The sound bite culture and the future of music training

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Hannan, MF 2001, 'The sound bite culture and the future of music training', Creating Musical Futures: Challenges to Music Education in the 21st Century, Byron Bay, NSW, 30 June - 2 July, National Council of Tertiary Music Schools.

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The shape of future music will determine the agenda of future music training. Practical training for the music industry has already lagged behind what has been actually happening in the world of music. Classical music departments in universities and specialist music schools such as conservatoria have been reluctant to recognise the fact that they represent only a fraction of world music making, and a declining force in a market-driven world. As a result only a hand-full of university music training organisations worldwide have embraced popular or other relevant contemporary music making in any form (technical training organisations have a better record). However even in these training environments there is tendency towards education in music of the past. The only difference between these new organisations and their classical counterparts is that the past is measured in decades rather than centuries. Training of musicians for the future should be based firmly on analysis of what is actually happening in the entertainment and arts industries and where these industries are heading. This paper gives an account of current research of job categories in the music, and related industries and the kinds of radical shifts in music training protocols that will be necessary to keep pace with rapid change. The research focuses on the new media world of soundbite creation, website creation, computer games and other multimedia, databases of music and music information, sound design, remixing for different markets, media, and environments, and new modes of performance. These are discussed in relation to the training infrastructure to facilitate music production competence, and career mobility and adaptability.