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Lives and careers in music: a social identity perspective on brass music-making

Gee, Kate A (2010) Lives and careers in music: a social identity perspective on brass music-making. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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This thesis presents a qualitative investigation of brass musicians’ identities. It explores the lives and careers of 40 elite musicians through narrative interviews, and of 572 amateurs, semi-professionals and professionals in an online survey. Combining theories from social psychology and music psychology (social identity theory (Tajfel, 1979) and musical identity (MacDonald, 2002)) enables the musician to be considered as a social category, and from this to develop a contemporary and novel investigation into musicians’ identities. Literature reviews and empirical data develop arguments on three current musical debates concerning the changing nature of musicians’ identities: the relationships between instrument choice and identity the historical and current beliefs about gender and music-making the changing nature of higher education and developing a musical career Previous research on instrument choice has focused on gender in children’s decision- making processes. However, the present empirical work shows the importance of social worlds, particularly the home, and of role models within the home in developing a positive musical identity. A socio-cultural / socio-historical approaches are used to further understand the changing perceptions and position of women in brass music-making. The empirical research examines the successes and barriers experienced by the few contemporary female brass musicians working in the UK. Finally, the contemporary literature concerning the effects of musical training on becoming and being a musician is examined. The empirical research takes narratives from professional classical performers from across the lifespan, to explore the impact of training, performing, and developing a career on their identities. The thesis concludes with an evaluation of the application of social identity theory in this context, and its relevance for practitioners and researchers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: social identity theory, musical identity, brass musicians, careers, gender, brass bands, orchestras
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Psychology (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Music (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.521986
Depositing User: Dr. Kate A Gee
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2010 08:40
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2016 14:09
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/896

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