Theorizing the Local

Theorizing the Local : Music, Practice, and Experience in South Asia and Beyond

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Over the past four decades, the spectacular, "globalized" aspects of cultural circulation have received the majority of scholarly - and consumer - attention, particularly in the study of South Asian music. Ethnomusicologists increasingly cast their studies in transnational terms, in part to take account of these emerging, globally mediated forms and their localized counterparts. As a result, a broad range of community-based and other locally-focused performance traditions in the regions of South Asia have remained relatively unexplored. markets have fostered the development of an aesthetic based The authors of Theorizing the Local provide a challenging and compelling counter-perspective to the overwhelming attention paid to the "globalized," arguing for the sustained value of comparative microstudies which are not concerned primarily with the flow of capital and neoliberal politics. What does it mean, they ask, for musical activities to be local in an increasingly interconnected world? What are the motivations for theoretical thought, and how are theoretical formulations instigated by the needs of performers, agents promoting regional identity, efforts to sustain or counter gender conventions, or desires to compete? To what extent can theoretical activity be localized to the very acts of making music, interacting, and composing? intriguing-often music sharing common melodic, harmonic, or Theorizing the Local offers unusual glimpses into rich musical worlds of south and west Asia, worlds which have never before been presented in a single volume. The authors cross the traditional borders of scholarship and region, exploring in unmatched detail a vast array of musical practices and significant ethnographic discoveries extending from Nepal to India, India to Sri Lanka, Pakistan to Iran. Enriched by audio and video tracks on the extensive companion website, Theorizing the Local represents an important and necessary addition to the study of South Asian musical traditions and a broader understanding of 21st century music of the more

Product details

  • Hardback | 344 pages
  • 160.02 x 233.68 x 10.16mm | 612.35g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 50 black and white half tone illustrations, 54 line illustrations
  • 0195331370
  • 9780195331370
  • 1,728,654

Review quote

These case studies offer a subtle range of ways to think about how societies systematize and represent their music. The volume is valuable for scholars interested in different models for theorizing globalization, gender, and space, and ethnomusicologists will appreciate the online sound and video examples. Covering a broad region that shares certain large-scale musical practices the volume will be helpful for those looking for microsituations that challenge many large-scale theories. Indeed, this book is as much about theorizing theory as it is about theorizing the local. * Gavin Douglas, American Ethnologist * This is the first anthology on South Asian music that covers a broad range of genres and contexts brought together under a timely theoretical framework... The chapters bring out the complex differences within local practices, patterns of interconnection across cultural boundaries, and histories of cross-cultural exchange... This is a unique set of essays framed by an important call to reinvest in the theoretical understandings of the local meanings of music and their global connections that South Asian area studies have to offer. * Zoe Sherinian, The Journal of Asian Studies 70/1 *show more

About Richard K. Wolf

Richard K. Wolf is Professor of Music at Harvard University. He is the author of the book The Black Cow's Footprint: Time, Space, and Music in the Lives of the Kotas of South India (Permanent Black, 2005 and University of Illinois Press, 2006), which was awarded the Edward Cameron Dimock, Jr. Prize in the Humanities, and Reciting Remembrance: Resonances of Popular Islam in South Asia (University of Illinois Press, forthcoming).show more

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