Vocal Music and Contemporary Identities : Unlimited Voices in East Asia and the West book cover
1st Edition

Vocal Music and Contemporary Identities
Unlimited Voices in East Asia and the West

ISBN 9780415502245
Published December 18, 2012 by Routledge
340 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Looking at musical globalization and vocal music, this collection of essays studies the complex relationship between the human voice and cultural identity in 20th- and 21st-century music in both East Asian and Western music. The authors approach musical meaning in specific case studies against the background of general trends of cultural globalization and the construction/deconstruction of identity produced by human (and artificial) voices. The essays proceed from different angles, notably sociocultural and historical contexts, philosophical and literary aesthetics, vocal technique, analysis of vocal microstructures, text/phonetics-music-relationships, historical vocal sources or models for contemporary art and pop music, and areas of conflict between vocalization, "ethnicity," and cultural identity. They pinpoint crucial topical features that have shaped identity-discourses in art and popular musical situations since the1950s, with a special focus on the past two decades. The volume thus offers a unique compilation of texts on the human voice in a period of heightened cultural globalization by utilizing systematic methodological research and firsthand accounts on compositional practice by current Asian and Western authors.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Voice, Identities, and Reflexive Globalization in Contemporary Music Practices Christian Utz and Frederick Lau  Part 1: Global Perspectives on the Voice  2. Presence and Ethicity of the Voice Dieter Mersch  3. The Rediscovery of Presence: Intercultural Passages through Vocal Spaces between Speech and Song Christian Utz  4. Imagining the Other’s Voice: On Composing across Vocal Traditions Sandeep Bhagwati  Part 2: Voices of/in Art Music  5. Voice, Culture, and Ethnicity in Contemporary Chinese Compositions Frederick Lau  6. Narrative, Voice, and Reality in the Operas by Hosokawa Toshio and Mochizuki Misato Fuyuko Fukunaka  7. Reconsidering Traditional Vocal Practices in Contemporary Korean Music Heekyung Lee  8. Escaped from Paradise? Construction of Identity and Elements of Ritual in Vocal Works by Helmut Lachenmann and Giacinto Scelsi Jörn Peter Hiekel  9. The Notation and Use of the Voice in Non-Semantic Contexts: Phonetic Organization in the Vocal Music of Dieter Schnebel, Brian Ferneyhough, and Georges Aperghis Erin Gee  Part 3: Voices of/in Popular Music and Media Art  10. A "Digital Opera" at the Boundaries of Transnationalism: Human and Synthesized Voices in Zuni Icosahedron’s The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci Samson Young  11. "Voices of the Mainstream:"Red Songs and Revolutionary Identities in the People’s Republic of China Andreas Steen  12. Asagi’s Voice: Learning How to Desire with Japanese visual-kei Oliver Seibt  13. Voicing Body, Voicing Seoul: Vocalization, Body, and Ethnicity in Korean Popular Music Michael Fuhr  14. Afterword: Giving Voice to Difference Nicholas Cook

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Christian Utz is Professor of music theory and music analysis at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria.

Frederick Lau is a Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.


"The authors of these essays are to be commended in refusing to sign on to an uncritically optimistic view of transnationalism, and for keeping an eye out for the hidden power structures embedded in vocal production. As individual essays on related themes surrounding vocal music, this is an excellent read." - Josh Stenberg, Nanjing University, China