Book Review Update

There have been several encouraging reviews of my books, so I decided to post an update that compiles some quotations from reviews in various academic journals and other locations . . .


 “anyone interested in learning more about music education in this region, and those who want to learn more about how international partnerships can be fostered would benefit greatly from this anthology” - Bendik Fredriksen, Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education.  



“it provides a strong impression of how each national tradition can be seen as unique and independent, with its own mix of historical connections to neighbouring nations . . . Advancing Music Education in Northern Europe makes a strong case for the benefits of regional collaboration as a tradition to nurture and sustain through these times of crisis.

- David Johnson, in Swedish Journal of Music Research. 



"The book's fourteen chapters offer deep insights into the status quo and historical context of music education practice and research in the Nordic and Baltic regions...Written by renowned researchers, based on twenty years of practical experience of the Nordic Network of Music Education, it provides unique and well-informed insights on music education in the Nordic and Baltic countries and can be considered a one-of-a-kind handbook for designing international collaborations supporting teacher training and research exchange." - Adam Switala, International Society for Music Education (isme.org) 


According leading glocalization theorist Victor Roudometof, “The volume displays remarkable thematic coherence, which allows the editors to use the material presented within individual chapters in order to build broader theoretical arguments. In its conception and execution, this volume is a noteworthy effort to insert the problematic of glocalization into the disciplines of musicology and ethnomusicology … The author advances the notion of being “glocalimbodied” (2018:6), a neologism that combines “glocal” with “limbo” in order to make sense of an unbalanced condition attributed to glocal forces as well as the necessity of situating the body within the newfound condition of personalized branding strategies … The editors’ synthesis of the volume’s research is highly original and represents a good point of departure for thinking further about the uses of glocalization in musicology” (Victor Roudometof, Ethnomusicology Review, 2019).

According to Professor Wai-Chung Ho (Hong Kong), “This book offers a critical study of the undertheorized concept of glocalization, intertwining the “global” and the “local” forces between music and society, both past and present … the book provides a fresh amalgam of perspectives that address music-related subjects. It also covers diverse topics from theoretical perspectives on local and global identities of music, art music composition in the digital age, glocalized music beyond Europe, and glocalized music professions… This book is the first comprehensive account of how the notion of ‘glocalization’ may be useful in rethinking nationality in music and the use of local musical traditions that serve as a means for global strategies. It reconstructs the emergence of music in the global context and provides an innovative framework for studying how glocalization transforms aesthetic hierarchies and cultural transmissions, thus breaking new ground for musicology and the sociology of music” (Wai-Chung Ho, Cambridge Scholars blog, 2018)
Source: https://cambridgescholarsblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/book-review-music-glocalization-heritage-and-innovation-in-a-digital-age/

“the first collection on music topics to explicitly deal with the concept of glocalization . . . new and often original examples of the how the transnational circulation of ideas, music, and musicians have contributed—in the ‘digital age’ as well as in the past—to the relentless, messy process of negotiation and definition of collective and individual identities.” – Notes (Music Library Association, 2020).


“The range of scholarship in this book is impressive...chapters echo the broader theme that language and translation are a font of innovation in East Asian society. This is a provocative idea, and the book does identify some tantalizing evidence. David G. Hebert, the editor, attempts to integrate these ideas into a new perspective on East Asian countries...The connections between linguistic changes in modern society and new discourses, the role of art, and the multitude of problems encountered in the fine details of translating vastly dissimilar languages are highly useful and informative for the readers to understand the various topics regarding languages and cultures in the two societies. The extant, depth, and contextualization of the book lead us to pose fundamental questions about translation.” - Korean Studies (2019)

Source: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/754392


Notable music professors have written the following about Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology:
  • “By means of thoughtful commentary on potential sources and procedures, the editors and authors of new articles will hopefully stimulate burgeoning interest in historical perspectives on the part of ethnomusicologists.” (Bonnie C. Wade, University of California, Berkeley) 
  • “A timely, thoughtful, and engaging collection, Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology is sure to become an important resource. McCollum, Herbert, and their collaborators have done a great service to musical scholars of all stripes, be they historical musicologists, ethnomusicologists, or somewhere in between.” (Ken Prouty, Michigan State University) 
  • “This book is an ardent call for a historical turn in ethnomusicology.” (Alexandra Kertz-Welzel, Ludwig Maximilian University) 
  • "A scholarly and incisive account of the place of historiography in ethnomusicology. Editors McCollum and Hebert adopt an organizational structure that achieves a fine balance between historical, philosophical, and theoretical foundations, and their application is illustrated brilliantly in studies of diverse global music traditions. The text transcends music disciplinary boundaries and points the way to an expanded visions for historiography in music scholarship." (Marie McCarthy, University of Michigan).

