A Musical Playground: Global Tradition and Change in Children's Songs and Games

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Overview

Through a synthesis of ethnomusicology and music education, The Musical Playground provides unique insights into children's musical playground activities across a comprehensive scope of social, cultural, and national contexts.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Kathy Marsh makes a passionate plea for us to take serious notice of children's musical play, which, far from being extinct as many would have us believe, is alive and very well indeed. I have no doubt that ethnomusicologists, music educators and those interested in children's creativity and childhood cultures will find this a fascinating and illuminating book."—Susan Young, University of Exeter

"The Musical Playground is a landmark volume on children's musical play. Cross cultural comparisons based on the author's fieldwork in four countries are a unique contribution to the field. Researchers will appreciate the detailed explanation of her methodology; teachers will find the game transcriptions and video examples an invaluable resource. This book will become the standard reference for children's musical playground life at the beginning of the 21st century."—Dr. Eve Harwood, Associate Professor, Music Education, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

"With the arrival of The Musical Playground, there is a sense that studies of musical children have come of age. The product of sophisticated methodology and a careful weave of theory from the cross-fields of music education, ethnomusicology, and folklore, Marsh's book brings readers into close-up study of the musical styles and cultural idiosyncracies of children's play." —Patricia Shehan Campbell, Donald E. Peterson Professor of Music, University of Washington

"The detailed account of the fieldwork for The Musical Playground makes fascinating reading...The fifth and final section, Conclusions and Pedagogical Implications, contains valuable ideas for teaching and learning by drawing lessons from the playground...Great scholarship." —Play and Folklore

"This clearly written, detailed, and sophisticated work is a major contribution to the field of ethnomusicology; however, Marsh's findings also have extremely important practical implications for music-education pedagogy, curriculum, standards, and assessment, as well as to the field of play research." —American Journal of Play

"Marsh has established a vital foundation in the investigation of children's musical playground activities, providing a rich pool of resources including an expansive repertoire...The Musical Playground is testament to the creative energies of children in their multifaceted musical ways and is an added gold mine to existing literature and resources concerning children's musical cultures, useful and applicable for both practitioners and researchers in the field of music education, ethnomusicology and folklore." —Music Education Research

"An important contribution to the study of child culture and children's musical play. It is well written, scholarly and the music transcripts are exciting illustrations of the musical events described...A significant book. Essential reading for primary music teachers, those interested in understanding more about the folklore of children and all researchers interested in children and music, children's culture and diversity." —Australian Journal of Music Education

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195308976
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 1/21/2009
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathryn Marsh is Chair of Music Education at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. With a PhD in ethnomusicology and a professional background in music education, her teaching interests relate to elementary and world music education and educational research methods. She has presented internationally on children's musical play and cross-cultural teaching and learning.

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Table of Contents

Section I Children's Musical Play And Creativity: Adult Views

1 Conceptions of Children's Musical Play 3

2 Children's Musical Creativity and Oral Transmission 23

Section II Into The Field

3 Investigating Musical Play: Ethics and Pragmatics 43

4 The Playing Fields 69

Section III Transmission Processes in the Playground

5 The Influence of Social Grouping 105

6 Teaching and Learning in the Playground 136

7 Changing the Tradition 156

Section IV Composition in Performance

8 Composition in the Playground 199

9 Variations on a Theme: "Sar Macka Dora" 221

10 Style and Cultural Idiosyncrasy in Musical Play 262

Section V Conclusions and Pedagogical Implications

II Conclusions and Pedagogical Implications 305

Appendix 1 Index of Playground Singing Game Genres from International Field Sites, 1990-2004 319

Appendix 2 Transcription Methods and Notation and Documentation Conventions 339

Appendix 3 Text Variants of the "Sar Macka Dora" Game Genre 350

Appendix 4 Selected Musical Transcriptions of Games 353

Notes 379

Bibliography 387

Index 401

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