Music Forum: November 2012

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Since 2008, much of Australian schooldom has been in thrall to the NAPLAN scores, the Commonwealth’s device for boosting literacy and numeracy. Few would dispute the need to develop a literate and numerate citizenry. Many dispute the strategy, which has translated into teaching and learning for the purpose of achieving high examination scores. The opponents cite similar failed programs overseas.

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By Dick Letts
Primary School Music Still Alive Despite Years of Neglect

The PhD thesis What makes good music programs in schools? A study of school music across Australia (2012, UNSW) addressed the issue of and unresolved crisis vis-à-vis the delivery of classroom music education and student access. Music is a compulsory subject for all primary school children in all Australian states and territories. However, there is great inequality in the provision of music education especially for primary school children.

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By Irina Petrova
Music, Mind and Wellbeing

Music, Mind and Wellbeing (MMW) is a world-first initiative of the Melbourne Neuroscience Institute, the Melbourne Conservatorium and The Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at The University of Melbourne that seeks to shift attitudes to music so that it is valued as an integral part of healthy communities. The director, Associate Professor Sarah Wilson first envisaged something like a musical equivalent of the Australian Institute of Sport, where science is used to help musicians improve their craft.

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by Neil McLachlan
Music Without Borders

South African singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela once said ‘Good music knows no boundaries.’ In a world where ease of access to the music of cultural groups from all corners of the globe is increasing, this statement couldn’t be more accurate.

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by Jess Moretti
Multicultural Arts in Australia

The writers for this special section of Music Forum all see the potential of a culturally diverse population to drive a new vitality and creativity in music and the arts. Their views come from their interests and circumstances. Put together, they present an array of possibilities and actions that we hope, will suggest possibilities for you.

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introduction by Dick Letts
Bukhu and the ancient sounds of the Mongolian steppes

Bukhchuluun Ganburged (Bukhu) is an exceptional throat singer and horse-head fiddle player who came to Australia from Mongolia three years ago. I met Bukhu when he performed with Café Carnivale for the first time in 2010. His outstanding talents impressed the members of the audience, who, like me, had their first chance to listen to the rare sounds of the horse-head fiddle, together with his unique and enchanting singing.

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by Carolina Triana
Building Sustainable Futures: towards an ecology of global musical diversity

MCA Board member Huib Schippers reports on his work in India in the context of the international project ‘Sustainable futures for music cultures: Toward an ecology of musical diversity’, in which MCA is one of nine partners.

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by Huib Schippers
A voice from the trenches: making noise about culturally diverse programming

Frank Madrid presented this address at the Multicultural Arts Forum organised in Sydney last April by Groundswell, a small organisation that sees the need for a major revitalisation of multicultural arts in NSW.

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by Frank Madrid
 Multicultural Arts Victoria: Who We Are and What We Do

Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) is Victoria's peak arts organisation promoting cultural diversity in the arts.

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by Paul Petran
The Boite: Supporting Artists from Diverse Communities

 The artist list at the first Boite concert on 1st June 1979 included Apurima, a Chilean group playing Andean music, the Tsourdelakis Brothers performing traditional Cretan music, Bwung-Gul Cultural Group performing Australian Indigenous music and dance, Anatolian Minstrels performing traditional and contemporary music and dance, a group of performers from New Guinea and Petro and Eleni, Greek performers from Sydney.

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by Roger King
Building Audiences for Multicultural Music

 Part of the role of music has always been to provide opportunities for communities to come together. For multicultural communities this can be particular important – music is a reference point and a communality. Within a particular community, there will always be audiences from that community engaging with the music; but how does this music translate then into other different cultural audiences?

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by Kiersten Fishburn
 Kulcha in WA

 Established in 1983, Kulcha has an impressive 29-year history as a national leader in multicultural arts with a comprehensive organisational package of activities and programs that reaches a direct audience of approximately 200,000 people annually.

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by Jonathan Cope
Azerbaijan: Censorship, Fear and Eurovision

Artists from all over Europe gathered in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, for the world’s biggest non-sport television event, the Eurovision Song Contest. The authoritarian regime that rules the country saw its chance to paint a picture of Azerbaijan as a modern and prosperous country. But native musicians have very limited possibilities to express themselves.

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by Niklas Wallen
Multicultural Arts: Change Must Come from the Top

Despite official statements of support, Australia’s great wealth of multicultural artists and arts remains marginalised. Boxes are ticked but an enormous cultural opportunity has been passed over. Who has the will, imagination and position to make a change? Begin at the top, says Justin MacDonnell.

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by Justin MacDonnell
 The CALD Front: Funding for Culturally Diverse Music

 Brent Keogh considers the place of culturally diverse music in the context of government funding, and explores issues affecting support for different forms of music.

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by Brent Keogh
 Critical thinking and multicultural arts practice

 This article wishes to identify a maturing ‘intercultural’ dialogue being expressed in recent contemporary Australian music, theatre and dance; and that such work challenges existing notions of ‘multiculturalism’ in Australian performance.

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by Peter Kennard
The Passion and Conviction of Art

 ‘Tradition ist nicht das Anbeten der Asche – es ist das Weiterleiten der Flamme‘ – ‘Tradition is not the worship of ashes, it is the passing on of the Flame‘ – these words of Gustav Mahler have become a motto for me.

Conductor Simone Young gave the following address on the occasion of being awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Griffith University.

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by Simone Young
Jennifer Condon Records Sappho

Dick Letts speaks to Jennifer Condon about her major project to record Peggy Glanville-Hicks' Sappho

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by Dick Letts
'Lend me your ears': Music policy and the hearing body

 This article draws together strands from various publications that have been generated by over a decade of research in the field, as well as previous conference/symposium presentations, most particularly at the Institute of Popular Music, Liverpool UK, and for the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology at Koli in Finland.

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by Bruce Johnson
 Also in this issue:

Adelaide Guitar Festival

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MCA Freedman Classical Fellow, Ashley Smith

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Belinda Webster, Tall Poppy #1

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Dereb Desalegn at Emerge Festival Fitzroy 2011.  Photo by DWV Photography. mf191petran














Jennifer Condon conducting the recording of Sappho.  mf191letts condon














Kulcha 2012 Oz Concert 4 The Great Nile Band Photo Jon Green    mf191cope














Simone Young. Photo by Klaus Lefebvre.  mf191young














Guitar Trek played at the Adelaide Festival of Guitar - Timothy Kain Bradley Kunda Minh Le Hoang and Matt Withers.     mf191silsbury