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Music Education in the Sign of Deconstruction

Petter Dyndahl
Philosophy of Music Education Review
Vol. 16, No. 2 (Fall, 2008), pp. 124-144
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40327297
Page Count: 21
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Music Education in the Sign of Deconstruction
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Abstract

In this article, the aim is to address different forms of relationship between deconstruction, as coined by Jacques Derrida, and research perspectives on music education. Deconstruction represents a radical departure from Western ontology from Plato onward and its essentialistic notions of the metaphysics of presence. Instead, Derrida claims that signs, as well as texts, are decentered, that is, they are continually altering meaning in relation to other signs or texts, being in constant motion. Simultaneously, signs and texts, as well as existence and experience, constitute themselves by binary oppositions, like nature/culture, content/form, original/copy, internal/external, empirical! theoretical, and so on. Derrida argues that such differences are not inherent, but are instead socially produced and hierarchical mechanisms for providing systematic priority to one aspect of the dualism to the neglect of the other. Consequently, the ethical interest of music education research, from a deconstructive perspective, would be to expose what is marginalized in musical schooling, upbringing, and socialization. In that case, deconstruction might also be able to rectify some of its destructive reputation.

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