Nature Conservation and Music Sustainability: Fields with Shared Concerns

David G. Hebert


This essay advances the argument that the fields of nature conservation and music sustainability are unified by shared concerns. Namely, commodification and “economic development engender approaches to the exploitation of culture that are often identical to the strategies for corporate profiteering of natural resources. Philosophical views of relationships between music and nature are traced, followed by a synthesis of research that demonstrates the music industry’s simplification of commercialized popular music for profitability, and the tendency for its products to distract from local arts and cultural heritage. Noise pollution is also identified as an important shared concern for which music education can play a role in enhancing public awareness. Wild Pedagogies, World Music Pedagogy and Soundscape activities are shown to be promising approaches for educators that potentially unite these fields.

Keywords: conservation, music, nature, sustainability, noise pollution, Soundscape, Wild Pedagogy, World Music Pedagogy, commodification, cultural heritage

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