18 December 2014
Principal Oboe Celia Craig at the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra warns that Australia is missing out on a technological development that has been building in other countries. Junior versions of double reed instruments enable children to start playing these instruments at an earlier age. The article quotes many examples including how British bassoon students finished their exams with top marks at age 13 or 14, the same age most Australian players are just starting to get to grips with the basics of bassoon or oboe.
Author: Hans Hoegh-Guldberg Categories: Issues | School Music Education | International Perspectives | Orchestral Music | Technology
8 December 2014
The article compares the music sector model with three other global scenarios, the summaries of which are recommended reading. They show that the preparatory work on the music sector scenario project to date has been correct, but it has become critically important to finish two outstanding omissions so that the actual scenarios can be built. The first is the central question the scenarios should address. The second is to define two sets of critical uncertainties which will enable the building of four scenario stories for the coming two decades ranging from favourable to "worst" cases.
Author: Hans Hoegh-Guldberg Categories: Issues | Scenarios for the Future
7 November 2014
Dick Letts has just concluded a major update of his original paper on Orchestras, providing a full picture of the current situation for the six Australian symphony orchestras, and also referring to the two pit orchestras serving Opera Australia and The Australian Ballet, which are now full subsidiaries of these companies. The update resulted in a comparison of the orchestras' finances 10 years apart, 2003 and 2013. It reveals considerable deterioration, resulting in a largely loss-making situation given current public funding levels and failing prospects as the mineral boom fades that private funding through sponsorships and donations will be available to fill the gap. Both the update of Orchestras and the new analysis of the 10-year trend are important for understanding where this flagship part of the Australian music sector could be heading.
Author: Hans Hoegh-Guldberg Categories: Statistics | Orchestral Music
20 October 2014
The recent government review of the Australian school music curriculum places the arts last — last in the alphabet; "Z for the arts". The issues raised by this are multiple but they all converge on a fundamental lack of understanding of the role and importance of music and other arts education for everyone's intellectual development. This is all part and parcel of what the three major proponents of the music community who co-wrote this article draws upon. It's time to take some bold steps forward to ensure the role of school music and arts in shaping an economically and socially healthy future Australia.
20 October 2014
Chaos theory has been acknowledged as the third crowning scientific achievement of the 20th century, joining relativity and quantum mechanics. Chaos also links scenario planning — our approach to understanding the future of the Australian music sector — to the related field of 'virtual' or 'counterfactual' history which asks what if a certain major historical event hadn't occurred, such as Britain entering into World War I. This research has clarified our thinking on how to write the music sector scenarios. For both scenarios and counterfactual history, it is essential that the stories are plausible. Scenarios may not get the future right but they will help avoid getting it wrong. Recommended reading to understand what we are doing.
Author: Hans Hoegh-Guldberg Categories: Issues | Scenarios for the Future
17 October 2014
Presenting a model for building scenarios for the Australian music sector must start globally because of its international commercial and cultural connections. This article presents and discusses the scenario-planning framework which will guide the development of alternative scenarios for the coming two decades, taking into account the range of social, technological, economic, ecological and political factors likely to have an influence. It lists a range of Australian and international scenarios and other futures-oriented reviews which we are studying in preparation for the Australian music scenarios — our major project for 2014-15. The article is the fourth in a series setting the stage for the project.
Author: Hans Hoegh-Guldberg Categories: Issues | Scenarios for the Future
3 October 2014
Associate Professor Thomas Reiner at Monash University is also a composer who has won awards in many international and national competitions. His concern is the deteriorating funding to our tertiary music institutions, which threatens the diversity that is needed to teach new generations of music professionals. Rigid government regulations also inhibit the creativity and freedom of teachers and students. The ultimate threat is the failure to equip students with the intellectual tools to understand the role and meaning of music in our society.
Author: Thomas Reiner Categories: Issues | Post-Secondary Education | Technology | Government Policies and Interventions | Music Research
26 September 2014
We feel privileged to be able to publish Professor Schultz's keynote address at Uses of Culture, the 2nd FACSIA Australian Studies in China Conference, Renmin University, Beijing, 12 September 2014 — a "must-read" document for visitors to this Knowledge Base. Julianne Schultz was the principal adviser on the previous Australian Government's Creative Australia policy, which was temporarily shelved — temporarily only we hope. The paper represents a major contribution to the debate on and definition of Australian culture.
