Modernity, Complex Societies, and the Alphorn

Modernity, Complex Societies, and the Alphorn

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This easily accessible book offers a pioneering study about the alphorn, its music, and its performance, based on extensive field research in Switzerland and other countries. It also offers new insights about the technique of filmmaking for musical ethnography. Being the first book on the alphorn in English, it combines originality and inspiration with solid, careful, and complete research.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 330 pages
  • 166.9 x 231.9 x 28.2mm | 716.67g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739167979
  • 9780739167977

Table of contents

Chapter 1: The Alphorn, Alphorn Performance and Alphorn Music: A National Symbol of Switzerland?
Chapter 2: On Video and Film in Ethnomusicology
Chapter 3: The Migration of the Alphorn Phenomenon Three Case Studies: Allgau, the Netherlands and Japan
Appendix A: Motivation of Selected Shots
Appendix B: Field Research
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Review quote

Retracing the life and times of the Alphorn, from the Alps of Switzerland and Germany to the Netherlands and Japan, this fascinating book shows how often "traditional" instruments grow and expand their reach beyond their land of origin. It has been studied for years how people migrate and carry along their bag of musical memories, and it has been largely understood how regional repertoires themselves are often capable of disengaging from their native surroundings and become transnational. Charlotte Vignau helps us further understand how single musical instruments, even those that originally support a strong national and regional identity, are potential migrants; and may find a second lease of life in the hands of people who are culturally remote from their original habitat. Indeed, through the Alphorn, Charlotte Vignau offers a wide angle picture of how rich and complex the world of music really is today. This is a book for anyone interested in the musics of the world, and in the processes of culture contact and exchange. -- Marcello Sorce Keller, Institut fur Musikwissenschaft, Universitat Bern Dr. Vignau takes what might seem to be an instrumental curiosity and weaves around it a riveting web of inquiries about such things as nationalism, film, language, romanticism, ethnography and ultimately, the beauty of sound. A tour de force! -- Michael Beckerman, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music, New York University This study combines ethnomusicological cultural analysis and interpretation with emphases on history and comparison taken from cultural musicology. The result is a systematic and convincing narrative, explicated rationales, respectful and fruitful relationship with interlocutors, and as objective as possible conclusions, which may be, perhaps, recognized as an exemplary offspring of how ethnomusicology is done in the EU context. * International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music *
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About Charlotte Vignau

Charlotte Vignau lectured at the University of Bamberg, Germany and is most recently particularly interested in the various ways music, (video) film and representation intersect.
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