placeholder image

Music and community in Australian country towns: choir singing, belonging and emotion

Chapter


Abstract


  • This chapter discusses music’s contributions to cultural life in rural Australia.

    The setting is a traditional agricultural region in transition - the Bega Valley, on

    the Far South Coast of New South Wales. To metropolitan Australians, the Bega

    Valley may seem a peculiar place in which to study or enjoy locally created and

    performed music. For most Australians, the valley is better known for its iconic

    Bega brand cheese, not its music. But it also hosts a vibrant community music

    scene, operating outside the commercial sphere of pubs, concerts and recorded

    music sales. Community-oriented music practices are those that spring from

    within local cultural life and exist beyond the market economy, rooted in everyday, meaningful community engagement. In the Bega Valley, community music

    takes shape in diverse forms and spaces - festivals, community halls, churches,

    cafes, markets - which differ from the traditional, male-dominated space of the

    pub, where, for many decades, Australian live music has been concentrated.

    This chapter focuses especially on choir singing – a prevalent community music

    form in the Bega Valley. Choral practices exemplify grassroots elements of cultural sustainability and invite contemplation of a broader range of social issues

    in rural life, including the meanings of leisure activities, inter-generational relationships, gender norms and emotional belonging.

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Gordon, A. & Gibson, C. (2017). Music and community in Australian country towns: choir singing, belonging and emotion. In C. Driscoll, K. Darian-Smith & D. Nichols (Eds.), Cultural Sustainability in Rural Communities: Rethinking Australian Country Towns (pp. 32-49). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.

Book Title


  • Cultural Sustainability in Rural Communities: Rethinking Australian Country Towns

Start Page


  • 32

End Page


  • 49

Place Of Publication


  • Abingdon, United Kingdom

Abstract


  • This chapter discusses music’s contributions to cultural life in rural Australia.

    The setting is a traditional agricultural region in transition - the Bega Valley, on

    the Far South Coast of New South Wales. To metropolitan Australians, the Bega

    Valley may seem a peculiar place in which to study or enjoy locally created and

    performed music. For most Australians, the valley is better known for its iconic

    Bega brand cheese, not its music. But it also hosts a vibrant community music

    scene, operating outside the commercial sphere of pubs, concerts and recorded

    music sales. Community-oriented music practices are those that spring from

    within local cultural life and exist beyond the market economy, rooted in everyday, meaningful community engagement. In the Bega Valley, community music

    takes shape in diverse forms and spaces - festivals, community halls, churches,

    cafes, markets - which differ from the traditional, male-dominated space of the

    pub, where, for many decades, Australian live music has been concentrated.

    This chapter focuses especially on choir singing – a prevalent community music

    form in the Bega Valley. Choral practices exemplify grassroots elements of cultural sustainability and invite contemplation of a broader range of social issues

    in rural life, including the meanings of leisure activities, inter-generational relationships, gender norms and emotional belonging.

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Gordon, A. & Gibson, C. (2017). Music and community in Australian country towns: choir singing, belonging and emotion. In C. Driscoll, K. Darian-Smith & D. Nichols (Eds.), Cultural Sustainability in Rural Communities: Rethinking Australian Country Towns (pp. 32-49). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.

Book Title


  • Cultural Sustainability in Rural Communities: Rethinking Australian Country Towns

Start Page


  • 32

End Page


  • 49

Place Of Publication


  • Abingdon, United Kingdom