Prof. J. Lawrence Witzleben, current editor of Ethnomusicology, writes the following in his review of Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology in the international Society for Ethnomusicology’s journal:
“For ethnomusicologists who are newly venturing into historical territory, the case studies are all accessible, thoughtful, and stimulating. The coauthored chapters are densely constructed and sometimes challenging, but they reward careful reading with a wealth of information and insight. Among other things, they represent a theory and method for historical ethnomusicology.” - Prof. J. Lawrence Witzleben in Ethnomusicology
Click HERE to access the review.

In NOTES: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, Justin Hunter describes Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology as ‘a valuable resource for any music scholar interested in the past and its relationship with the present. . . . a jaunty and robust contribution to how music studies could be enhanced by a sensitivity to historical pasts. McCollum and Hebert’s lengthy discussions of the cognitive dissonance of cultural memory are particularly poignant for researchers working to connect oral histories with written sources.’

In PULS: Journal of Ethnomusicology and Ethnochoreology, Mattias Lundberg writes in Swedish about the book Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology. English translation of key points: “It is a very intriguing study with great relevance to all cases where a historiography is apparently tunnel-like) . . . The question of what theory and meta theory is, and should be, seems to be precarious in music research. In addition to various debates and positions, Timothy Rice could, for example, launch an article 2010 (in the Yearbook for Traditional Music 42) with the claim that 'theory [...] has yet to take root in our disciplinary imagination.' From such a point of view, McCollum and Hebert's historical philosophical chapter is a highly ambitious and fully-reflected contribution."

In volume 61 of Japanese musicology journal, Ongakugaku, the book Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology is described by Matt Gillan as “summarizing the ways that historical issues have been addressed in previous ethnomusicological studies, outlining a number of theoretical and practical concepts that are useful in the field, and providing case studies demonstrating how historical ethnomusicology is being used in current research.” Gillan characterizes the chapters “co-written by McCollum and Hebert” as follows: “attempting to outline future directions for the field of study. These four theoretical and methodological chapters, accounting for some 170 pages (nearly half of the book), are thoughtful and well balanced in their combination of traditional and more cutting-edge approaches, and make an excellent introduction to the subject.”

Also, here is a link to a very positive review of our book Theory and Method in Historical Ethnomusicology in the Azerbaijani musicology journal Konservatoriya:

English translation of key points from Fattah Khaligzade's review in Konservatoriya: “the first great book on historical ethnomusicology . . . published by a new generation of researchers, Jonathan McCollum and David Hebert . . . this sophisticated collection of articles is regarded as valuable research from across recent years due to its scientific novelty, thorough content, and extensive capabilities for application . . . The editors deeply analyze the valuable contributions of their predecessors and contemporaries, and attain a unified direction for their colleagues’ efforts . . . an important achievement of contemporary ethnomusicology”


Prof. Yuto Kitamura (University of Tokyo) cites Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools as one of five recent books that “has presented interesting phenomena relating to Japanese education and has generated insightful and thought-provoking discussions”. This description appears on p.2 of the book Education in Japan: A Comprehensive Analysis of Education Reforms and Practices (Springer, 2019).

In his review in British Journal of Music Education, ethnomusicologist Dr. Norman Stanfield describes Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools as “a most unique and engaging monograph . . . David Hebert delved deep under the surface of the seemingly everyday where he discovered anomalies and cultural specifics that are unlike anything found in the West. . . Hardly a page goes by without an ‘aha’ moment . . . His book performs the remarkable: a call to explore new ways of doing high school band programmes differently”.

Professor Henry Johnson writes in Music Education Research that Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools is “rich in its discussion of cultural history and social practice, and offers an abundance of fascinating information that has been collected through extensive historical and ethnographic research in Japan over a 13-year period.” 

Renowned British conductor Tim Reynish writes "the definitive book on Japanese wind music by David Herbert was published by Springer. This detailed research into wind band training in Japan should be in every library, and his interviews with six leading wind band composers must be compulsory reading for anyone interested in Japanese music." http://www.timreynish.com/repertoire/repertoire-by-country/japan.php#windb

Reviews of my ethnography and social history Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools by renowned music education researcher Richard Colwell and Asian performance studies scholar CedarBough Saeiji are in the February 2013 issue of Ethnomusicology Review:

Dr CedarBough Saeiji has also described the book here:

She writes, “Hebert has done an admirable job setting down in meticulous detail how the students are learning-- in large part they learn from their peers. When I consider the performances of middle school wind bands in Japan . . . it's sort of mind-blowing how well they play.”

Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools is described by Peter Gouzouasis and Alan Henderson in a recent issue of Music Education Research as "a comprehensive, stunning account of wind bands in Japan", providing "the most comprehensive information about concert (wind) band participation in any country" (Music Education Research, volume 14, issue 4 (2012), pp.479-498). 

In Japan’s widely distributed Band Journal (2012), accomplished conductor and music technology expert Tatsutoshi Abe writes that Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools offers broad scholarly description and unique insights from a non-Japanese researcher with deep interests in Japan, and urges readers to press for publication of the full book in Japanese translation. 

According to a review in Social Science Japan Journal by sociologist Hiroshi Nishijima (Professor, Tokyo Metropolitan University), “. . . Hebert’s study should be highly lauded. Seeing extracurricular club activities in the light of Japanese studies is a perspective that I intend to employ in my own research in the future. Moreover, at a time when Japanese schools, clubs, arts, and sports are going through a great number of changes, this publication can serve as an important reference and inform the decisions of those attempting to advance changes to the educational system.”

"[Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools] . . . provides an interesting insight into the successful pedagogical techniques and methods required to cultivate collective notions of identity and ultimately musical achievement. This book is a valuable resource to those with interests in a number of musical and academic fields, in particular music education, ethnomusicology and band studies. Throughout the book the author successfully connects these different strands and produces an accurate and engaging picture . . ." – Richard Jones, PhD, The World of Music. 

Dr. Andrew Goodrich (Boston University) wrote the following:“David Hebert introduces readers to Japanese wind band culture with his book Wind Bands and Cultural Identity in Japanese Schools. … Written in conversational prose suited for ethnography, Hebert accomplishes a rare feat—a book that is accessible to both scholars and music teacher practitioners. … Hebert successfully weaves the inner workings of a successful Japanese wind band with the social history of Japanese bands into an interesting, intricate tapestry.” (Andrew Goodrich, Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, Vol. XXXVI (1), October, 2014) 

“Hebert’s study has been referenced by several authors touching upon national music competitions and is a comprehensive source on the modern band movement in Japan.” – Danh Pham, Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra: An Historical Perspective of the Organization (doctoral dissertation, 2011). 

Quotation in program for “Notes from Japan,” concert conducted by Eugene Corporon:  

Ethnomusicologist Norman Stanfield, “Ethnomusicology in the Band Room”:


Preeminent cognitive psychologist of music John Sloboda describes the book Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education in the journal International Journal of Education and the Arts (2012) as “a brave first attempt to bring together information and arguments relevant to an understanding of how patriotism and nationalism intersect with music education. As such, it both stands as a 'must read' resource for anyone interested in this topic, and also as an indication of how little we know in depth about the effects of patriotism on music teachers and the young people they teach. There are many empirical studies that are begging to be done, and I hope this book stimulates some researchers to undertake them.

In the journal History of Education, Professor Stephen G. Parker describes Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education as “a fascinating volume in focus and detail. It poses some important and perennial questions for all educators, not just music educators: what sentiments, attitudes and dispositions should schools foster, and how may they be appropriately invoked, in discourse, song and music? Given that in the English context the provision of collective worship in schools remains a statutory obligation, and that mainstays of it are listening to and/or participating in the singing of some form of sacred music, one is left wondering about the effects. Moreover, the emotional dimension of schooling is often overlooked, and this volume reminds us to consider how music contributes to the creation of an emotional climate in schools, and its function in fostering the formation of particular loyalties, identities and dispositions.”

Professor Jonathan Stock, ethnomusicologist, wrote the following in the British Journal of Music Education: ". . . appealing to a wide range of readers, interweaving broader historical overviews, and engaged, personal accounts . . . Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education provides a stimulating series of case studies that trace music education's ethical, unethical and unexpected consequences"

In Musica Docta, ethnomusicologist Professor Giovanni Giuriati (University of Rome) writes “Si tratta, in definitiva, di un volume molto ricco e denso di contenuti che ha il grande merito di far emergere una questione, quella del patriottismo e del nazionalismo spesso sottaciuta in una prospettiva di didattica musicale.” ([Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education] is, ultimately, a book of very rich and dense content that has the great value of bringing out an issue, that of patriotism and nationalism, which has been too little discussed from the perspective of music education.)

April Stephens Sholty wrote in the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education that she found "many of the authors' personal narratives and the historical background of the anthems to be especially thought-provoking. Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education would be an excellent addition to graduate level courses on sociology and music." (JHRME, XXXVI/2, 2015, p.161)

J. Paul Louth writes the following in his review of Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education: “This timely book offers an insightful array of international perspectives on a subject that badly calls out for scrutiny. . . . Of particular value is the use by a number of the authors of theoretical categories or constructs of patriotism to analyze historical or qualitative data.” – Canadian Association of Music Libraries Review.

