Axel Petri-Preis/Johannes Voit (eds.), Handbuch Musikvermittlung. Studium, Lehre, Berufspraxis, transcript Verlag, Bielefeld, 2023.
© transcript Verlag

The November 2023 release Handbuch Musikvermittlung [Music Mediation Handbook] has not only met but also far exceeded all expectations. Editors Axel Petri-Preis and Johannes Voit, along with their 57 co-authors from the music mediation community and adjacent fields, succeed here in sketching out the contours of music mediation in all of its dimensions, colours, and nuances across this handbook’s easily digestible chapters, in the process doing justice to a high standard of academic publishing—that of open peer review.

The objective of creating a central resource for university-level teaching as well as a basis for understanding between teachers, researchers, students, and practitioners is the backdrop against which this book’s architecture was conceived: four major areas—devoted to fundamentals, protagonists, areas of tension and discourses, and practices of music mediation—serve to encompass the entirety of this multi-layered field and enable the reader to grasp its complexity as an artistic and educational practice, as a nascent field of research, as a interface discipline, and as a “multipolar discursive realm”. The focus here on Austria, Germany, South Tirol, Switzerland, and Luxemburg is owed to common terminology (in contrast to the field’s frequent subsumption under the term “music education” elsewhere) and above all to the specific variety of music mediation practice that would seem characteristic of this region.

Of special note is a perspective that takes a critical view of power and runs throughout this volume like a golden thread, seeking to reveal and reflect upon those power structures and conditions that prevail particularly in institutional contexts. The editors have thus achieved a true milestone publication that is well structured, informative, and inspiring. This handbook will serve a great number of those who presently work in the field or will do so in the future as a resource and a basis for their professional practice, teaching, and academic study. What’s more, its individual chapters invite readers to simply immerse themselves in the material as such. A highly recommendable read!

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