Island Musics

Island Musics

Island Musics

Island Musics

Excerpt

This book serves as a unique introduction to the rich and exciting musical world we live in. It is certainly not the only introductory text to the musics of the world but it is, to date, probably the only introduction composed of a series of case studies about island music cultures drawn from around the world and not just from one specific region. In this context, there are numerous discussions of space, place, community, nationalism, solidarity, territoriality, diaspora, globalization, hybridity, ethnicity, history, memory, nostalgia and how these are constructed and played out in and as music, song and dance. The island sounds discussed in this book display a huge range of musical styles, made up of a unique variety of musical elements and combinations, providing for the expression of islander identities, issues and concerns. There are, of course, ideological orientations carried in song and talk about music; for example, a positive ethos of self-sufficiency is displayed among most of the communities featured whereas, negatively, an ethos of xenophobic insularity may also be present. What is the effect of island life then upon the musical imagination of a community? What 'focuses and stimulates the imagination in a place that you can draw a line around' (Blake, 2000: 80)? What role does the musical imagination play in the construction and interpretation of islander life, and in the expression of islander sentiments and sensibilities?

Drawing primarily on perspectives offered by ethnomusicological, anthropological and sociological research, this book is mostly about the ways in which song and instrumental music are socially constructed and made meaningful within island societies. We write about the ways in which space and place are evoked in rhythm and rhyme, how islands are symbolically re-constructed in sound and image, and discuss how and why musicians and others set about creating music of the islands. This book adds to our knowledge of music around the world but it also reveals more about the significance of music, song, dance, ritual and myth in . . .

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