Teaching secondary music
Teaching secondary music

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Teaching secondary music

2.1 Philpott/Reid’s typologies of musical knowledge

Philpott (2007), drawing on Arnaud Reid, posits a framework that identifies three inter-related types of musical knowledge:

  • knowledge about music (the facts of or information about music)
  • knowledge of how in music (the practical skills of music)
  • knowledge of music (a relationship with particular music).

The characteristics of these different kinds of knowledge are outlined in Table 1 below.

Table 1 Characteristics of music knowledge

Knowledge type Features

Knowledge about music

Information about music, e.g.

  • the latest song by Lady Gaga
  • the tuning of the strings of a guitar
  • the names of different types of Gamelan
  • the blues chord sequence.

Knowledge of how in music

The ‘practical’ skills of music, e.g. how to:

  • play to a chromatic scale
  • improvise around a blues chord sequence
  • recognise a riff
  • read notation.

Knowledge of music

Knowledge that comes from deep acquaintance with music as a performer, listener or composer/improviser (or all three).

(Source: adapted from Philpott, 2008)

Activity 3

Allow about 30 minutes

Identify three examples of knowledge about music and three examples of knowledge of how in music.

For knowledge of music, write a short definition of what you think this might mean, including some examples. Return to and amend your response once you have read the following subsection, which explores in detail the concept of knowledge of music.

Knowledge about music

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Knowledge of how in music

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Knowledge of music

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