Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-mrcq8 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-03-01T19:01:33.037Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Chapter Two - The Interplay of Anthropology and Music: Nineteenth-Century Travel Literature

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 March 2023

Bennett Zon
Affiliation:
Durham University
Get access

Summary

There is documentation in English of the music and musical activities of non- Western peoples from as early as the middle of the sixteenth century. Although most pre-nineteenth-century material is recorded by expatriates, travelers, and explorers, rather than by professional musicians, it nonetheless provides an extremely rich and historically important record of non-Western music. From the seventeenth century there are numerous examples of musical commentaries translated into English, as well as those written originally in English, such as Lionel Wafer’s A New Voyage and Description of the Isthmus of America (1699). Eighteenth-century descriptions are plentiful in both English and English translations, and by the end of that century, as a result of expanding Anglo-imperial interests, musical references became increasingly common in expatriate journals, and travel and explorational literature across the non-Western world. As we have seen in previous chapters, Indian music was a particularly prominent feature in late-century documentation, but the geographical range was expansive and covered almost all areas of the globe. Early descriptions, from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, tend to be articulated in very brief, often disparate, commentaries, sometimes alongside music, as in Amédée Frézier’s A Voyage to the South-Sea, and along the Coasts of Chili and Peru (1717), Jean-Baptiste Du Halde’s A Description of the Empire of China and Chinese-Tartary (1738–41), J. F. G. De La Pérouse’s A Voyage Round the World in the Years 1785, 1786, 1787, and 1788 (1799), and John Barrow’s Travels in China (1806). Later documentation is often fuller and more generous, both in descriptive and notational content, and occasionally music is singled out for more special expansive investigation, as in T. Edward Bowdich’s Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee (1819). Popular literature of this type continued to provide “raw” music-anthropological material well into the early part of the twentieth century. As anthropology emerged from the armchair, however, into a field-active, independent, and more fully evolved scientific discipline, the reliability of such descriptions was inevitably questioned institutionally, and the genre ceased to be the natural resource it had been over the previous decade.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
First published in: 2023

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×