Author: Julianne Schultz Categories: Issues | Cross-cultural Influences | International Perspectives
6 August 2014 (updated and revised 4 September 2014 to include annual 2013 survey)
Live Performance Australia commissions Ernst & Young to conduct an annual survey of the industry, supplemented by a less frequent comprehensive analysis most recently completed for 2012. Music-related events account for 82% of the industry's revenue, increasingly dominated by large-scale popular music concerts now accounting for two-thirds of total industry revenue. Classical music, ballet and dance, opera and theatre hold minor positions in terms of total revenue and attendances. With a value-added of $1.5 billion in 2012, the live performance industry is obviously economically important for the music sector as a whole.
Author: Hans Hoegh-Guldberg Categories: Statistics | Venues and Audiences | Music Festivals | Music Theatre | Opera | Orchestral Music | Popular Music
7 July 2014
The article reviews all cultural funding over the past two decades to put music into context, concluding that its share of total arts funding is likely to be between one-quarter and one-third. Music is the driver of three fairly small funding categories, but is an integral part of six more, including public broadcasting that dominates total arts funding in Australia. All cultural funding, whether "heritage" or "arts", has come under further threat from the financial policy of the Australian government, expressed in the 2014-15 budget. This will exacerbate the experience of many years when cultural funding trends have been generally negative, including the Australian government's funding of the arts. The only positive past trend among the major heritage and arts categories was the funding of the arts by state and territory governments, which may now become affected by the tighter public finance.
Author: Hans Hoegh-Guldberg Categories: Statistics | Government Policies and Interventions
16 June 2014
This article concerns the treatment of culture in the context of international trade agreements. There is an intrinsic conflict between the free trade objectives of international trade agreements and our need to sustain and develop our own cultural capital. The Music Trust comes down on the side of culture, advocating to the Australian government the exclusion of culture from free trade agreements. The Australian government has essentially adopted this position in all but one of its agreements – that with the USA where it gave way slightly to pressure in this unequal trading relationship. This paper lays out the circumstances and principles. It can be used in whole or part in future submissions to the negotiators of particular treaties.
Author: Richard Letts Categories: Issues | International Promotion and Trade | Submissions to Government
10 June 2014
The Queens Birthday Honours list contains an unusual number of AO's, including all four members of the hugely successful group The Seekers, which deserves the congratulations of every Australian. We were especially pleased to see two active supporters of the Music Trust on the list: indigenous opera singer Deborah Cheetham (AO) and educator Mal Hewitt (OAM). For future reference, we have opened a new category, "Honours", on the Knowledge Base, since no one else compiles a list of music people and this enables us to build up an archive of those honoured.
Compiler: Richard Letts Categories: Categories: Mapping Music in Australia | Honours
30 May 2014
Culture and the environment are vulnerable because their futures can be badly damaged in ways that the statistics don't cover. The budget for the Australia Council received a seemingly moderate 4% cut but this is likely to have a disproportionate effect (20%) on the funding of individual artists and small organisations — a major source of innovation and adventure as one commentator put it. The general issue is that the government has undertaken a seemingly impossible task of supporting growth and jobs in an economy that remains sluggish, and simultaneously putting major structural reform into place to eliminate the budget deficit.
Author: Hans Hoegh-Guldberg Categories: Statistics | Economic Forces | Government Policies and Interventions | Issues
29 April 2014
The American Huffington Post for the past three years has featured an ongoing series of blogs, by C M Rubin, providing an international perspective with music and other arts education as a central feature. It demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of all educational policies across nations. This review incorporates a number of examples from America and other countries, showing important innovative activities in the US but also a very patchy and inequitable approach to arts education in that country. Finland remains a prime example of a country tackling the issues of how arts education can support school education generally, including mathematics and science.
