American Handbooks of Music History: Breadth, Depth, and the Critique of Pedagogy

C. Matthew Balensuela


American music history textbooks have traditionally covered the entire history of Western music in a single volume. This approach reflects the now dominant teaching methodology at American universities of a multiple-semester survey that covers the breadth of music history from Ancient Greece to modern times. An obvious problem with a broad survey is the lack of depth on issues relevant to current musicological scholarship such as music in society, feminism, archival research, or patronage. As new approaches to teaching music history become more popular in US colleges, in part due to the “pedagogy movement” in American musicology, the canonical status of single-volume history of music is under increased scrutiny and review.

Parole chiave

handbooks; music history, pedagogy

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2039-9715/5864

Copyright (c) 2015 C. Matthew Balensuela

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