Music in Australian Society

Growing Up Making Music, Youth Orchestras in Australia and the World The Soundscapes of Australia Victorian Historical Journal 

Music in Australian Society is a multi-faceted Research Group that intersects with the Jewish Music Research Group and with elements of the School’s Performance and Composition streams.

Four scholars have established voices of commanding authority in this field:

  • Margaret Kartomi, with a wide range of publications stretching back forty years;
  • John Whiteoak and Aline Scott-Maxwell as contributing general editors of the monumental Currency Companion to Music and Dance in Australia (Strawberry Hills, Currency Press, 2003); and
  • Graeme Smith as author of Singing Australia: A History of Folk and Country Music (Pluto Press, Melbourne, 2005).

Monash-affiliated contributors to the above-mentioned Currency Companion to Music and Dance in Australia (2003) included Georgina Binns (Music Librarian), Joel Crotty, Kay Dreyfus, Bronia Kornhauser and Graeme Smith.

A larger colligation (also including the work of Gay Breyley, Kay Dreyfus, Marcello Sorce Keller and Wang Zheng Ting) is the study of the musical results of migration and multiculturalism in the Australian context.

The editorial team of Dreyfus and Crotty produced a themed issue of the Victorian Historical Journal (Music, Migration and Multiculturalism, v.78, no.2), in November 2007, including articles by seven Monash authors.

Gay Breyley’s research includes the study of memory and mourning in Australia’s indigenous communities. Wang combines his research focus on the history of Chinese music-making in Australia with an international career as a master performer on the sheng [Chinese mouth organ] and composer.

Joel Crotty maintains an ongoing interest in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Australian ‘art’ music and its composers, facilitating performances and supervising higher degree research in this area. Crotty is also responsible for the annual Monash Australian Composers Series, now in its seventeenth year.

An ARC Linkage project with the Australian Youth Orchestra (2004–7) resulted in a volume of multi-authored essays, Growing Up Making Music: Youth Orchestras in Australia and the World, Margaret Kartomi and Kay Dreyfus eds (with David Pear), Australasian Music Research 9, University of Melbourne, Lyrebird Press, 2007.

Participants and Publications