Music history pedagogy: content analysis of six editions of the Norton Anthology of Western Music (1980-2009)
Schiff, Jelena Dj. Simonovic
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The Norton Anthology of Western Music (NAWM) is a widely used textbook for music history courses at the collegiate level, yet there is virtually no research literature closely related to any aspect of the Anthology. The purpose of this study was to: (1) trace the content transformation of the NAWM six editions, chronologically and topically; and (2) describe how the changing content of the Anthology has influenced the way music history has been taught. The origins of the NAWM, its background within the Norton network, and the six editions (1980-2009) are described in the first chapter. In the second chapter, the literature about NAWM is reviewed, including the Anthologys place among editions of music, published reviews about NAWM, and other works by its editors Claude V. Palisca and J. Peter Burkholder. An examination of their writings shows the range of their research topics, and points to the modifications each of the editors implemented in the different NAWM editions. The third chapter concerns NAWM organization, content, chronology, and character of changes across editions. Data in the number and frequency of appearance for composers and compositions are presented in tabular form. The most prominent composers and compositions are placed into the main categories of all-edition, S-edition, and 4-edition composers and works, respectively. Changes in chronological order and in the character of every NAWM edition include: (1) varied selections of composers and their works; (2) expanded historical time frame of presented compositions; (3) inclusion of women composers; (4) introduction of textual commentaries for the scores; (5) reformulation of period and style in chapter titles; (6) diversification of the scope of represented genres and styles; and (7) broadening of geographical representation of selected composers. As one result of these modifications a core repertory emerged, a repertory that survived the shifting sands during the anthology's 29-year existence. The thirteen anthology volumes feature 227 composers and 337 different compositions, with 81 composers and 54 compositions represented in all editions. In the fourth chapter, the future direction of the NAWM is discussed from the standpoint of the 6th edition. Recommendations are made for the future editions and future research.
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