Community music around the world reflects the growing and diverse ways humans collectivise and express themselves in ways that articulate our cultural, social, and environmental complexity. Revisiting, redevising, and reimagining some of the field’s approaches, ideologies, and contexts, this co-edited volume investigates beyond generalist intercultural and internationalist concepts to reveal the complexity of social ways people come together to make music and to making music be central to this sociality.

The authors explore the role community music plays out around the world and how various instrumentally based music-making communities operate as ecologies that allow notions of social, political, and cultural agency and identity/ies. Chapters cover various instrumental community music ensembles, observing how they, as social microcosms of change and stasis, provide working methods new and old, extol values, and model ethical behaviours that are fluid and dynamic, steadfast and unyielding, and that contribute to the ebb and flow of people and their agency that remains under-researched. Insights are provided on variously functioning ensembles throughout the world, showing how myriad instrumental music communities act as drivers, complex environments, and apparati for musical and social expression that accommodates the musical aspirations of their members.

Taken as a whole, this book explores community music as local, glocal, global phenomena, critically discussing the redefinition of community music and what music-making means to people in the twenty-first century.

chapter 1|14 pages


Redefining the field
ByLeon R de Bruin, Jane Southcott

part Part I|31 pages

Maintaining and disrupting traditions

chapter 2|13 pages

Shifting the conservatory narrative

Designing university curriculum that celebrates communities' musics
ByTe Oti Rakena, John Coulter

chapter 4|17 pages

The Venda tshikona reed-pipe dance as community music

Mapping the ecology of a South African traditional music
BySusan Harrop-Allin, Dean Salant

part Part II|74 pages

The Rhyzomal assemblage

chapter 7|17 pages

Synthesis and embodiment

The Lowell String Project as complex musical ecosystem
ByElissa Johnson-Green

chapter 8|13 pages

Mount Gambier's Generations in Jazz

The impact of community and cross-regional partnerships
ByAdam Hardcastle

chapter 9|16 pages

Friends in Concert

Growing music teacher identities through community music-making
ByYan Chen Alvyn Eng, Siew Ling Chua, James Lee

chapter 10|12 pages

Training and retaining traditions

The Grainger Wind Symphony
ByJane Southcott, Leon R de Bruin

part Part III|80 pages

Wider meso-systems of social and cultural change, evolution and innovation

chapter 11|14 pages

The Armidale Symphony Orchestra

The ecology of a regional orchestra
ByAlana Blackburn

chapter 12|14 pages

Friends in music

The Chao Feng Chinese Orchestra, Melbourne, Australia
ByJane Southcott, Vicky Liao

chapter 13|14 pages

The Golden Age Ensemble

A community music partnership
ByChi Ying Lam

chapter 14|15 pages

PUBlic Choir

Facilitating an emergent musicking community
ByGraham Sattler

chapter 15|15 pages

Jazz, improvisation, community

Affective constitution of social identity
ByChris Stover

chapter 16|6 pages


ByLeon R de Bruin, Jane Southcott