Transmitting Musical Heritage

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Education

Abstract

The Transmitting Musical Heritage research project addresses the central question of how meta-data relating to performance contexts and ideologies are transmitted along with sound through community music practices. Drawing on the work of Shelemay (2008) and Higgins (2012), the research team form a bridge between ethnomusicology and music sociology to explore these issues in a community context. Employing a process of collaborative ethnography, researchers from The University of Sheffield work with three community partners to develop, deliver and analyse this topic.

The research has developed in response to an identified need by existing community music groups working with various international forms of music heritage. The partners include Soundpost, an education group working with indigenous British musical traditions; Babel Songs, an organisation collecting songs from long-term residents of Sheffield with roots elsewhere for performance in a community choir setting; and Arts on the Run, a network including more temporary asylum seeking refugee musicians who seek performance and teaching opportunities. The research asks to whom musicians associated with these groups are transmitting materials, what extra musical elements they deem important to pass on, how they attempt to achieve this, and in what ways does this activity impact on communities? The research will impact on current thinking in community music delivery where items of music heritage are to be considered.

Music is a cultural product of society, a sonic reflection of ideologies and behaviours, a performative heritage. When musical sound is transferred from player to player, or player to audience, we question what of this cultural meta-data travels with it, and how. The research will interpret transmission as 'passing on' through either overtly educational contexts (workshops), performance based contexts (concerts) or situational based traditions (ceremonial musics). Much musical activity takes place as a part of 'everyday life', though with the development of charitable organisations and the intermittent provision of funding, the ways music is mediated within many cultures is changing. 'Community Music', typically executed through a workshop situation, has an explicitly social aim, to draw participants together and build community. This research draws on the fields of ethnomusicology, music sociology and studies of communities to investigate this duality of approach to community and music - as music made by communities and as community made through music.

Planned Impact

It is anticipated that this research will have impact in both academic and community contexts. The project will create a body of knowledge that will enable researchers and community musicians to reflect on issues relating to the transmission of heritage through musical activity and the affects this has on and within communities. The project will benefit both the academics involved in undertaking the research, but also the wider research community, in the dissemination of the findings through the dedicated Community Web Resource, Journal Articles and Transmission Day in which academics and educators will be invited to participate in knowledge and skills workshops. The project will have impact in variety of academic disciplines, both in the U.K and further afield and is designed to serve as a test case or model for future research in this area.

The three community partners will be encouraged to develop small-scale projects which relate to the research themes within the parameters of the larger project. They will be given the autonomy to manage and deliver these projects, including the management of a budget and resources in consultation with the research team. This will provide participants with valuable, transferable experience which can be applied in other contexts and in various employment sectors. This will also build capacity within the groups and improve the potential for future, independent research activities. Each of the community partners have distinctly different members, audiences and musical influences. By bringing the groups together at the quarterly networking events they can share relevant knowledge and skills, in this way, they will learn from one another and share best practice.

Other Community Music Groups and Networks not directly involved at the research stage will also benefit. The Community Web Resource will present the research in an accessible way to other interested groups as well as a wider public, extending the impact of the research beyond the length of the project. Performances and events hosted by the community partners will engage local and regional communities. It is anticipated that these performances will highlight and celebrate the rich cultural diversity of Sheffield through music. It will encourage audiences as well as community participants to reflect on and engage with the multiplicity of cultures and varying modes of cultural expression across the city. The project seeks to expose how communities are formed through collaboration through music and how they learn about their own and other's cultural heritage through music. The universal appeal of music in all its forms encourages a wide level of participation and has the potential to engage and inspire a wide audience.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title CD 'Declaration Kriol' Rafiki Jazz 
Description This was a CD that drew together the work of the musicians involved in the 'Transmitting Musical Heritage' Project. 
Type Of Art Composition/Score 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact A number of gigs were played at events drawing on this work e.g.: 17 01 2014 Heritage Jamboree Transmission Day Sheffield St Mary's Centre 01 07 2014 Connected Communities Festival at Techniquest Cardiff 15 12 2014 CC Heritage Community Partners Workshop Day Y Theatre Leicester 15 06 2015 CC Festival at Sharrow School Sheffield Further interest in the work of the musicians involved in the project to work in Schools and with communities. 
URL http://www.konimusic.co.uk/portfolio/rafikijazz/
 
