W027
Sounding ethnography: mutuality and diversity in musical life

Convenors:
Carsten Wergin (Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg)
Kristin McGee (University of Groningen)
Location:
535
Start time:
29 August, 2008 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

The workshop contemplates challenges to the ethnography of diversity and mutuality in music. Focus is on ethnographic methods and the performance sites in which people create and experience imagined worlds, and in which music makes their modalities of experience accessible for ethnographic enquiry.

Long abstract:

The present workshop contemplates particular challenges to the ethnography of diversity and mutuality in music, especially in contexts where music emerges as a vital force in social life. At a general level, mutuality is a condition of music-making and experience. Mutuality is central to the performance of music at concerts, weddings and other social genres with collective presentations of music such as radio and film. Music also provides particular avenues through which individuals and communities express and negotiate diversity, both in the very act of performance and the wider discursive space around it. Keil's concept of 'participatory discrepancy' and Gilroy's diasporic cultural space of the Black Atlantic are cases in point. The workshop specifically looks at the challenges to ethnography at particular performance sites. Presenters are encouraged to talk about how various groups of people create and experience imagined worlds in particular venues and geographical contexts (cities, villages, islands, mountains, deserts, etc). The live music club, for example, is a key site of urban culture, a home to articulations of community and belonging, but also class distinction and difference within a commercial space. Mutual sentiments in relation to music have produced new experiences of diversity around categories such as Jazz, HipHop, Reggae, S├ęga and Roma music, which can be analysed in relation to various forms of circulation, transculturation, creolisation and hybridisation.