In the World Library of Educationalists series, international experts compile career-long collections of what they judge to be their finest pieces – extracts from books, key articles, salient research findings, major theoretical and practical contributions – so the world can read them in a single manageable volume. Readers will be able to follow the themes and strands and see how their work contributes to the development of the field.

Since the publication of A Basis for Music Education in 1979, Keith Swanwick has continued to be a major influence on the theory and practice of music education. The international appeal of his insights into the fundamentals of music and music education is recognised in invitations from more than twenty countries to give Key Note presentations, conduct workshops, and advise as a consultant. These include such diverse places as Kazakhstan, Colombia, Iceland and Papua New Guinea. During 1998 he was Visiting Professor, University of Washington.

In this collection, Swanwick brings together 12 of his key writings to present an overview of the development of his own work and of the field of music education. The text allows the reader to consider Swanwick’s approach to music education and how it is characterised by a concern for musical, and to some extent wider artistic, processes, shaped by his experience as a teacher and performing musician in a variety of settings, and also by the influences of philosophers, psychologists and sociologists.

chapter |9 pages


chapter 1|16 pages

The Arts in Education

Dreaming or wide awake?

chapter 2|13 pages

The Parameters of Music Education

chapter 3|16 pages

The Model in Action

chapter 4|13 pages

What Makes Music Musical?

chapter 5|31 pages

The Sequence of Musical Development

A study of children’s composition

chapter 6|29 pages

Musical Development

Revisiting a generic theory

chapter 7|13 pages

Music Education in a Pluralist Society

chapter 8|16 pages

Intuition, Analysis and Symbolic Forms

chapter 9|15 pages

Musical Knowledge in Action

chapter 10|17 pages

Musical Value

chapter 11|21 pages

Principles of Music Education

chapter 12|12 pages

Music Education

Closed or open?