Journal article Open Access

Does this Work [of Art] Invite Me into [Intersubjective] Dialogue? - Discussing Relational Aesthetics in Music Education

Holdhus, Kari; Vist, Torill

Some artistic and educational practices in music have yet to be defined within the dichotomy of referential and autonomy aesthetics. However, there has been an ongoing shift towards more interactive, social and relationally founded aesthetic practices, which often originate in other art media but influence music as well. In this article, we investigate relational aesthetics’ place and further potential in music education, taking Nicolas Bourriaud’s term ‘relational aesthetics’ as a point of departure. Originally a theory concerning a specific postmodern genre within the visual arts, we identify and discuss certain elements of Bourriaud’s relational aesthetic theory that are relevant for music education, particularly the role of intersubjective relations. We further explore the traces and relatives’ of relational aesthetic theories that may already exist in and around music education, such as musicking and communicative musicality. As a result, certain aspects of relational aesthetics become more explicit than in Bourriaud’s theory, particularly care in intersubjective relations. Furthermore, we discuss the potential importance of relational aesthetics in music education practices, exemplified by teacher education, school concert visits and piano teaching. Finally, we conclude with some remarks on relational aesthetics as a resource in music education and arts education in general.

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