Advertisement

Sustaining Musical Traditions in Early Childhood: A View from the Field of Ethnomusicology

  • Andrea EmberlyEmail author
Chapter
Part of the International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development book series (CHILD, volume 27)

Abstract

In the field of ethnomusicology, children’s musical cultures have historically been represented as simplified versions of the dominant adult culture. Moreover, young children have often been viewed as passive learners and future culture bearers rather than contributing members of a community, who create and sustain their musical worlds. While scholars, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), governments and community members often cite children as a reason for sustaining musical diversity, there has been limited research that examines how children themselves are active propagators who resiliently engage with, and contribute to, the sustainment of musical systems around the world. More recently, scholars have begun to acknowledge this active role and the study of children’s musical cultures is becoming a growing area of study in the field of ethnomusicology. This chapter will examine how ethnomusicology can contribute to the study of early childhood music with examples from recent fieldwork in Limpopo, South Africa that emphasize the integral role young children play in sustaining musical traditions.

Keywords

Children’s musical cultures Venda children Ethnomusicological research with children 

References

  1. Abebe, T., & Ofosu-Kusi, Y. (2016). Beyond pluralizing African childhoods: Introduction. Childhood, 23(3), 303–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alderson, P., & Morrow, V. (2011). The ethics of research with children and young people: A practical handbook. London, UK: SAGE.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benedict, C., Schmidt, P., Spruce, G., & Woodford, P. (Eds.). (2015). The Oxford handbook of social justice in music education. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Blacking, J. (1967). Venda children’s songs: A study in ethnomusicological analysis. Johannesburg, South Africa: Witwatersrand University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Blacking, J. (1969). Songs, dances, mimes and symbolism of Venda girl’s initiation schools. African Studies, 28(1), 3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boynton, S., & Kok, R. (2006). Musical childhoods and the cultures of youth. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bucknall, S. (2012). Children as researchers in primary schools: Choice, voice, and participation. London, UK: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Campbell, P. S. (2003). Ethnomusicology and music education: Crossroads for knowing music, education, and culture. Research Studies in Music Education, 21(1), 16–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Campbell, P. (2010). Songs in their heads: Music and its meaning in children’s lives (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Campbell, P. S., & Wiggins, T. (2013). The Oxford handbook of children’s musical cultures. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cheney, K. E. (2011). Children as ethnographers: Reflections on the importance of participatory research in assessing orphans’ needs. Childhood, 18(2), 166–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chilisa, B. (2012). Indigenous research methodologies. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.Google Scholar
  13. Christensen, P. M. (2004). Children’s participation in ethnographic research: Issues of power and representation. Children & Society, 18(2), 165–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Christensen, P. M., & James, A. (2017). Research with children: Perspectives and practices (3rd ed.). London, UK: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dissanayake, E. (2009). Root, leaf, blossom, or bole: Concerning the origin and adaptive functions of music. In S. Malloch & C. Trevarthen (Eds.), Communicative musicality (pp. 17–29). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Emberly, A. (2014). Ethnomusicology and childhood: Studying children’s music in the field. College Music Symposium. Ethnomusicology Scholarship and Teaching: Then, Now and into the Future, 54, 1–15.Google Scholar
  17. Emberly, A., & Davhula, L. A. (2016). My music, my voice: Musicality, culture and childhood in Vhavenda communities. Childhood, 23(3), 438–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Emberly, A., & Davhula, M. J. (2018). Legacies of research for children, collaboration and connection: Supporting the sustainment of musical arts practices in contemporary Vhavenda children’s culture. In M. Maypaya & N. Mugovhani (Eds.), John Blacking and contemporary African musicology: Reflections, reviews, analyses and prospects. Cape Town, South Africa: Centre for Advanced Studies of African Societies.Google Scholar
  19. Emberly, A., & Davhula, M. J. (forthcoming). Dancing domba: Intersections of ethnomusicology, music education, and research with children and young people. In B. Diamond, & S. Sahwan (Eds.), Transforming ethnomusicology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Emberly, A., & Davidson, J. (2011). From the kraal to the classroom: Shifting musical arts practices from the community to the school with special reference to learning tshigombela in Limpopo, South Africa. International Journal of Music Education, 29(3), 265–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gallagher, L. A., & Gallagher, M. (2008). Methodological immaturity in childhood research?: Thinking through ‘participatory methods’. Childhood, 15(4), 499–516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gaunt, K. (2006). The games black girls play: Learning the ropes from double-dutch to hip-hop. New York, NY: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Grant, C. (2014). Music endangerment: How language maintenance can help. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Grant, C., & Schippers, H. (2016). Sustainable futures for music cultures: An ecological perspective. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Green, L. (2011). Learning, teaching, and musical identity: Voices across cultures. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Greig, A. (2013). Doing research with children: A practical guide (3rd ed.). London, UK: SAGE.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Groundwater-Smith, S., Dockett, S., & Bottrell, D. (2015). Participatory research with children and young people. London, UK: SAGE.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Grover, S. (2004). Why won’t they listen to us? On giving power and voice to children participating in social research. Childhood, 11(1), 81–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Harcourt, D., Perry, B., & Waller, T. (2011). Researching young children’s perspectives: Debating the ethics and dilemmas of educational research with children. London, UK: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hill, M. (2006). Children’s voices on ways of having a voice: Children’s and young people’s perspectives on methods used in research and consultation. Childhood, 13(1), 69–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hirschfeld, L. A. (2002). Why don’t anthropologists like children? American Anthropologist, 104(2), 611–627.