Masters Degrees (Music)

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 194
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    Practical music learning: An investigation into institutional differences between schools and specialist music centres in the Greater Cape Town Area
    (2023-03) West, David John; Muller, Danell
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research set out to investigate the dynamic environment within music departments in academic schools and music centres in relation to practical music learning (PML). The aim was to uncover which aspects affect PML in a positive or negative way, and which of these are generic, or unique to a specific type of institution. Areas explored included facilities, scheduling, teaching space, ensemble programmes, and approaches towards additional activities like examinations, eisteddfods and competitions. A mixed methods approach was employed in order to explore teachers’ perspectives (qualitative data) and students’ perspectives (quantitative data). Qualitative data, collected in the form of interviews and focus group discussions, explored eight instrumental teachers’ teaching philosophies, and their attempts to navigate the dynamic PML environment. Quantitative data was collected though a survey questionnaire, and was used to support or refute qualitative data. Data was analysed and organised to describe features within the learning environment in various different institutions. This data is also contextualised through an initial orientation overview into school systems and music offering of school music departments and music centres. Interviewed teachers prioritise progress, educational value, enjoyment, and a degree of student choice in their teaching philosophies. Some distinctive differences between academic schools were explored, and it became apparent that there is a great degree of variance between music departments in different public academic schools. Participants encountered challenges in scheduling and room allocation, which frequently impacted on teaching time. Although in many situations participants described good music departments and facilities, which was backed up with the quantitative data, the practicality of some teaching spaces for PML was discovered to be inadequate. Reasons for this include available space, acoustics suitable to develop tone production, and rooms that are inappropriate or demeaning for the purposes of PML. Although the availability of ensemble activities was found to be universal, the type of ensemble offering varied between different institutions. Support for external activities like examinations and eisteddfods varied among participants, and support was tempered by student choice. Music teachers are inclined to opt for and remain at music departments or music centres where there is a strong culture of music within the institution and among all the role players: management, other subject teachers, music teachers and parents. Other important features include strong management, good lines of communication and good facilities that meet the requirements for PML. Retaining competent, motivated staff is likely to add to the strength of music departments and music centres, which in turn will have a positive influence on PML.
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    Reflection in and on practice: a cellist’s search for meaning
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Kemp, Estelle; Rennie-Salonen, Bridget; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. Dept. of Music.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Recent studies on musicians’ individual practice habits have evaluated practice through the lens of self-determination theory, self-regulated learning, self-efficacy, and metacognition, to determine effective practice strategies. Considerable research has also been conducted in the field of musician’s health, focusing on the physical and psychological wellbeing aspects of practice and performance. Studies have been undertaken on musicians’ psychological health through the lens of Positive Psychology, which provides an ideal framework for assessing musicians’ health and wellbeing. It addresses multiple facets of musicians’ lives by utilising both the hedonic and eudaimonic perspectives of wellbeing (Ascenso, Williamon & Perkins, 2017). Within this framework, meaning forms an integral part of structuring musicians’ wellbeing (Ascenso, Perkins & Williamon, 2018). However, there is a need to explore the experience of meaning construction in musicians; in particular, to investigate the relation between musicians’ practice and meaning. The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of Reflective Practice in cultivating and sustaining meaning in a cellist’s individual practice. The longitudinal, practice-led case study design was grounded in narrative inquiry and autoethnography. Reflective Practice was utilised as the method to explore the cellist’s perceptions, understanding and experience of meaning during individual practice. Journal entries, based on rigorous well-researched reflective frameworks by Moon (2006) and Walker (1985), were written during and after practice sessions to record the cellist’s experience. Thematic Analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) structured the recursive data analysis process where the cellist, as researcher, engaged with the journal entries to induce themes pertaining to meaning. Meaning was approached as a component of the Positive Psychology PERMA model (Seligman, 2011), and as a construct grounded on coherence, purpose, and significance (Martela & Steger, 2016). The final thematic structure demonstrates the gradual progression from absence of meaning and its contributing factors (Entropy), to the search for meaning through reflection and inner change accompanying it (Search & Change), to the presence of meaning and the systems that sustain it (Flow Mindset). The results indicate how Reflective Practice enabled the cellist to develop psychological strengths that aided in her search for meaning, leading to her own unique and sustaining meaning framework, and better self-perceived psychological wellbeing. Reflection served as an effective medium through which meaning in practice could be enhanced and sustained. The study demonstrates the value of Reflective Practice in arts-based, practice-led research designs, to enable deeper insights into performing artists’ occupational, personal, artistic, emotional, and psychological wellbeing. The Reflective Practice framework could be applied to research in a range of performing arts populations and contexts, including research on pedagogical approaches and curriculum development, and to larger mixed-methods studies. Reflective Practice may hold potential as an effective tool to supplement educational, preventative, rehabilitative, and therapeutic approaches in performing arts health, to better understand and support artists’ learning, wellbeing, challenges, and recovery.
