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the world of music 42, 2000-3

Local Musical Traditions in the Globalization Process

Editor: Max Peter Baumann
Co-Editor: Linda Fujie

ISSN 0043-8774




The Editor

Rainer Polak
A Musical Instrument Travels Around the World: Jenbe Playing in Bamako, West Africa, and Beyond

Kevin Dawe
Roots Music in the Global Village: Cretan Ways of Dealing with the World at Large

Deborah Wong
Taiko and the Asian/American Body: Drums, Rising Sun, and the Question of  Gender

J. Lawrence Witzleben
Musical Systems and Inter-genre Relationships in Hong Kong

Colin Huehns
The Shaanxi Qinpai Erhu Tradition: Re-invention and Re-invigoration of a Folk Tradition

Max Peter Baumann
The Local and the Global: Traditional Musical Instruments and Modernization

Book Reviews (Jonathan Stock, ed.)

From the Book Reviews Editor
Graduate Student Reviews

Richard C. Jankowsky
The Gendered Spaces of Rai: A Review Essay — Schade-Poulsen, Marc. Men and Popular Music in Algeria: The Social Significance of Rai and Virolle, Marie. La chanson rai: de l'Algérie profonde à la scène internationale 

Noriko Toda
Levin, Theodore. The Hundred Thousand Fools of God: Musical Travels in Central Asia (and Queens, New York)

Jonathan Kramer
Booth, Wayne. For the Love of It: Amateuring and Its Rivals

CD Reviews (Janet Sturman, ed.)

Janet Sturman
La Musica de los Viejitos: Hispano Folk Music of the Rio Grande del Norte Albuquerque. University of New Mexico Press 

The Spirit of Place. University of New Mexico

Melek Khanom Eyubova – Anthologie du Mugam d'Azerbaidjan vol. 9 (Anthology of the Mugam of Azerbaijan). Inedit/MCM 

Gambuh – Drame musical balinais par l'ensemble de Kedisan (Gambuh – Balinese musical drama by the Kedian ensemble). Inedit/MCM

Cameroun – Pygmées Bedzan de la plaine Tikar (Cameroon – Bedzan Pygmies from the Tikar Plain.). Inedit/MCM


About the Authors



A Musical Instrument Travels Around the World. Jenbe Playing in Bamako, West Africa, and Beyond
Rainer Polak

Jenbe drum ensemble music has appeared in a variety of contexts, namely: local family and communal celebrations, state-organized folklore ensembles in West Africa, and West African percussion music in the industrialized countries. These contexts of jenbe playing emerged sequentially, and partly grew out of one another. However, they did not supersede nor leave each other unaffected. This article studies the reciprocal effects of local, national, and international utilization of the jenbe, illustrated by the changes in instrument making in Bamako, the capital of the Republic of Mali. It argues that only the feedback of local, national, and international jenbe playing has allowed for its artistic and professional vitality in urban West Africa.

Roots Music in the Global Village: Cretan Ways of Dealing with the World at Large
Kevin Dawe

This article discusses the role of local music industry within the changing physical, social and cultural landscape of Crete. Conducted over a ten-year period, my fieldwork was at its most intense during 1990, 1991, 1994, 1996, and 2000, and it is these years of research that I refer to in my discussion. These research trips enabled me to collect a range of information that has proven useful when considering globalization processes at work in Crete, and within the Cretan music scene. Informal music making, the presence of music at festive occasions, and talk and debate about music are still important in Cretan life. However, as I hope to show in this article, the impact and development of a local music industry along with a range of other phenomena has progressively and significantly altered the contexts in which Cretan music is heard, performed, talked of and thought about. Today, more than ever, the music industry and the media (from record producers to poster designers) are responsible for shaping a vision of ‘traditional music’ in Crete. During a period of enormous social and economic change on the island, the music industry has continued to underline and perhaps exploit connections between Cretan music and village life. Moreover, musicians and musical entrepreneurs continue to adapt their activities to the changing and globalizing marketplace whilst tapping into a nostalgic vision of ‘tradition’ where stock sounds, metaphors and images are used to make powerful statements about Cretan-ness, roots, authenticity and difference within the Cretan world at large.