Title City of a Thousand Songs CD 
Description Two CDs: City of a Thousand Songs (various groups and individuals from around Sheffield) and Gypsy Blood (Roma musicians) were produced as a result of the Transmitting Musical Heritage project. 
Type Of Art Composition/Score 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact New links have been made with Roma heritage musicians in Sheffield. Fir Vale School is excited about a new collaboration with the children and musicians from the area. The CD also led to the forming of the BabelSongs performance and workshop group - consisting of Marek Pacan, Josie Wexler, Ella Sprung, Rose Bazzie and Simon Dumpleton. 
URL http://babelsongs.weebly.com
 
Title Film about the 'Music Co-produced' project 
Description This was a film made by Joao Paulo Simoes about the musicians who worked with young people for 'Music Co-produced'. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2015 
Impact As a result of this project, we developed a strong partnership with the school and continued to work with musicians drawing on local expertise, funded by the AHRC's Connected Communities Utopia Festival funding. 
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyAYPUpz8-0
 
Title New Album by Rafiki Jazz called 'Har Dam Sahara'(Riverboat Records 2017) 
Description 'Har Dam Sahara'(Riverboat Records 2017) was influenced by the methods used on the Transmitting Musical Heritage project. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact This was an album that was developed through the Transmitting Musical Heritage process. Rafiki haze has played on BBC Radio 3 and at the Barbican in London. 
URL http://www.rafikijazz.co.uk
 
Title VIDEO 'Insaaniyat' feat. Rafiki Jazz 
Description This was a film made by Frontier Media of one soundtrack from the Rafiki Jazz rehearsal experience. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2013 
Impact The team continued to collaborate together - the resulting output with the film plus music was seen as very effective. A number of further films were commissioned from the project with the same film maker. 
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQLLyaLspOs
 
Description Our work has opened up a new research space, between auto-ethnography and different co-producing methodologies, which enables musicians and academics to work together to explore what is transmitting musical heritage. This way of working is now being taken forward in future grants, co-written papers and conference presentations.
We have since researched the musical know-how within communities and ways of surfacing them through co-production and that has informed future work with schools. Our work continues to inform musical education projects. For example, in a new partnership with a school in Rotherham we were able to do a 'music co-produced' session where the children led the musical direction and became confident at becoming co-producers of music. We have published our findings in a book chapter 'Co-writing about co-producing musical heritage: what happens when musicians and academics work together?'
Exploitation Route Musicians across a range of traditions (folk, world music, community music groups) could draw on the methodologies we used to explore their own research questions. We drew on dialogic co-inquiry, consensus mapping, auto-ethnography, film and music workshops to look at our research question. These ways of working open up research methodologies to become spaces for co-production. We are interested in the findings of this project for music teaching and how communities with strong musical heritages (e.g. Roma heritage community) can inform music teaching in schools.
Sectors Creative Economy,Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://musicalheritage.group.shef.ac.uk/
 
Description The Transmitting Musical Heritage project involved three music organisations (Soundpost, Arts on the Run and Babel Songs) investigating together the question 'What is transmitting musical heritage?'. The project team have worked to co-produce the answer to this question through different means. The findings are related to this process of co-production, including a focus on process, auto ethnography and music as a mode of co-production as well as words. We have used these findings in a music workshop at the Connected Communities Festival in Cardiff, with musicians, at a Heritage Legacy day in Leeds with the team, and at a DTC training event on Co-production, in Sheffield. The emerging findings of 'Music Co-produced' were used by a School in Sheffield to teach music to school children. We have since obtained a grant from the AHRC Connected Communities 'Utopia' Festival to develop a series of workshops in a school involving local musicians teaching within the school. This resulted in a performance at the end of term assembly where a group of mostly Roma heritage young people gave a performance with the musicians to the school. The findings of this project have been used to inform music teaching within the school. Subsequently, John Ball, from the project has worked with Kate Pahl, on the AHRC funded 'Taking Yourself Seriously 'project to explore the way in which music brings people together in a new school context in Rotherham.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Creative Economy,Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description AHRC Connected Communities Festival 2015
Amount £9,970 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2015 
End 08/2015
 
Description AHRC Responsive Mode
Amount £202,093 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/P013724/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2017 
End 09/2019
 