Author: Hans Hoegh-Guldberg Categories: Categories: Issues | International Perspectives | School Music Education | Brain Science and Music
21-22 April 2014 (7 March 2014)
Queensland-basic music teacher and musician Malcolm Tattersall found some years ago that little or nothing had been written about the exposure of music teachers to noise. He set about rectifying this and has made his research and practical advice on his website available on the Knowledge Base. Recommended as a central information source of what is an occupational risk to music teachers as well as other musicians. The Knowledge Base was subsequently offered to host Malcolm Tattersall's collection of seven articles, which we have accepted with gratitude. The leader article is Noise Exposure of Music Teachers, which contains links to the other articles.
Author: Malcolm Tattersall Categories: Mapping Music in Australia | Music and Health | School Music Education
19 April 2014
Statistics published recently in the United States show a time series of contributions by arts and cultural industries to GDP, from 1998 to 2011. These contributions increased from 1998 to 2004, when arts and culture reached more than 3.8% of GDP. Arts and culture then lost share, starting in 2005, before the global financial crisis which didn't improve the situation. The share has shown marginal gains since the depth of the crisis in 2009 and the trend remained close to that of total GDP in 2010 and 2011. With sluggish economic growth continuing in 2012 and 2013, it will be interesting to see whether arts and culture did better than total GDP. Revised statistics are due for publication in late 2014, covering 2012. — Our more or less informed "guess" based on individual arts and culture industries suggests that the music content of these industries is about the same as our "guesstimate" for Australia: 20% (see previous article). For both nations, this is indicative only.
Author: Hans Hoegh-Guldberg Categories: Statistics | Economic Forces | Music Sector Organisation | International Perspectives
15 April 2014
The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently published an "experimental" national accounts/GDP-based set of statistics of cultural and creative industries. It proposes a range of definitions of which the one chosen here shows cultural activities at just under 3% of Australia's GDP in 2008-09. This is slightly below similar estimates for Canada, Finland, Spain and the US. With one minor exception, music is not an explicit part of the cultural industries on the list but our "guesstimate" of its contribution to Australia's GDP as part of these particular industries in 2008-09 was between $2.5 and $3 billion. This excludes all contributions to the music sector by industries not counted as "cultural" by the ABS — including school, college and university music education, music organisations, music instrument production and supply, and many others. The article is #3 of our major new project to analyse and project the economic, cultural and social role of the music sector.
Author: Hans Hoegh-Guldberg Categories: Statistics | Economic Forces | Music Sector Organisation
7 April 2014
In the second article in our major project, we define a scenario planning survey to identify key issues that will have impact on the music sector and other cultural activities over the next two decades. To gather the information, we request the participation of a wide circle of people associated with the sector. Gathering these 10-20 year scenarios would be an essential input into the analysis of how robust or vulnerable the music sector is likely to be, and what can be done to avoid a worst-case scenario and plan for a brighter one. The participation of a wide range of knowledgeable people concerned with our future would be essential, and we sincerely hope it will be forthcoming. It is anticipated that the project will take about six months to complete and will require only minor amounts of participants' time as defined in the article (say, a total of two hours spread over three occasions).
Author: Hans Hoegh-Guldberg Categories: Issues | Economic Forces | Music Sector Organisation
27 March 2014
The first article in a major project to analyse the size and contribution of the Australian music sector and its long-term prospects. The current approach to economic modelling is not well suited to assess the long term. Major insights have been gained from analysis of the close parallel between ecological and cultural economics, especially their vulnerability to "externalities" (the actions of others who damage precious assets at no cost to themselves). The article ends with notes from a questions-and-answer session with IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, who attended the G20 meeting held in Australia in February 2014. She nominated "externalities" as a central issue. Because the main growth indicator, GDP (which needs to be kept going) doesn't take this into account, the damage to our environmental and cultural assets is improperly estimated.
Author: Hans Hoegh-Guldberg Categories: Issues | Economic Forces | International Perspectives
21 March 2014
The "Stevens Report" in 2003 represented the first major attempt in Australia to quantify school music education in Australia. This major study revealed an abysmal lack of statistics. This article (from 2008) by Ian Harvey of the Australian Music Association uses his considerable experience to support the general observation that the proportion of school students receiving music instruction in private schools is between three and four times the percentage who have the opportunity to do music in government schools. The proportion is even less in NSW and Victoria because the provision of music teachers in Queensland is much higher than the national average.
