Music at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Large mergers are underway across higher education institutions in western Norway. As of January 2017, my job will be with the newly formed Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, which has 5 campuses and around 16,000 students. I have been told that our music department will be the largest in western Norway - within what has become one of the nation's biggest public universities - and that we will continue to have its largest programs for music teacher education. We also continue to be affiliated with the Grieg Research School for Interdisciplinary Music Studies. I hope the new university websites will manage to keep up with all these new developments.
Here are links for more information:


Tenth International Symposium on the Sociology of Music Education

Call for Papers
The organizing committee of the 10th biennial International Symposium on the Sociology of Music Education and the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance are pleased to announce a call for papers. We welcome proposals from a broad range of perspectives, related to sociology and music education. Colleagues are invited to submit individual papers (twenty minutes, plus five minutes for discussion) or panels of three to five presenters (50 minutes, plus 10 minutes for discussion).

Abstracts should be 300-350 words in length, and should be accompanied by a 150-word biography for each presenter. Email submissions to gareth.smith@icmp.ac.uk, including full name/s and institutional affiliation/s. The closing date for submissions is 1 December 2016. All submissions will be reviewed by the organizing committee: Dr Clare Hall, Dr David Hebert, Dr Danielle Sirek and Dr Gareth Dylan Smith. All presenters will be notified of acceptance by 1 January 2017. The Symposium will be held at the ICMP’s London campus, 11-14 June 2017.

Registration, and information regarding travel, accommodation and scheduling, will be available (from spring 2017) via: http://www.icmp.ac.uk/issme2017
Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education will publish a special Sociology of Music Education issue in early 2018, including articles based on ISSME 2017 presentations, and guest edited by Gareth Dylan Smith and Clare Hall. Submissions should meet ACT standards (http://act.maydaygroup.org/submissions/) and will be subject to double-blind peer review. Submissions to the guest editors will be due by September 1, 2017.

Disruption and Recovery

Life can be full of difficult surprises, but the resolute accept, recover, and press on. It is a relief for my life to finally be back to normal after an incredibly complicated year, and to now be returning to various artistic and scholarly endeavors. Following the worst illness of my life (pneumonia caught in Brazil in the autumn), I had to finish resolving a complicated divorce in the spring, which in the summer was followed by the worst injury of my life: a concussion resulting in months of Post Concussive Syndrome. Displayed here is the last photo I took before the debilitating head injury: a peaceful image of wind chimes above Big Sur, California that returned many times as I was recuperating from the concussion. I am thankful to now be very healthy and focused, ready to complete all projects that were unavoidably delayed, and able to take on new projects with confidence in 2017.


Nordic Summer 2016

Spring is a time of new beginnings, and summer is nearly here.
I look forward to finally sending some fully edited manuscripts to press for publication, and to participating in several music events. 
This summer I have conference presentations in Bergen, Copenhagen, Glasgow, and Stockholm, and will visit family in the USA. I will also sing some opera arias and a duet on June 1 for an event organized by Bergen National Opera. My postgraduate students have recently completed some very interesting theses that I think will in time become publishable journal articles.
I am eager to see two more books (which have taken longer than I had hoped) published at last, and to making progress on three more books, one of which will be published in Chinese, co-authored with Jiaxing Xie at China Conservatory. There are many interesting new developments in the field of music, and so much yet to learn.

UPDATE (July 2, 2016), below is a video from the Operapub event: 


Theories and Methods for Music Research

Western Norway is uniquely beautiful, but health can really be a challenge in the cold Nordic winters! After a series of unexpected delays, I am determined to get caught up with my schedule of writing and editing very soon.

Meanwhile, there has been another encouraging book review . . .

In NOTES: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, Justin Hunter describes Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology as ‘a valuable resource for any music scholar interested in the past and its relationship with the present. . . . a jaunty and robust contribution to how music studies could be enhanced by a sensitivity to historical pasts. McCollum and Hebert’s lengthy discussions of the cognitive dissonance of cultural memory are particularly poignant for researchers working to connect oral histories with written sources.’

