This article traces the origins and uses of the musical classifications "world music" and "world beat." The term "world beat" was first used by the musician and DJ Dan Del Santo in 1983 for his syncretic hybrids of American R&B, Afrobeat, and Latin popular styles. In contrast, the term "world music" was coined independently by at least three different groups: European jazz critics (ca. 1963), American ethnomusicologists (1965), and British record companies (1987). Applications range from the musical fusions between jazz and non-Western musics to a marketing category used to sell almost any music outside the Western mainstream.
In this paper I discuss ideas of collectors (Édouard-Zotique Massicotte and Marius Barbeau) vis-à-vis the song collection of Ernest Gagnon. The Chansons populaires repertoire is viewed in different ways by Gagnon's successors as historically significant and/or insignificant, and/or an exhaustive, representative "canon" of songs. Approaches to fieldwork, transcription, and the "selection" of repertoire in these collectors' works are also studied. The second part of the paper sets up a critical frame of reference for these strategies based on current literature (e.g., Philip Bohlman, Ian MacKay). Within this discussion, Gagnon's nineteenth-century ideology of "le peuple" is considered alongside the preservationist "cult of the folk" inspiration of his successors.
Classification systems are connected to a socio-cultural and musical canon. In her introduction to Musicology and Difference (1993), Ruth Solie made the point that classification systems in music involve, imply, and reinforce social hierarchies. What Solie had to say about the Western classification system applies equally well to India. This study supports the assumption, which I believe will hold true for other geographic regions, that there are universal implications to the term "classical," implications that include, but reach far beyond, the musical. Specific to the Indian situation, however, are the particular historic dynamics involved in the subsidiary category known as "light-classical" music.
Festivals enact agendas that are at times hegemonic, and at other times resistant. The Winnipeg Folk Festival and Folklorama, though otherwise disparate, have common concerns with both ethnicity and music but their multiculturalisms are fundamentally, structurally different. Folklorama reduces difference to make it palatable to mainstream culture; diversity gives way to standardization and sameness. In contrast, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, within circumscribed limits, opens a space for divergent expression. Folklorama is accessible financially, spatially, and temporally to people with a range of incomes. The Winnipeg Folk Festival requires more time and financial resources of its audiences.
This paper explores the importance of musical performance, its purpose and significance within Cambodian wedding ceremonies. While social and economic conditions of the early 1990s have contributed to the affordability of live wedding music in Phnom Penh, this paper suggests that the primary reason for the maintenance of live traditional wedding music is its role in enhancing the ritual and social efficacy of the ceremony, achieved through inspired and connected performances by singer-musicians as social-ritual actors.
This paper examines the process by which Black gospel music (performed according to aesthetic standards determined by African Americans) has become a site of meaning for both Black and White congregants at Edmonton Community Worship Hour, a church with an interracial and multi-ethnic ministry. Certain "transformations" (or "inversions") are at play in the conceptual systems of the people who attend; each individual has disparate, though intersecting, webs of meaning which become operational in a cross-cultural setting, relating to: the music itself, the method of worship, and the interpersonal relationships of the church's Black majority and White minority.
This paper is an examination of similarities between batá drumming and Ifá divination among the Afrocuban socio-religious group, Lukumí. Primarily addressing the use of diametrically opposed social actions within each of these practices, the paper maintains that this juxtaposition of opposites is a constituent characteristic of divining modes—be they interpretive or mediumistic—in effecting suprahuman communication. The paper purports the necessity to examine batá drumming as a divination system; thus, it argues the need for an expanded construct of divination that can readily include musical behaviours such as possession induction.
L’auteure décrit les transformations qu’a subie la tradition de danse chez les Dènès des Territoires du Nord-Ouest. Par ailleurs, certains aspects de cette tradition fournissent l’occasion d’examiner, en même temps, les sources sur lesquelles s’appuient ses recherches. Ainsi, alternant entre les documents anciens dits « historiques » et ceux plus récents émanant plus directement de la tradition orale, l’auteure en vient à réfléchir sur la nature même de cette discipline que l’on nomme ethnohistoire et sur ses applications. Finalement, elle conclut en offrant un bref aperçu d’un sens historique autochtone axé plus sur la notion d’espace territorial que sur celle du temps.
The musics of First Nations popular musicians "Wapistan" Lawrence Martin and the Innu group Kashtin are examined as polysemic signs whose meaning is mediated both socially and politically in the ongoing construction of First Nations socio-cultural identity. Musical meanings on individual, local, national, and international levels are dependent on the socio-political positioning of both the performers and the audience. Because socio-political positions are themselves fluid, political meanings are, as well, in constant flux. As a polysemic sign, First Nations popular music is a locus for these various meanings and a site for the construction and deconstruction of political discourse.
In keeping with a current movement in ethnomusicology and popular music studies concerned with musical constructions of space, time, and other, this paper presents a mini-ethnography of the Toronto-Cuban musicscape. Using as a point of departure Sara Cohen's statement that "We are all multiply placed with multiple identities but that does not necessarily mean that we are well-placed" (1995), the paper highlights some of the problems and discrepancies—i.e., the more negative, troublesome, and less coherent sides of placement—involved in the multiple and heterogeneous articulations of Cuban-ness within this locality.
Twentieth-century Chinese theorists and composers have developed a distinctively indigenous approach to harmony, based in part on earlier pentatonic traditions. Mixed as it is with conventions of diatonic and chromatic harmony imported from Europe and North America, the resulting "Chinese harmony" poses music-theoretical problems of coordinating diatonic and pentatonic scales, and tertial and quartal chords. A survey of Chinese harmony as expounded by Kang Ou shows these difficulties to be theoretically intractable within solely Chinese or Euro-American frameworks, but soluble through recent formulations in atonal—or more appropriately, non-tonal-theory, as advanced by such writers as John Clough.