a film by Lucy Durán, Nicolas Magriel, Geoff Baker and Sanubar Baghirova
directed by Lucy Durán
edited by Maya Maffioli
Growing into Music is a film that explores how children in diverse cultures from different parts of the world acquire musical skills and knowledge. Shot on location between 2009-12, the film shows children learning and performing within some of the world’s most celebrated oral traditions:
- Hindustani classical music and dance in north India;
- folk music of the Langa and Manganiyar communities in Rajasthan;
- Mande and Bobo griot music of Mali and Guinea;
- mugham and ashiq traditions of Azerbaijan;
- Afrocuban music and dance in Cuba;
- música llanera in Venezuela.
Looking across these very different locations and musical cultures, the film explores the contrasting ways that musicianship continues to be orally transmitted between generations in the 21st century. Sometimes this process takes place within families, involving varying kinds of pedagogy, ranging from one-to-one formal lessons to learning within peer groups of children, via play, osmosis, imitation and performance. However, the film also shows that oral traditions are increasingly being taught within music schools, for example in Azerbaijan and Venezuela; and it provides views from within the cultures on how orality interacts with institutionalisation.
Above all, Growing into Music is a celebration of childhood musicality, and a window on the changing nature of oral cultures in the 21st century.