Music education author Veronica Jamset writes the following about Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education within the music library journal Fontes Artis Musicae: “A wide range of nations, at least one from almost every continent of the world, is discussed . . . The editors draw these diverse practices together in their own conclusion, calling for themes of reconciliation and mutual understanding, not nationalistic propaganda, and for teachers to be required to reflect ethically about what they are asked to do, and about why and how they do it . . . potentially of general interest to a wide range of readers but its immediate usefulness may be restricted academically to members of departments which have a significant education strand. Rather than a rounded and systematic study of music education per se, it presents a number of recurring threads that pose challenging questions about the role of music teachers in propagating and inculcating patriotic sentiments. Bibliographical referencing is generous. The book is a rich resource, its extensive sources offering many excellent starting-points for research, particularly for music educators who have not previously considered this aspect of how they train teachers, as well as scholars engaged in researching comparative and political educational issues.” 

According to David Ashworth in his recently published review in the UK's Music Teacher Magazine, our book Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education is "useful for the teacher who wants to explore global issues in the classroom", for it provides "a rich source of information about aspects of music education around the world," and "There is much for music teachers to think about here -- recommended."


In his review of the book Sociology and Music Education (ed. Ruth Wright), music education scholar Patrick Schmidt writes the following in Visions of Research in Music Education (2012):
“Sociology and Music Education contains several other compelling chapters. David Hebert outlines the role of ethnicity as a sociological concept and its role as a construct within various areas of musical inquiry. Hebert’s chapter provides an outstanding review of the literature and guides the reader toward a sociological understanding of one of the key elements in the formation of multicultural discourses in the field.”

Tami J. Draves writes the following about the book Sociology and Music Education in her review published in Journal of Historical Research in Music Education: “In considering the advantaged and disadvantaged in music education, David Hebert analyzes ethnicity and music education from sociological, musicological, and music education perspectives in chapter 7 by considering which music is taught and to whom. He concludes his chapter with suggestions for ‘empowering music teachers to respond appropriately to the complexity of ethnic differences’” (p. 109).  

In her review of the book Sociology and Music Education, music education scholar Sharon G. Davis writes the following in Music Education Research (2013): “David G. Hebert’s chapter on Ethnicity strikes at the heart of many of the challenges of multicultural teaching in music education and highlights the central role that ethnic identity plays in musical meaning and engagement.”

In his review of the book De-Canonizing Music History (ed. Vesa Kurkela & Lauri Vakeva), ethnomusicologist Travis Stimeling writes the following:
“Hebert contends that music education textbooks have adopted a Eurocentric model of wind band history, despite the existence of pre-European wind traditions in Japan, the Maori Ratana brass band practices in New Zealand, and the development of jazz in the United States. Arguing that “hybrid music[s] . . . [are] sites of musical innovation and . . . potential wellsprings of new musical traditions” (p. 178), Hebert suggests that such ensembles deserve more careful treatment in music history and music education textbooks. Moreover, he challenges music education scholars to deploy ethnography and oral history in order to frame policy and curriculum within “a richer and more accurate depiction of lived reality” (p. 179), a  portrait that would naturally require greater attention to the contributions of women and hybrid musical genres to local, regional, and national music education.”

In her review of the book Music Education for Changing Times: Guiding Visions for Practice (ed. Thomas Regelski & J. Terry Gates), music education scholar Jeananne Nichols writes the following:
“Herbert believes music education will become more relevant and effective when it attends more completely to “creative agency via technology and musical hybridity (p. 39).” Music learned in school should have some connection to the music the student engages with outside of school and that musicianship should be understood as an “embodied practice situated in sociocultural contexts (p. 48).”

Reviewing the expanded third edition of Multicultural Perspectives in Music Education (ed. William M. Anderson & Patricia Shehan Campbell), music education historian Marie McCarthy notes the "new chapters on jazz and rock and world beat," while renowned jazz educator Willie L. Hill also writes that ''new chapters on jazz/rock and world-beat are all brimming with inspiring material, bringing these rich traditions to life. As students experience the rhythms, sounds, and stories of the global community, they will learn how these musics have influenced both American culture and world cultures. Students may develop a deeper understanding of their own heritage, and see how they fit into the global community. This is especially important for young people who may be alienated due to ethnic or cultural differences as well as students who may feel lost amid the growing population in today's urban areas in our technological age."   

It is very encouraging to see that reviewers find some of my recent writings to be useful, and I am quite thankful for their endorsement. Nowadays, I am working on other books, and learning from previous experience, so hopefully the best is yet to come. I have many detailed ideas for future projects and plans to publish ten books by 2023.