The Road Goes Ever On: Estelle Jorgensen's Legacy in Music Education


Section III - Becoming Other Than

Publication Date



Western University

Place of Publication

London, Ontario Canada


dialectics, poststructuralism, liberation, Deleuze, Lyotard, Estelle Jorgensen

Online ISBN





Against a contemporary backdrop of soundbite news stories and intransigent political divisions, music educators still have much to learn from Jorgensen’s lifelong dedication to the deep interrogation of multiple perspectives. Drawing heavily on Jorgensen’s use of dialectics in In Search of Music Education, I examine the liberatory nature of her philosophical writing. By explaining each paired term in marked depth and clarity, including its potential problems and possibilities, Jorgensen frees readers from narrow assumptions and unidirectional logic. Moreover, by refraining from championing one idea within a dialectic over the other, Jorgensen liberates readers by encouraging them to position themselves. While Jorgensen’s lack of clear conclusions aligns with aspects of poststructuralist writings, a Deleuzian analysis of her work suggests that focusing on differences rather than differentiation may propagate and solidify certain divides. Additionally, using Lyotard’s concept of the differend, I examine how naming specific dialectics might limit imaginative alternatives. I close by offering an extension of Jorgensen’s work that, rather than promoting either dialectics or the absence of dialectics, suggests how her dialectics might function in a productive tension with differing and the differend.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.