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A Changing Role for the Composer in Society

A Study of the Historical Background and Current Methodologies of Creative Music-Making

Jolyon Laycock

Music is unique among the arts in its ability to bring large numbers of people together in a communal creative activity transcending social, cultural and linguistic boundaries. This book looks at many examples of composers working in schools, community centres, hospitals and other situations which are not traditional contexts for music. Examples are taken from the United Kingdom as well as from projects from other places in Europe which participated in the EU-funded ‘Rainbow across Europe’ programme. This study examines the development over the past hundred years of what has come to be known as creative music-making, and traces its spread in other parts of Europe and beyond. It also shows how the composer’s role has developed from the nineteenth-century Romantic view of a heroic figure expressing his own inner emotional life in music, towards a more socially conscious inspirational catalyst whose role is to stimulate musical creativity in others.
Contents: Creative music-making – Community music – Composing in education – Performance and communication skills – Historical background – Theoretical model – Musical styles – Places and people – Age and ability – Discussion of methodologies – Case studies in UK and other parts of Europe – Redefining the composer’s role.