Children's practice of computer-based composition as a form of play

Bo Nilsson

    Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragSammanfattning


    Music in different forms is significant in young people’s lives. Due to the media revolution in our modern society, children of today learn a lot about music on their own by taking part in an increasing production of musical cultures. In this paper different forms of play is applied as a way to reach a deeper understanding of children’s creative music making.

    This article describes a 2-year empirical study of nine 8-year-old Swedish children creating music with synthesiser and computer software. The research questions are aimed at: (a) clarifying the creative processes young children employ when they create music using digital tools, (b) describing and analysing the musical outcomes that are produced by the children as a result of this process, and (c) reaching a deeper understanding of what creative music making means to the children.

    The tasks assigned to the children were framed as invitations to create music to different pictures. Step by step computer MIDI-files of the composition processes were systematically collected, observations were made and interviews were carried out with each of the participants. A theoretical framework called ecocultural perspective, developed by the author, was applied in the analysis. This ecocultural perspective is based on four theoretical areas: (i) musical learning and creative activities in informal and everyday situations, (ii) oral practice, (iii) theories of play, and (iv) how these three are linked to chance, uncertainty and unpredictable events.

    In the analysis, five variations of the children’s practice of composing were identified, each with a different object in the foreground: (i) the synthesiser and computer, (ii) personal fantasies and emotions, (iii) the playing of the instrument, (iv) the music itself, and (v) the task. Findings also provide evidence that young children are able to create music with form and structure.

    In this paper findings will be demonstrated and further discussed from the above mentioned ecocultural perspective, where play is considered especially important as a way of creating meaning in musical activities.


    KonferensThe 9th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC9), Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna, August 22-26 2006
    Period80-01-01 → …

    Nationell ämneskategori

    • Pedagogik (50301)


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