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Music and Globalization

Critical Encounters

Edited by Bob W. White

Publication Year: 2011

"World music" emerged as a commercial and musical category in the 1980s, but in some sense music has always been global. Through the metaphor of encounters, Music and Globalization explores the dynamics that enable or hinder cross-cultural communication through music. In the stories told by the contributors, we meet well-known players such as David Byrne, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Ry Cooder, Fela Kuti, and Gilberto Gil, but also lesser-known characters such as the Senegalese Afro-Cuban singer Laba Sosseh and Raramuri fiddle players from northwest Mexico. This collection demonstrates that careful historical and ethnographic analysis of global music can show us how globalization operates and what, if anything, we as consumers have to do with it.

Published by: Indiana University Press

Series: Tracking Globalization

Front Matter

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

This volume grows out of the work of Critical World, a virtual research laboratory that uses ethnographic research to explore the relationship between popular culture and globalization. A Web-based experiment in project-oriented teaching and research (www.criticalworld.net), Critical World provides resources for critical . . .

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Introduction: Rethinking Globalization through Music

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pp. 1-14

World music—the umbrella category under which various types of traditional and non-Western music are produced for Western consumption—has been waiting to happen for a long time. At least since the invention of new technologies of reproduction at the turn of the twentieth century and the realization soon after . . .

Part 1. Structured Encounters

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p. 15-15

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1. The Musical Heritage of Slavery

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pp. 17-39

Most forms of music described today as “popular” or “mass” music (Martin 2006) are derived, in one way or another, from practices that appeared within societies organized around slavery in territories conquered by Europeans: from the French odes of Georges Brassens to the Chinese rock of Cui Jan, from Japanese reggae . . .

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2. My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

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pp. 40-51

Since the early 1980s I have been tracking “world music,” a term I do not use transparently, as a benign generic gloss for human musical diversity. My interest is specifically in “world music” as a label of industrial origin that refers to an amalgamated global marketplace of sounds as ethnic commodities. Once more idiosyncratically . . .

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3. A Place in the World

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pp. 52-74

Theories of globalization frequently speak of the importance of the intersection and interaction of local and global factors. In his perceptive paper, “The Global, the Local and the Public Sphere,” Colin Sparks identified three “general classes of . . .

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4. Musicality and Environmentalism in the Rediscovery of Eldorado

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pp. 75-89

In 1989 Raoni,1 the chief of the Txukahamãe Indians in Brazil, and Sting, the British rock superstar, traveled to Europe, where they were hosted by government officials, as an initiative to raise funds for the protection of the tropical rainforest and support the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon. Following this effort, Raoni participated in concerts and related events in Brazil and overseas, not only . . .

Part 2. Mediated Encounters

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p. 91-91

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5. “Beautiful Blue”: Rarámuri Violin Music in a Cross-Border Space

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pp. 93-110

Although my doctoral research took place in northern Mexico, one of the more illustrative encounters occurred across the border, in El Paso, Texas. I was returning home during a break between grants when a few of my informants happened to be performing in a museum on the outskirts of the city. They came from the . . .

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6. World Music Producers and the Cuban Frontier

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pp. 111-134

In the 1990s Cuban music experienced international visibility not seen since its prerevolutionary heyday in the 1940s and 1950s. This time, however, what triumphed in the world’s major cities was not the latest dance craze emanating from the island but the traditional music of yesteryear—with a contemporary bent. . . .

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7. Trovador of the Black Atlantic

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pp. 135-156

The phrase “world music” originally arose in the 1980s as a marketing tool to clear a space for non-Western music in “First World” record/CD stores. Over time it entered academic discourse as a monolithic label for global cultural flows. According to this model, new communication technologies such as records and radios . . .

Part 3. Imagined Encounters

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p. 157-157

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8. Slave Ship on the Infosea

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pp. 159-171

This chapter brings together three figures—the slave ship, the blood-borne virus, and digital information—and contemplates the ways in which they contaminate one another in the work and legacy of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti and Gilberto Gil. Contamination and its variants, contagion and infection, are risky and yet often . . .

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9. World Music Today

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pp. 172-188

A good deal has happened in the realm of “world music” since my book Global Pop: World Music, World Markets appeared in 1997. Although I have written much about world music since then, I have had few opportunities to step back and consider the long view of world music in the marketplace. My aim in this chapter is . . .

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10. The Promise of World Music

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pp. 189-217

One question has yet to be asked regarding the relatively recent phenomenon of world music: What can music teach us about other cultures? If we take Youssou N’dour’s singsong text at face value, the answer would be “not very much,” since we have known for some time that “everybody has a culture.” In this chapter I . . .


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pp. 219-220


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pp. 221-233


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pp. 235-236

E-ISBN-13: 9780253005410
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253357120

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2011

Series Title: Tracking Globalization