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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Music Education

First Advisor

Lawrence McQuerrey

First Committee Member

Estelle Lau

Second Committee Member

Margie Bruce

Third Committee Member

Fred Muskal

Fourth Committee Member

David S. Goedecke


The purpose of this study is to present a philosophy of music education of Karol Szymanowski, 20th Century Polish composer and educator, through an examination of his life and work. Szymanowski emerged as a composer at an historical period when Poland was an independent nation striving to maintain its freedom and develop itself culturally. The historical conditions influenced the course of Szymanowski's career which he devoted entirely to fulfillment of his role as a composer in the culture and his role as music educator in the society. He realized that the work of the composer and music educator have vast cultural and social ramifications. For the purpose of examining Szymanowski's career, the available primary and secondary sources were read. The relevant parts from the Polish sources were translated into English. The comparison of questions and issues raised by Plato and Dewey in their philosophies of education led to development of a philosophical framework. This framework was utilized to analyze Szymanowski's writings and to provide a structural base for presentation of Szymanowski's philosophy of music education. Szymanowski's life fell into three distinctive stages. The first was characterized by the development of the composer's own aestheticism in terms of his individual relationship to his culture and his relationship to his art. The second showed the transformation of his personal aestheticism into a social ethic. The third was a synthesis of the composer's aestheticism and ethics and an expansion of his role into the music educator's function. With social development his ethics became of prime importance. It served as a background to further examination of the relationship between man and society as well as metaphysical and epistemological issues. Szymanowski's three-stage career conceived of music education as the natural development of the composer dedicated to fulfillment of his cultural and social obligation to his own country and the music educator's function as developer and propagator of the native culture. The philosophical model derived from Szymanowski's career can provide a useful reference to other music educators in the course of their own professional development.



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