Research Project
Funded bySparkling Science, bmwfw
Project Director: Univ. Prof.Walter Wretschitsch (
Project Staff Member: Mag.a art. Wei-Ya Lin, PhD (
Project Advisor: Mag.a art. Hande Sağlam, PhD (saglam@mdw. ac. at)
Coordination: Silvia Erdik (
Project duration: March 2015 - February 2017

Music without Borders
Multilingualismin music (bi- and/or multi-musicality) and understanding the 'other' and the unfamiliar
The three main academic objectives of the project:
1. Children are made familiar with scholarly and practical methods of the subjects of
ethnomusicology and music education at a pre-university level.
2. New didactic concepts for intercultural music teaching are developed by means of cooperation between ethnomusicology and music educationin order to facilitate the teaching, learning and understanding of interculturality in school lessons.
3. Better communication, conscious togetherness and sustainable researchexperienced through the pupils’ own motivation are deployed during learning to ultimately allow pupils to reflect on issues of identity themselves.
The pupils of Campus Landstraße Primary School/Secondary School will be made familiar with the research methods used in ethnomusicology and in music education, and should thus begin to question their own identity and that of others, and perceive them more consciously. These didactic and ethnomusicological approaches are intended to provide a benefit to primary schools in the future in terms of knowledge gained. Giving pupils the role of researchers and musical educators will not only promote communication and foster their interest in academic work and research findings, but also supply us with important information about their own musical identity and that of their parents. This can provide answers to many questions related to existing problems of integration in schools and can significantly improve the pupils’ school results. An essential part of the project is that pupils bring their ‘own’ songs or their favourite songs to the class and speak about them. The idea is to create a song book from all of the results. This will contain music from as manymusic languages as possible.
In recent years, various studies have established that ethnomusicology and music education complement each other by means of similar concepts, objects of investigation, questions posed and research methods, and that there are shared features in academic research and the actual practice of music education (see for example Alge and Kramer 2013). In this project
we will therefore combine scientifically-orientated ethnomusicological research methods with practically-orientated methods of music education. This interdisciplinary approach constitutes an optimal cross-section between academic research and practice in music. In this way, pupils can obtain access to music research via the practice of music.
At the same time, we want to show students training to become specialist instrument teachers the ‘real’ world by using the example of a school (the Campus Landstraße primary/secondary
school) where we immerse them in the environment of a ‘typical’ Viennese class in which the
majority of the pupils come from migrant backgrounds (around 90%) .
It is only by means of such intensive, cross-disciplinary analysis that constructive changes can
be promoted which are not of a superficial nature but which really prepare pupils for more
longer-lasting research which has the objective of understanding each other and peaceful coexistence.
All those involved in the project (pupils, primary school teachers,
ethnomusicologists and music educators) will develop joint concepts during the project from
which sustainable solutions for learning, understanding and identifying interculturality can
The careful analysis of the following definitions should be viewed as a scholarly goal: bi- and
multi-musicality, interculturality, music language, musical identification, methods of music
education in multicultural societies. It is high time that these definitions were reviewed in the
context of ethnomusicology, and it will provide valuable insights both in this field and in
music education. The particularly pronounced intercultural nature of the chosen
primary/secondary school in Kleistgasse in Vienna is an ideal basis for further research into
the phenomenon of bi- and multi-musicality and into the possibilities for intercultural
education and mediating between the cultures. It can also provide essential input for both
academic disciplines.