Description Arts and Humanities Research Council Connected Communities Utopia Festival
Amount £4,993 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2016 
End 12/2016
 
Description Collaboration with Music in The Round, Sheffield 
Organisation Sheffield Theatres
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Following on from the success of this project, Sheffield Babel Songs has been invited to collaborate with Music in the Round, creating resources for teachers in Early Years settings. This project is due to start in late 2016 - early 2017.
Collaborator Contribution Music in the Round have facilitated this collaboration
Impact New working relationship leading to different kinds of music teaching.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Transmitting Musical Heritage: Babel Songs 
Organisation Sheffield Babel Songs
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The research team supported Babel Songs to make a CD of songs produced within the City of Sheffield
Collaborator Contribution The partners worked on the CD and participated in other outputs relating to the project including the Roma heritage film and the Heritage Jamboree
Impact The Roma heritage film was an output, mentioned elsewhere.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Transmitting Musical Heritage: School projects 
Organisation Fir Vale School
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution In collaboration with Fir Vale School in Sheffield, we have been working with musicians to support music tuition in the school. Through a series of small scale AHRC Connected Communities Festival grants we have developed a project called 'Music Co-produced' (June 2015) which involved diverse heritage musicians coming into the school and working with young people. This was filmed. We followed this up with a more focused project, looking at music tuition in the school with the support of community musicians from Roma heritage backgrounds, with the support of an AHRC Connected Communities Utopia Festival grant, in 2016.
Collaborator Contribution The partner was the school, who offered support, teacher time and a platform for the project to take place. They encourage groups of young people to come and work with the musicians. They also encouraged them to play at the final Christmas assembly, in 2016.
Impact This led to further workshops in the school in 2016 which drew on the methodologies from this project.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Transmitting Musical Heritage: Soundpost 
Organisation Soundpost
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The research team worked with members of Soundpost, particularly Fay Hield, Sam Sweeney and Nancy Kerr to think about the question 'what is transmitting musical heritage'?
Collaborator Contribution The partners drew on their practice to consider this question.
Impact The Transmitting Musical heritage film, described in the outputs section.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Transmitting Musical heritage: Arts on the Run 
Organisation Arts on the Run
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Arts on the Run worked with the research team to think about the question 'What is Transmitting Musical Heritage?'
Collaborator Contribution As partners, they attended networking sessions and participated in the film.
Impact Transmitting Musical Heritage film, mentioned elsewhere.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Co-producing Music as part of Transmitting Musical Heritage 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The session was called 'Co-producing Music'. Funded through the Connected Communities festival a small group of musicians from diverse traditions and heritages interacted with a group of young people from Fir Vale Secondary School in Sheffield. They played music together and were able to find out about each other's traditions, The event was filmed by Joao Simoes, film maker. This output will be available on the Connected Communities website.

The school requested a follow up meeting to discuss future plans whereby musicians could work with young people from the school in this way.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyAYPUpz8-0&feature=youtu.be
 
Description Co-producing music workshop at Fir Vale School 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact This event was organised by John Ball, musician, with musicians involved in the 'Transmitting Musical heritage project' a local secondary school and a group of pupils. The aim was to encourage pupils to understand ways in which music has a history but also how those histories can be transformed in the process of playing together. In the morning a group of Roma heritage musicians together with violinists from the community music group 'Babel Songs' engaged young people in a music workshop. In the afternoon a group of skilled musicians from diverse musical heritages presented their musical traditions and then played with the young people. The effect was to engage the school in a conversation about how music could open up new ways of participating and to enthuse them to this way of teaching music.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyAYPUpz8-0&feature=youtu.be
 
Description Co-producing music, writing and film: Revisiting Transmitting Musical Heritage 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This was a talk about the Transmitting Musical Heritage project, given by two musicians (Tony Bowring and John Ball) and one academic (Kate Pahl). It demonstrated the value of co-production as a methodology in answering the question 'What is Transmitting Musical Heritage'?
In the presentation we talked through the mechanisms by which community partners can be involved in writing.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://connected-communities.org/index.php/news/soundings-findings-a-connected-communities-research...
 
