Music Curriculum for the 21st Century
Based on the Concept of Generating Music
Philosophy Underlying the Music Curriculum Composition
- The Principle
of Generation -
chairperson of Committee for Music Curriculum for the 21st Century
1. The principle and generation of a curriculum composition
21st-century music curriculum takes the “generation of music” as the principle
for its composition and study method. Here, we will first clarify the general concepts
concerning the “generation of music”.
(1) The principle of generation furnished with
is an activity that expresses the perception of the natural qualities of the
world such that everyone may perceive it through the senses. The meaning of
the impressions and sentiments of the heart, which is moved by the natural
qualities of the world, are perceived as an inner experience by a sensitive
faculty called intuition. Art is an activity to express meaning through the
medium of sound, color, language or the body, such that it may be perceived by
logic by which to establish an expression is required to make inner experience
the case of music, this is the expression of qualitative time by means of the
various musical elements and their organization. In other words,
music expresses qualitative time such as elation and depression, advance and
retreat, acceleration and deceleration, a sudden rush or slow fall back through
the composition and organization of the raw musical elements such as timbre,
rhythm, tempo, melody, rate and strength by the methods of repetition, contrast
and harmony. In
the case of the fine arts, the expression is of a qualitative space through the
elements of artistic expression and their organization. This is to say,
the fine arts express qualitative spaces such as light and dark; airy and heavy
feelings; and expansive and constrictive sensations through the composition and
organization of the raw artistic elements of, in the case of a painting for
example, lines, surfaces, and colors by the methods of repetition, contrast and
with regards to the experience of artistic expression, the meanings of internal
experiences such as impressions and feelings are organized and expressed by the
raw materials of music and art and it is here that the principle of the generation
of artistic expression is present. That is to say, the significance of the internal
world (inner experience) is embodied by organizing elements of artistic
expression, and expression is given shape in the external world; namely,
expression is generated. By this process meaning is embodied for the internal
world (inner experience) and this inner experience is regenerated; namely,
experience is generated.
expression is accompanied by a change (generation) of the external world by the
organization of the subject matter in this way and the change (generation) of
the experience of the inner world by having done so. Through this, expression is
(2) The Generation of music
to the Kojien Japanese Dictionary (5th edition), “generation” means
“1. Give an intended form. 2. (Phil.) (Werden) Origination of an object, the change
of a condition, to make into a different thing. Production. Transformation.” In other words,
insomuch that existence may be said to be constant generation, "generation"
expresses the beginning of things that were not and the transition from a
certain condition or situation to a different one.
example usages of “generation” given are:
(1.) “What is the silver solid generated when a silver oxide is heated?”
(National Institute for Education Policy Research  “Reference materials
for the production of evaluation standards and a schematic improvement of
(2.) “Words do not simply clarify a symbol, but participate in the generation
of yet a new symbol.” (Nobuko UCHIDA  “Imagination” Kodansha
Here (1) expresses a change of substance in the external world and (2)
expresses a change of mind in the internal world.
such a manner, the word “generation” is used for both a change of substance in
the external world and a change of the heart in the internal world. For this
reason, the word “generation” is applicable to both the internal and external
worlds as exemplified previously with regards to artistic expression.
the principle of "generation" seen in the above artistic expression
is applied to musical expression, it results in the following. First is the generation
of musical expression in the external world by means of the organization of
sounds. Yet another aspect is the meaning given to the experience of the
internal world through the process of the organization of the sounds, from
which an experience is generated. The principle of "generation"
furnished with this musical expression is the principle from which the teaching
content of the music course is derived.
