Western Music and Its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music

By Georgina Born; David Hesmondhalgh | Go to book overview

Introduction:
On Difference, Representation,
and Appropriation in Music
Georgina Born and David Hesmondhalgh

The music of Asia and India is to be admired because it has reached a stage of perfection , and it is this stage of perfection that interests me. But otherwise the music is dead.

PIERRE BOULEZ

The least interesting form of influence, to my mind, is that of imitating the sound of some non-Western music…. Instead of imitation, the influences of non-Western musical structures on the thinking of a Western composer is likely to produce something genuinely new.

STEVE REICH

I got interested in world music as a failed drummer; I was able to look for fresher rhythms. It just seemed fresh, wonderful, more live and spiritual than most pop.

PETER GABRIEL

The study of world musics moved out of what would nowadays be called an Orientalist stance only in the 1960s. Till then, few people seriously questioned the notion that beyond the Western classical tradition there were three kinds of music to be studied : Oriental, folk, and primitive…. “Oriental” of course referred to those Asian “high cultures” that had long-term, accessible internal histories and that could be “compared” with similar European systems. “Primitive” encompassed all the “preliterate ” peoples of the world, who had to rely on oral tradition for transmission and who had no highly professionalized “art musicians” in their midst. The “folk” were the internal primitives of Euro-America.

MARK SLOBIN

How should we conceive of difference in music? The kind of difference invoked when music, that quintessentially nonrepresentational medium, is employed (paradoxically) so as to represent, through musical figures, another music, another culture, an other? What is implied by attending to the boundaries of musical-aesthetic discourses inherent in this notion of representing or appropriating another music or culture in music? Or in the notion that a music's construction of its own identity may involve the exclusion or repudiation of another music? Or in the concept of hybridity as

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Western Music and Its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction - On Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music 1
  • Notes 47
  • Musical Belongings - Western Music and Its Low-Other 59
  • Notes 78
  • Race, Orientalism, and Distinction in the Wake of the “yellow Peril” 86
  • Notes 110
  • Bartók, the Gypsies, and Hybridity in Music 119
  • Notes 137
  • Modernism, Deception, and Musical Others: Los Angeles Circa 1940 143
  • Notes 160
  • Experimental Oriental - New Music and Other Others 163
  • Notes 183
  • Composing the Cantorate - Westernizing Europe's Other Within 187
  • Notes 207
  • East, West, and Arabesk 213
  • Notes 229
  • Scoring the Indian - Music in the Liberal Western 234
  • Notes 251
  • The Poetics and Politics of Pygmy Pop 254
  • Discography 275
  • Notes 276
  • International Times - Fusions, Exoticism, and Antiracism in Electronic Dance Music 280
  • Notes 301
  • The Discourse of World Music 305
  • Notes 320
  • Contributors 323
  • Index 327
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