Author: Ian Harvey Categories: School Music Education | Statistics | Issues
21 March 2014
The Australian Government commissioned the Review in January 2014. This submission by The Music Trust focuses on the role of music in improving learning ability generally (as documented in many Knowledge Base articles categorised under Brain Science and Music). The submission demonstrates how Australia has been slipping backwards on the so-called PISA scores which measure the performance of 15-year old students in maths, science and reading. During the same period (2003-2012) the top countries such as China (represented by Shanghai), Korea, Taiwan and Finland have increased their scores.
Author: Richard Letts Categories: Issues | Submissions to Government | School Music Education | International Perspectives | Brain Science and Music | Music Research
14 March 2014
The Kowmung Music Festival at a highland town 170 km west of Sydney was conducted annually for 11 years. Its success factors were high quality artistic management and performance skills, and proximity to a large capital city which extended the market beyond the local area. Its mission was to perform fine music (including contemporary classical, later also jazz) in unusual settings, including a "cattle shed" which happened to have very good acoustics and could hold up to 300 visitors. Based on an audience survey from 2002 and his own experience on the local committee for six years, the author addresses the issue: Why was the annual festival discontinued? Perhaps there is a broader question: Why are there so few classical music festivals in Australia?
Author: Hans Hoegh-Guldberg. Categories: Music Festivals | Issues | Statistics | Community Music
9 March 2014
The European Music Council has members in 31 countries from the United Kingdom to Azerbaijan. In 2013 it identified legislation protecting music in ways ranging from basic arts education to tax systems and social security for artists, in 12 of these countries. The EMC points out that the list is not exhaustive and it wants to add to it in the effort to complete its policy map.
Notes and quotes compiled by Editor. Categories: Issues | International Perspectives | Government Support
7 March 2014
According to a recent scientific paper, rock music evokes excitement because it rouses the animal within us. But music is uniquely universal to humans. In this conversation, Professor Harvey suggests that the question might be, "Does rock music rouse the human within?" It is yet another addition in the series of exciting new articles exploring brain science and music which have been added to the Knowledge Base since October 2013 (when the category was launched with another article by Alan Harvey). The implications for areas such as school music education and music therapy are bound to be profound.
Author: Alan R. Harvey Categories: Issues | Brain Science and Music | Popular Music
6 March 2014
Another article on the burgeoning subject of brain science and music, focusing on the role of music in the evolution of Homo sapiens. Modern neuroscience research has taken some giant steps in recent years towards understanding how the processing of music has a consistent structural function in the human brain. The role of music therapy also takes on a renewed role as music is recognised for its influence on brain structure in the treatment of disorders ranging from autism in young people to Alzheimer's disease.
Author: Alan R. Harvey Categories: Issues | Brain Science and Music | Music and Health
6 March 2014
Kim Sanders, a pioneer of world music in Australia, passed away in November 2013, aged 65. Fellow Sydney-based musician Anthony Linden Jones interviewed him earlier that year about how he got involved in world music and visited a huge range of countries all over the planet, and playing the traditional instruments of these countries such as the gaida and the ney. Kim Sanders saw signs that world music was coming of age in Australia, though many dividing lines remain. The interview is also highly recommended reading for the image of the human being that shines through the interview.
Interviewed by: Anthony Linden Jones Categories: Mapping Music in Australia | World Music | Jazz | Music Festivals
5 March 2014
The New Music Network is a collective of Australian ensembles, sound artists and organisations dedicated to the promotion of new music in Australia. Founded in 1995, the NMN fosters awareness of contemporary art music, composers and performing artists. It retains an important and vigorous influence on the Australian music sector with an impressive ranges of approaches to the general category of new music. The article contains links to all the 31 NMN members.
