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Fazıl Say and the Classical Music Stage as Informal Learning Space

Second, revised edition


Aylin Buran

Fazıl Say and the Classical Music Stage as Informal Learning Space is an exploration of the classical music stage within a framework of informal learning through the interactive concert performances of Fazıl Say. It delves into the artist’s conceptualization of the music-audience nexus along with his motivation for adopting an interactive manner that emerges through a verbal interaction between performer and listener during the concert performances. Using specific concert performances given in Malatya in Turkey, this book presents a detailed demonstration of such a space as a learning medium; and interprets its pedagogical meaning from both the artist’s and the audience’s perspectives.


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Having read the book with great pleasure, I can state that Buran draws clear borders for the subject in hand in which she relates subsections with strong connections in a very logical and flowing manner and leaves no loose ends. Her approach, not only draws a concrete picture on the matter of the concert stage being an informal learning space, but also inspires the reader for further adventures that could be accomplished in this field. As a composer I have been continuously questioning the interrelationships between composer-performer- audience. The insight provided by Buran and Say, together with data collected from the audience, re-enlightens me on the fact that the Turkish (and probably many other cultures’) classical music audience perceives this music as something that needs to be “learned” rather than be “listened” to. I am sure that further research on “why classical music is perceived as something that should be learned?” is and will be carried out by scholars, but three motivating factors are evident. First, the countless number of books and articles written in the field of classical music brings enormous depth to the subject; when interested people realise the dimensions of available information, they are overwhelmed and feel the need to “learn” something about the field rather than simply “listen” to it. The second plausible reason could be the social status defined by knowledge on classical music. The final reason could be cognitive problems experienced by the audience resulting from either the cultural differences in previous musical experience...

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