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the world of music 45, 2003-2

Traditional Music and Composition
For György Ligeti on his 80th Birthday

Guest Editors:
Ashok D. Ranade
Christian Utz

ISSN 0043-8774
ISBN 3-86135-736-4




Christian Utz
Listening Attentively to Cultural Fragmentation: Tradition and Composition in Works by East Asian Composers

Franki S. Notosudirdjo
Kyai Kanjeng: Islam and the Search for National Music in Indonesia

Barbara Mittler
Cultural Revolution Model Works and the Politics of Modernization in China: An Analysis of Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy

Stephen Andrew Taylor
Ligeti, Africa and Polyrhythm

Ashok D. Ranade
Traditional Musics and Composition in the Indian Context

Composers’ Statements

Sandeep Bhagwati
Stepping on the Cracks, Or, How I Compose with Indian Music in Mind

Guo Wenjing
Traditional Music as Material

Kim Jin-Hi
Living Tones: On My Cross-cultural Dance-music Drama Dragon Bond Rite

Koo Bonu
Beyond “Cheap Imitations”

Lukas Ligeti
On My Collaborations with Non-Western Musicians and the Influence of Technology in These Exchanges

Qin Wenchen
On Diversity

Takahashi Yûji
Two Statements on Music


Book Reviews (Jonathan Stock, ed.)

From the Book Reviews Editor

Nicholas Cook
Reviews-Essay: Improvisation. Bruno Nettl with Melinda Russel (eds.), In the Course of Performance: Studies in the World of Musical Improvisation

Sabina B. Pauta
Marin Marian Balasa. Colinda–Epifanie si Sacrament (Colinda–Epiphany and Sacrament)

Lindsay Aitkenhead
Slobin, Mark, ed.. American Klezmer: Its Roots and Offshoots

Abigail Wood
Braun, Joachim; trans. Stott, Douglas W. Music in Ancient Israel/Palestine: Archaeological, Written and Comparative Sources.

Dieter Christensen
Czekanowska, Anna. Pathways of Ethnomusicology. Selected Essays. Edited by Piotr Dahlig.

Gordon Thompson
Ian Woodfield. Music of the Raj: A Social and Economic History of Music in Late Eighteenth-Century Anglo-Indian Society

Marin Marian Balasa
Svanibor Pettan, Adelaida Reyes, Maša Komavec, eds. Glasba in Manjšine. Zbornic referatov 1. mednarodnega posvetovanja študijske skupine Mednarodnega Sveta za Tradicijko Glasbo (ICTM) Glasba in Manjšine, Ljubljana, Slovenija, 25.-30. junij 2000 (Music and Minorities: Proceedings of the 1st International Meeting of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) Study Group Music and Minorities, Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 25-30, 2000)

Suzel Ana Reily
Ralls-MacLeod, Karen and Graham Harvey, eds. Indigenous Religious Music


CD-Reviews (Gregory F. Barz, ed.)

Katherine Johanna Hagedorn
The Rough Guide to the Cuban Music Story: Dance Crazes from the Cuban Dynasty. World Music Network. Compiled by David Flower, and The Rough Guide to Cuban Music: The History, the Artists, the Best. Rough Guides Limited

James R. Newell
World Library of Folk and Primitive Music: Volume 1, England; Volume 2, Ireland; Volume 3, Scotland. Rounder Records. Compiled and edited by Alan Lomax

Gregory Barz
Masters of the Balafon: Funeral Festivities. Paris: Sélénium Films. Ethnomusicology Laboratory (National Center for Scientific Research), Musée de l’Homme. Produced by Hugo Zemp

About the Contributors
the world of music


Listening Attentively to Cultural Fragmentation: Tradition and Composition in Works by East Asian Composers
Christian Utz

Research on encounters between traditional non-Western music and contemporary compositional practice tends to neglect detailed musical analysis in favour of extensive socio-cultural or political theoretical frameworks. This article is an attempt to link these two diverse branches of musical scholarship. At first, two examples of cross-cultural musical appropriations point at the “bouncing” quality of musical interculturality: repercussions of a Drinking Song of the Taiwanese aborigines Ami and of the Chinese melody Molihua (“Jasmine Flower”) suggest that “authenticity” in a strict sense has until the present often played a minor role in musical creation or daily musical practice. After reflecting on the impact of the concept of “composition” for both Western and non-Western music as a precondition of contemporary musical creation, examples are introduced of relevant works by East Asian composers in between implicit and explicit references to Asian musical material. The tension between nearness and distance to traditional and contemporary idioms and the challenge to find a balance between identification and criticism towards a cultural “Self” and a cultural “Other” are crucial aspects of compositional practice for some composers in Korea, China, Taiwan and Japan. Musical works by Koo Bonu, Kim Eun-Hye, Kim Jin-Hi, Guo Wenjing, Chen Xiaoyong, Hsu Po-Yun and Takahashi Y?ji successfully reflect on essentialized concepts of culture and thus arguably can represent substantial counter-discourses to the globally dominating system of Western music—a main criterion for the definition of a contemporary East Asian “avant garde.”

