Session 3.5: From the Parlour to the Pub; A Social History of the Violin in Australian Society
Session: Since the First Fleet arrived on Australian shores, the violin has been a constant presence in various facets of Australian life. By looking at how the violin was used in critical moments of Australian history such as on the goldfields, on the Aboriginal missions, and the World Wars we can begin to understand the historical importance of the violin in Australian society and its continuing importance today. The violin has been a symbol of hope, rebellion, protest, survival, and love. Understanding Australia’s unique history with the violin informs not only our own personal practice and philosophy but can also inspire the next generation of learners. It has never been more important to advocate for the benefits of music, and by being passionate and informed we as string teachers can most effectively convey why music has been and remains critically important to Australian society.
Laura Case is currently working on her PhD in musicology at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she also works as a university tutor and research assistant. Through an analysis of how the violin has been used and represented over time, Laura’s doctoral research hopes to illustrate the significance of the impact that the violin has had on Australian people, society, and culture throughout Australia’s unique history, right through to the present day. As a descendent of the Wiradjuri people in Central West New South Wales, Laura is also passionate about the study of both traditional and contemporary Aboriginal music and dance and how this has historically been a means of protest and cultural survival. Laura is a classical violinist with over 20 years of experience and continues to perform with various orchestras in the Sydney area and maintains a regular teaching schedule with her assistant Maestro, her cocker spaniel.