Recent Reviews

Here are links to a few recent book reviews and related articles:

Notable music professors have written the following about Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology: “By means of thoughtful commentary on potential sources and procedures, the editors and authors of new articles will hopefully stimulate burgeoning interest in historical perspectives on the part of ethnomusicologists.” (Bonnie C. Wade, University of California, Berkeley) - “A timely, thoughtful, and engaging collection, Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology is sure to become an important resource. McCollum, Herbert, and their collaborators have done a great service to musical scholars of all stripes, be they historical musicologists, ethnomusicologists, or somewhere in between.” (Ken Prouty, Michigan State University) - “This book is an ardent call for a historical turn in ethnomusicology.” (Alexandra Kertz-Welzel, Ludwig Maximilian University) - "A scholarly and incisive account of the place of historiography in ethnomusicology. Editors McCollum and Hebert adopt an organizational structure that achieves a fine balance between historical, philosophical, and theoretical foundations, and their application is illustrated brilliantly in studies of diverse global music traditions. The text transcends music disciplinary boundaries and points the way to an expanded visions for historiography in music scholarship." (Marie McCarthy, University of Michigan).

In his review in British Journal of Music Education, ethnomusicologist Dr. Norman Stanfield describes Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools as “a most unique and engaging monograph . . . David Hebert delved deep under the surface of the seemingly everyday where he discovered anomalies and cultural specifics that are unlike anything found in the West. . . Hardly a page goes by without an ‘aha’ moment . . . His book performs the remarkable: a call to explore new ways of doing high school band programmes differently”.

Professor Henry Johnson writes in Music Education Research that Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools is “rich in its discussion of cultural history and social practice, and offers an abundance of fascinating information that has been collected through extensive historical and ethnographic research in Japan over a 13-year period.” 

Renowned British conductor Tim Reynish writes "the definitive book on Japanese wind music by David Herbert was published by Springer. This detailed research into wind band training in Japan should be in every library, and his interviews with six leading wind band composers must be compulsory reading for anyone interested in Japanese music." http://www.timreynish.com/repertoire/repertoire-by-country/japan.php#windb

Reviews of my ethnography and social history Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools by renowned music education researcher Richard Colwell and Asian performance studies scholar CedarBough Saeiji are in the February 2013 issue of Ethnomusicology Review:

Dr CedarBough Saeiji has also described the book here:

She writes, “Hebert has done an admirable job setting down in meticulous detail how the students are learning-- in large part they learn from their peers. When I consider the performances of middle school wind bands in Japan . . . it's sort of mind-blowing how well they play.”

Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools is described by Peter Gouzouasis and Alan Henderson in a recent issue of Music Education Research as "a comprehensive, stunning account of wind bands in Japan", providing "the most comprehensive information about concert (wind) band participation in any country" (Music Education Research, volume 14, issue 4 (2012), pp.479-498). 

In Japan’s widely distributed Band Journal (2012), accomplished conductor and music technology expert Tatsutoshi Abe writes that Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools offers broad scholarly description and unique insights from a non-Japanese researcher with deep interests in Japan, and urges readers to press for publication of the full book in Japanese translation. 

According to a review in Social Science Japan Journal by sociologist Hiroshi Nishijima (Professor, Tokyo Metropolitan University), “. . . Hebert’s study should be highly lauded. Seeing extracurricular club activities in the light of Japanese studies is a perspective that I intend to employ in my own research in the future. Moreover, at a time when Japanese schools, clubs, arts, and sports are going through a great number of changes, this publication can serve as an important reference and inform the decisions of those attempting to advance changes to the educational system.”

"[Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools] . . . provides an interesting insight into the successful pedagogical techniques and methods required to cultivate collective notions of identity and ultimately musical achievement. This book is a valuable resource to those with interests in a number of musical and academic fields, in particular music education, ethnomusicology and band studies. Throughout the book the author successfully connects these different strands and produces an accurate and engaging picture . . ." – Richard Jones, PhD, The World of Music.

Dr. Andrew Goodrich (Boston University) wrote the following:“David Hebert introduces readers to Japanese wind band culture with his book Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools. … Written in conversational prose suited for ethnography, Hebert accomplishes a rare feat—a book that is accessible to both scholars and music teacher practitioners. … Hebert successfully weaves the inner workings of a successful Japanese wind band with the social history of Japanese bands into an interesting, intricate tapestry.” (Andrew Goodrich, Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, Vol. XXXVI (1), October, 2014)

Quotation in program for “Notes from Japan,” concert conducted by Eugene Corporon:  

Ethnomusicologist Norman Stanfield, “Ethnomusicology in the Band Room”:

Preeminent cognitive psychologist of music John Sloboda describes the book Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education in the journal International Journal of Education and the Arts (2012) as “a brave first attempt to bring together information and arguments relevant to an understanding of how patriotism and nationalism intersect with music education. As such, it both stands as a 'must read' resource for anyone interested in this topic, and also as an indication of how little we know in depth about the effects of patriotism on music teachers and the young people they teach. There are many empirical studies that are begging to be done, and I hope this book stimulates some researchers to undertake them.

