Barbara Balba Weber

Barbara Balba Weber

Music Mediation

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'Creative mediation of music. Answer, tool, model' - Proposed doctoral thesis by Barbara Balba Weber
Bern University of the Arts / University of Bern

Over the past twenty years, globalisation and the digital revolution have together brought about a fundamental, immensely swift change in the situation of assorted types of music. For structural and personnel reasons – and also for reasons of convention – cultural and educational institutions have hitherto been unable to offer an appropriate response to this. As a result, our state-subsidised music institutions today more often serve to divide music from its audiences instead of bringing them together.
Innovative approaches developed among the younger generation – the so-called ‘digital natives’ – could help to bring about a productive re-actualisation of specific musics – if only the official cultural and educational institutions would actually notice them and implement them. The issue here is thus how we might take important ideas from young music-makers and feed them meaningfully into our music systems.
In order to achieve this, the present writer has carried out a thorough study of the current specialised literature on the mediation of culture and music; the findings thereby gained have been complemented by knowledge acquired through her many years of experience in the field, in order to develop a theory of creative mediation of music. Mediation of music is here understood as a craft that enables one to identify and know one’s target audience and to draw it into the actual artistic act.
To create a practical model with a scholarly, theoretical, reflective basis, we used methods of creative mediation of music to carry out and evaluate appropriate experiments with staged listening situations, installations and music workshops.
The results of our investigations should profit both established institutions and young artists – and especially also the specific types of music themselves and their (hitherto disappearing) audiences.

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