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    Viktor Ullmann: a style analysis of selected Theresienstadt compositions featuring piano
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Beaven, Alexandra; Grobler, Pieter; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social sciences. Department of Music.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Viktor Ullmann was an Austrian composer who was born in 1898 into a Jewish family. He was incarcerated in the Theresienstadt ghetto in 1942, where he wrote some of his most significant compositions for voice and piano. This study attempts to complete stylistic analyses of selected compositions with piano from the Theresienstadt period in order to gain insights into Ullmann’s compositional approach to the instrument. The following questions were considered about the composer’s output: 1. What stylistic characteristics can be attributed to Viktor Ullmann's compositions featuring the piano during his mature Theresienstadt period? 2. Which aspects of Victor Ullmann’s style (and influences on his compositional choices) could be considered so distinctive that they contribute towards an understanding of his musical contribution, should the composer’s music be studied within a wider 20th Century context? The Research Methodology comprises various methods of stylistic analysis inspired by the writings of Leonard Meyer and Jan LaRue.
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    Sacred Ecologies in "Die Nuwe Verbond: ‘n Misorde vir die Universum"
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-12) Frenz, Natali; Venter, Carina; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social sciences. Department of Music.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this thesis, I analyse a multimedia green Mass, Die Nuwe Verbond: ‘n Misorde vir die Universum (2019) [The New Covenant: a Mass for the Universe] (hereafter referred to as DNV), that forms part of Mi(SA), a theatre production commissioned by the Nasionale Afrikaans Teater-inisiatief [National Afrikaans Theatre Initiative]. The production consists of three works: (1) a 1958 Congolese Mass (Guido Haazen and the Les Troubadours Choir’s Missa Luba), (2) a 1964 Argentinian Mass (Ariel Ramírez’s Misa Criolla), and (3) DNV, a new South African Mass composed by Antoni Schonken to a libretto by Antjie Krog. These three works are intended to represent the genre of the Folk Mass—a popular, accessible Mass musically unique to the nation of its origin. The themes of DNV are centred on interconnected issues of social and environmental crises, which partly position this study in the field of ecomusicology. A discussion of how composers communicate environmental themes in environmental activist works contextualises DNV, providing the foundation for ecology-orientated analysis. DNV involves poetry, testimony, music, sign language and dance. In this thesis, I analyse how the multi-layered relationships among these elements construct overall meanings. My aims are to demonstrate (1) how the internal structures within such a multifaceted work can be cognised and (2) how the complex ecologies of DNV invite the spectator to re-examine their responsibility toward fellow humans, and toward the earth on which they depend for survival. For this analysis, I combine concepts in narrative theory, semiotics, speech act theory, John Snyder’s principles of continuities and closures, and Nicholas Cook’s models of multimedia, to provide methods and vocabularies that can facilitate a nuanced engagement with multimedia environments. My analysis reveals that DNV’s internal ecologies challenge long-held hierarchies of power and responsibility, specifically relating to what is considered sacred, and how that influences the ecologies in which humans are involved. Consequently, the work directs the audience to re-evaluate perspectives regarding responsibility, accountability, the human penchant for violence, and empathy towards one another and the environment.
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    Factors that govern the selection of repertoire performed by South African youth orchestras
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-12) Burden, Liam Jonathan; Kierman, Pamela; Nell, Mario; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Department of Music.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Youth Orchestras form an integral part of many music programmes across South Africa, yet research on these important organisations has been limited. The repertoire performed is of particular relevance, since youth orchestras provide an important platform of experiential learning to many youth who aspire to pursue the career of an orchestral musician. This research sets out to investigate the determining factors in the selection of repertoire for South African youth orchestras, as well as who the people are behind such selections. Nineteen South African youth orchestras, falling within the scope of this study, were identified. The youth orchestra landscape of South Africa was mapped, and one tertiary, regional and national orchestra were selected respectively for further investigation with regard to repertoire selection. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with conductors and management personnel working with the orchestras from 2008 – 2018; a repertoire list of all works programmed for this period was compiled, and the resultant data compared. Preliminary research findings indicated that a number of factors ranging from the pedagogical needs of orchestra members to social responsibility, determine the repertoire choice for youth orchestras in South Africa. This elicited further investigation into the responsibility of conductors and their advisors in ensuring appropriate repertoire selection in terms of the capabilities and pedagogical needs of the orchestra members, and in addressing the important aspect of social cohesion through shared goals. The programming of South African repertoire, and the demographic diversity of youth orchestra membership, were additional determining factors which emerged. A list of the South African literature performed is included, but was not the core focus of this study. Demographic diversity also does not fall within the scope of this study, but provides valuable material for future research in this sphere.