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Title: The wind band ensemble, music and education; A perspective from Singapore
Authors: Dairianathan, Eugene
Issue Date: Jul-2006
Publisher: Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 27th International Society for Music Education, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 16-21 July 2006, p. 303-315
Abstract: Concerts for the Wind Band ensemble account for the vast majority of the annual concerts in Singapore, attended by people from all walks of life. Of all the Co-Curricular Activities conducted for schools, the Wind Band movement claims the lion’s share of participants to date. Yet in an entry on Singapore in Groves (2001, 421-423), musical activities of the band are noticeably absent. Similarly, an overview of the musical scene in pre-independence Singapore (Tan 2002, 80) suggests that it remained largely an amateur activity, save the relatively few professionals such as military bandsman or Chinese opera singers and musicians trying to eke out a living. Given the coruscating profile of the wind band ensemble in the present context in Singapore, gaps in its history beg questions: What is this social and musical phenomenon we identify as and with the Band? When do we learn of its presence? Who supported it? What were the means of support and how was support given and sustained? Who were involved in its practice? What was the musical dimension of this practice? How did teaching and learning for it take place? Did the Band have an audience? Who was the audience? What was the role of the Band among communities in Singapore? This paper is an attempt to reconstruct a narrative of the Wind Band ensemble in Singapore and use it for further discussion. Proceedings of the 27th World Conference of the International Society for Music Education 16-21 July, 2006, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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