Jonathan McCollum and I also co-authored the definition for ‘Historical Ethnomusicology’ in a forthcoming encyclopedia on Sage press, and we have recently seen our very short article entitled ‘In Defence of Historical Ethnomusicology’ accepted by the journal Music and Letters, in which we manage to correct some misleading claims that were unfortunately published there by a doctoral student. We look forward to seeing further reactions to our book in the recognition that some of what we suggested is likely to stimulate a rethinking of assumptions regarding the musical past as well as both theories and methods in music research.


Book Review Update 2015

There were several encouraging reviews of my recent books in 2015, so I decided to post an update that compiles some quotations from reviews in various academic journals and other locations . . .


Notable music professors have written the following about Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology:
  • “By means of thoughtful commentary on potential sources and procedures, the editors and authors of new articles will hopefully stimulate burgeoning interest in historical perspectives on the part of ethnomusicologists.” (Bonnie C. Wade, University of California, Berkeley) 
  • “A timely, thoughtful, and engaging collection, Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology is sure to become an important resource. McCollum, Herbert, and their collaborators have done a great service to musical scholars of all stripes, be they historical musicologists, ethnomusicologists, or somewhere in between.” (Ken Prouty, Michigan State University) 
  • “This book is an ardent call for a historical turn in ethnomusicology.” (Alexandra Kertz-Welzel, Ludwig Maximilian University) 
  • "A scholarly and incisive account of the place of historiography in ethnomusicology. Editors McCollum and Hebert adopt an organizational structure that achieves a fine balance between historical, philosophical, and theoretical foundations, and their application is illustrated brilliantly in studies of diverse global music traditions. The text transcends music disciplinary boundaries and points the way to an expanded visions for historiography in music scholarship." (Marie McCarthy, University of Michigan).


In his review in British Journal of Music Education, ethnomusicologist Dr. Norman Stanfield describes Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools as “a most unique and engaging monograph . . . David Hebert delved deep under the surface of the seemingly everyday where he discovered anomalies and cultural specifics that are unlike anything found in the West. . . Hardly a page goes by without an ‘aha’ moment . . . His book performs the remarkable: a call to explore new ways of doing high school band programmes differently”.

Professor Henry Johnson writes in Music Education Research that Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools is “rich in its discussion of cultural history and social practice, and offers an abundance of fascinating information that has been collected through extensive historical and ethnographic research in Japan over a 13-year period.” 

Renowned British conductor Tim Reynish writes "the definitive book on Japanese wind music by David Herbert was published by Springer. This detailed research into wind band training in Japan should be in every library, and his interviews with six leading wind band composers must be compulsory reading for anyone interested in Japanese music." http://www.timreynish.com/repertoire/repertoire-by-country/japan.php#windb

Reviews of my ethnography and social history Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools by renowned music education researcher Richard Colwell and Asian performance studies scholar CedarBough Saeiji are in the February 2013 issue of Ethnomusicology Review:

Dr CedarBough Saeiji has also described the book here:

She writes, “Hebert has done an admirable job setting down in meticulous detail how the students are learning-- in large part they learn from their peers. When I consider the performances of middle school wind bands in Japan . . . it's sort of mind-blowing how well they play.”

Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools is described by Peter Gouzouasis and Alan Henderson in a recent issue of Music Education Research as "a comprehensive, stunning account of wind bands in Japan", providing "the most comprehensive information about concert (wind) band participation in any country" (Music Education Research, volume 14, issue 4 (2012), pp.479-498). 

In Japan’s widely distributed Band Journal (2012), accomplished conductor and music technology expert Tatsutoshi Abe writes that Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools offers broad scholarly description and unique insights from a non-Japanese researcher with deep interests in Japan, and urges readers to press for publication of the full book in Japanese translation. 

According to a review in Social Science Japan Journal by sociologist Hiroshi Nishijima (Professor, Tokyo Metropolitan University), “. . . Hebert’s study should be highly lauded. Seeing extracurricular club activities in the light of Japanese studies is a perspective that I intend to employ in my own research in the future. Moreover, at a time when Japanese schools, clubs, arts, and sports are going through a great number of changes, this publication can serve as an important reference and inform the decisions of those attempting to advance changes to the educational system.”

