Reviews of and Reports on Meetings - Conferences - Congresses
28th June - 1st July 1998
July 20-24, 1998
Adelaide, SA/ Australia
August 25-28, 1998
|Past and Future
September 11-13, 1998
What it's Worth
Los Angeles, CA/ USA
October 6-8, 1998
October 16-18, 199
The Phenomenon of Singing
St. John’s NF, Canada
July 2 – 5, 1999
July 9-13, 1999
Objects, Practices, Approaches
June 23-24, 2000
August 17-19, 2000
Gateways to Creativity
August 27 to September 1, 2000
Association for the
Popular Music and National Culture
November 22-25, 2000
Tampere, FINLAND 28th June - 1st July 1998
The second international Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference (http://www.uta.fi/crossroads/) included more than 400 presentations and well over 600 people from 38 countries. In addition to keynote addresses, the conference was grouped into sessions under subject topics.
A central theme of keynote speakers was the nature and role of cultural theory in cultural studies. Two sides of the debate were represented by Johan Fornäs (Sweden) and Lawrence Grossberg (USA). Fornäs argued that mediation is a key concept in understanding modern culture; it allows us to understand cultural texts but at the same time illustrates the multidimensional and contradictory nature of modernity. Grossberg, as he has done before, rejected the idea of mediation and argued that there are many questions posed by modern culture apart from looking for ‘meanings’. The concepts of mediation and communication do not allow for the criticism of capitalism and new-liberalism. Further, 'emancipation' from the concepts of meaning and mediation allow for the examination of other dimensions of lived culture. Grossberg mentioned sound as an example: it cannot be reduced without ambiguity to the level of cultural text because its effects (emotional, bodily and political) are material and ineffable.
There were two ‘Contemporary Music and Cultural Studies’ sessions; ten papers in total selected from international submissions. The first session, subtitled ‘Practice, problems and possibilities’, began with Ian Whalley’s ‘Digital music technology and artistic response since 1980’. In this historical survey he concluded that until the traditional values of composition and performance are again made central to music making in the digital realm, artistic expression is limited.
This was follow by Alex Seago’s paper titled ‘The Music Industry and Academia in Britain: recent developments and their cultural implications’. The paper examined the economic, cultural and historical implications of recent initiatives; and the growing links between a British music industry struggling to cope with rapid globalisation and an academic sector faced with economic challenges to some of its most deeply cherished cultural principles.
Hasse Huss presented recent research under the title ‘Joe Frazier: heavyweight rhythms and the aesthetics of musical recycling’. He argued that one striking characteristic of contemporary Jamaican music making is the recycling of its 'rhythms', and the abundance of its versions. Rather than viewing this practice as mere surrender to market forces, it was regarded as a process which encouraged further creative and artistic endeavour.
The two final papers of the session were Pekka Suutari’s ‘Swinging identity: how the expatriate Finns construct their cultural identity in terms of dance music activities’, and Christopher Davis’ ‘Stark Raving Fad’. Suutari’s paper looked at his ongoing research among the Finns living in Gothenburg, Sweden. He noted how they have a relatively vital and dynamic live music scene which began to bloom as a result of the waves of migration from Finland to Sweden after World War Two, and especially in the 60's. Since then, a second generation has found this music captivating, particularly as a way of expressing and constructing their deviant bi-cultural identity. Davis’ paper broadly examined Rave Culture from its origins in the inner cities of the 1970s to its current popularity as a form of suburban escapism.
The second music session, chaired by Tarja Rautiainen, concentrated on the theme of ‘Place and Space’. It began with her paper ‘National or international pop - negotiating about boundaries in Finnish popular music in the 60's’, which looked behind the critics' discussion and focused on the construction of discourses about the popular culture of the period in Finland.
‘The social outsider trying to find an identity’ by Jan-Olav Glette followed, which considered the connection between Rock Music and literature through studying a novel by Nick Cave.
‘The new ethnicity of Finnish music videos’ by Antti- Ville Kärjä argued with reference to ‘The Look’, that this video was an example of the calculated marketing and production strategies of Finnish popular music, and these strategies have, in their turn, produced a new concept of Finnish ethnicity, which differs dramatically from the "traditional" one(s).
Roman Horak’s paper was ‘There is no such place as home: on the increasing popularity of 'folkloristic' music in the German-speaking countries’. He argued that the increasing consumption of this music reflects the longing for a world that is still predictable (the50s) and the return of the idea of Heimat/home' (the Alps) in times of change and growing economic, social and political insecurity.
