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Where is Music Heading?

The Music Trust's Knowledge Base combines two big tasks:

*To complete the analysis of the present status of all music in Australia — culturally, socially, economically and politically. Music faces formidable competition from numerous other activities, especially in the economic and political areas. What's more, the globally open music market makes it subject to huge threats and opportunities.

Alt=Best and worst cases

*Since 2014, the Knowledge Base has developed four scenarios to 2035 ranging from "best" to "worst" case — the chart shows a very wide range with no certainty of what can happen if no action is taken. Uncertainty starts at the global level. International politics and economics follow unpredictable directions, affecting individual countries and their respective economic and cultural sectors.

The first of fourteen scenario papers outlines the vision and also contains a list of the subsequent papers (paper #15 is in the pipeline). The four scenarios, with numerical forecasts for each, will be published as a Music Trust e-book in mid-2016. This will provide a means for corrective planning to secure the best possible solution for all activities, including the music sector — how to promote the best and shun the abysmal. The project is a world first for any artform.

  Learn more...

Complex Adaptive Systems (see middle column of this page) is a basic part of this research. Again, applying it to an artform is a world first.

The scenario papers form the category "Scenarios for the Future", which is found by clicking on Browsing on the menu bar above, then on All Categories.

Valuing the invaluable

Alt=Music TEV

Reflection should make anyone realise that culture is literally beyond valuation. One can put an economic value on traded goods and services and perhaps estimate other services derived from our great and indispensable cultural and ecological assets and ecosystems, but much remains out of reach. This is important for our music sector scenarios. Much ecological and cultural damage is beyond measurement.   Learn more...

Cultural funding is drying up


This is not news but our "money pig" keeps an essential issue open. Funding has been declining for several years now and institutional funding arrangements are under threat. We can hope that positive changes will happen under the Turnbull government but not too much is visible yet.   Learn more...

New on the Knowledge Base

Full list here .... Selected summaries below.

National Opera Review: propping up the 19C

The Commonwealth’s National Opera Review has published its analysis and recommendations. Richard Letts has prepared a commentary in these two articles, suggesting actions additional to those from the report.

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The role of the creative industries in climate change action

Developing strategies for music and the arts to influence opinions and action in support of a healthy climate..

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Trump’s win shows how vital the arts and humanities are

As one of the commentators in the New York Times wrote yesterday in relation to the way the polls had missed the sentiment of the American people, notwithstanding that Hillary Clinton did win the popular vote, “data cannot capture the human condition that is the blood of American politics”.

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The report of the Higher Education Base Funding Review found that, according to its own “Enduring Principles”, university music courses needed more resourcing but then omitted to recommend it. Then the Labor government did not implement the recommendations anyway. What a frustration..

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This supplementary submission to the Higher Education Base Funding Review is in support of improved preservice music education as provided to primary school teachers by university schools of education.

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This submission to a government review in 2011 sets forth a detailed picture of the resourcing of tertiary music education in Australia. It is still a fairly accurate description in 2016.

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Music education - transformational change in Victoria

Victoria’s Andrews Labor government has carried through on the recommendations of an inquiry into school music education instigated by the preceding Naphthine government. The School Music Action Group looked ahead to likely developments in 2016.

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REPORT FROM INQUIRY: Impact of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget decisions on the Arts

Following upon the Arts Minister George Brandis’s raid on Australia Council funds, the arts community caused a Senate inquiry into the Coalition governments arts funding. This article reports on the outcomes.

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El Sistema-inspired music programs dramatically change disadvantaged children’s live

A ground breaking study of El Sistema-inspired programs at two Victorian low socio-economic schools has shown that they dramatically improved the scholastic and personal wellbeing of disadvantaged children.

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Music is used in a myriad of settings to foster the physical and psychosocial wellbeing of people. But there’s a dark side to the application of anything with the kind of potency music possesses. Often those in music’s forceful embrace can find themselves struggling with the cultural, environmental and economic restrictions that may come with this choice.

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Other News

  • Scenario paper #12 discusses the trends in rivalry between the USA and China, which could have profound impacts including the future of the Australian music sector   Learn more....
  • Here is a list of some 70 professional chamber ensembles now performing in Australia. Send your additions!   Learn more....
  • A list of over 300 Australian musicians who are contributing at a high level to classical music performance in the world's leading opera companies and orchestras. Suggested additions to the list are most welcome, and we are promoting this again to canvass such additions which we are confident exist. nbsp; Learn more....



Loudmouth whispers!

The Music Trust’s monthly ezine has music news, articles, reviews, goss from Australia and all over the world. CLICK for current edition.

Music World News

The wonderful bulletin of the International Music Council.

Some stories from the current edition:

  • From Berlin's warehouses to London's estates: how cities shape music scenes
  • The music business re-imagined
  • Scientists have found a way to help you learn new skills twice as fast
  • Pussy Riot: more professional
  • Europeana Music Collections: the best music recordings and other music collections from Europe's libraries, archives and museums.
  • 6 incredible TED talks about classical music

About Us

The Music Trust’s Music in Australia Knowledge Base is the principal source on Australian music sector facts, figures and issues. It covers the entire music sector including the music industry, music education, and music in the community. This superior source constantly takes new steps to understand the future — including the milestone 2014-16 scenario planning project.

The Knowledge Base content is prepared by authoritative writers, contributing their work freely. Readers are invited to comment, contribute or suggest new content. Guidelines for Contributors allows your personal style to fit in. Please contact us with original material or changes to existing articles.

Finding your way around


See the full-size Tree of Knowledge. Despite its rapid development many gaps remain. Do have a look - we need help to fill the gaps!

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