A chronicle of school music education
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This inquiry is a chronological overview of the history of school music education in Hungary. The study explores the topic from a large-scale humanistic perspective, in which historical context, general education laws, individual institutions and music educators, as well as music curriculum, textbooks, and teaching methods serve as evidence. The chronological narrative delineates four distinct historical periods within which music education is examined: from the annexation of Hungary by the Austrians (around 1700) to the creation of the first royal edict on education in 1777; the effects and modifications of the edict and other policies from 1777 until the Compromise between Austria and Hungary in 1867; Hungary's education system from the era of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the end of World War II; and the history of Hungarian education in the second half of the 20th century. Within each period, the study provides a general historical overview, a discussion of educational policies and laws, and specifics of music education. The latter includes the place and rationale of music in the curriculum, the content and methods of music education, and the teachers and students of the subject. This research found that for over three centuries educational laws have consistently set out to shape Hungary's culture by mandating that Hungarians learn to sing, mostly for religious or aesthetic reasons. Historically, outstanding teachers have made great strides in making this goal a reality at specific schools. Zoltan Kodaly in particular was ahead of his time with his child-centered educational ideas and commitment to teaching children a variety of musics. To date, Kodaly's approach is the only one that has realized the goals set out in the educational laws of Hungary. However, Hungary has far from succeeded in implementing Kodaly's vision, having served only those children that were enrolled in music elementary schools. For the most part, inadequate teacher training and bureaucratic hindrances have kept the majority of elementary and secondary schools from adopting his approach in its entirety. Current policies perpetuate these problems, and discourage innovation or critical review of existing practices in music education.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--Boston University