Chapter

Bilateral Negotiations in Bimusicality

Anne K. Rasmussen

in Performing Ethnomusicology

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780520238749
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937178 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520238749.003.0013
Bilateral Negotiations in Bimusicality

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This chapter provides an overview of insiders, outsiders, and the real version in Middle Eastern music performance. It claims that learning about music through lessons and informal apprenticeships as well as performing have been important components of the author's fieldwork experience. Politically, the mere presence of such an ensemble from the Middle East is a powerful and affirmative statement for multiculturalism. The William and Mary Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, for example, play ambassadorial roles on several levels. Following the leader or the musician who has the most convincing idea at the moment is one of the aesthetic trademarks of music, for example, in Arab music, one has to follow the singer or, alternatively, the strongest musician. Whether or not one is born and bred in a musical tradition, one's musicality is the result of a patchwork of experiences. A culturally specific sense of musicality may certainly be developed through the process of being native to that culture, but musicians' musicalities are also collections of encounters and choices.

Keywords: Middle Eastern music; informal apprenticeships; musicality; Arab music; musical tradition

Chapter.  6563 words. 

Subjects: Ethnomusicology

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