Document Type


Publication Date


Department 1

Conservatory of Music


Discourse analysis holds great potential for re-visioning the field of music education. This paper explores works from Foucault, Blommaert, Scollon and Scollon, as well as others, to suggest a theoretical and methodological approach to analyzing discourse in settings of music transmission that takes into consideration who we are, what we do, and how we do it. Discourse is defined in this paper as meaningful, mediated language-in-place. By analyzing acts of speech as well as cultural objects (such as instruments, mallets, and bows) and concepts (such as a conducting gestures or solfege syllables) used as mediational means in situ, we can reveal how discursive sources of power dominance, inequality, and bias are initiated, perpetuated, (re)produced, and transformed in sites of music transmission. Analyzing such models may help develop a more flexible way of understanding and visioning music education—one that blurs boundaries between musics, ways of knowing music, and spaces where musicking takes place.