(3) The music course teaching contents derived
from the principle of generation
teaching contents of the music course are derived from the principle of generation. Artistic
expression is the embodiment of the internal experiences of humans by means of
an external subject matter such that they may be perceived by everyone. In the case of
music, this is performed by means of the organization of sounds. First, sentiments
and impressions existing as internal experiences are embodied as an expression
by means of the various elements of music and their organization. By means of
these various musical elements and their organization, music is given
is the formal aspect of music.
means of this aspect, the impressions and feelings of internal experience, that
is, "substance", is embodied. This is the substantive
aspect of music. With
regards to actual music, this substantive aspect is the mood, musical theme or
atmosphere and we receive these accompanied with an impression or sentiment.
the "form" and "substance" are generated by means of the
thoughts or senses of a given person, whereupon the climate, culture and
history that make up the environment in which that person was raised forms the
is the cultural aspect of music. Furthermore, a “technical skill" in
manipulating voice or musical instrument is required in order to embody the "form”,
“substance” and “background” when expressing the music made from this elements
as a performance.
is the technical aspect of music.
the music course teaching contents derived from the above principle of generation
gives the following. These music course teaching contents compose the contents
of the curriculum.
1. "Form": the formal aspect
of music (the various elements of music and their organization)
2. “Substance”: the substantive aspect of music
(mood, musical theme, atmosphere, impression and sentiment)
3. "Background": the cultural aspect
of music (climate, culture and history)
"Technical skill": the technical aspect of music (technical skill in
expression by voice or musical instrument, technical skill in expression by
chorus or concert, knowledge and understanding of musical score etc.)
and other media" is added in addition to the above teaching contents and
the music curriculum composition for the 21st-century is arranged as follows.
1. People, regions and music (the relationship
with sound, climate, daily life, culture and history)
2. Musical arrangement and technical skill (the
formal aspect, substantive aspect and technical aspect)
3. Music and other media
(4) The practicality of music activities by
means of the principle of generation
the case the principle of "generation" is applied to musical
activity, i.e. "the generation of music", both a change in the
substance of the external world and a change of the heart in the internal world
are taken as requirements.
is to say, one is the generation of music in the external world by means of
timbre, rhythm and melody etc.
other is the discovery of new harmonization and meaning in the process that generates
music through timbre, rhythm and melody etc. and the generation of one's own thoughts
and experiences. In
brief, in the case of "music generation" it is taken as a requirement
that humans influence the world of sound and music and generate both the
internal and external worlds through making a world of sound and music. Accordingly,
practical examples of musical activities that take this generation of music as
a principal are given.
the title "Making music using a tongatong”, the subject is developed
according to the following kinds of activities. 1. Produce
sound with tongatong of differing sizes and ascertain the timbre and pitch. 2. Knock on bricks
and the floor and discover various timbres. 3. Try out
various rhythm patterns and search for an impression of what kind of expression
in which to engage.
For example, making a theme of “Japanese festival” from the rhythm patterns of
a Japanese orchestra.
Make the structure of the piece Festival → Shrine → Fireworks → Festival, and
determine the timbres and rhythm patterns present at each setting. 6. Based on the
impression of each setting, devise the strength and tempo etc.
following kinds of external world and internal world generation can be seen in
this composition activity.
world generation" – draw out the receptivity (impression) of the internal aspect
of the music from the perception of the formal aspect of music, i.e. the timbre
and rhythm patterns.
an expression by means of making that the composition or through the strength of
the piece etc (perception of the formal aspect) or a technical device
(technical aspect ability).
world generation" - the experience of the internal world (for example, the
impression of a "Japanese festival") is segmented and generated
through the process by which the organization of the sounds of the external
world and the impressions of the internal world interact.
B) Performance (Song)
section will be illustrated by example of singing instruction for junior high
school students. With
the title "savor the joy of a chorus", the course is developed using
“Tabidachinohini” (On the day of
departure) as a teaching material1). First, the
composition of the music and musical theme is taken from the contents of the
verses and the composition of the melody etc, and each individual forms an
impression of what they wish to express. Next,
expression is devised in groups. This is promoted by the following kind of
Each individual forms an impression of “Tabidachi”
from the content of the song lyrics through reciting and listening to them. 2. using the feeling
or impression of the lyrics, devise an expression in terms of various musical
elements or techniques.
