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Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools

Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools by David G. Hebert
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This well researched volume tells the story of music education in Japan and of the wind band contest organized by the All-Japan Band Association. Identified here for the first time as the world’s largest musical competition, it attracts 14,000 bands and well over 500,000 competitors. The book’s insightful contribution to our understanding of both music and education chronicles music learning in Japanese schools and communities. It examines the contest from a range of perspectives, including those of policy makers, adjudicators, conductors and young musicians. The book is an illuminating window on the world of Japanese wind bands, a unique hybrid tradition that comingles contemporary western idioms with traditional Japanese influences. In addition to its social history of Japanese school music programs, it shows how participation in Japanese school bands contributes to students’ sense of identity, and sheds new light on the process of learning to play European orchestral instruments.

"Important and unique." - Professor Richard Colwell, Ethnomusicology Review.
"A major contribution to studies of international music education and of music in Japan." - Professor Bonnie Wade (Foreword to the book).

"The definitive book on Japanese wind music . . . should be in every library" - Maestro Tim Reynish (
 "A comprehensive, stunning account of wind bands in Japan . . . the most comprehensive information about concert (wind) band participation in any country" - Peter Gouzouasis and Alan Henderson, Music Education Research. 

"Hebert's study should be highly lauded. Seeing extracurricular club activities in the light of Japanese studies is a perspective that I intend to employ in my own research in the future . . . this publication can serve as an important reference and inform the decisions of those attempting to advance changes to the educational system." - Professor Hiroshi Nishijima of Tokyo Metropolitan University, Social Science Japan Journal.  
"It provides an interesting insight into the successful pedagogical techniques and methods required to cultivate collective notions of identity and ultimately musical achievement. This book is a valuable resource to those with interests in a number of musical and academic fields, in particular music education, ethnomusicology and band studies. Throughout the book the author successfully connects these different strands and produces an accurate and engaging picture . . ." - Richard Jones, PhD, The World of Music.

Springer Netherlands; October 2011
292 pages; ISBN 9789400721784
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Title: Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools
Author: David G. Hebert
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