International Journal of Education & the Arts

Volume 13 Review 1

March 31, 2012

Lifemusic: Connecting People to Time: A Review Essay

Cecilia Björk
Åbo Akademi University, Finland

Book Reviewed: Paton, R. (2011). Lifemusic: Connecting People to Time. Dorset, Great Britain. Archive Publishing. ISBN 9781906289140.

Citation: Björk, C. (2012). Lifemusic: Connecting people to time: A review essay. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 13(Review 1). Retrieved [date] from

Rod Paton is a composer, horn player specializing in jazz and improvisation, and senior lecturer at the University of Chichester. He is also a community musician and tireless defender of everyone's right to music regardless of training or background. In Lifemusic: Connecting people to time, Paton describes the philosophy and practice of his concept based on creative improvisation and a participatory ideal. Following Christopher Small's clarion call (in Stevens, 1985) to "give back to people the music that belongs to them", Paton makes a case against what he describes as hegemonies that are dependent on experts who create, control and mediate musical activity, reducing others to passive consumers. He agrees fully with Small about the problematic social implications of musicianship and music education under these circumstances, notably cultural imperialism and the way practices intimidate the uninitiated by demanding normative perfection.

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