How do you really learn to write music? Doctoral thesis defended 30/9

Frans Hagerman: "Doing gives birth to ideas" - from ideas to the composition

Photo of Frans Hagerman.

Education in composing music is largely a "knowledge of doing" that occurs in close interaction between teacher and student. But there are also recurring methods and strategies that you can study and develop on a scientific basis. Frans Hagerman shows this in his current doctoral thesis "Doing gives birth to ideas - from ideas to composition". He defends it at KMH on Friday, 30 September.

Frans Hagerman, born in 1983, is himself a musician with flute and piano as main instruments. He also composes himself, and that made him curious about the methods and processes that are actually running while learning composition.

– One can see it as a form of basic research in a field that we are not used to study systematically and provide with clear concepts, says Frans.

As a starting-point, Frans has used a theory of cultural psychology centered on the concept of "scaffolding". Perhaps it is the first time this is applied to the music education field, to understand the creative processes at a high artistic level.

– You always learn in interaction with others, says Frans. But this happens not only intuitively and spontaneously. In fact students use various "scaffolds" which are more or less consciously combined in various ways.

Frans has identified seven key scaffolds or strategies students use to push their artistic processes forward. He has systematised them under the headings extra-musical references, separated sign systems, own improvisations, schematic notation, modalisation, mathematical approaches and critical listening.

By the systematically studying the various scaffolds of learning, to put names on them and better understand how they interact, we can get better tools to develop the educational methods of composition teaching. But this can also provide us with tools that are applicable in other artistic processes, such as in the rapidly emerging field of artistic research.


Frans Hagerman defends his doctoral thesis in music education:

”Doing gives birth to ideas” – from ideas to composition: a study of composition processes in higher music education

Friday 30 September 2016 13:00
KMH, Valhallavägen 105 in Stockholm, Nathan Milstein Hall

Opponent: Professor Karin Johansson, Lund University

Uppdaterad 2016-09-20