In the preface to the revised edition of my book, Almen musikdidaktik (The General Didaktik of Music) published in 1998, I wrote that the bibliography had been supplemented with a great deal of music education literature that had been published since the first edition of the book came out in 1994. I drew attention in particular to, among other things, the journal Philosophy of Music Education Review, which began in 1993. I found that publication of this journal was significant and interesting not least because it continuously supplemented the approach to a theoretical and philosophic music pedagogical reflection with new English language literature. At the same time, it provided an opportunity to ask what sort of concepts and phenomena 'the philosophy of music education' and 'the philosophy of music teaching and learning' really are and what sort of functions they can have in relation to practice-oriented music education, including the education of music teachers. Therefore, the publication of PMER was a great step forward. But, like all such steps, it also revealed interesting issues and raised new questions. [End Page 7]
In the Scandinavian countries too the research-based and theory-oriented music education literature has grown considerably since the early 1990s. This is the result of local initiatives in individual countries as well as Nordic cooperation in the form of the Nordic Network for Research in Music Education, which was formalized and institutionalized in 1992. The publication of the network's yearbooks, Nordic Research in Music Education–Yearbook, since 1995 is noteworthy in this context. In our part of the world this was another step forward, but one that also raised some challenging questions. In particular it gave rise to the question: What is the structure of the object of study for music education as a science and how can this object of study be delimited appropriately in relation to other disciplines? I think we have moved further toward giving reflected and well-founded answers to these questions, even though the answers are not unambiguous and may create problems in relation to the institutional affiliations of music pedagogy as a theoretical and scientific discipline.
My first encounter with the initiators of the PME symposia took place in 2003 when I attended PME-5 in Lake Forest near Chicago. Even though there were participants from a number of different countries, including the Scandinavian countries (but none, for example, from Germany), it was clear that the event was dominated by North Americans. I contributed with a paper that was based on German and Nordic didactic (didactological) theory, which apparently was quite unfamiliar to most of the conference participants. To me this was a reminder of how important it is that a society that calls itself "international" should strive to embrace and include various traditions from several different points of view if it is to live up to the designation "international."
The International Society for the Philosophy of Music Education (ISPME) was formally founded at the symposium in Lake Forest. For the past two years I have enjoyed the honor of being the society's co-chair together with Estelle Jorgensen. As those of you who attended the symposium in 2003 know, I accepted this task only after some hesitation and with some reservations. Since then I have had the opportunity to consider and experience what the task entails.
I mentioned that my impression of PME-5 in Lake Forest was that it was dominated by North Americans. This was no wonder, since PME-5 took place in that part of the world. Moreover, the initiative behind the PME symposia originally came from the USA and Canada. Nonetheless, it gave impetus to a broader international orientation when the ISPME was founded two years ago.
I come from a Scandinavian country. Scandinavia is a small language area situated in the northernmost region of Europe and has historically been very dependent on external cultural impulses. For centuries these have not least come from continental Europe and this is also true of the fields of education, philosophy, and music culture. The French and...