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Aspects of Cultural Integration through Music Education

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1 Aspects of Cultural Integration through Music Education
Nikolaos Zafranas Lecturer, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

2 Music directly imitates the passions or states of the soul
Music directly imitates the passions or states of the soul...when one listens to music that imitates a certain passion, he becomes imbued with the same passion; and if over a long time he habitually listens to music that rouses ignoble passions, his whole character will be shaped to an ignoble form. Aristotle Donald Grout, A History of Western Music (Norton, 1988)

3 Any musical innovation is full of danger to the whole state, and ought to be prohibited. When modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state always change with them. Plato Eitan Gavish, "Music has always been a tuneful force for political change," Daily News (October 11, 2009)

4 They were men of genius, but they had no perception of what was just and lawful in music...And by composing licentious works, and adding to them words as licentious, they have inspired the multitude with lawlessness and boldness, and made them fancy that they could judge for themselves about melody and music there first arose the universal conceit of omniscience and general lawlessness; freedom came following afterwards, and men, fancying that they knew what they did not know, had no longer any fear, and the absence of fear begets shamelessness. For what is this shamelessness, which is so evil a thing, but the insolent refusal to regard the opinion of the better by reason of an over-daring sort of liberty? Plato Plato Laws III , from Great Books volume 7:

5 Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful. Plato Benjamin Jowett (trans.), The Republic of Plato (Oxford Clarendon Press, 1888): 88

6 "There is probably no other human cultural activity which is so all-pervasive and which reaches into, shapes, and often controls so much human behavior." Alan P. Merriam (1964)

7 1. Emotional expression: the releasing of emotions and the expression of feelings.
2. Aesthetic enjoyment: the use of music for deep emotional and intellectual enjoyment, for experiencing artistic and nonverbal expressions of life’s beauty. 3. Entertainment: the use of music as diversion and amusement. 4. Communication: the conveying of feelings and emotions that are understood by people within a particular culture. 5. Symbolic representation: the expression of symbols exists in the texts of songs and in the cultural meaning of the musical sounds.

8 6. Physical response: the use of music for dancing and other physical activity.
7. Enforcement of conformity to social norms: the use of music to provide instructions or warnings. 8. Validation of social institutions and religious rituals: the use of music in religious services and state occasions. (“eeny meeny miney mo”, “a be ba blom) 9. Contribution to the continuity and stability of culture: music as an expression of cultural values. 10. Contribution to the integration of society: the use of music to bring people together.

9 The brain contains billions of structures called neurons (brain cells) which connect together to create an incredibly complicated network along which signals are transmitted. The connections between the neurons (synapses) are the basis of learning. The more stimulation the more connections are built. The more the brain learns the more it becomes capable of learning. Connections which are used again and again, will be insulated with a myelin sheath to make the connections stronger and the messages travel even faster.

10 Windows of Opportunity
There are critical periods in a child’s life when the brain is best equipped to learn certain skills, such as music or language. Skills can still be learned after a window of opportunity has closed, but with greater time and effort. Language: Birth - 10 Music: Birth (or 3) - 9 or 10

11 In periods of crises when individuals from a broad array of social strata encounter serious financial hardship and social problems, it is often the case that people feel marginalized, unable to partake in serious decisions regarding shifting social settings and ownership reallocations. In these periods, many individuals refuse to think calmly and to search for their personal share of responsibility or the role of their leaders (government) and instead look for scapegoats in strangers and/or minorities living in the same geographical area

12 There must be mediation by another social structure or by a real person, who will attempt to convince the two opposing sides to end hostilities though not annulling (invalidating) their differences (Flourakis, 2007). The demagogue continuously repeats catchphrases representing an idea or a dogma which is beyond doubt. In present day this whole procedure takes place in the media but also in the large-scale sport or art/music events (Lipovats, 2003).

13 Depending on the specific circumstances, music can bridge tensions between social or other groups of people by praising their differences and highlighting their similarities. Hence cultural integration might produce improved social conditions aiding development and homogeneity.

14 Conclusions Music education must be willing to change its role to better reflect contemporary societal values. Carefully designed music education can be regarded as a medium that will lead society to prolonged stability.

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