"[Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools] . . . provides an interesting insight into the successful pedagogical techniques and methods required to cultivate collective notions of identity and ultimately musical achievement. This book is a valuable resource to those with interests in a number of musical and academic fields, in particular music education, ethnomusicology and band studies. Throughout the book the author successfully connects these different strands and produces an accurate and engaging picture . . ." – Richard Jones, PhD, The World of Music. 

Dr. Andrew Goodrich (Boston University) wrote the following:“David Hebert introduces readers to Japanese wind band culture with his book Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools. … Written in conversational prose suited for ethnography, Hebert accomplishes a rare feat—a book that is accessible to both scholars and music teacher practitioners. … Hebert successfully weaves the inner workings of a successful Japanese wind band with the social history of Japanese bands into an interesting, intricate tapestry.” (Andrew Goodrich, Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, Vol. XXXVI (1), October, 2014)

Quotation in program for “Notes from Japan,” concert conducted by Eugene Corporon:  

Ethnomusicologist Norman Stanfield, “Ethnomusicology in the Band Room”:


Preeminent cognitive psychologist of music John Sloboda describes the book Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education in the journal International Journal of Education and the Arts (2012) as “a brave first attempt to bring together information and arguments relevant to an understanding of how patriotism and nationalism intersect with music education. As such, it both stands as a 'must read' resource for anyone interested in this topic, and also as an indication of how little we know in depth about the effects of patriotism on music teachers and the young people they teach. There are many empirical studies that are begging to be done, and I hope this book stimulates some researchers to undertake them.

In the journal History of Education, Professor Stephen G. Parker describes Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education as “a fascinating volume in focus and detail. It poses some important and perennial questions for all educators, not just music educators: what sentiments, attitudes and dispositions should schools foster, and how may they be appropriately invoked, in discourse, song and music? Given that in the English context the provision of collective worship in schools remains a statutory obligation, and that mainstays of it are listening to and/or participating in the singing of some form of sacred music, one is left wondering about the effects. Moreover, the emotional dimension of schooling is often overlooked, and this volume reminds us to consider how music contributes to the creation of an emotional climate in schools, and its function in fostering the formation of particular loyalties, identities and dispositions.”

Professor Jonathan Stock, ethnomusicologist, wrote the following in the British Journal of Music Education: ". . . appealing to a wide range of readers, interweaving broader historical overviews, and engaged, personal accounts . . . Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education provides a stimulating series of case studies that trace music education's ethical, unethical and unexpected consequences"

In Musica Docta, ethnomusicologist Professor Giovanni Giuriati (University of Rome) writes “Si tratta, in definitiva, di un volume molto ricco e denso di contenuti che ha il grande merito di far emergere una questione, quella del patriottismo e del nazionalismo spesso sottaciuta in una prospettiva di didattica musicale.” ([Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education] is, ultimately, a book of very rich and dense content that has the great value of bringing out an issue, that of patriotism and nationalism, which has been too little discussed from the perspective of music education.)

April Stephens Sholty wrote in the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education that she found "many of the authors' personal narratives and the historical background of the anthems to be especially thought-provoking. Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education would be an excellent addition to graduate level courses on sociology and music." (JHRME, XXXVI/2, 2015, p.161)

J. Paul Louth writes the following in his review of Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education: “This timely book offers an insightful array of international perspectives on a subject that badly calls out for scrutiny. . . . Of particular value is the use by a number of the authors of theoretical categories or constructs of patriotism to analyze historical or qualitative data.” – Canadian Association of Music Libraries Review.

Music education author Veronica Jamset writes the following about Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education within the music library journal Fontes Artis Musicae: “A wide range of nations, at least one from almost every continent of the world, is discussed . . . The editors draw these diverse practices together in their own conclusion, calling for themes of reconciliation and mutual understanding, not nationalistic propaganda, and for teachers to be required to reflect ethically about what they are asked to do, and about why and how they do it . . . potentially of general interest to a wide range of readers but its immediate usefulness may be restricted academically to members of departments which have a significant education strand. Rather than a rounded and systematic study of music education per se, it presents a number of recurring threads that pose challenging questions about the role of music teachers in propagating and inculcating patriotic sentiments. Bibliographical referencing is generous. The book is a rich resource, its extensive sources offering many excellent starting-points for research, particularly for music educators who have not previously considered this aspect of how they train teachers, as well as scholars engaged in researching comparative and political educational issues.” 