The final paper by Yngvar Steinholt called ‘Russian New Wave Rock of the 1980s’ used a comparative text/musical analysis of Russian and western new-wave rock, to investigate the extent that "novaya volna" (a direct Russian translation of "new-wave"), represented a successful integration of an imported western style with Russian cultural tradition, or merely copied western trends.
The conference included over 70 other sessions, some of which contained papers that would have been suitable for the music sessions. Felicity Saunders’ ‘Music and cross cultural borrowing’ in the ‘Law and Boundaries’ session springs to mind, but due to time and space requirements we had to omit this.
Copies of all papers were available at the conference, with the paper sales desk doing a brisk trade.
A refreshing aspect of the conference was the opportunity to see how cultural studies perspectives’ are being applied across disciplines, pointing to areas of progress and uniqueness apart from music study. An interesting aspect of the music sessions was the application of the perspective beyond social science reductionism, to include it as one tool in a broader spectrum of approaches.
The next Crossroads conference will be held in Birmingham from 21st to 25th June, 2000. Information is available via the website above.
Music, Images and New Technologies
Tarragona (Spain), July 20-24, 1998
It was an excellent course, including a wide range of disciplines and nationalities in which took place people like Iain Chambers, Sara Cohen, Franco Fabbri, Patrizia Calefato, Giancarlo Siciliano, Michel Gaillot, Josep Martí, Noé Cornago, Joan-Elies Adell and Sílvia Martínez.
On the first day Sara Cohen (University of Liverpool) offered her conference "Popular Music and the City", in which she analysed the relationship between the city and the musical phenomenon, taking Liverpool as scenario. After that, Joan Elies Adell, co-organiser and co-ordinator of the course, talked about "Popular Musics, textual theories and hybridations" going through difficult concepts of the literature theory and cultural studies.
On the second day was the turn of Giancarlo Siciliano (Paris VIII) with "Grooving Yesterday and Tomorrow -ou comment repenser le désir dans dans l’Unpopular Pop". Siciliano made use of the music of Bjorg, John Lennon and James Taylor to introduce us to the popular musics, whose aim is the not mass-sales, which he calls "unpopular Pop". Later on the same day Patrizia Calefato (Universitá de Bari) brought us near to the world of fashion for young people with her conference "Mass moda: The role of fashion in the sense of music". In the afternoon Franco Fabbri presented his paper "Changing Genres: The electrification of some Mediterranean's musics" in which he talked over the concept of the musical genre and its importance in the process of classification of the repertory of the popular music. Pointing out the fact that such taxonomies have much to do with practices and not so much with theoretical or logical speculations, Fabbri recreated himself with the links and classifications, very often good enough to be included in a Encyclopaedia Borgiana, of the music supply offered by different sites of the Internet. The on-line purchasing possibilities were re-conducted towards phenomena which did not match in the given selling frames, like the "virtual world music", which was already used by Aria, 20 years before the label appeared. During his speech Fabbri described also the modernisation and electrification processes of some Mediterranean musical traditions, that he has been following for the last decades, and he finished claiming the importance of the role of the RAI music in the bloody conflict of Algeria.
The following day Noe Cornago (Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea) presented his conference "Global political economy of the popular music and resistance", by means of which it was proved the interdisciplinary frame in which this course was organised, offering a great overview of the different sociological theories of the urban subcultures. Specially remarkable was the intervention of Ian Chambers (IUO-Napoli), completed by videos of his own, whose mainstream was the forms of otherness and the consequences of the post-colonial thinking.
On the fourth day the session was opened by Michael Gaillot with his conference about "Techno: aesthetic laboratory and politic of the present". He talked about the somatic experiences of the art and centred in the general implications of Techno to explain the world in which we live, relating it -according to its uses and characteristics- to the aim of ideologies. Later on Josep Marti (CSIC-Barcelona) presented his paper "The popularity of the popular musics" a series of thoughts about the concept of popularity in the way it is used in the current musical scene. During his conference he analysed the ideological context in which the term "popular" is framed, and remarked the importance of the mass culture theory in order to understand the whole problematic.
Besides the conferences, round tables were organised every day to potentiate the debate, discussion and exchange of ideas between all the participants. Deep in knowledge, relaxed, though a little bit chaotic due to the mix of languages -Spanish, English, Italian, French and Catalan-, the course was a breeze of fresh air, surrounded by a university environment which is starting to discover the study of popular music.
Berlin/Germany + Spain
Musical Visions 98
Adelaide, SA/ Australia, August 25-28, 1998
One common cliché for justifying Popular Music studies as an academic practice, is that Popular Music is a cultural practice through which all aspects of a given society can be learnt. After three intensive days of the 6th National Australian/New Zealand IASPM this is not a cliché anymore. At least not for me. Being also the Inaugural Arnhem Land Performance conference - including performances by different Aboriginal musicians, most notably the group Soft Sands - and hosting a panel and papers by industry people, the conference proved to be an intensive course on the politics of identity in Australia today.