In the journal History of Education, Professor Stephen G. Parker describes Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education as “a fascinating volume in focus and detail. It poses some important and perennial questions for all educators, not just music educators: what sentiments, attitudes and dispositions should schools foster, and how may they be appropriately invoked, in discourse, song and music? Given that in the English context the provision of collective worship in schools remains a statutory obligation, and that mainstays of it are listening to and/or participating in the singing of some form of sacred music, one is left wondering about the effects. Moreover, the emotional dimension of schooling is often overlooked, and this volume reminds us to consider how music contributes to the creation of an emotional climate in schools, and its function in fostering the formation of particular loyalties, identities and dispositions.”

Professor Jonathan Stock, ethnomusicologist, wrote the following in the British Journal of Music Education: ". . . appealing to a wide range of readers, interweaving broader historical overviews, and engaged, personal accounts . . . Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education provides a stimulating series of case studies that trace music education's ethical, unethical and unexpected consequences"

April Stephens Sholty wrote in the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education that she found "many of the authors' personal narratives and the historical background of the anthems to be especially thought-provoking. Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education would be an excellent addition to graduate level courses on sociology and music." (JHRME, XXXVI/2, 2015, p.161)

J. Paul Louth writes the following in his review of Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education: “This timely book offers an insightful array of international perspectives on a subject that badly calls out for scrutiny. . . . Of particular value is the use by a number of the authors of theoretical categories or constructs of patriotism to analyze historical or qualitative data.” – Canadian Association of Music Libraries Review.

Music education author Veronica Jamset writes the following about Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education within the music library journal Fontes Artis Musicae: “A wide range of nations, at least one from almost every continent of the world, is discussed . . . The editors draw these diverse practices together in their own conclusion, calling for themes of reconciliation and mutual understanding, not nationalistic propaganda, and for teachers to be required to reflect ethically about what they are asked to do, and about why and how they do it . . . potentially of general interest to a wide range of readers but its immediate usefulness may be restricted academically to members of departments which have a significant education strand. Rather than a rounded and systematic study of music education per se, it presents a number of recurring threads that pose challenging questions about the role of music teachers in propagating and inculcating patriotic sentiments. Bibliographical referencing is generous. The book is a rich resource, its extensive sources offering many excellent starting-points for research, particularly for music educators who have not previously considered this aspect of how they train teachers, as well as scholars engaged in researching comparative and political educational issues.” 

According to David Ashworth in his recently published review in the UK's Music Teacher Magazine, our book Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education is "useful for the teacher who wants to explore global issues in the classroom", for it provides "a rich source of information about aspects of music education around the world," and "There is much for music teachers to think about here -- recommended."

In his review of the book Sociology and Music Education (ed. Ruth Wright), music education scholar Patrick Schmidt writes the following in Visions of Research in Music Education (2012):
“Sociology and Music Education contains several other compelling chapters. David Hebert outlines the role of ethnicity as a sociological concept and its role as a construct within various areas of musical inquiry. Hebert’s chapter provides an outstanding review of the literature and guides the reader toward a sociological understanding of one of the key elements in the formation of multicultural discourses in the field.”

Tami J. Draves writes the following about the book Sociology and Music Education in her review published in Journal of Historical Research in Music Education: “In considering the advantaged and disadvantaged in music education, David Hebert analyzes ethnicity and music education from sociological, musicological, and music education perspectives in chapter 7 by considering which music is taught and to whom. He concludes his chapter with suggestions for ‘empowering music teachers to respond appropriately to the complexity of ethnic differences’” (p. 109).  

In her review of the book Sociology and Music Education, music education scholar Sharon G. Davis writes the following in Music Education Research (2013): “David G. Hebert’s chapter on Ethnicity strikes at the heart of many of the challenges of multicultural teaching in music education and highlights the central role that ethnic identity plays in musical meaning and engagement.”

In his review of the book De-Canonizing Music History (ed. Vesa Kurkela & Lauri Vakeva), ethnomusicologist Travis Stimeling writes the following:
“Hebert contends that music education textbooks have adopted a Eurocentric model of wind band history, despite the existence of pre-European wind traditions in Japan, the Maori Ratana brass band practices in New Zealand, and the development of jazz in the United States. Arguing that “hybrid music[s] . . . [are] sites of musical innovation and . . . potential wellsprings of new musical traditions” (p. 178), Hebert suggests that such ensembles deserve more careful treatment in music history and music education textbooks. Moreover, he challenges music education scholars to deploy ethnography and oral history in order to frame policy and curriculum within “a richer and more accurate depiction of lived reality” (p. 179), a  portrait that would naturally require greater attention to the contributions of women and hybrid musical genres to local, regional, and national music education.”

