27 research outputs found

    North American Indigenous song, the sacred and the senses

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    How does music shape the experience of the sacred? This chapter looks at two genres of North American Indigenous singing – drum song performed at powwows and gospel singing associated with funerary wakes – and it explores music’s capacity for mediating sacred presences and processes

    Music, value, and networks in the digital world

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    In music as in life, nothing is more important than people. Professional music-makers need audiences, and to reach those audiences, they need the support of many other people, from promoters and agents to fans who will rave about them to their friends. And artists of all kinds need contact with fellow artists: to inspire them, to collaborate with them, to compete with them, and simply to acknowledge them as peers. In isolation from people who value the music you value, it’s hard to know how good you are, or how to take your work to the next level. As a recent report on the music industry put it, ‘talent... cannot exist unless it is recognised by others in a network.’ The Valuing Electronic Music project is an attempt to find out how this process of recognition happens in the digital age. We collected data on millions of user accounts on the SoundCloud website, focusing in particular on a random sample of 150 000. We also spoke to a range of people involved in London-based electronic music scenes (electronic music, followed by hip hop, being the kinds of music that are most represented on SoundCloud). Then we organised a public discussion between three electronic music-makers and an expert on electronic dance music, and interviewed writers, musicians, and promoters at the Convergence festival in London. These discussions enabled us to focus on the value of different kinds of relationships between music-makers and promoters, DJs, and other people involved in electronic music: for example, we found that music-makers may treat responses from live audiences and from well-informed listeners (including other music-makers) as more valuable than anonymous ‘clicks’ on a website. As we will discuss below, they may have good reasons for this preference, because people who are involved in a scene may be able to add more value to their music than people who are not, and websites such as SoundCloud may be more effective for cementing relationships with local audiences than for growing an international fanbase. You can listen in on some of the conversations we had via our website (http://www.valuingelectronicmusic.org/media). This is the project’s main output, a ‘public’ report presenting key findings without technical jargon. It is founded on our peer-reviewed research (below) and was written in consultation with a panel of experts

    Teaching music theory in UK higher education today: contexts and commentaries

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    This multi-authored article offers accounts of how programmes for teaching music theory within the Western-notated tradition were created in two UK higher education institutions. These accounts are followed by two more discursive reflections on the nature and purpose of music education today, advocating the importance of listening skills and inclusive pedagogies. The article is framed by an introduction and conclusion contextualising the issues raised in relation to a selection of prior contributions to Music Education Research and comparing approaches to music literacy and theory teaching as represented in recent music theory conferences in the UK and the United States

    Welcoming Voices: Memory, Migration and Music

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    There are many studies of migration that focus on the economic and social impact of immigration, but the effect that migration has on cultural practices is less explored. This article considers the relationship song plays in the experience of migration. It focuses on the recent migration of Eastern European communities to the UK, played out against the backdrop of tensions surrounding Brexit. It explores how engaging with song plays a role in assimilation, reorientation, and displacement processes. Song has had a profound historical significance for Eastern European nations and their identity, demonstrated vividly in the events surrounding the collapse of the USSR in the late 1980s. Throughout 1987, the Lithuanian Rock March Festival toured the country to perform forbidden (“Western”) songs by way of political protest; in 1988 the anti-Soviet rock musical Lāčplēsis took Latvia by storm playing to over 180,000 people; and in the same year, Estonian musician Alo Mattiisen’s “Five Fatherland Songs” formed the basis of the Tartu Music Days festival, constructing a powerful song-cycle of anthems against the oppression of the Soviet state. Following this concert, the journalist Heinz Valk penned a celebrated article crystallizing the significance of these events in the evocative term “The Singing Revolution”. In this context, song became for these nations a deep expression of identity, a force for non-violent protest against oppression, and a communal bond whose articulation in mass singing events created a powerful voice enabling their emergence onto the stage of the coveted West. Thirty years later, the relationship of Eastern Europeans with the West continues to be tested as the world’s borders become points of tension and as the identities of nation states and national identities become scattered. With accession to the EU in 2004, a surge of movement beyond national boundaries created diasporic populations of Eastern Europeans in the UK. Here, encountering the tensions of immigrant life, the barriers of linguistic and cultural currency and the challenges of assimilation, migrants experience both individual and communal dynamics that influence their sense of personal and national identity. Informed by a number of ethnographic projects with migrant populations, this article explores some of the ways in which that sense of personal and national identity is played out through music and song. Working principally with Lithuanian and Polish communities in Lincolnshire between 2016 and the present, and engaging with local community events, outreach activities and interviews, the article will listen to the migrants’ own voices in exploring the subtle, personal and communal ways in which song informs their sense of self

    Civil twilight: country music, alcohol, and the spaces of Manitoban aboriginal sociability

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    About the Book: Music, Sound and Space is the first collection to integrate research from musicology and sound studies on music and sound as they mediate everyday life. Music and sound exert an inescapable influence on the contemporary world, from the ubiquity of MP3 players to the controversial use of sound as an instrument of torture. In this book, leading scholars explore the spatialisation of music and sound, their capacity to engender modes of publicness and privacy, their constitution of subjectivity, and the politics of sound and space. Chapters discuss music and sound in relation to distinctive genres, technologies and settings, including sound installation art, popular music recordings, offices and hospitals, and music therapy. With international examples, from the Islamic soundscape of the Kenyan coast, to religious music in Europe, to First Nation musical sociability in Canada, this book offers a new global perspective on how music and sound and their spatialising capacities transform the nature of public and private experience