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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.

Working in the Australian Entertainment Industry: Final Report

One of the most extensive study of entertainment industry workers undertaken anywhere in the world, WORKING IN THE AUSTRALIAN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY (2016) uncovered serious health and wellbeing concerns for arts workers.

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Cultural data for each Australian electorate

CULTURAL DATA FOR EACH AUSTRALIAN ELECTORATE is an interactive resource that provides data for each Australian electorate on matters such as arts attendances, attitudes to the arts, ticket-buying behaviour, links to other information and much more.

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SWOT Analysis of Jazz

The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the practice of jazz in Australia.

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David Pledger’s cultural revolution

AGAINST THE AUSTRALIA COUNCIL AS ARTS ADVOCATE responds to an article by David Pledger which begins by noting the widespread dissatisfaction in the arts community that the Australia Council did not energetically oppose actions of the Arts Minister. The author argues that the arts community should do its own advocacy and not depend upon an agency of government.

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SWOT Analysis of Art Music Composition in Australia

The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the composers of art music and their works.

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Australian National Arts Policy

This important paper, AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL ARTS POLICY, is primarily a description of the policy making process at the national level, the efforts by the arts sector to influence the outcomes and an overall assessment of the status and effectiveness of policy making.

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10 ways to save live music in your city

10 WAYS TO SAVE LIVE MUSIC IN YOUR CITY outlines the strategies adopted by the industry and city and state governments.

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Innovation and creativity: workforce for the new economy

The article INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY: WORKFORCE FOR THE NEW ECONOMY points to the obvious role of arts education in building an innovative workforce, and puts forward actions to be undertaken by a so far uncomprehending government.

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Australia lags other nations in Early Childhood Education and Care

According to OECD benchmarks, AUSTRALIA LAGS OTHER NATIONS IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE, due above all to insufficient government funding.

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Australian government manipulations of arts subsidy

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT MANIPULATION OF ARTS SUBSIDIES records changes made in the allocation of arts subsidies especially those previously diverted from management by the Australia Council to direct control by the Arts Minister

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New South Wales Regional Conservatoriums: responding to school communities and state education policy

New South Wales Regional Conservatoriums: responding to school communities and state education policy offers key information about the 17 conservatoriums, unique in Australia.

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Ethnomusicology in Australia

ETHNOMUSICOLOGY IN AUSTRALIA describes how and where the discipline is conducted and some of its more notable achievements.

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Promoting diversity of cultural expression in the arts in Australia. A case study report

PROMOTING DIVERSITY OF CULTURAL EXPRESSION IN THE ARTS IN AUSTRALIA is an official report on Australia’s implementation of the UNESCO Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, in the form of a set of case studies.

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Cultural diversity in the creative sector: inching towards a more democratic culture

CULTURAL DIVERSITY IN THE CREATIVE SECTOR: INCHING TOWARDS A MORE DEMOCRATIC CULTURE briefly summarises observations and proposals from leading thinkers on inclusion and representation of culturally diverse artists and arts practices within the creative sector in Sydney.

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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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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.



NEW MUSIC Before Nightfall One - Australian/Norwegian percussion collaboration / cinder : ember : ashes - brilliant Freedman Fellow, Aviva Endean / Christine McCombe - three kinds of silence - absorbing /

TRANSCULTURAL The Gravity Project - Hip Hop, Japanese, New Music, Jazz - Grabowsky /

COUNTRY ROCK Wild Mountain - singer Megan Cooper - troubled waters


BIOGRAPHY Book of Daniel (i.e. Johns / Silverchair), biography. / Teacher. Gabbie Stroud's struggle to keep the heart in teaching.

REFERENCE Dig: Australian Rock and Pop Music 1960-85 / Oxford Handbook of Community Music "wonderful reference" /

CULTURAL POLICY What matters? Talking value in Australian culture.

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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