Aspects of communities of practice among emerging German Swiss folk musicians




Specker, Sharonne K.

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In this thesis, I explore the dynamics of German Swiss folk music today in relation to the emerging musicians who have been involved in a folk music post-secondary program in recent years. Approaching the field as a community of musical practice (Lave and Wenger 1991), I attend to processes of learning and transmission and to the spaces of experience in which it takes place. In participant responses, three key themes emerged. The first was the significance of the recently-established folk music postsecondary program as a site of learning and participation for emerging German Swiss musicians. The second was the importance of creativity among this demographic, and the way in which learning environments and spaces of experience (Gosselain 2016), such as universities or festivals, shape this creative potential. The third was the centrality of Swiss folk music festivals to the continuance of this music and community, and the way in which they offer spaces of experience in which to connect, learn, share, and participate. In this thesis, I draw on the theoretical concepts of legitimate peripheral participation, boundary objects, spaces of experience, and genealogy, and explore issues pertaining to informal and formal learning, intergenerationality, access and power, and peripherality.



Anthropology, Ethnography, Ethnomusicology, Switzerland, Creativity, Festivals, Institutionalization, Music, Folk