Nature Conservation and Music Sustainability: Fields with Shared Concerns


  • David G. Hebert Western Norway University of Applied Sciences


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

Author Biography

David G. Hebert, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

David G. Hebert, PhD is a tenured full Professor of Music at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (Bergen). He is also manager of the Nordic Network for Music Education, a Nordplus multinational state-funded organization that coordinates Master classes and exchange of teachers and students across eight Northern European nations. Additionally, he is Professor II (visiting professor) in Sweden with the Malmo Academy of Music, Lund University, and Honorary Professor in China with the Education University of Hong Kong. He is a widely published and cited researcher (h-index: 14), whose background features employment with universities on five continents. Since accepting the position in Norway, he has authored (or edited) seven books. He serves on several editorial boards and has contributed articles to 35 different professional journals. Reviews of his books are published in 15 scholarly journals in the fields of musicology, education, and Asian studies, and he authors a professional blog viewed by nearly 240,000 readers. He has taught courses on cultural heritage policy for international PhD students at Bergen Summer Research School and for law students at China’s leading law school, CUPL-Beijing.