Author: James Nightingale Categories: Mapping Music in Australia | New Music
5 March 2014
BAMER is a valuable database of music education research studies undertaken at Australian universities or by Australian music education researchers at overseas institutions. Currently, there are over 570 entries of ‘completed’ and ‘in progress’ research studies. It was developed by the author in 1989 in association with the Australian Society for Music Education, and he still maintains it. The article contains the links to the BAMER website, which lists all the research studies, with associated search functions.
Author: Robin S. Stevens Categories: Mapping Music in Australia | Music Education Overview | Music Research
3 March 2014
The Association for the Study of the Art of Record Production (ASARP) is dedicated to build better recording practices, musicianship, productions and technologies through academic and industry collaboration. Since its foundation in 2005, it has grown in status and influence to have increasing impact on musical practices, scholarship, research policies and governance. In addition to its annual global conferences it is exploring opportunities for expansion, especially in terms of regional contexts and events. Australia is actively represented in the organisation.
Author: Paul Draper Categories: Mapping Music in Australia | International Perspectives | Music Research | Recording Industry | Post-Secondary Education | Technology
28 February 2014
This is an original statistical project showing that the planned repertoires for 2014 of the eight major Australian orchestras and five opera companies include very little Australian music, even in relation to other contemporary classical music. The objectives of these companies include the encouragement of what is becoming Australian heritage music, but there are formidable obstacles including audience resistance against the unfamiliar and an absence of strategies to support contemporary work in general and Australian composers in particular.
Author: Richard Letts Categories: Statistics | Issues | Orchestral Music | Opera | Australian Content
24 and 25 February 2014
In 2012, Carolina Triana compiled the longest list ever of Australian music festivals, complete with name, location and state, time of year, principal genre, and website in Australian Music Festivals: Lists. To conduct the new analysis, the original list was split into eight genre groups plus a list of festivals that didn't provide specific genre information. The statistics cover individual genre groups, states and territories, locations within each state, whether festivals play single or multiple genres, and seasonal patterns. This research is pioneering a major musical activity of special interest in regional and rural Australia which attracts most music festivals, and we hope to update the lists and the analysis in future.
10 February 2014
The Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG) publishes annual statistics for its 28 member performing arts companies covering music, opera, dance and theatre companies. This article analyses trends between 2001 and 2012 covering not only the four artforms but also states and turnover categories ("large", "medium" and "small" companies). This is the authoritative information for these major providers of performing arts. Major trends include relatively static trends in corporate sponsorships but much more rapid growth in private donations. There is also an apparent trends towards smaller companies (in AMPAG terms) receiving more favourable treatment. A major statistical source for the leading companies in the performing arts sector.
Author: Hans Hoegh-Guldberg Categories: Statistics | Private Sector Funding
31 January 2014
The Moorambilla Voices covers a huge area of the North Western region of New South Wales, offering choral ensembles for school students, of great benefit to Indigenous children and young people with the year culminating at the Moorambilla Festival in Coonamble, NSW. The MAXed OUT Company grew out of the younger choirs. Since its foundation in 2005 the Moorambilla Voices program has grown from a fledgling idea into a full-bodied movement that has become an integral part of regional life and education in western NSW.
Author: Margie Moore Categories: Choral Music | Mapping Music in Australia | Music Festivals | Australian Indigenous Music | Issues | School Music Education
30 January 2014
Since the early 2000s the development of scientific research into the impact of musical and other arts training on cognitive development, led by neuroscientists. The Knowledge Base during 2013 and 2014 added the category of Music and Brain Development (change to Music and Neuroscience), which now features several major articles. This article reports on the progress started by the Dana Arts and Cognition Consortium which in 2004 brought together cognitive neuroscientists from seven universities across the United States to grapple with the question of why arts training has been associated with higher academic performance.
Author: Michael S. Gazzaniga Categories: Issues | Brain Science and Music
27 January 2014
Professor Gary McPherson of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and Richard Letts interview Professor Antti Juvonen of the University of Eastern Finland to help establish the difference between hours of mandatory education of music in Finland and Australia. Finland is reputed to be a leader on quality of primary school music and Professor Juvonen provides an authoritative response. These international perspectives are becoming increasingly important for the Australian music sector.