In her review of the book Music Education for Changing Times: Guiding Visions for Practice (ed. Thomas Regelski & J. Terry Gates), music education scholar Jeananne Nichols writes the following:
“Herbert believes music education will become more relevant and effective when it attends more completely to “creative agency via technology and musical hybridity (p. 39).” Music learned in school should have some connection to the music the student engages with outside of school and that musicianship should be understood as an “embodied practice situated in sociocultural contexts (p. 48).”

Reviewing the expanded third edition of Multicultural Perspectives in Music Education (ed. William M. Anderson & Patricia Shehan Campbell), music education historian Marie McCarthy notes the "new chapters on jazz and rock and world beat," while renowned jazz educator Willie L. Hill also writes that ''new chapters on jazz/rock and world-beat are all brimming with inspiring material, bringing these rich traditions to life. As students experience the rhythms, sounds, and stories of the global community, they will learn how these musics have influenced both American culture and world cultures. Students may develop a deeper understanding of their own heritage, and see how they fit into the global community. This is especially important for young people who may be alienated due to ethnic or cultural differences as well as students who may feel lost amid the growing population in today's urban areas in our technological age."   

It is very encouraging to see that reviewers find some of my recent writings to be useful, and I am quite thankful for their endorsement. Nowadays, I am working on other books, and learning from previous experience, so hopefully the best is yet to come. I have many detailed ideas for future projects and plans to publish ten books by around 2020. 


Music Lectures in North America and Asia

I will spend much of November of this year in North America for various music lectures and presentations. First, I will chair a session on “Teaching and Learning” at the Society for Ethnomusicology conference in New Orleans, and also attend the Historical Ethnomusicology meeting to discuss a book I am co-editing with Jonathan McCollum entitled Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology (forthcoming, 2013, Rowman & Littlefield).

Later, I will give lectures based on my two books from 2012 (Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools and Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education) at the following universities:

-University of Louisiana, Lafayette, LA, United States [Click HERE for a poster]

-Pacific University, Oregon, United States [Click HERE for a poster]  

-University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada 

-Yokohama National University, Yokohama, Japan

-Tokyo Gakugei University, Tokyo, Japan

-Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan [Click HERE for a poster]

-China Conservatory, Beijing, China [Click HEREHERE and HERE for photos]  

*** Meetings also scheduled with scholars at University of Tokyo, Yamanashi University, and Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music, as well as commissioning editors with NTT publishing. ***

I always look forward to such opportunities to meet many other music researchers and share ideas. 

For spring of 2013, funding has been arranged for week-long residencies to teach master classes for universities in Sweden and Latvia, and plans are also at the beginning stages for a keynote lecture in Africa (Tanzania) at a conference during the summertime.  


Visit to Ole Bull Academy

The Ole Bull Academy is an institute for advanced studies of Norwegian folk music, located in Voss. It is named after the renowned Norwegian violin virtuoso Ole Bull (1810-1880), who lived in the Bergen area.

I am currently accompanying a group of music students from Bergen University College on their residency at the Ole Bull Academy. OBA is an important institution in the field of folk music, since it is estimated that more than 14,000 students have learned from its various programs. Nowadays it offers a specialized degree in traditional folk music performance.

Here is the institution’s website:

Here is a link for more information about Voss, Norway:

Bones Brass Concert, October 2012

On October 28, Bønes Brass, a lively senior brass band from the community of Bønes (in the greater Bergen area), will give a public concert.

The band has been practicing hard on a nice variety of interesting pieces, which I will conduct: Carol of the Shepherds (Philip Sparke), The Young in Heart Suite: I. Resolution, II. Reverie, and III. Recreation (by Eric Ball), Spring (Edvard Grieg), Tango Royale (including Tango by Albeniz, Gitano by Leoncavallo, and Habanera by Bizet) and jazz (Basin Street Blues), as well as a powerful hymn called Deep Harmony (by Handel Parker, arranged by Roy Newsome).  

More details, including precise time and location, will be posted here soon.

Bønes Brass:

DATES at 2012 Bergen Educational Conversation

It was a pleasure to sing a short concert today for an annual symposium of educational researchers in Norway, the Bergen Educational Conversation. This year, the symposium featured Professor Gert Biesta.

Our performance was with an a cappella quartet that now goes by the name “dates” derived from the first letters of its members’ names: David, Anne, Tine and Silje. The “E” of DATES is occasionally represented as well when we appear as a quintet, for which we add Egil Haugland (tenor), who is mostly known as an outstanding classical guitarist and guitar builder. Anyway, I sing the bass part, with Anne Kristine Wallace Turøy (alto), and Tine Grieg Viig (contralto), and Silje Valde Onsrud (soprano). Tine is now my doctoral student at Bergen University College, and we performed some of her fine compositions and arrangements.

Bergen Educational Conversation: