"Say, Say, My Playmate": Music and Language Socialization in Children's Clapping Games
Tri-College (Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore Colleges). Department of Linguistics
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This thesis uses the framework of language socialization to investigate the socializing potential of children's clapping games. Adapting Schieffelin and Och's 1986 definition of language socialization to refer to music, I establish that 1) music socialization is the coincidence of socialization through music and socialization to use music, and 2) music learners are active contributors to their own socialization. I reinforce these claims by drawing connections between a number of practices and terms — routine, variation, improvisation, evaluation, and common vernacular — in both linguistic and musical settings. My analysis of data borrowed from Curtis (2004), Hubbard (1982), Marsh (1995, 2006), and Merrill-Mirsky (1988), shows that routines, variations, and musical features in clapping games are evaluated and acted upon jointly by multiple members of a given group, demonstrating the performers' reliance on a common musical and cultural understanding. I conclude that music socialization is a tangible and active process, and that a detailed comprehension of its principles would benefit researchers and educators alike.