Studies on a Global History of Music: A Balzan Musicology Project (Hardback) book cover

Studies on a Global History of Music

A Balzan Musicology Project

Edited by Reinhard Strohm

© 2018 – Routledge

512 pages | 89 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138058835
pub: 2018-03-22
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The idea of a global history of music may be traced back to the Enlightenment, and today, the question of a conceptual framework for a history of music that pays due attention to global relationships in music is often raised. But how might a historical interpretation of those relationships proceed? How should it position, or justify, itself? What would 'Western music' look like in an account of music history that aspires to be truly global?

The studies presented in this volume aim to promote post-European historical thinking. They are based on the idea that a global history of music cannot be one single, hegemonic history. They rather explore the paradigms and terminologies that might describe a history of many different voices. The chapters address historical practices and interpretations of music in different parts of the world, from Japan to Argentina and from Mexico to India. Many of these narratives are about relations between these cultures and the Western tradition; several also consider socio-political and historical circumstances that have affected music in the various regions. The book addresses aspects that Western musical historiography has tended to neglect even when looking at its own culture: performance, dance, nostalgia, topicality, enlightenment, the relationships between traditional, classical and pop musics, and the regards croisés between European, Asian, or Latin American interpretations of each other’s musical traditions.

These studies have been derived from the Balzan Musicology Project Towards a Global History of Music (2013-16), which was funded by the International Balzan Foundation through the award of the Balzan Prize in Musicology to the editor, and designed by music historians and ethnomusicologists together. A global history of music may never be written in its entirety, but will rather be realised through interaction, practice and discussion, in all parts of the world.

Table of Contents

1 Martin Stokes Notes and Queries on ‘Global Music History’


2 David R. M. Irving Ancient Greeks, World Music and Early Modern Constructions of Western European Identity

3 Estelle Joubert Analytical Encounters: Global Music Criticism and Enlightenment Ethnomusicology

4 Philip V. Bohlman Musical Thought in the Global Enlightenments

East Asia

5 Jason Stoessel Voice and Song in Early Encounters between Latins, Mongols and Persians, c.1250–c.1350

6 Max Peter Baumann The ‘Transformation of the World’: Silk Road Musics, Cross-Cultural Approaches and Contemporary Metaphors

7 Rinko Fujita Music Education in Modern Japanese Society

8 Oliver Seibt The (Musical) Imaginarium of Konishi Yasuharu, or How to Make Western Music Japanese

9 Jin-Ah Kim 'European Music’ Outside Europe? Musical Entangling and Intercrossing in the Case of Korea's Modern History

10 Keith Howard Korean Music: Definitions and Practices

11 Nicola Spakowski East Asia in a Global Historical Perspective – Approaches and Challenges

South and South-East Asia

12 Henry Spiller Heavy Metal Bamboo: How Archaic Bamboo Instruments Became Modern in Bandung, Indonesia

13 Matthew Pritchard Cultural Autonomy and the ‘Indian Exception’: Debating the Aesthetics of Indian Classical Music in Early 20th-Century Calcutta

14 Suddhaseel Sen Orientalism and Beyond: Tagore, Foulds and Cross-Cultural Exchanges between Indian and Western Musicians


15 Leonardo J. Waisman Why did Indians Sing? The Appropriation of European Musical Practices by South-American Natives in the Jesuit reducciones

16 Tomasz Jeż The Global Mission in the Music of Jesuit Drama

17 Melanie Plesch From ‘Abandoned Huts’ to ‘Maps of the Pampas’: The Topos of the Huella and the Representation of Landscape in Argentine Art Music

18 Julio Mendívil ‘Minor Mode and the Andes’: The Pentatonic Scale as Topic and the Musical Representation of Peru

19 Roberto Kolb-Neuhaus ‘The Rending Call of the Poor and Forsaken Street Crier’: The Political and Expressive Dimension of a Topic in Silvestre Revueltas’s Early Works

20 Juan Francisco Sans Passion and Disappointment: Waltz and Danza Topics in a Venezuelan Musical Nationalism Masterpiece

21 Tina K. Ramnarine Festivals, Violins and Global Music Histories: Examples from the Caribbean and Canada

About the Editor

Reinhard Strohm studied musicology, violin, Latin and Romance languages in Munich, Pisa, Milan and Berlin, and obtained his Ph. D. in 1971 at the TU Berlin. In 1970-1982 he collaborated on a critical edition of the works of Richard Wagner. He taught at King’s College London, UK, in 1975-1983 and 1990-1996, was Professor of Musicology at Yale University, USA, in 1983-1990, and Heather Professor of Music at Oxford University, UK, in 1996-2007. Visiting professorships were held at Chicago, Rome, Vienna, Budapest, Zurich, and Hamburg. Awards include the Dent Medal (RMA) in 1977, and the Balzan Prize (for Musicology) in 2012. Strohm’s research focuses on European music c.1400-c.1800, the history of opera, historiography, and postmodern criticism of musicology.

About the Series

SOAS Musicology Series

SOAS Musicology Series is today one of the world’s leading series in the discipline of ethnomusicology. Our core mission is to produce high-quality, ethnographically rich studies of music-making in the world’s diverse musical cultures. We publish monographs and edited volumes that explore musical repertories and performance practice, critical issues in ethnomusicology, sound studies, historical and analytical approaches to music across the globe. We recognize the value of applied, interdisciplinary and collaborative research, and our authors draw on current approaches in musicology and anthropology, psychology, media and gender studies. We welcome monographs that investigate global contemporary, classical and popular musics, the effects of digital mediation and transnational flows.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / Ethnomusicology