The Musical Playground is a new and fascinating account of the musical play of school-aged children. Based on fifteen years of ethnomusicological field research in urban and rural school playgrounds around the globe, Kathryn Marsh provides unique insights into children's musical playground activities across a comprehensive scope of social, cultural, and national contexts.
With a sophisticated synthesis of ethnomusicological and music education approaches, Marsh examines sung and chanted games, singing and dance routines associated with popular music and sports chants, and more improvised and spontaneous chants, taunts, and rhythmic movements. The book's index of more than 300 game genres is a valuable reference to readers in the field of children's folklore, providing a unique map of game distribution across an array of cultures and geographical locations. On the companion website, readers will be able to view on streamed video, field recordings of children's musical play throughout the wide range of locations and cultures that form the core of Marsh's study, allowing them to better understand the music, movement, and textual characteristics of musical games and interactions. Copious notated musical examples throughout the book and the website demonstrate characteristics of game genres, children's generative practices, and reflections of cultural influences on game practice, and valuable, practical recommendations are made for developing pedagogies which reflect more child-centred and less Eurocentric views of children's play, musical learning, and musical creativity.
Marsh brings readers to playgrounds in Australia, Norway, the USA, the United Kingdom, and Korea, offering them an important and innovative study of how children transmit, maintain, and transform the games of the playground. The Musical Playground will appeal to practitioners and researchers in music education, ethnomusicology, and folklore.