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Developing community music in Germany: The journey to this journal issue

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Although community music is slowly gaining popularity in Germany, it is still largely unknown, both as a term and as a concept of practice. Consequently, it has so far been understudied: there has been no primary research to specifically explore the concept of community music in Germany. This journal issue is a first step in exploring community music from a variety of academic disciplines: music education, music therapy and social work. It is the first publication solely dedicated to community music in Germany. The purpose of this article is twofold. First, to analyse and locate the concept of community music in the German context and in relation to the disciplines of music education and social work. Second, to provide a local, practice-based example of the potential and resonance of the concept of community music in the German context. The example I provide is the Munich Community Music Action Research Group (MCMARG), which shows how community music in Munich developed as a result of the group’s work. The group consisted of eight policy-makers, practitioners and academics and worked for over two years (2013–2015) to develop community music in Munich. The process and developments of the MCMARG led to local developments in community music practice, to an international community music conference and finally to this journal issue. In both parts of this article I will show first, that community music has intersections with a range of contexts and disciplines in Germany, and second, the relevance of the community music concept to many areas of music-making practice in Germany. This will hopefully provide a point of reference and identification for community musicians and researchers in this field as it develops in Germany.
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Keywords: Community Music; Germany; action research; development; music education; policy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Hochschule für Musik und Theater München

Publication date: March 1, 2016

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  • The International Journal of Community Music publishes research articles, practical discussions, timely reviews, readers' notes and special issues concerning all aspects of Community Music. The editorial board is composed of leading international scholars and practitioners spanning diverse disciplines that reflect the scope of Community Music practice and theory.
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