Devise an expression in terms of the musical elements of tempo and strength in
particular. 4. Expand
the impression of “Tabidachi"
from the relationship between the content and lyrics of the verses and the
following kind of external world and internal world generation can be seen in
this expression activity.
world generation” - each student perceives the formal aspect of music (the
various elements of music such as tempo and strength etc) and generates an
expression as a chorus by means of the technical aspect of music (the means of
producing a high voice or the expression of the relationship between voice
parts) whilst being receptive to the substantive aspect (the content and
musical theme of the song lyrics). “Internal world generation" – The students’
impression of “Tabidachi”
(substantive aspect) is generated by means of the formal aspect (the various
elements of music such as tempo and strength etc) and the technical aspect of
music, a new musical harmonization is formed in the heart of the students’
connection with this impression, and an internal world is generated.
section will be illustrated by example of teaching appreciation to elementary
school students. The
title was “Become a clown” and with this as a "march" (The Clown
composed by Kabalevsky) the following kinds of activities were developed2). The children freely
moved their bodies to suit the music. They listened one more time and were made to
consider how many scary points there are. The children talked
about movements in groups and thought about what movements to make. Thereupon the
children perceived that “The small points were like sneakily taking a treasure
and the big points were like a treasure being found,” and expressed this
difference with their bodies.
other words they recognized that there are phrases whereby the sound is weak
and those whereby the sound is strong, and perceived the musical theme as the
phrase points where the sound is weak being "like taking a treasure” and
the phrase points where the sound is strong being “like a treasure being found”.
They then expressed these in the external world with their bodies.
following kind of external world and internal world generation can be seen in
this appreciation activity.
world generation” - the students perceive the formal aspects of music of power
and phrase and receive the musical theme produced by the organization of these. They perceive
these (sound strength and phrases) and express (generate) what they have
received (musical themes of differing impression) in the external world with
their bodies. “Internal
world generation” - they broadly perceive a feature of the musical composition
to be “The loud parts felt scary”. By placing the focus on the perception of
the formal aspect of music and the reception of the substantive aspect of music
and studying them, the features of the piece they initially perceived in broad
terms are organized, the contents of which are generated in terms of meaning in
the children’s internal worlds.
(5) Music course study method that makes generation
the above examples, the music course study method that makes generation a
principle is as follows.
activities generate expression in the external world through working on the
various elements of music that form the raw material of composition and
perceiving and organizing these changes. then the
quality of a new harmonization of sound born from the organization of those
sounds is received by means of an impression or feeling, and one's own
experience with regards to music (internal world) is generated.
through musical performance activities students perceive lyrical content and
the various elements of music and generate a performance in the external world
through the organization of expression. Then the
quality of a new harmonization of sound brought forth by the organization is
received accompanied by an impression or feeling and one's own experience with
regards to music (internal world) is generated.
appreciation activities, students perceive the various elements of music seen
in a composition, and by generating the quality brought forth from the organization
of these received in accompaniment with an impression or feeling in the
external world by means of one's own body or critical writing, the internal
world of perception, receptivity, impression and sentiment is generated.
above, the perception of song lyrics and the various elements of music that are
the target of expression (composition and performance) and appreciation and the
reception of the qualities brought forth by means of the organization of these in
accompaniment with an impression or sentiment are made the focus in the
development of music study that makes generation a principle, and it becomes a
situation whereby the external and internal worlds interact whilst being generated. In this manner,
music study that makes generation a principle facilitates the cultivation of an
internal world of sensitivity, impression and sentiment for children by means
of the external and internal worlds interacting and both being generated in the
process through the activities of expression and appreciation.
2. The subject of perception and receptivity in music study
was previously stated that the arts are an expression such that everyone may
perceive the world of natural qualities. This will now be expressed in
comparison with the understanding of science.
