Masters Degrees (Music)

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 203
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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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    Copyriot: the political economy of digital music streaming
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Froehlich, Anke Hilde; Froneman, Willemien; Lambrechts, Lizabe; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. Dept. of Music.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis, based on a discourse analysis of recent scholarship in the fields of popular music studies, international legal theory, and economic-political theory, analyses the political economy of online music streaming, focussing on Spotify’s playlist-oriented business approach. By tracing the shift in the digital music industry from ‘scarcity’ to ‘abundance’, I argue – following the work of Eric Drott (2019) – for a revised understanding of music’s commodification in the digital streaming era. The analysis proceeds along two lines. The first asks how, from a Marxist perspective, Spotify’s practices of rentiership, its positioning within the ‘gig’ economy and its relationship to the so-called ‘Big Three’ record companies may be situated within the circuit of capital, while the second, which draws on the work of Robin James (2021), Friedlind Riedel (2020) and William Mazzarella (2017), considers the affective dimensions of Spotify’s streaming business strategy – particularly its curation of ‘vibes’. Additionally, the thesis offers a historical overview of the hierarchical structure of music copyright law that continues to privilege record companies, showing how music copyright is rooted in Mussollini’s Fascist politics. The study concludes that Spotify harnesses what Martin Scherzinger (2016) has termed music’s ‘experiential liveness’ to produce ‘mana’ moments by engaging users in activity-oriented listening.
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    Queer electronic rave rapping Zulu princesses don’t grow on trees’: a digital ethnography of Toya Delazy’s curated persona as a South African popular musician on Instagram
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Friday, Lindsay; Rontsch, Marc; Froneman, Willemien; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. Dept. of Music.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The necessity for an online presence for the popular musician has, with the emergence of social media platforms in the 21st century, become unavoidable. Musical output has become bolstered by the musician’s persona, which is present not only on the performing stage, but also on social media platforms. This thesis uses persona studies as the theoretical lens through which to view South African popular musician, Toya Delazy, and discusses how she presents and curates her intersectional persona on the social media platform, Instagram. Toya Delazy (Latoya Buthulezi) was born in KwaZulu-Natal in 1990. After studying jazz piano performance at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, she entered the popular music industry, releasing the hit singles ‘Pump it On’ and ‘Love is in the Air’ in the early 2010s. Moving to the United Kingdom in 2015, Delazy has since developed her own musical style, ‘Afrorave’, and released two albums independently. She brands herself online as a “queer Zulu princess” and an “independent Zulu queer queen”, thus promoting a persona which has its foundation in her intersectional identity. The research conducted in this thesis utilises a performative understanding of social constructs such as ethnicity, race, gender, and sexuality. Identity is therefore performed through visual and textual components in online spaces, in combination with the artist’s musical output. Digital objects (captions, hashtags and emojis) were collected and analysed using a digital ethnographic approach alongside the images and videos posted by Delazy on her Instagram profile (@toyadelazy). Delazy’s music and accompanying lyrics have been critically analysed. Crucial to this thesis is the distinction of persona eras in accordance with the release of Delazy’s studio albums: Due Drop Deluxe (which pre-dated her Instagram profile), Ascension (2014- 2017), Uncommodified (2017-2019) and Afrorave (2019-2022). The finding of the research conducted was that an intersectional identity within Toya Delazy’s online curated persona is articulated through the use of digital objects, image-based content and her music.
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    Self-perceptions of graduate employability among music students at a South African university
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Walters, Caroline Althea; Rennie-Salonen, Bridget; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. Dept. of Music.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The challenges of transitioning from graduate to professional musician are well-documented with literature highlighting the need for higher education institutions (HEIs) to provide broader career preparation for music students entering a complex music industry, characterised by portfolio and protean careers. Studies indicate that investigating students’ perceptions of their employability provides nuanced insights into students’ study-related confidence, their perceived future employability, and factors influencing their employability. In South Africa (SA), while there is research which explores HEI music curriculum reform and the characteristics of musicians’ work, there are no known studies on employability perceptions among SA music students. This research investigated music students’ employability perceptions, and their career and study- related confidence. Undergraduate and postgraduate music students at a SA university completed a demographic survey and Bennett’s (2018b) employABILITY self-assessment tool based on Bennett’s (2018b) Literacies for Life (L4L) framework. Participants were prompted to apply reflective and agentic thinking while self-assessing their abilities according to the six literacies outlined in the L4L measure: basic literacy; personal and critical literacy; rhetorical literacy; emotional literacy; occupational literacy; and ethical, cultural, and social literacy. The open-ended descriptive questions were analysed using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) by identifying and analysing themes within the data, enabling an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the dataset. The quantitative data were analysed using SPSS to determine the weighted mean of each literacy domain from the L4L framework. The findings indicate that students are strongly motivated to pursue a career in music, but are less confident in their ability to obtain graduate-level work. Some students proactively applied employability development strategies, indicating that some students are aware of the need for career preparation. However, it was evident that some students held unrealistic expectations concerning their careers. There appeared to be a consensus among students that HEIs can provide more career preparation by establishing relevance between coursework and industry realities and that there is a need to provide better support for students experiencing study-related stress and mental health problems. The findings from this study will provide urgently needed and applicable new research data in SA, a country grappling with pervasive socioeconomic, workplace, and educational inequalities. The findings may enable a better understanding of the purpose, content, and relevance of music curricula, and importantly, how to equip music students to be more agentic, adaptable, and proactive learners.
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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.