Inside perspectives on Swedish choral practice
Karin Johansson, PhD, MMus.
Very few research projects in Music Education and Music have so far been made on choir singing, choral leadership and learning. Against this background and in the framework of Körcentrum Syd I conducted a qualitative interview study 2008-2009 with 26 choir leaders from all parts of Sweden, The purpose of this study was (i) to explore prominent performers’ perspectives on central and important topics related to choir, and (ii) to map out research areas and questions with artistic and pedagogical relevance for the field of musical practice.
In the theoretical framework of cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), contemporary Swedish discourses on choral practice are analysed and related to the musical practice. Where is choral activity in Sweden heading? Is it possible to speak of it as one phenomenon?
The study illustrates successful choral leaders’ learning trajectories and points to how they relate to what can be called the loss of common grounds. Furthermore, it points to structures on a collective level and suggests future directions for Swedish choral practice in education and performance. The study should be seen as related to the international research network Choir in Focus, lead by me and Ursula Geisler (Institutionen för kulturvetenskaper, Lund University), and funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.