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  • Cited by 14
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
December 2013
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Book description

Scholars have long known that world music was not merely the globalized product of modern media, but rather that it connected religions, cultures, languages and nations throughout world history. The chapters in this History take readers to foundational historical moments – in Europe, Oceania, China, India, the Muslim world, North and South America – in search of the connections provided by a truly world music. Historically, world music emerged from ritual and religion, labor and life-cycles, which occupy chapters on Native American musicians, religious practices in India and Indonesia, and nationalism in Argentina and Portugal. The contributors critically examine music in cultural encounter and conflict, and as the critical core of scientific theories from the Arabic Middle Ages through the Enlightenment to postmodernism. Overall, the book contains the histories of the music of diverse cultures, which increasingly become the folk, popular and classical music of our own era.


'With The Cambridge History of World Music, Philip Bohlman and company have confronted the hazards of this complex enterprise head on while at the same time inspiring the kinds of curiosity, wonder, and delight that ensure its vitality as a historical subject. World music needs history, ethnomusicology needs world music, and world music and ethnomusicology alike need this book. Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.'

Michael B. Bakan Source: Ethnomusicology

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  • 7 - Encounter music in Oceania: cross-cultural musical exchange in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century voyage accounts
    pp 183-201
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    There are traditions of scholarship and thought that take the concept of a world-music history as a point of departure. This chapter examines early scholarly literature, central issues such as processes in which twentieth-century works that set out to narrate and comments on the history of world music. It explores the role that the world-music concept, viewed historically, has played in the recent history of music scholarship. For the people whose culture turned into Western civilization, music was developed inexorably to greater complexity until it reached various kinds of climax in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The chapter summarizes some of the landmarks among the early works that may claim in some way to be histories of world music. A few scholars, however, devoted themselves substantially to the notion that there is a world history of music in which Western music plays an important role.
  • 8 - Music, history, and the sacred in South Asia
    pp 202-222
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    This chapter uses the notion of techno cultures to suggest some broad perspectives on the historical development of popular music, especially outside the mainstream West, and to look at a set of distinctive music subcultures based around specific uses of extant technologies. New forms of bourgeois song and social dance emerge, together with commercialized versions of traditional musics, all representing forms of bourgeois synthesis. Film culture that centered around Bollywood constitutes a quintessential culture of mechanical reproduction. Indian film culture and film-music culture, which continue to flourish vigorously today, reflect the persistence of the mass-culture mode of production in specific regional centers even in the new millennium. Digital technology had a dramatically democratizing effect on standards and forms of musicianship. The effects of digital technology on modes of dissemination and exchange have been equally dramatic, although similarly concentrated in wealthier and modernized societies or pockets of societies.
  • 9 - Music, Minas, and the Golden Atlantic
    pp 223-252
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    Western music was involved in developments outside the colonial possessions of the enlarged Europe that came to define itself as the West. The most fundamental aspect of musical modernization lies in the influence of Western aesthetic values. The Western pop basis of world music, the real common practice style of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, provides a structure that is as ubiquitous and universal as Western science and engineering, while local elements merely add exotic color. Both indigenous and Spanish musics were performed on ceremonial occasions in the missions of sixteenth-century Florida, while European visitors frequently commented on the general excellence of Indian musicians, singers and instrumentalists. The twentieth-century Africanization of popular music represents a massive countercurrent to the established hegemonies of global capitalism. Western classical music is a form of musical utopia and can therefore act as world music.
  • 10 - Johann Gottfried Herder and the global moment of world-music history
    pp 255-276
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    This chapter focuses on some of the leading ideas about music articulated in Arabic and Persian writings between the second and eighth centuries of Islam. The engagement of Muslim philosophers with their readings of Plato and Aristotle provides a strong impetus for reflection on the nature of music and poetry. Arabic writings on music followed three principal lines of inquiry: music as a branch of mathematics, music making as a topic of belles-lettres and the forms of listening that are legitimate from various religious perspectives. Conceptions of the nature and potential value of musical knowledge are formed in relation to ideas about the nature and relative value of other areas of learning and other spiritual disciplines. Throughout the Muslim world, orally transmitted lore has continually found its way into treatises with scientific pretensions, thereby gaining an aura of authority that makes it all the more useful in oral pedagogy.
