Enter the specialists: the power of dominant discourse in Dutch music education

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In this article the work of power through discourse in music education in primary schools in the Netherlands is examined. After introducing the central concepts of culture, practice, discourse, and power, the current dominant musical discourse in the Netherlands is presented as expressed in three nested perspectives: the perspective of music as a specialist domain, the perspective of music as (essentially instrumental) performance, and the perspective of music as Art. Then, a central document in current music educational developments in Dutch primary schools is analyzed. It is demonstrated that specifically the perspectives of music as a specialist domain and (partly) music as (instrumental) performance have a strong presence in the document. The article finishes with calling for more attention to the workings of dominant musical discourse in music pedagogical debates.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalKulturelle Bildung Online
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2018



  • music
  • music education
  • discourse
  • power
  • discourse analysis
  • primary education
  • netherlands

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