restricted access Expressive Bodies / Controlling Impulses: The Dance Between Official Culture and Musical Resistance in Colonial Western Tanganyika

This article will demonstrate, via a series of seven music-related vignettes gathered from archival research and oral history, aspects of the historical relationship between resistance expressed via “musicking,” and “official culture” expressed via the use of force, spectacle, policy, and the rule of law. The relationship between power and musical resistance is treated as a dance: one partner in this dance is the “controlling mechanism” inherent and always implied in the expression of power and the entire spectrum of behavior that power encompasses. The other partner is the spectrum of resistive musical responses that includes everything from blatant protest via public performative “spectacle,” “hidden resistance,” accommodative resistance, and subtle and blatant complicity. The majority of the historical vignettes come from the Sukuma region of western Tanzania, taking place during the German and British colonial periods (from the late 1900s up to the early 1960s).