According to David Ashworth in his recently published review in the UK's Music Teacher Magazine, our book Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education is "useful for the teacher who wants to explore global issues in the classroom", for it provides "a rich source of information about aspects of music education around the world," and "There is much for music teachers to think about here -- recommended."


In his review of the book Sociology and Music Education (ed. Ruth Wright), music education scholar Patrick Schmidt writes the following in Visions of Research in Music Education (2012):
“Sociology and Music Education contains several other compelling chapters. David Hebert outlines the role of ethnicity as a sociological concept and its role as a construct within various areas of musical inquiry. Hebert’s chapter provides an outstanding review of the literature and guides the reader toward a sociological understanding of one of the key elements in the formation of multicultural discourses in the field.”

Tami J. Draves writes the following about the book Sociology and Music Education in her review published in Journal of Historical Research in Music Education: “In considering the advantaged and disadvantaged in music education, David Hebert analyzes ethnicity and music education from sociological, musicological, and music education perspectives in chapter 7 by considering which music is taught and to whom. He concludes his chapter with suggestions for ‘empowering music teachers to respond appropriately to the complexity of ethnic differences’” (p. 109).  

In her review of the book Sociology and Music Education, music education scholar Sharon G. Davis writes the following in Music Education Research (2013): “David G. Hebert’s chapter on Ethnicity strikes at the heart of many of the challenges of multicultural teaching in music education and highlights the central role that ethnic identity plays in musical meaning and engagement.”

In his review of the book De-Canonizing Music History (ed. Vesa Kurkela & Lauri Vakeva), ethnomusicologist Travis Stimeling writes the following:
“Hebert contends that music education textbooks have adopted a Eurocentric model of wind band history, despite the existence of pre-European wind traditions in Japan, the Maori Ratana brass band practices in New Zealand, and the development of jazz in the United States. Arguing that “hybrid music[s] . . . [are] sites of musical innovation and . . . potential wellsprings of new musical traditions” (p. 178), Hebert suggests that such ensembles deserve more careful treatment in music history and music education textbooks. Moreover, he challenges music education scholars to deploy ethnography and oral history in order to frame policy and curriculum within “a richer and more accurate depiction of lived reality” (p. 179), a  portrait that would naturally require greater attention to the contributions of women and hybrid musical genres to local, regional, and national music education.”

In her review of the book Music Education for Changing Times: Guiding Visions for Practice (ed. Thomas Regelski & J. Terry Gates), music education scholar Jeananne Nichols writes the following:
“Herbert believes music education will become more relevant and effective when it attends more completely to “creative agency via technology and musical hybridity (p. 39).” Music learned in school should have some connection to the music the student engages with outside of school and that musicianship should be understood as an “embodied practice situated in sociocultural contexts (p. 48).”

Reviewing the expanded third edition of Multicultural Perspectives in Music Education (ed. William M. Anderson & Patricia Shehan Campbell), music education historian Marie McCarthy notes the "new chapters on jazz and rock and world beat," while renowned jazz educator Willie L. Hill also writes that ''new chapters on jazz/rock and world-beat are all brimming with inspiring material, bringing these rich traditions to life. As students experience the rhythms, sounds, and stories of the global community, they will learn how these musics have influenced both American culture and world cultures. Students may develop a deeper understanding of their own heritage, and see how they fit into the global community. This is especially important for young people who may be alienated due to ethnic or cultural differences as well as students who may feel lost amid the growing population in today's urban areas in our technological age."   

It is very encouraging to see that reviewers find some of my recent writings to be useful, and I am quite thankful for their endorsement. Nowadays, I am working on other books, and learning from previous experience, so hopefully the best is yet to come. I have many detailed ideas for future projects and plans to publish ten books by around 2025.