Through the prism of Popular Music studies, papers in the conference analysed, discussed, mentioned and made me aware of issues such as the specificity and nuances of Aboriginal identities; the problematics of multiculturalism, Asian migration and Australian ‘national’ identity; the complex relation to the UK; the dual and ambiguous position of being ‘Anglo’ yet ‘marginal’ in world culture; the competition between Sydney and Melbourne over metropolitan cosmopolitanism; and the differences between rural and urban Australia. Listening to these papers, my ignorance and superficial image of Australia were forever gone.
The relaxed and intimate atmosphere of the city of Adelaide, an excellent dinner complete with exciting performances by Soft Sands and the all-female group Fruit, and some terrific organisational work by Gerry Bloustien and her team, made this conference an event to remember beyond the discussion rooms.
Popular Music - Past and Future
Liverpool/ UK, September 11-13, 1998
The British Section of IASPM held its bi-annual conference at Liverpool University. The conference was almost a microcosm of the IASPM experience, globally, - if a comparison with the Kanazawa experience is anything to go by.
To deal with the evident strengths of the Conference then the generous complement of international delegates was truly impressive - Bulgaria, Australia, the USA, the Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, Israel and Japan were all represented. Consequently, the range and quality of the papers and plenary discussion was high. Further, a sense of the importance of issues of place (whether as 'scene' or 'community') emerged and this portends, I believe, the signalling of a potential 'direction' of importance for research into pop. Yet it is the issue of 'direction', or the lack of it, that hinted at some of the conference's weakness.
A IASPM conference scores highly over other academic conferences because research into pop is still striving for academic 'legitimacy', there is a sense of 'comradeship' at such events which derives both from a love of our subject matter and a fairly consistent experience of being 'embattled' within our respective establishments. Even so, IASPM has been around for almost 20 years and it tends to lack a sense of focus beyond the provision of an arena in which to discuss pop music. This is no bad thing, of course, but Simon Frith's unfortunate enforced absence meant that there was no 'keynote address' - and I feel not only that a conference with an extremely broad title but an organisation with an incredibly broad scope needed, and needs, some form of clearer focus.
This noted, there were still many fine contributions - notably, and entirely in personal terms, Caspar Melville on 'Breakbeat', Motti Regev on Israeli 'Trance Music', Liz Garnett on 'Barbershop', Kevin Dawe on Cretan music, Paul Hodkinson on 'Goth', Dai Griffiths on 'Canon formation' and Masahiro Yasuda on 'Celine Dion’ and the 'transnationality' of the music industry. Liverpool remains a warm and vibrant city and I really don’t care that ‘The Cavern’ isn’t exactly ‘the original’- but was that Baudrillard on bass?
IASPM UK 1998 was a low-key affair, and the better for it. After Simon Frith had to withdraw, there was no keynote speaker, and no plenaries with prominent 'names' and 'faces'. Whether this indicates a transitionary period in IASPM's progress or not, I can only conjecture. None of the Liverpool Institute people gave papers, but instead were on hand to chair sessions and provide support, as were a number of other UK members, including the stalwart Daves, Laing and Hesmondhalgh. Every session was a plenary, which made for a very diverse and egalitarian programme, a solid sense of community, and some surprising trans-global cross-resonances and echoes. 50 people attended, and there was a total of 25 papers plus a panel organised by Sheila Whitely on the important issue of copyright as it effects sampling and academic writing. Fittingly enough, the conference started with the Beatles - a Finnish team comprising Yrji Heinonen, Terhi Nurmejrvi and Jouni Koskimki outlined their Beatles 2000 project, which involves a musicological analysis of a host of songs. They were followed by Eithne Quinn's attempt to recuperate gangsta rap as something more than a morass of brutalism, sexism, homophobia and reverse racism, and Casper Melville's topography of diasporic flows in the London dance music scene. There was a see-sawing discussion between the UK and Australia after Andy Bennett's paper on British identity in Britpop and Graeme Smith's on Australian mythology in Australian country music, and Mark Duffett gave a highly entertaining account of the synaesthetic virtual Elvis concert in Memphis in 1997. Abigail Gilmore provided an industrial topography of music in Leicester, followed by Mark Percival on the alternative Glasgow music scene, and Motti Regev on Israeli trance, focusing on the globally popular duo Astral Projection. Stuart Goosman's paper on the importance of place and time in African-American doo-wop provided an interesting contrast with Liz Garnett's delineations of the rather stuffy traditions of barber shop quartets, complete with her own skilled vocal illustrations. Then it was off to the bar, where the outnumbered Australian delegates, striking against stereotypes, and fighting against jetlag, were easily put to shame by the superior alcoholic capacities of our UK counterparts.