  • 11 - Tartini the Indian: perspectives on world music in the Enlightenment
    pp 277-297
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    The history of music in the Indian subcontinent is extremely long, and the territory of India so vast, that any representation of it must be understood as the result of draconian choices. Historians and other writers on India have ruminated about the possible nexus between Indian music and the music of other ancient civilizations. One significant example of global encounter that resulted from the dissemination of Buddhism resides in a musical instrument: the ovoid-shaped lute that we know as the oud/pipa/biwa, which originated at the far western end of the Silk Road. Music theory, as developed by Indo-Aryans within a Brahmanic intellectual tradition, became the theory of ancient India, so widespread that it is assumed that musicians and theorists throughout the subcontinent shared one system. In South India, music continued to flourish under the patronage of the Maratha kings in late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Thanjavur, the principal seat of Karnatak music before Madras gained that reputation.
  • 12 - The music of non-Western nations and the evolution of British ethnomusicology
    pp 298-318
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    This chapter explores how First Nations, Inuit, and Métis music history is beginning to be reconceptualized, by recognizing localized ways of history within indigenous communities. As scholars of Native American song and dance cultures rethink historical paradigms, there is growing acceptance that different cultural views of history should be regarded as complementary. The chapter provides some examples to emphasize that themes of regaining balance or renewing beliefs are more central to Native American music history than exact chronology. The focus of Native American historical work on renewal and revitalization seems to resonate with Aboriginal performance traditions as ways of remembering. In many Native American communities, ceremony may involve the enactment of a creation story or classic narrative. Historians such as L. G. Moses, have argued about the change in valence that Native American music and dance was given in the course of the twentieth century.
  • 13 - Korean music before and after the West
    pp 321-351
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    It is argued that a historically informed approach to the study of Oceania facilitates the understanding of how Oceanian and European cultures were both respectively and mutually shaped by centuries of cross-cultural contact and exchange. Recent scholarship on Oceania's networks of knowledge and culture obviates the need to reconstruct forgotten forms of musical practice or trace strands of musical dissemination and appropriation. Encounter music marked a new aural occurrence in the soundscapes of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century voyagers and islanders, and it impacted the social relations and power dynamics of the transacting parties. Music and dance constituted an important aspect of Oceanian voyaging: sea songs, fiddle tunes, and hornpipes provided exercise and recreation for European sailors and officers during long passages at sea. Western assumptions about the social and public character of music are confounded by notions of ownership, restricted audience, and secrecy prevalent in parts of Oceania.
  • 14 - Folk music in Eastern Europe
    pp 352-370
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    This chapter investigates the complex interplay between music, history, and the sacred, by examining broad historical constructions of religion and music in South Asia. In the most recent past, nationalism and communalism have been the agents that justify particular histories of religious music. These are the same histories that tend to stabilize Hindu practices into Hinduism and that oversimplify or ignore much of the creative ideological borrowing that has taken place between Hinduism, its relatives and South Asian Islamic and Christian practices. The chapter explores the performance of sacred music which also addresses ideas about history in addition to repertories and genres being drawn into histories. It examines the relationship of sacred music in South Asian history, and history in South Asian sacred music and reveals how this relationship has been mobilized by large-scale narratives and how musical performance provides opportunities to revise the narratives.
  • 15 - A story with(out) Gauchos: folk music in the building of the Argentine nation
    pp 371-394
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    This chapter focuses on one central period within the flows across the Atlantic in the pursuit of wealth: the eighteenth-century Brazilian gold rush in the region that came to be known as Minas Gerais, or general mines. The complex hybrid cultural expressions forged within and through the transcontinental flows provide a unique insight into the complexities of the Golden Atlantic and the ways in which music has been deployed to engage with multiple encounters in contexts of intricate power relations. Music was part of everyday life in the mines. According to José Maria Neves, the colonial repertory in Minas employed Baroque, pre-Classical, and Classical elements. In many parts of Minas, a number of different dance associations turn out for the festival of the rosary, and each represents a distinct community, which is enacted through the performance of a distinct and identifiable musical genre.

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