THE ONLY WEB PORTRAYAL OF A NATION'S ENTIRE MUSICAL LIFE
- DESCRIPTIONS, NUMBERS, ISSUES, FUTURES

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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.

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*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

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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

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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.

Did Language or Music Come First?

What comes first in infant learning? Actually neither — both are intimately connected. A major academic review concludes that music is fundamental to infant development, and that language is indeed a form of music. Apart from all the other empirical evidence, the way mothers communicate with their babies is more akin to music than to words. This is a worldwide phenomenon. In all their first years, infants are surrounded by music while learning their language skills.

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Music learning has a known impact on brain development. This study provides another strong case for introducing music education into the curriculum at an early age.

  Learn more...

Complex adaptive systems and arts planning

A pioneering paper by Dick Letts applying a crucial but politically neglected concept to four areas of the Australian music sector, including government arts practice, opera, and music education in schools and conservatoria. It is probably the the first venture into the arts, anywhere A powerful concept for understanding the potential future of any economic, cultural or social activity.   Learn more....

This is highly relevant for the scenario work as described in Complex Adaptive Systems and Music, part of our 2014-16 major scenario-planning project for the next 20 years of the Australian music sector.

  Learn more....

NAPLAN - a Test Too Many

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The annual NAPLAN literacy and numeracy test is given to one million school students every year in May. Born out of fear that other countries will win the power competition, it is very expensive and intrudes into the normal curriculum teaching in Australian schools.

Learn more...

Other News

  • Once again, the number of people receiving Honours for their musical activity remained low on Australia Day 2016: 25 or 4% of the total Honours list. This compares with 11% in 2012-13. What have our music people done to deserve this?   Learn more....


  • The government has developed a regrettable tendency to tell half-truths or worse when promoting its arts policy (Scenario paper #13). Honest policy promotion has been sadly missing — any hope for change in a Turnbull era?   Learn more....
  • 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 over 40 of the best chamber music ensembles now performing in Australia. Send your additions!   Learn more....
  • Leading academic observer Julianne Schultz presents a strong case for retaining Australia's national economic competitiveness through a prominent cultural policy.   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....



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Loudmouth cometh!

Our revamped monthly newsletter will continue to inform you about new issues and happenings — first issue around 10 March!

Reviews

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

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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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