Survey 2017 Project Report

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the fall of 2016 CNMN ini­ti­at­ed its first for­mal study: how peo­ple in Cana­da come to the prac­tice of new music, focus­ing par­tic­u­lar­ly, but not exclu­sive­ly on com­posers. Work­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with experts in musi­col­o­gy, soci­ol­o­gy (sur­vey tak­ing) and data visu­al­iza­tion, we fash­ioned what promis­es to be a reveal­ing study, the pre­lim­i­nary results of which have been pre­sent­ed at ISCM’s World New Music Days in Van­cou­ver, Novem­ber 2017. Once the full analy­sis is com­plete, results and inter­ac­tive graphs will be shared on CNMN’s web­site; we are also inves­ti­gat­ing jour­nal pub­li­ca­tion. The report below describes work car­ried out only to year-end, June 30, 3017.

The expert col­lab­o­ra­tors include: Mary Ingra­ham, Prof. of Musi­col­o­gy, Uni­ver­si­ty of Alber­ta (U of A); Gillian Stevens, Prof. of Soci­ol­o­gy, U of A; Dean­na Yerichuk, post-doc­tor­al Fel­low, U of A; soci­ol­o­gy grad­u­ate stu­dent Aleena Hafez Amjad; Ross War­ing (PhD USC), spe­cial­ist in data visualization.

Dis­cus­sion among this group, as well as com­mu­ni­ty part­ners Cana­di­an League of Com­posers, the Cana­di­an Music Cen­tre and ECM+’s Gen­er­a­tion project, refined the thrust of the study: how the path­ways to a life in new music may have changed over the past num­ber of decades; gen­der and diver­si­ty; region­al vari­a­tions; and any changes in the impor­tance of tra­di­tion­al musi­cal lit­er­a­cy. The study also iden­ti­fies events, per­cep­tions, and expe­ri­ences that pro­pel some peo­ple into com­po­si­tion rather than some oth­er musi­cal occupation.

Work began in earnest in Jan­u­ary with a series of inter­views that test­ed the inves­ti­ga­tors’ assump­tions of how peo­ple come to new music, and revealed what kind of range we might encounter. Over the ensu­ing months, ques­tions were pro­posed and refined by the work­ing group of Mary Ingra­ham, Gillian Stevens, Jen­nifer War­ing, with Dean­na Yerichuk and Aleena Hafez Amjad con­tribut­ing crit­i­cal­ly towards the end.

This takes us to June 30. Next steps include CNM­N’s sub­scrip­tion to a Cana­di­an sur­vey ser­vice, which, though slight­ly more expen­sive than the usu­al Sur­vey Mon­key, is not sub­ject to Amer­i­can pri­va­cy leg­is­la­tion – an impor­tant con­sid­er­a­tion. In addi­tion to CNMN’s mem­ber­ship list, we have access to those of com­mu­ni­ty part­ners CLC and CMC, and also, through Cana­di­an Insti­tute for Crit­i­cal Stud­ies, to the impro­vis­ing com­mu­ni­ty. Stay tuned for the excit­ing and impor­tant con­clu­sion to Path­ways to a Life in New Music.

Sub­mit­ted by Jen­nifer War­ing, Octo­ber 2017

Project team mem­bers: Jen­nifer War­ing (chair), Mary Ingra­ham, Gillian Stevens, Dean­na Yerichuk, Aleena Amjad Hafeez, Ross Waring

Return to full Bul­letin – March 2018