Taiko and the Asian/American Body: Drums, Rising Sun, and the Question of Gender
Deborah Wong

This essay addresses the Japanese tradition of taiko drumming as an Asian American practice inflected by transnational discourses of orientalism and colonialism.  I argue that the potential in taiko for slippage between the Asian and the Asian American body is both problematic and on-going, and that the body of the taiko player is gendered and racialized in complex ways.  Through a consideration of a scene in the film "Rising Sun" (1993), I address a key cinematic misrepresentation of  taiko and its impact on the North American taiko community.  I contrast imperialist American tropes that feminize Japan with the predominance of Japanese American and Asian American women who play taiko in the U.S., and I suggest that taiko has become a means for Asian American women to recuperate racist and sexist narratives in a deeply personal and physical manner that implicates the very definition of the Asian American woman’s body.  I argue that the sensual sounded body has moved through a series of historical constructions and emerges asserting new Asian American presences, recasting issues of cultural authenticity in the process.

Musical Systems and Inter-genre Relationships in Hong Kong
J. Lawrence Witzleben

In any community, village, or city, the network of musical styles, genres, and performers constitute a "musical system."  In a metropolis such as Hong Kong, there are also various interlinked subsystems which can be interpreted according to various parameters such as ethnicity (Chinese, other Asian, European), type of music (classical, folk, popular), or livelihood (professional, semi-professional, amateur).  The present article focuses on the subsystem of Chinese music in Hong Kong, including its local, regional, national, and transnational elements, indigenous Cantonese culture and intracultural transplants from elsewhere in China, performance contexts, and networks of performers.  By thinking about what Bruno Nettl has called the "total music" of a community, we can gain new perspectives on its component parts and their relationship to each other and to the whole.  By examining inter-genre relationships in a given locale, we can also approach a fuller understanding of Chinese music: despite its practical advantages, the genre-based approach typically used in scholarship and teaching can obscure the dynamic interplay of instrumental, vocal, theatrical, and religious traditions within a regional (Cantonese) or local (Hong Kong) music subculture.  These themes in turn may contribute to our understanding of music in other multi-ethnic or multi-dialect societies and in other large and complex urban centers.

The Shaanxi Qinpai Erhu Tradition.  Re-invention and Re-invigoration of a Folk Tradition
Colin Huehns

This paper outlines the main distinguishing features of the Qinpai school of erhu playing of the Chinese province of Shaanxi, shows how this style of erhu playing arose as a response to a particular set of political, musical and social conditions as generated in post-1949 Communist China and discusses how these conditions and the music they have produced are related to a process of “globalisation” or “Westernisation”; in other words: to what extent is the Qinpai erhu music intrinsically native, that is the music of the Chinese Province of Shaanxi, and to what extent is it a product of outside influences.  The author is himself a member of the Qinpai erhu school and has spent four years at the Xi’an Music College of Xi’an in Shaanxi Province as an erhu pupil of Jin Wei, the leading exponent of the Qinpai school of erhu playing.

The Local and the Global: Traditional Musical Instruments and Modernization
Max Peter Baumann

Today regional traditions have an interactive relationship with musical multilingualism and intercultural music-making and improvisation. In our age of tourism, migration, the growing closer of the world and of technologically determined globalization, the conceptualization of culture and region are musically realized in highly individual and differentiated ways. The region in which music is made is thereby to be differentiated from the (trans)region that is presented symbolically through music. For a long time now, musical identity no longer refers simply one-dimensionally to a single region. In the area of music, increasing multipolar orientations create a continuous deconstruction of concepts of culture and identity. The local and the region, the national and the global have become interconnected in the cultural process of tradition to a “glocal” network.



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