Author: Richard Letts Categories: Issues | School Music Education | Post-Secondary Education | International Perspectives
20 January 2014
Professor Haseman uses the analogy of a suit of cards to sum up the key issues unearthed at a conference of arts educators organised by the Australia Council and the Victorian College of Arts in 2005. The analysis, in addition to its entertaining format, is as relevant today as it was when it was presented. The optimistic message is that the house of cards representing the key issues facing Australian arts educators (including music) is solid as long as we play our cards right.
Author: Brad Haseman Categories: Issues | School Music Education | Post-Secondary Education | Music Research
20 January 2014
The artistic director of Opera Queensland explores new directions for Australia's opera companies to reposition them for an uncertain future, driven by issues relating to changing audiences and the continiuing requirements for trained singers, strong chorus cultures, orchestras and access to suitable theatres in competition with more "popular" genres. The boldness of major festivals should be an inspiration for opera companies in their choice of repertoire. As an artistic director, she doesn't advocate throwing out the "top 10" popular operas such as La Bohème and La Traviata, but to invite artists to mine new potential sources across a larger field.
Author: Lindy Hume Categories: Issues | Opera | Music Festivals | International Perspectives
19 January 2014
Sounds Australia is Australia’s national music export brand initiative, established to deliver a cohesive and unified umbrella platform at international market events. A financial partnership between Federal and State governments, peak music industry bodies, commercial operators (industry and artists) and sponsors. The article describes the international support the organisation provides, as well as its support of domestic music conferences likely to be attended by international buyers. Most of the initiatives described relates to the Labor Government which lost the federal election on 7 September 2013.
Author: Esti Zilber Categories: Mapping Music in Australia | Government Support | International Promotion and Trade
19 January 2014
School music education and the quality of classroom teacher training has been neglected in Switzerland. Every citizen in that country has the right to launch a referendum, which was successfully done in 1970 to safeguard sports in the Constitution. In 2006, representatives of Swiss music organisations decided to launch a similar federal initiative in favour of music, promoted by the Swiss Music Council's 51 member organisations. This led to a successful vote in September 2012 with a whopping 73% in favour to the delight of the music sector, though a long and arduous road remains towards the goals.
Author: Helena Maffli Categories: Issues | School Music Education | International Perspectives
19 January 2014
Multiculturalism is becoming a dated term, with its "subtle echoes of colonialism". The world in future will belong to the growing number of people experienced in nuanced and informed intercultural exchange. This exchange is no longer just an expression of collaboration between practitioners of singular traditions, but increasingly an expression of the multiplicity of traditions embodied in a single artist. This important short article provides a clear view of the changes while not underestimating the formidable adverse influences that remain.
Author: Peter Kennard Categories: Issues | Cross-cultural Influences | World Music
18 January 2014
The biennial Four Winds Festival has been conducted since 1991 in the southern coastal town Bermagui in New South Wales, which has about 1,000 inhabitants. It has attracted some very well-known artists and groups, based on classical/chamber music but more recently broadening into Australian Indigenous and world music. It is remarkable for its long-standing success. Neidorf's article is one of a set included in the Knowledge Base to describe Australian music festivals.
Author: Prue Neidorf Categories: Mapping Music in Australia | Music Festivals | Australian Indigenous Music | World Music
18 January 2014
The author describes her own path to choosing a career in neuroscience, from being a slow learner in reading before she started learning a musical instrument in primary school. Her reading skills then improved, which helped to convince her that music education can have a positive and lasting effect on children's brain development. She reviews the research that shows how music training helps our brains to function faster and more effectively, to learn languages, remember, and stay healthy.
Author: Dr Anita Collins Categories: Brain Science and Music | Issues | School Music Education | Post-Secondary Education
16 January 2014
The second pioneering statistical survey of a branch of community music, following Community Orchestras in Australia. It unearths a wealth of information based on a survey of over 200 community choirs, adding significantly to the statistical base of the Australian music sector.
Author: Alex Masso Categories: Statistics | Choral Music | Community Music
Compiled by Hans Hoegh-Guldberg, editor, Knowledge Base.