Becoming musicians: learning strategies among Palestinian Arab wedding musicians in the Galilee region

Abigail Wood, Taiseer Elias, Loab Hammoud, Jiryis Murkus Ballan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article probes the socially embedded musical pathways and learning strategies followed by professional Palestinian Arab wedding musicians active in the Galilee region of northern Israel from the late 1960s until the present day, from their first childhood experiences of music until the point when they step onto the platform for the first time to perform for payment at a wedding party. Following Susan O’Neill’s model of the thick learning ecologies–interconnected and situated learning environments–that young people draw upon in order to build their musical competence (2017), and based on data from narrative interviews, we examine the processes by which young Palestinian Arab musicians in the Galilee acquire the musical, technical, social and entrepreneurial knowledge required to enter the wedding scene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-621
Number of pages13
JournalMusic Education Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant number 1495/16) The authors are grateful to the musicians we cite for generously sharing their time and expertise and to Sarah Goldberg, Mary Stakelum, Anna Wood and the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Arab music
  • Israel
  • Music education
  • Palestinian musicians
  • wedding music


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