Orff through the ages

Music & Dance Education

The name 'Orff' is associated with different themes and opens up a variability of approaches, demands and settings. When art and pedagogy meet, numerous aspects also fan out. What dynamics go hand in hand with this encounter? How can the challenges associated with it be specified with regard to the sounding out and negotiation of weightings, focalizations and interests, and how can they be concretized using the example of Carl Orff? In biographical texts, Orff is located in the same breath as a composer and music educator.

His stage works, in particular the Carmina Burana, are as internationally received as the Orff Schulwerk. Although he saw himself primarily as an artist, or more precisely, as a creator of music theater, he made pioneering contributions to innovative music teaching based on improvisation. The approach named after him, elaborated in collaboration, found and still finds resonance worldwide. Carl Orff can be read as a personality in whom artistic and pedagogical topics meet in a vital way, which is why it seems worthwhile to choose his work as a starting and connecting point for art-scientific and -pedagogical reflections.

What distinguishes his approach? The performative, the percussive and the creative are as central to Orff as an inter- and transdisciplinary approach of music, language and movement. His ideas originate from musicological and cultural studies, but essentially from the theater. Carl Orff showed great interest in historical, contemporary and international art practices and was a permanent learner. His aesthetic signature is characterized, among other things, by a turn towards and reinterpretation of the elemental.

To illuminate Orff's oeuvre with a curious, exploratory view of history, present and future, as well as to initiate critical discourses from different perspectives, is the tenor of the present publication and the series it inaugurates. The book brings together 16 contributions that approach selected questions on the intertwining of art and pedagogy. Orff's musical-performative works, his impulses for pedagogy, as well as his behavior during National Socialism are addressed, as are more advanced approaches to contemporary elementary music and dance pedagogy, music education, and music therapy. New findings on Orff research are revealed and further topics on the theory and practice of artistic-pedagogical action are discussed.

Contributions by
Thomas Rösch, Sigrun Heinzelmann, Bartolo Musil, Oliver Rathkolb, Michael Kugler, Wolfgang Hartmann, Thomas Hochradner, Anna Maria Kalcher, Michaela Schwarzbauer & Katharina Anzengruber, Charlotte Fröhlich, Regina Pauls & Johanna Metz, Ines Mainz & Kaspar Mainz, Sibylle Köllinger-Krebl, Wolfgang Mastnak