(1) The subject of receptivity for music study
2 of the 21st-century music curriculum composition, “Musical Arrangement and
Technical Skill”, is made up of formal aspect, substantive aspect and technical
aspect contents. The
formal aspect is the perception of voice timbre, the perception of beat and the
perception of pitch etc. The substantive aspect is the receptivity to the
qualities the voice timbre brings forth, those the beat brings forth, and those
the pitch brings forth etc.
this manner, the teaching subject for the formal aspect targets the objective aspect
of the various elements of music whereas the substantive aspect targets the
quality of aspect that can only be grasped by a sense of the various elements
of music. For
example, in addition to the objective aspects of high voice, low voice, male
voice, female voice, child voice, adult voice etc quantitatively differentiated
by the wave form of an oscillograph, the voice timbre has aspects received by
sense, such as soft male voices, transparent voices, voices that seemed to
expand, and voices that are soft like velvet etc. In addition to
when targeting the parts of the various elements of music, that is, these voice
timbres, the formal aspect and the substantive aspect are also classified when
targeting the compositions organized by timbre, rhythm, melody, the
relationship between sound and sound including harmony, form, tempo and
strength etc, and perception and receptivity are made the target. When making organizations
of these various elements, the target, melody, tempo and form are perceived for
the formal aspect and the mood and theme of the music are perceived as a
quality, for example, as an elated feeling, a depressed feeling, a ponderous
feeling or an intense feeling for the substantive aspect. Expression is
embodied by technical skill in voice or instrument (technical aspect)
consequent on these perceived and received contents.
above, a formal aspect and a substantive aspect are presents in music; in the
various elements of timbre, rhythm, melody, tempo and strength etc, and
furthermore in the organization of these. The former is
an aspect perceived as a quantity and the latter is an aspect received as a
arts, and above all the essence of music, are in the quality that is the
substantive aspect, and there is meaning in the expression and recognition of
this by means of the formal or technical aspect. So, what does
“quality” indicate in a recognition or expression of the arts? We will now compare
this with the understanding of science.
(2) The dimensions of quantity and quality in
are two dimensions in nature.
is the dimension of quantity that can form an abstraction or conception through
perceiving a thing by the relationship between things. The other is
the dimension of quality such as timbre, rhythm, color, or fragrance etc. We take in experiences
such as the color of tree leaves when passing a street lined with ginkgo or
maple trees in autumn splendor or the sound of a leaf fluttering to the ground
by the five senses.
there is a qualitative dimension that we can only grasp by a sense other than
the details perceived as a change of wavelength of light or atmospheric
oscillation of sound3).
activity of science is to quantify and grasp nature, with color as a wavelength
of light and sound as a vibration of air. It is the activity of the arts to
grasp the world of natural quality through sensitivity and express it such that
it may be perceptible to everyone. As for the form of cognition, the former is
rational and the latter is sensitive.
(3) Cognition by means of reason and sensitivity
first natural dimension, namely that of quantity, may be perceived primarily by
rational cognition as a scientific subject. The second
natural dimension, namely that of quality, may be perceived primarily by sensitive
cognition as a subject of the arts. A faculty in rational cognition is primarily
related to things such as intelligence, reason, conception and logic. Such cognition
has properties such as objectivity, universality and rationality. In contrast
with this, a faculty in sensitive cognition is primarily related to
sensitivity, intuition, impression and sentiment. Such cognition has properties
such as subjectivity, individuality and irrationality.
be said that humans are cognizant of the world (environment) by means of these
two styles of wisdom; however, in practice these overlap and intensify
other words, in the cognition of science, rational cognition comprises the
leading part and sensitive cognition supports it whereas conversely in the
cognition of the arts, artistic cognition comprises the leading part and
rational cognition supports it.