Kyai Kanjeng: Islam and the Search for National Music in Indonesia
Franki S. Notosudirdjo

The article addresses the problems of national identity embedded in the musical world of the culturally diverse, developing country of Indonesia. Following the creation of Kinanthie Sandoong (1916), a piece of art music by composer and prominent nationalist leader Ki Hadjar Dewantara, the history of twentieth-century Indonesian music from the colonial era up to the present has been permeated with the dynamic search for a national music. With the introduction of Soeharto’s New Order period in the mid-1960s, the effort to seek Indonesian national music entered a new phase of aesthetic and ideological complexity. This was especially true after the revival of Islamic culture in the late period of the New Order (1990s). In their endeavour to seek a new model of modernity based on Islamic religious values, Muslim composers came up with works that uniquely combined Western aesthetics and technology with Islamic elements. By the same token, I would argue that their music strongly re-addressed the issue of national music in Indonesia. One of the most significant endeavours to introduce Islamic contemporary music as a form of national music can be discerned in the music of Kyai Kanjeng, a group of experimental gamelan musicians founded by Emha Ainun Najib (b. 1953), a poet-singer, essayist and informal Muslim leader, and Djaduk Ferianto, a prominent self-taught composer with a Javanese traditional music background. I argue that the existence of Kyai Kanjeng in its capacity to achieve a synthesis between Eastern and Western music traditions is very significant for the development of a genuine art music in Indonesia.

Cultural Revolution Model Works and the Politics of Modernization in China: An Analysis of Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy
Barbara Mittler

The so-called model works (yangbanxi), ten operas, four ballets, two symphonies and two piano pieces monopolized China’s theatrical and musical stages for a decade. No matter whether one follows the now orthodox political interpretation contending that they were products of the ultra-leftist mind of Mao’s wife Jiang Qing or whether one considers them worthy pieces of art, they are an element in Chinese cultural history that cannot be—but (for ideological reasons) often is—overlooked. Repercussions of the model works can be traced in China’s recent rock music, in light popular music as well as in her serious music. Contrary to the common assumption that the model works were characteristic products of Cultural Revolution ideology, this paper contends that they were anything but the product of an iconoclastic and xenophobic era, as the Cultural Revolution is so often described. Instead, they are manifestations of a hybrid taste which calls for the transformation of Chinese tradition according to foreign standards, a taste which for more than a century has determined compositional practice in China. The paper takes one of the earliest and most well-known model works, the revolutionary Beijing opera Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy, as an example. It examines the use of traditional Chinese as well as European musico-dramatic elements in this piece in order to illustrate that the particular forms musical modernization took during the Cultural Revolution were in no way the exception but more of the rule for compositional practice in modern China—except for the degree of semantic overdetermination to be found in the model works.

Ligeti, Africa and Polyrhythm
Stephen Andrew Taylor

Since the 1980s György Ligeti has often spoken of his admiration for African music, even contributing the foreword for Simha Arom’s African Polyphony and Polyrhythm. This essay will trace some of the African connections in Ligeti’s music of the past twenty years, including the Piano Etudes, Piano Concerto, Violin Concerto and Nonsense Madrigals. These connections are not apparent to the casual listener; in fact, Ligeti seems to take pains to “cover his tracks,” to use abstract principles rather than surface details. Furthermore, Ligeti combines these African principles with many other influences and ideas to produce a music which is uniquely his. The article concludes by examining this “integration” of the “Other” (not only African music but all sorts of music and ideas) into Ligeti’s idiosyncratic style.

Traditional Musics and Composition in the Indian Context
Ashok D. Ranade

Discussion of composition, compositional processes and genre are intertwined. In the Indian context this discussion needs to take place in perspectives provided by six categories of cultural/musical expression namely, primitive, folk, religious, art, popular and fusion or confluence. Each category has its own specific thrusts in matters related to composition and genre. These six categories inevitably overlap because they are constituents of a larger living tradition. Thus India offers a comprehensive conceptual map that seeks to combine composite sensibility, cultural orientation and societal concerns with narrower auditory expression, aesthetic intention and individual inspiration in musical processes. Obviously such a map proves an open invitation to cross-cultural attempts at music creation.

Composers’ Statements



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