This is a sister article to one that appeared in this journal in 1999, which established benefits in coupling instrumental study and voice-leading analysis, primarily for performers but also for analysts. That analytical students too were more receptive to study when connected with their instrument was the cue for the present article; performance has much to offer the teaching/learning of non-tonal analytical techniques founded on the basic tenets of set theory. This article details an experimental curriculum, ‘Practising set theory’, tested at Lancaster University across 2001–2, in comparison with more traditional methods employed across 1995–2002, and in relation to the new ‘Music benchmark statement’ (2002). Beyond the specifics, it is hoped this research may interest other practitioners seeking alternative pedagogical approaches to parts of the Music curriculum perceived as difficult or especially demanding.
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