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Music technology, education and maps: The use of geospatial technology and data to inform music education research

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Recent developments in geographical information systems and geospatial statistics, together with greater access to large, fine-resolution ‘geocoded’ data sets, are transforming environmental, social and economic research. Over the past decade, there has been a small, but growing application of these techniques within the fields of music making, music education and music research. This article begins by offering a brief overview of some of the developments as a whole. It goes on to offer a detailed treatment of a series of geospatial statistical techniques which, it is hoped, may be applicable within a wide range of music and music education research fields. These techniques are illustrated through references to a deviant idiographic case study dealing with instrumental tuition provided by one English local government area (local authority) between 2003 and 2010. The case study draws on analyses of detailed anonymized participant records (n = 6063) using, amongst other techniques, location quotients, tests for spatial autocorrelation and distinct distributions and ‘global’ and ‘local’ regression models. The article will demonstrate how these techniques can be applied using open-source software and freely available census, government and cartographic data.
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Keywords: English local authority instrumental tuition; deviant idiographic case study; geographical information systems; geospatial statistical analysis; music education; open source

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Education Division, School of Applied Social Sciences, Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, De Montfort University

Publication date: May 1, 2017

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  • The Journal of Music, Technology and Education (JMTE) explores the issues concerning the use of technology in music education. It examines pedagogy at all levels and across genres such as composition, musicology, performance and music production. It is the only journal specifically dedicated to the educational aspects of music technology and the technological aspects of music. Peer-reviewed, with an international editorial board, JMTE aims to draw its contributions from a broad community of educators, researchers and practitioners who are working closely with new technologies in the fields of music education and music technology education.
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