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

By Georgina Born; David Hesmondhalgh | Go to book overview

East, West, and Arabesk
Martin Stokes

A long-standing theme in Orientalism's postcolonial critique has been “the East's” participation in its own representation. 1 The issue evokes an unstable and potentially infinite regress. East looks at West looking at East; servant looks at master/mistress looking at servant; distinctive shapes and patterns fade into the murky green darkness that one glimpses peering into the gap between mirrors facing one another. Its theoretical interest for postcolonial scholarship derives, at first, from the attention it draws to semiotic implosion, the ultimate fate of all binary oppositions, and the subversion and eventual collapse of the forms of coercion and domination in which they participate. 2 But the echoing reverberations of East and West on Europe's southeastern fringe draw attention to other matters. Who and what is involved in deciding where (and when) Europe and its programmatic modernity begin and end? Who is included and who excluded? How are we to comprehend the turbulent dynamics of sentiment and violence that these acts of definition have generated over the last three decades? What genuinely democratic options remain for those who find themselves on the wrong side of them? Colonial categories of representation of self and other, dismantled and reassembled, expropriated and indigenized, continue to haunt these kind of questions. 3

This chapter presents an account of a Turkish popular musical genre known as arabesk. Arabesk has provided a particularly important space in which people in Turkey have considered, and continue to consider, their place in the world. They do so with reference to an underdeveloped internal Orient, the site of complex fantasies and fears on the part of the Turkish republican intelligentsia, and, currently, a ongoing war between the Turkish military and the predominantly Kurdish population of the area. Drawing on a long-standing ethnomusicological concern with matters of representation, 4

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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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