RESEARCH
 
Sourcing and Preserving Malay Asli Music Through the Development of a Book of Music Score of Arrangements for Small Ensembles, with an Accompanying CD
 

Grant: Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS)

Funding Body:Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI)/Sultan Idris Education University

Research Code: 2016-0089-107-02

Duration: 1 August 2016 - 31 July 2018

Status: Ongoing

 

Research Team

Principal Researcher: Dr Karen Anne Lonsdale

Co-Researchers: Dr Yen-Lin Goh, Violetta Ayderova, Mohd Pauzi Bin Majid

Graduate Research Assistant: Mohd Mustaqim Bin Abdullah

 

Malay Asli music is well known in Malaysia, but has been traditionally taught by rote learning, therefore there are few published collections of this music available internationally that include fully written out scores and parts for ensembles which include Western classical instruments. The objective of this research is to develop a new collection of Malay Asli music scores and parts for small ensembles so that the folk music from this region is preserved and made available to a wider international audience. The methodology employs a qualitative approach, namely, a comprehensive analysis of the existing Asli literature towards the development of a sample book of music scores and an accompanying demonstration CD of arrangements for small ensembles, based on the feedback given by professional musicians and music educators.

 
An Investigation into the Challenges Faced by Woodwind Players in Malaysia when
Practising, Rehearsing and Performing while Fasting

 

Grant:Geran Penyelidikan Universiti (GPU)/University Research Grant

Funding Body:Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI)/Sultan Idris Education University

Research Code: 2016-0200-107-01

Duration: 19 October 2016 - 18 October 2017

Status:Completed

 

Research Team

Principal Researcher: Dr Karen Anne Lonsdale

Co-Researcher: Dr. Fariba Hossein Abadi 

Research Assistant: Muhammad Amirul Afizi Bin Omar 

 

While numerous studies investigate the associations between Ramadan fasting and sports and exercise, as well as health and medical conditions, little is known about the experiences of woodwind players who must continue to play while fasting. This study aimed to gain a better understanding about the experiences of tertiary level woodwind players who continue to  practice, rehearse and perform while fasting during Ramadan. Sixteen undergraduate woodwind players from two Malaysian university music faculties completed an 11-item questionnaire which formed the basis of a semi-structured interview. Many participants stated that practicing their instruments from noon to 3:00pm was difficult due to feeling thirsty, hungry, tired, and exhausted, with some experiencing a dry mouth and/or dry lips.  By 3:00 to 6:00pm, some participants had difficulty focusing, and stated that they felt very tired and lacking energy to practice.  Some felt dizzy by this time of the afternoon.  Many participants felt more comfortable playing their instrument after breaking the fast after sunset, or in the morning after eating ‘sahur’.  The majority stated that they experienced positive impacts on their playing while fasting, such as having increased focus due to less distractions, and more efficient practice in general, due to needing to conserve energy. This study suggests that fasting woodwind players would benefit from practicing in the morning, and after sunset, getting adequate rest, and limiting their practice time in the afternoon.  To stay hydrated, it is important not to skip eating sahur, and to drink plenty of water between sunset and sunrise

 

 

 

Sourcing and Creating Repertoire Towards the Development of a Malaysian Beginner               Flute Method

Grant:Geran Penyelidikan Universiti (GPU)/University Research Grant

Funding Body:Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI)/Sultan Idris Education University

Research Code: 2015-0028-107-01

Duration: 15 April 2015 - 15 April 2016

Status:Completed

 

Research Team 

Principal Researcher: Dr Karen Anne Lonsdale

Co-Researcher:Affendi Bin Ramli

Research Assistants: Vangelis Tina Spencer, Fauzan Hashim, Dicky Jawa Anak Ding

 

Abstract:Numerous instructional books for beginner flute players have been published since the modern Western concert flute was invented in the middle of the nineteenth century. The early flute method books focused primarily on technical exercises, studies, and Western classical music. More recently published instructional flute books include tunes from various musical genres and introduce beginners to a range of fundamental flute techniques. However, as many of the books were written in the USA, UK and other Western nations, the included tunes tend to focus primarily on European and American folk songs, Western art music, popular and jazz music, anthems, as well as Christian music such as carols, hymns and spirituals. The modern Western concert flute is played in Malaysian wind orchestras, symphony orchestras, pops orchestras, concert bands, marching bands, flute choirs, chamber music, as well as in traditional music ensembles. Yet, there are no published instructional books for beginner flute players which include a range of tunes that are highly suitable for Malaysian musicians who come from diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. There is a rich variety of traditional folk music in Malaysia and other Asian countries, with many tunes that are well-suited to being played on the modern Western concert flute. This research fills a gap in the existing flute literature, by introducing a new beginner flute course that is specifically designed for beginner flute players in Malaysia.

An Investigation into Performance-Related Health Concerns Among Student Musicians at a
University in Malaysia

 

Grant: Geran Penyelidikan Universiti (GPU)/University Research Grant

Funding Body: Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI)/Sultan Idris Education University

Research Code: 2013-0040-107-01

Duration:15 April 2013 - 15 April 2014

Status:Completed

Research Team 

Principal Researcher: Dr Karen Anne Lonsdale

Co-Researcher: Dr Ong Kuan Boon

Research Assistants: Chia Boon Teng, Tang Yi Mei, Hanis Nadzira Binti Kasmani, Kuang Pitt Fang, and Muhammad Faiz Bahiyuddin Bin Mohd Noor

Many studies have reported that musicians suffer from a range of playing-related physical problems including musculoskeletal disorders, hearing loss and performance anxiety.  However, there are no known studies focusing specifically on the health problems of musicians in Malaysia. The aim of this study was to investigate performance-related health concerns among student musicians at a university in Malaysia, as well as their knowledge and awareness of playing-related health problems.  Instrumental music students enrolled in undergraduate and post-graduate university music courses (n=98) participated in an online survey which addressed aspects such as educational background, playing experience, knowledge and awareness of musicians’ health issues, history of physical problems, lifestyle factors, as well as prevention and management strategies. Of the total participants, 28.9% reported that they were currently suffering from playing-related pain in a body part, while 46.4% had suffered from playing-related pain at some time.  More than half of the total respondents (56.7%) felt that they have not received enough information or advice on playing-related health during their current studies.  Musicians who experienced playing-related pain, tension and discomfort reported the main problem sites to be the fingers and hands, arms, neck, and shoulders.  Additionally, in a n=8 descriptive EMG study, it was found that all students played with excessive muscle tension in at least one muscle group while playing.  All students who took part in the study could benefit from developing a more efficient playing position and technique to both improve musical outcomes as well as reduce the risk of playing-related injuries from occurring. The results from both studies demonstrate that Malaysian university music students are affected by similar types of playing-related physical problems to their counterparts around the world. Based on these findings, a greater awareness of injury prevention and management strategies is needed so that these Malaysian music students can sustain healthy playing careers.

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