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hohti, R., & Karlsson, L. (2014). Lollipop stories: Listening to children’s voices in the classroom and narrative ethnographical research. Childhood, 21(4), 548–562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Holland, S., Renold, E., Ross, N. J., & Hillman, A. (2010). Power, agency and participatory agendas: A critical exploration of young people’s engagement in participative qualitative research. Childhood, 17(3), 360–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Horgan, D. (2017). Child participatory research methods: Attempts to go ‘deeper’. Childhood, 24(2), 245–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. I’Anson, J. (2013). Beyond the child’s voice: Towards an ethics for children’s participation rights. Global Studies of Childhood, 3(2), 104–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Imoh, A. (2016). From the singular to the plural: Exploring diversities in contemporary childhoods in sub-Saharan Africa. Childhood, 23(3), 455–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. James, A. (2007). Giving voice to children’s voices: Practices and problems, pitfalls and potentials. American Anthropologist, 109(2), 261–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kellett, M. (2010). Rethinking children and research: Attitudes in contemporary society. London, UK: Continuum International Publishing Group.Google Scholar
  39. Kim, C. (2017). Participation or pedagogy? Ambiguities and tensions surrounding the facilitation of children as researchers. Childhood, 24(1), 84–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Komulainen, S. (2007). The ambiguity of the child’s ‘voice’ in social research. Childhood, 14(1), 11–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kruger, J. (1999). Singing psalms with owls: A Venda twentieth century musical history. African Music, 7(4), 122–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Marsh, K. (2008). The musical playground: Global tradition and change in children’s songs and games. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Marsh, J. (2012). Children as knowledge brokers of playground games and rhymes in the new media age. Childhood, 19(4), 508–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Marsh, K. (2013). Music in the lives of refugee and newly arrived immigrant children in Sydney, Australia. In P. S. Campbell & T. Wiggins (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of children’s musical cultures (pp. 491–509). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Marsh, K. (2015). Music, social justice, and social inclusion: The role of collaborative music activities in supporting young refugees and newly arrived immigrants in Australia. In C. Benedict, P. Schmidt, G. Spruce, & P. Woodford (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of social justice in music education (pp. 173–189). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Marsh, K., & Dieckmann, S. (2016). Interculturality in the playground and playgroup: Music as shared space for young immigrant children and their mothers. In P. Burnard, E. Mackinlay, & K. Powell (Eds.), The Routledge international handbook of intercultural arts research (pp. 358–368). London, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  47. Marsh, K., & Dieckmann, S. (2017). Contributions of playground singing games to the social inclusion of refugee and newly arrived immigrant children in Australia. Education 3–13: International Journal of Primary, Elementary and Early Years Education, 45(6), 710–719.Google Scholar
  48. McNeill, F. (2011). AIDS, politics, and music in South Africa. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. McTavish, M., Streelasky, J., & Coles, L. (2012). Listening to children’s voices: Children as participants in research. International Journal of Early Childhood, 44(3), 249–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Minks, A. (2002). From children’s song to expressive practices: Old and new directions in the ethnomusicological study of children. Ethnomusicology, 46(3), 379–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Montgomery, H., & Woodhead, M. (2003). Understanding childhood: An interdisciplinary approach. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  52. Pérez, M., Saavedra, C., & Habashi, J. (2017). Rethinking global north onto-epistemologies in childhood studies. Global Studies of Childhood, 7(2), 79–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Pettan, S., & Titon, J. T. (2015). Oxford handbook of applied ethnomusicology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Punch, S. (2016). Cross-world and cross-disciplinary dialogue: A more integrated, global approach to childhood studies. Global Studies of Childhood, 6(3), 352–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Raffety, E. (2015). Minimizing social distance: Participatory research with children. Childhood, 22(3), 409–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Rodriguez, S. (2017). Productive encounters: Examining and disrupting socio-cultural perspectives on childhood(s) and youth across global societies. Global Studies of Childhood, 7(3), 235–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Simpson, L. (2014). Land as pedagogy: Nishnaabeg intelligence and rebellious transformation. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 3(3), 1–25.Google Scholar
  58. Thomson, P. (2008). Doing visual research with children and young people. London, UK: Routledge.Google Scholar
  59. Tisdall, K. M. E., Davis, J. M., & Gallagher, M. (2009). Researching with children and young people: Research design, methods and analysis. London, UK: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Treloyn, S., & Emberly, A. (2013). Sustaining traditions: Ethnomusicological collections, access and sustainability in Australia. Musicology Australia, 35(2), 159–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. U.N. General Assembly. (1989). The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. New York.Google Scholar
  62. Whiteman, P. (2013). The complex ecologies of early childhood musical cultures. In P. S. Campbell & T. Wiggins (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of children’s musical cultures (pp. 466–478). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  63. Young, S. (2005). Musical communication between adults and young children. In D. Miell, R. A. R. MacDonald, & D. J. Hargreaves (Eds.), Musical communication (pp. 281–300). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HumanitiesYork UniversityTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations