of) musicians," and the meaning of musical terms (for example, soloist, accompanist) within the context of culture. Examples are drawn from the familiar, such as "New Orleans front-line," and the exotic, a North Indian singer.8Chapters 3–5 ("Thinking About Time," "Thinking About Pitch," and "Thinking About Structure") are devoted to the basic elements of music. Musical time is explored through its origins and function within specific cultures. Again, Wade uses an assortment of musical examples drawn from throughout the world in order to emphasize her points.Both the strongest and weakest aspects of the author's presentation style are on display in these three chapters. Wade has included an abundance of detailed suggested activities pertaining to various rhythmic concepts, such as Southeast Asian colotomic structure and Korean changdan, replete with detailed charts for presenting the material. Yet the amount of detail included borders on minutiae and the resulting format risks information overload for both teacher and student. A separate activities booklet might help reduce some of the clutter and also allow teachers to select more easily the concepts and activities they would like to use for a particular class session or unit.In chapter 6, "Thinking about Issues," Wade examines some arguably contentious topics that impact contemporary music education, including acculturation, gender, and "global versus local,"9 where her pithy assertions are eloquently presented. Student activities are designed to demonstrate the interconnectedness of musics among nations and communities as well as authenticity in their own cultures.10...

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