Against the background of current debate concerning the proposed national curriculum, a number of questions remain unanswered. This paper examines the issue of how, and indeed whether music education is practised from an expressivist point of view. The expressivist position, as evidenced for instance in the work of Herbert Read, Louis Arnard Reid and Suzanne Langer, is analysed in the more recent work of Robert Witkin and Malcolm Ross.
The paper continues by questioning whether there is an expressivist future in music education, discussing the work of Keith Swanwick and John Paynter alongside recent guidelines from HMI and the DES. Official utilitarian arguments are questioned and evidence of developments in Scotland and the United States are examined. The American tradition of developmental psychology in music leads to a discussion of the work of David J. Hargreaves in this country, and finally recommendations are made concerning the relationship between music and the other arts, with particular reference to curriculum structures and programmes of learning.