A Philosophic Poetic Inquiry of Three Aspects of Interpretation within Music Education Research An Autoethnodrama in Four Acts

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Carl Holmgren


This article explores three aspects of interpretation—musical interpretation of notated Western art music, hermeneutics (theoretical framework), and poetry (tool for analysis and representation)—based on ongoing music education research focusing on the learning of musical interpretation within the one-to-one context of higher music education. The broad philosophic poetic inquiry of interpretation has the form of an autoethnodrama containing both haiku and found poetry. Poetry is both used as a process of inquiry and as a means of representation. The autoethnodrama explores the author’s struggle with finding his cogito for conducting arts-based research and touches upon his personal history. Through the combination of autoethnodrama and a philosophic poetic inquiry, he finds a deeper understanding of musical interpretation, usage of poetry and autoethnodrama in research, as well as of his personhood. Concluding reflections on one possible way of interpreting the autoethnodrama in relation to teaching and learning of musical interpretation within higher music education are also presented.

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Author Biography

Carl Holmgren, Luleå University of Technology

Carl Holmgren is a PhD student in music education at Luleå University of Technology. He received his master of education in music and master of music from ditto university. Previ­ously, Holmgren taught a variety of subjects there, including piano playing, piano methods, and music theory. For more than a decade, he also accompanied ballet lessons. Earlier versions of this article were presented at Nordic Network for Research in Music Education and the Swedish Music Research Conference. Holmgren’s research interests centre on teaching and learning of musical interpretation in higher education, hermeneutics, languages, translation, and poetry. He currently intermittently lectures at second cycle degree programmes.