Musical play in girlhood: Transgenerational oral historical accounts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Musical play is a vital aspect of children’s musical cultures. As the social and cultural experiences of children change over time, their playful engagements with music may reflect these shifts. The purpose of this oral historical research was to explore girlhood musical play experiences over the course of a span of approximately 80 years (ca. 1920–2009), as well as the influences at work in the transmission, continuity, and content of these musical play behaviors. Semi-structured interviews were implemented to illuminate the musical play experience stories of 20 female individuals spanning four generations of birth as well as the factors impacting the transmission and continuity of musical play over time through family lines and across age cohorts. Findings suggest that influences of family, temporal context and peer groups, popular culture, cultural contexts, and issues of gender identity and gender roles were all present in the transmission of musical play repertoires over time. A lack of interest in musical play was also reported, which additionally impacted transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-259
Number of pages15
JournalResearch Studies in Music Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Music


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