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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: 1. Introduction and Discussion Paper

NATIONAL OPERA REVIEW: 1. THE DISCUSSION PAPER provides a great deal of information about the operations of the four companies covered by the Review – facts, descriptions, issues, statistics, possible ways forward. These were then available to those making submissions and to the Review Panel for its own deliberations about forward strategies.

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National Opera Review: 2. Submission by The Music Trust

The NATIONAL OPERA REVIEW: 2. SUBMISSION BY THE MUSIC TRUST presents an alternative view of the situation of opera and a set of priorities to address problems in repertoire, artists, and audience development among other things.

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National Opera Review: 3. Final Report of the Review Committee

The NATIONAL OPERA REVIEW: FINAL REPORT of the Review Panel picks up from the Discussion Paper and make 118 recommendations for action by government.

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National Opera Review: 4. Response to the Final Report

NATIONAL OPERA REVIEW: 4. MUSIC TRUST RESPONSE TO THE FINAL REPORT is the fourth paper in the series. If commends aspects of the Final Report but claims that it errs in making its main investment in strengthening the status quo instead of taking opera into the future.

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National Opera Review: 5. Response to the Final Report by the Government

NATIONAL OPERA REVIEW. 5. GOVERNMENT RESPONSE. The government indicates its intentions with respect to the 118 recommendations of the Review.

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National Opera Review: 6. Response to the Government by The Music Trust

NATIONAL OPERA REVIEW: COMMENTARY ON THE GOVERNMENT RESPONSE. The Review made recommendations and the government indicated what it would do about them. The article assesses these commitments and non-commitments.

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SWOT Analysis of Ethnomusicology

SWOT ANALYSIS: ETHNOMUSICOLOGY defines the disciplines, describes its achievements in Australia and some of the problems it faces.

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Australian Music Publishers Report

The AUSTRALIAN MUSIC PUBLISHERS’ REPORT gives basic information about the Australian industry.

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NAPLAN 2017: Results Have Largely Flat-Lined, and Patterns of Inequality Continue

NAPLAN 2017: RESULTS HAVE LARGELY FLAT-LINED, AND PATTERNS OF INEQUALITY CONTINUE is an update of the outcomes. Our concern is that the tool of measurement is in a sense becoming the curriculum and in many schools is causing closure of arts programs.

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Australian Music Vault, a new museum of popular music

AUSTRALIAN MUSIC VAULT, A NEW MUSEUM OF POPULAR MUSIC has opened in Melbourne and displays artefacts connected with successful Australian popular musicians.

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SWOT Analysis of Folk Music

The SWOT ANALYSIS OF FOLK MUSIC looks at a complex situation that arises from its varying roles as participatory music or music for consumption, its array of cultural affiliations and sources and much more.

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How Folk Music Went from Daggy to Cool

In HOW FOLK MUSIC WENT FROM DAGGY TO COOL, the author traces the evolution of folk music and its changing role from 18C Europe to present-day Australia and the west.

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2017 Was a Great Year for Australian Musical Theatre

2017 WAS A GREAT YEAR FOR AUSTRALIAN MUSICAL THEATRE because of the large number of Australian musicals written and taken on stage. They are listed in the article.

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Proposal for a National Cultural Policy

Simon Crean was Commonwealth Minister for the Arts and in 2011, called for submissions to a national cultural policy. This paper is a set of proposals for the music sector but also covers important general issues. Such a comprehensive formulation is rare if not unique. Despite much digital disruption, most of the proposal still has relevance. Crean’s policy will be revived if Labor is returned to power in 2018.

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Commonwealth Arts Policy and Administration - 1908 to 2009

COMMONWEALTH ARTS POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION 1908-2009 is a paper tracing the history from just after Federation, written by an officer of the Parliamentary Library and intended to provide factual information for use in further policy development by governments, political parties and citizens. It offers detail from the time of the Whitlam government onwards.

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SWOT Analysis Of Music Education - Vocal Music

The SWOT ANALYSIS OF MUSIC EDUCATION – VOCAL MUSIC is preceded by an introduction laying out basics of voice science, pedagogical issues and benefits of singing. A Conclusion includes possible roles for the Australian National Association for Teachers of Singing in addressing threats and weaknesses listed in the SWOT and picking up on some of the opportunities.

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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.




CLASSICAL Beethoven Piano Concertos with fortepiano and the Australian Haydn Ensemble – a fresh look. // Early composer JP Kreiger reconstructed, well played but a bit boring.

CONTEMPORARY. Vance Joy: magnificent vista of journeys and homecomings. // Nick Batterham: Golden Boy both powerful and intimate.

JAZZ. I Hold the Lion’s Paw – album of the year? // Andy Sugg: collaboration in New York between NY and Australian musicians.

NEW MUSIC. Ensemble Offspring first in annual series – virtuosic, committed, innovative


BOOK. Fine biography of remarkable Australian conductor, Stuart Challender

You can read this month’s reviews at the link below and also all the reviews ever published on the site – now over 500. Search by title, artist, genre, reviewer. Go to Loudmouth Reviews

While you are there, if you click on the “Loudmouth” logo at top left, you will open the rest of the month’s ezine.

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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