Musical Mixtures—Fusion of Styles and Styles of Fusion

Benjamin Brinner

in Playing across a Divide

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780195395945
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199852666 | DOI:
Musical Mixtures—Fusion of Styles and Styles of Fusion

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The chapter title indicates both the centrality of this activity and the diverse ways in which musicians have undertaken it, while foregrounding a problematic label. Fusion denotes the combination of disparate elements into a whole, but for some musicians it connotes shallowness due to the popularity of the term in world music circles and the perceived superficiality of much of the music advertised as fusion. The term hybrid is an unattractive substitute in the eyes of musicians whom I have queried and its biological connotations are problematic for the analyst, particularly due to links to racialized discourses that assume certain “essences” to be mixed through interbreeding. The four sections of this chapter address stylistic mixture from different perspectives. The first two discuss the methods of combination and the sources from which elements are drawn.

Keywords: fusion; hybrid; essences; combination methods; sources

Chapter.  24037 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ethnomusicology

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