Description Combined launch and showing of two CDs and film, Sheffield 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This event was held at a Community Centre in Sheffield. All of the groups involved in the 'Babelsongs' project showcased their work in the form of performances. It was a lively and interactive event. As a result new contacts were made with Roma heritage musicians in Sheffield, thus facilitating further partnerships.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://babelsongs.weebly.com
 
Description Connected Communities Festival: Roma Heritage in Page Hall, Sheffield 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was the screening of the film made by a film maker and a group of young people of Roma heritage currently settled in Page Hall, Sheffield. The film celebrated the culture of the young people and also celebrated their contribution to society. One of the young people was a learning support mentor. He described this work in the classroom of the school where he worked. This was important in providing a positive image of the Roma community in Sheffield.

The main impact was that the teacher of the young person, who lived in Cardiff, came and saw the film. The activity impacted on the young people's sense of pride in their community and in their heritage.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlLBqba267s&list=UU4oFqK01f4STG5UJ72JAbdw
 
Description Critical heritage blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact The Transmitting Musical Heritage project was featured on the 'Critical Heritage blog'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://heritage-research.org/case-studies/transmitting-musical-heritage/
 
Description End of school concert 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact This was the end of year Christmas concert at Fir Vale school. It included a musical performance of the work done through the 'Transmitting Musical Heritage' 'Mapping the Music' project in which a group of Roma heritage musicians worked with Roma heritage pupils to develop ways of teaching music. The performance was the final event in the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Heritage Jamboree 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Heritage Jamboree event was held in St Mary's Hall in Sheffield. It was principally aimed at members of the public, including those interested in music, heritage and co-produced research. Some national visitors came including the leadership fellow of the Connected Communities programme.The event included a workshop delivered by Rafiki Jazz, fiddle workshops delivered by Soundpost, and a performance by the Babel Songs choirs. A final performance by Rafiki jazz finished the evening. One room had stalls and information on the projects across the Researching Community Heritage theme.

A group of young people from the Roma community in Page Hall, Sheffield, attended the event. Their music had been recorded by Babel Songs. As a result of this, the Transmitting Musical Heritage team were able to work with these young musicians to put in for money to make a film about the Roma music heritage. This film was screened at the Connected Communities festival in Cardiff in July 2014. Approximately 40 people came, including the teacher who taught one of the young people.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlLBqba267s&list=UU4oFqK01f4STG5UJ72JAbdw
 
Description Keynote: What do we do when we don't agree: Making divergent ways of knowing come alive in Connected Communities projects 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact This was a Keynote at the Connected Communities funded conference, 'Soundings and Findings', held at UEA in Norwich in July 2015. While the audience included academics, there were also present musicians, artists, third sector organisations and practitioners. The event sparked debate and interest around co-production as a methodology.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://connected-communities.org/index.php/news/soundings-findings-a-connected-communities-research...
 
Description Presentation at a 'Heritage Legacies' event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Heritage Legacies event was attended by a mix of activists, community partners and researchers as part of the 'Heritage Legacies' AHRC Connected Communities project. The team who presented included two musicians (Tony Bowring, John Ball) and one researcher (Kate Pahl) however our presentation was concerned with the way in which the co-production of knowledge was produced across these domains of practice.

As a result of this day, we were successful in securing a bursary for John and Tony to write a book chapter for a forthcoming edited book on Heritage Legacies on Co-producing Musical Heritage.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Talk at the Connected Communities 'Utopia' event in London 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact This was a collaboration between Nancy Kerr of 'Soundpost' who worked on the Transmitting musical Heritage team, together with Joao Paulo Simoes who was the film maker on the 'Transmitting Musical Heritage' team together with the Pitsmoor Adventure playground. Nancy Kerr wrote a song about the playground 'Light Rolls Home' on her 'Instar' album and her song about the workers and belonging, 'Seven Notes' was filmed by Joao Paulo Siomes just outside the playground and in this talk we showed the film and talked about the work with the playground.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crVExOYAjgE&feature=youtu.be
 
Description Transmitting Musical Heritage research film 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was a film that described the research process of the 'Transmitting Musical Heritage' project. It was filmed by Film Maker Joao Simones in order to highlight the co-produced nature of the project and to show the musicians and academics' research process.

The films have created a reflective space for writing and thinking.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HktmhitSk-M&feature=youtu.be
 
Description Transmitting Musical Heritage website 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Transmitting Musical Heritage was set up to share information about the project.

The website has created interest in the project and we are continuing to work on the project and write up our findings as a team.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://musicalheritage.group.shef.ac.uk/