Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Music Education

First Advisor

Martina L. Miranda

Second Advisor

James R. Austin

Third Advisor

Margaret H. Berg

Fourth Advisor

Margaret D. LeCompte

Fifth Advisor

Brenda M. Romero


In this quanto-historical study, the author conducted a content analysis of Asian-Pacific (AP) folk songs in 18 American elementary music textbooks published from 1967 to 2008. The researcher addressed the questions: (1) To what degree are AP folk songs included in the printed and recorded repertoire of elementary music textbook series published from 1967 to 2008? (a) Specifically, in respect to printed materials, which AP countries are represented, and what types of song lyrics and supplemental resources are provided for classroom instruction? (b) In respect to recorded materials, what are the characteristics of the folk song recordings? (2) To what degree is inclusion of AP folk songs in textbook series impacted by the publication of the National Standards in 1994, and what other trends can be discerned? Further, to situate findings from the study within a theoretical context, the researcher adopted the construct of great and little traditions first advocated by anthropologist R. Redfield in the 1950s, and further discussed by Jorgensen (1997) in the context of music education to provide an additional perspective for discussion of findings and implications for future research. Discussion is divided into two historical periods (1967-1993 and 1994-2008), commencing with the Tanglewood Symposium and the adoption of the National Standards respectively. Primary sources included teacher's editions of 18 series textbooks, and 103 sampled AP folk song recordings. In addition, the author conducted phone and Skype interviews with 10 individuals in the publishing industry to provide additional descriptive data. The author found that AP folk songs had a minimal representation of roughly 3% in textbook series folk song repertoires. There were 11 out of 15 AP countries represented and original folk song lyrics appear in 10 AP languages. Major trends and patterns that emerged provide evidence of increased and more authentic representation of those musical cultures during the second period of this study. Besides more diverse representation of AP folk songs and use of language tools, textbook authors adhered to research-based principles in their curricular choices and instructional sequences. The researcher posed some final considerations and recommendations for educators, textbook publishers, researchers, families, and communities.