Examining ethnomusicology through 60 years of steel bands in the UK, and\ud almost 50 years of steel bands in British schools

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McCalman, Lionel (2015)
  • Publisher: University of East London, Cass School of Education and Communities
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.15123/PUB.4766

Sixty years ago, a steel band played to an audience in the UK for the first time.\ud Forty years ago, steel pans were introduced into British schools for two different\ud but interrelated reasons. The first was to give credence to the cultural heritage\ud of the black child (Caribbean or African), in a multicultural environment, and to\ud provide opportunities for black children to explore this culture/musical traditions\ud through their own competent performances. The second was to introduce the\ud Caribbean’s musical tradition to the wider school population as a way of valuing\ud other cultures. This model suggested that steel pans were solely for the benefit\ud of black children, and the technological experts (steel pan tuners/teacher) were\ud also to be black, or born in the Caribbean. This paper examines how far we have\ud come in the last 40 years, in forging a music curriculum in schools under a truly\ud multicultural umbrella.
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