Nonwestern Music Colloquium

A new series of interdisciplinary conversations on music from around the world.
Sponsored by the Department of Music.
All talks take place at 4:30pm in 102 Woolworth Center, Princeton University.

This series aims at bringing together faculty and students across various disciplines to share their research and thoughts on nonwestern music, broadly defined. Each meeting, a member will present his/her work, in progress or finished, using the methodologies employed in his/her field. The goals of the colloquium are to provide a forum for discussion on a wide variety of musics; increase appreciation for the different methodologies and perspectives being applied to the study of music; and form a community of scholars who are exploring nonwestern music from diverse angles.

Schedule, Spring 2010

1 March
Thomas Hare, William Sauter LaPorte '28 Professor in Regional Studies, Professor of Comparative Literature
"Song, Text and Character in Noh Drama"

8 April
Peter Manuel, Professor of Music, City University of New York, Graduate Center
"East Indian Music in the West Indies: The Dynamics of a Music Diaspora"

One of the most dynamic and distinctive Caribbean music cultures is that cultivated by the roughly one million descendants of indentured workers immigrating from India in 1845-1917, primarily residing in Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, and secondary diaspora sites in New York and elsewhere.  Much of the music of this community, from pop chutney to tassa drumming, can be seen to derive ultimately from a stratum of 19th-century folk culture of North India’s Bhojpuri region.  Given the lack of contact with Bhojpuri India (and with related communities in Fiji and elsewhere) after 1917, the trajectory of Indo-Caribbean music culture affords a unique case study in diasporic dynamics.  A survey of neo-traditional Indo-Caribbean music, with reference to counterparts and sources in India and Fiji, provides examples of archaic marginal survivals, creolized genres, idiosyncratic local elaborations of transplanted musical traditions, and neo-traditional idioms that have flourished independently more in the diaspora (including Fiji) than in India.  Revealing comparisons and contrasts can be observed with other New World musical diasporas, such as that of the Yoruba.

19 April
Eric Hung, Associate Professor of Music History, Rider University
"Martial Arts Heroes and Their Ever-Changing Music"

Below please find readings or papers related to the upcoming presentations. Papers are posted from one week prior to the talk to one day after it. As some papers will not have been previously published, please refrain from copying or distributing them without obtaining permission from the author beforehand.

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