two cognitive forms must be involved in any cognition. However, in the
ideology of modern Western rationalism, only the first dimension is made the
subject, even for nature, and for that reason rational cognition alone has come
to be emphasized as the cognitive form. Without
recognizing the originality of sensitive cognition, it has been positioned as
an installation of scientific cognition. This is
according to the way of thinking whereby in modern science, nature and the
psyche (the object and the subject) are segregated, with nature being viewed as
a material which is then separated into elements from which information is acquired
by means of experiment, observation and knowledge acquired through
this “dualism” and “reductionism” way of thinking that decides to segregate and
perceive nature and the psyche, only the nature that can be quantified is made
the subject and dimensions of natural quality that cannot be qualified have
come to be placed outside the scope of science. For that
reason, rational cognition alone is stressed with regards to the cognition form
and the sensitive cognition that forms the leading part in the cognition of the
second dimension of nature, namely quality, has come to be devalued. Actually,
as this cognition form varies over time, it has come to be considered somewhat
of a hindrance to the rational cognition in which objectivity is sought.
such a view of cognition, cultivation of the rational cognition necessary for
scientific cognition is emphasized with regards to the cognition and faculties
of humans in modern scholastic education, and in addition, subjects that can
cultivate such faculties have come to be respected. In other words,
the subjects of language and science have come to be emphasized as principal
subjects from within the curriculum as they cultivate the faculties of
intelligence, reason, conception and logic required by rational cognition. in contrast to
this, artistic subjects have come to be regarded as secondary subjects due to a
way of thinking that says they are not directly associated with the cultivation
of such faculties.
(4) The result of cognitive/educational
perspectives emphasizing science
such cognitive/educational perspectives based in scientism, what has become of
our daily lives? It
can be said that daily life has become materially affluent in advanced nations
such as Japan due
to the developments of science and technology. Nevertheless,
many phenomena that seem to be placing the existence of humans in a precarious
position, such as global warming and environmental destruction etc, are seen.
In addition, the principle of “efficiency first” has produced many accidents;
problem behavior and emotional problems in young people are being brought to
light; and many people have come to feel anxiety with regards to their
could be said that these phenomena are the result of the values and living
environment of humans being completely devoted to science, such as systems
including our intellect that come from a worldview that emphasizes modern
in modern times, only the dimension that can be quantified is made the subject,
even in nature, and science and technology is developed by making this into
knowledge. The dimension of quality that cannot be quantified is ignored and
hence the cognition form stresses rational cognition alone and sensitive
cognition that recognizes the world of quality has come to be devalued or
The various problems of leading countries
including Japan that were identified previously can be said to be a result of
the balance between these two cognizance forms having collapsed.
(5) Cultivation of a sensitive cognition by
means of the arts
into the post-modern era, the cultivation of these two cognition forms through
education and making the two dimensions of nature recognizable is sought. This is because
the former is a form that splits nature into elements by reason and recognizes
it as a concept, whereas the latter is a form that comprehensively recognizes
nature through sensitivity.
can be said that it is by means of these two cognition forms that the world can
be first recognized in perfection and the intellectual and emotional education
of children can be facilitated in harmony.
this requires a school curriculum that positions and balances the subjects of
language and science and the subjects of the arts with a balance, and the
development of a music course education by means of the principle of generation
located as one of these subjects. In other words, making the school curriculum
cultivate the faculties of the inner world, such as sensitivity, impression and
sentiment through the perception of the formal aspect and the reception of the
substantive aspect of the music curriculum and the generation of expression by
means of the technical aspects whilst in possession of these contents.
Fumiko HOSHI (Agatsuma Municipal Junior
High School, Fukushima)
Materials for the open class in the 1996 Tohoku District Music Education
Yuriko SAITO (2004) “March – From the Clown”, Yoshinobu NISHIZONO, Ritsuko
KOJIMA editorial “Teaching and Evaluation for Elementary School Music”, Kosaido
Akatsuki, pp. 100-103
J Dewey stated in “Art as Experience, 1934” “Experience and Nature, 1925” that modern
subjects target nature that can be quantified and have come to exclude the
quality of nature. In “The Brain and Qualia" (NIKKEI SCIENCE Inc, 2003)
Kenichiro MOGI takes the qualitative world of nature that cannot be grasped by
the physical sciences, such as timbre and hue etc, as qualia and considers