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Looking to Europe: In Search of a Praxis-Based Music-Theory Pedagogy

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This essay summarizes my findings during a sabbatical from the New England Conservatory in the spring of 2014, during which I visited music schools in Amsterdam, Berlin, Rostock, Freiburg, and Lucerne. The original objective for these visits was to learn about European pedagogical approaches to keyboard harmony, but during my stay the scope of my inquiry expanded considerably. The essay falls into three parts. First, it describes what I observed with respect to my original objective—that is, to seek out a keyboard pedagogy that I could incorporate into my own theory teaching. The second part identifies several significant differences between European and American pedagogy that gradually impinged on my awareness during the course of the sabbatical. The third and final section considers the challenges of adapting European keyboard practices to academic settings in the United States.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2017

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  • Music Theory and Analysis (MTA) International Journal of the Dutch-Flemish Society for Music Theory

    Music Theory and Analysis (MTA) is a peer-reviewed international journal focusing on recent developments in music theory and analysis. It has a special interest in the interplay between theory and analysis, as well as in the interaction between European and North-American scholarship. Open to a wide variety of repertoires, approaches, and methodologies, the journal aims to stimulate dialogue between diverse traditions within the field.

    Each issue of the journal will contain five sections: (1) an invited keynote article, (2) a selection of peer-reviewed articles, colloquies and short analytical vignettes, (4) contributions to the pedagogy of music theory and analysis, and (5) book reviews, with a focus on transatlantic exchange.

    MTA is the official journal of the Dutch-Flemish Society for Music Theory (Vereniging voor Muziektheorie). It is the successor to the Dutch Journal of Music Theory (Tijdschrift voor Muziektheorie).
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