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The Devil Has The Best Tunes...: A Place in Music Education for the Burkean Sublime?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4767-7663
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Music has, through the ages and genres, seeked to touch us and be meaningful on the most existential levels – even the darkest realms of the human psyche. In this paper we show examples of how evil, darkness, fear and pain has been dealt with in so called classical music, Scandinavian folk music and in heavy metal; three genres that represents different kinds of cultural capital, popularity and historicity, but still have a lot in common. The examples show how certain musical parameters have been used to convey the sublime in all these genres. The sublime in this case, is the sublime as described by 18th century philosopher Edmund Burke. Burke distinguished between the beautiful and the sublime in works of art and in nature; claiming that they are substantially different: The beautiful is associated with pleasure, smoothness, tinyness and cuteness, while the sublime always is associated with fear and terror, vastness and the uncomfortable. Of the two, the sublime is the strongest and provides the most existential experiences. So if the sublime has been important throughout different genres and epoches, and the sublime has the greatest potential for existential musical experiences, how come that the sublime has such a limited place in music education? Should music education be changed into an existential subject dealing with the sublime, and in that case how? Or is it just wrong to scare our children?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
music education, black metal, Edmund Burke, the sublime, aesthetics
National Category
Educational Sciences Musicology
Research subject
Music Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-173293OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-173293DiVA, id: diva2:1352487
Conference
The 12th International Symposium on the Philosophy of Music Education, London, Ontario, Canada, 5–7 June, 2019
Available from: 2019-09-18 Created: 2019-09-18 Last updated: 2019-09-19Bibliographically approved

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Thorgersen, Ketilvon Wachenfeldt, Thomas
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Citation style
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