The Notion of Authenticity in Multicultural Music: Approaching Proximal Simulation

Nishantha Rohan Nethsinghe


As countries become increasingly multicultural, it can be argued that the authentic teaching and learning of multicultural music in educational settings is essential. Crucial to this is the provision of cultural context to retain as much of the original meaning of the music as possible. This paper discusses the main arguments for authenticity in multicultural music and the implications for its learning and teaching. Researchers argue that the formal aspect of music transmission has been overlooked in multicultural music teaching and learning. The intention of the author is to introduce the concept of Proximal Simulation and its constituting elements, namely Authentic Performance Conventions; Authentic Audiation; Authentic Sensory Experiences and Emotions, and offer suggestions for safeguarding musical traditions through Authentic Transmission (teaching and learning) practices. This discussion also explores the qualities of the ‘Transcontextualisation’ theory proposed by musicologist Osamu Yamaguti in 1994, in the contexts of multicultural music performance and transmission.


Audiation, authenticity, culture, culture-bearers, multicultural music, performance, proximal simulation, teaching and learning, transcontextualisation, transmission and pedagogical practices.

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