"Unique By Nature, Traditional By Choice": Music Initiatives and Social Change in a Rural Appalachian Community
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In Pocahontas County, West Virginia, a cherished musical heritage exists alongside a continuously changing population, and music initiatives demonstrate the tension between preserving local traditions and embracing diversity. Employing practice theory, concepts of globalization, and an applied ethnomusicological approach, three music initiatives--a historical performance hall, public school music education, and the local community radio station--are investigated in terms of their history, current role in the community, and programming and curricula. These initiatives serve as tools for exploring how the music programming and education in this community reflect outside interests and social changes during the past century and help frame suggestions of how public music initiatives, both in this community and elsewhere, might better respond to social change. With collaboration and an in-depth understanding of the complexities of a population, music initiatives can make positive and effective contributions to communities.