Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE The Wind Band Tradition in Malta

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Music Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit explores the role of wind bands and band clubs in Maltese culture and society. It builds on the notion that music is a humanly organised sound and as such it is best understood in relation to the socio-cultural context in which it exists. It provides a cross-disciplinary perspective on various aspects of this tradition with topics ranging from the history of bands and band clubs in Malta to sociological considerations, legal implications, the role of wind bands as part of a wider theatrical communal event, continuity and change, as well as processes of record management, archiving and the revitalization of old band music scores.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims at assisting students to identify interrelated aspects and issues that concern the wind band tradition in Malta. It should also help them think critically about the diverse processes that shape this tradition and its role in Maltese culture and society.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(a) understand the various roles and functions of this music tradition in constructing, influencing, and maintaining Maltese life and culture;
(b) evaluate the role of wind band music in the expression of local communal sentiments;
(c) recognise the impact of both local and international politics as well as of Maltese legislation on the trajectories of this tradition;
(d) identify new methods and processes in records and archival management, as well as techniques in the revitalisation of old band music scores available at local band clubs.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

(a) write critically about the wind band tradition in Malta and its interrelationship with the various aspects of Maltese culture and society;
(b) explore further issues of importance through ongoing reflection;
(c) discuss critically and broadly points of intersection between music and the socio-cultural milieu in which it exists;
(d) apply, when possible, some of the methods and approaches in the management of records, archiving, and old music scores.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts
Azzopardi, Andrew (ed.). 2015. Young People and the 'Festa' in Malta (Malta: Society of St. Mary and King George V Band Club, Mqabba).
Cremona, Vicki Ann. 2014. ‘When the Saint Comes Marching Out—The Cultural Playing of a Maltese Festa’. Themes in Theatre—Collective Approaches to Theatre and Performance, 8: 181-191.
Giese, Gayle and Pick Edmondson. 2002. Guidelines for Manuscript Preparation for Composers, Arrangers and Engravers (Revised Edition), (Los Angeles, CA: Warner Bros. Publication).
Mitchell, Jon P. 2007. ‘Ritual Structure and Ritual Agency. “Rebounding violence” and Maltese Festa’. Social Anthropology, 12: 57-75.

Supplementary Texts
Boissevain, Jeremy. 1993. Saints and Fireworks: Religion and Politics in Rural Malta (Valletta: Progress Press).
Ciantar, Philip. 2017. 'Beyond the Music and Spectacle: Interdisciplinary Teamwork, Ethnomusicology, and the Study of a Maltese Wind Band Performance', in Stefan Aquilina and Malaika Sarco Thomas (eds.), Interdisciplinarity in the Performing Arts: Contemporary Perspectives (Malta: Malta University Press), pp.61-80.
Coleiro, Dorianne. 2016. ‘The Management of Band Club Archives in Malta and Gozo’ (unpublished master's thesis, University of Malta).
Dubois, Vincent, Jean-Matthieu Meon and Emmanuel Pierru. 2013. The Sociology of Wind Bands: Amateur Music Between Cultural Domination and Autonomy (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate).
Mitchell, Jon P. 2002. Ambivalent Europeans, Ritual, Memory and the Public Sphere in Malta (London: Routledge).
Reily, Suzel Ana and Katherine Brucher (eds.). 2013. Brass Bands of the World: Militarism, Colonial Legacies, and Local Music Making (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate).


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Andrew Azzopardi
Emanuel Camilleri
George Cassar
Philip Ciantar
Vicki Ann Cremona
Charles Farrugia

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.