Music education discourse is marked by frequent comparisons of music to language, and of music notation to written language. However, the role played by writing, as opposed to reading, is often overlooked in that discourse, as well as in classroom practices and workbooks. Consequently, far too many students can read music notation but not write it. Failing to achieve full literacy in their field, they develop a habit of deference toward printed music. Plato argues in the Phaedrus that we should not take that which is written too seriously. Letting students write music will help them to achieve the perspective of Plato—himself a writer.

To read and write are inseparable phases of the same process, representing the understanding and domination of the language and of language.


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pp. 26-44
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