Day two kicked off with Kevin Dawe's fascinating mapping of the revival of the traditional music of the lira and the lauto, stringed instruments played on the island of Crete, and Claire Levy's equally interesting study of the popular revival of ethno-pop or chalga in Bulgaria. Montreal's own Keir Keightley presented an incisive industrial analysis of what could be seen as early incarnations of world music resulting from the internationalisation of the music industry between 1946 and 1965. Brian Carrid, an American studying in Berlin, provided some illuminating verbal and filmic illustrations of German Schlager music, and Charles Leech looked at the recontextualisation of classical music as pop and vice versa. My rather odd paper on the songwriting of the 1997 Nobel prize-winning actor-playwright Dario Fo got a gratifyingly informed response, which contrasted with the rather blank reception it had had when I presented it in Sydney. Anna Szemere gave an engaging account of a concert hall recontextualisation of the oppositional, avant-garde Hungarian rock of the 1980s. Anti-Ville Karja and Dai Griffiths gave highly contrasting accounts of the formations of canons in popular music, and Dai's examination of pop-classical and black-white crossovers was rocked out with some fine examples. In the final session, Masahiro Yasuda looked at the importance of Celine Dion's Montreal 'roots' in her global marketing, and Paul Hodkinson gave us a trans-local itinerary of Goth culture. Last but by no means least,. Ales Opekar presented some of his work on Czech 'bigbit' or late 1950s and early 1960s rock and roll, as well as the radical philosophical 1970s rock aesthetic of the Plastic People of the Universe, complete with video illustrations from the 40-hour TV series on the history of Czech rock he has been involved in.
The Liverpool Institute of Popular Music is noted for its work on music, identity and locality, and a strong sense of diverse involvements with the importance of locality, place and geography in global music making practices emerged from this conference. A renewed emphasis on the local syncretic idiosyncrasies in musical geography seems to have become an important means of resistance against a perceived homogenisation in the global music industry, perhaps emphasised by the apparent sameness and repetition of Techno and dance music. The Liverpool conference provided a solid and all-inclusive forum in which to discuss issues of topography, globalisation and canonisation, and it was particularly stimulating to be able to hear and take part in informed discussion about popular music practices over such a wide range of different countries. After it was over, the IASPM international executive held a committee meeting and a conference planning session for the 1999 international conference in Sydney, where we approved more than 150 paper proposals from 30 different countries.
1997-99 IASPM Chair,
For What it's Worth:
Institutions & Popular Music/ Institutionalising Popular Music
Los Angeles, CA/ USA, October 6-8, 1998
While I was very impressed as a first-time presenter and participant with the entire range of material presented at the IASPM-US conference this past weekend, several papers stuck out in my recollection. Rob Bowman's very fine, quasi-Benjaminian reading of the dynamics of Stax and Motown record production was for me the highlight of the conference, as was Robert Fink's presentation. Roger Beebe's talk on the multiple codings of race in post-modern video raised some key questions, which he addressed quite well in the subsequent question and answer session. Finally, Lisa Soccio presented a paper on the complex politics of the post-Situationist avant-garde as represented in industrial music and culture that I thought was a model for conciseness, rigor, and clarity. I'm hoping that IASPM will see fit to publish some of those works; they helped convince me that I should strive to become a regular in the coming years.
One thing which struck me as a recurrent and important theme at the conference was how to understand and analyse the ideology of "authenticity" in popular music cultural formations. This theme was prevalent at the panels on "Representational Politics after Authenticity" and Subcultures," but it emerged in presentations and discussions in other panels as well. In some formations such as those around lounge and swing music and culture, there is an embrace of surface and artifice which would seem to situate them within the cultural logic of postmodernity. But elsewhere there is a persistent belief in a standard of authenticity wherein cultural productions are judged in terms of their expressivity, or lack thereof, of actual lived experience. There are also ideologies of authenticity which establish different criteria of authenticity from this cultural expression/lived experience (base/superstructure) model, as a paper on hip hop at the "Politics After Authenticity" panel suggested. All in all, it seems that authenticity is a persistent, troubling, and polysemous concept which it is important to analyse critically when one encounters it.
She's got it!
1st European rocksie! Symposium
sets about forming a European work team
Dortmund/ Germany, October 16-18, 1998
On Friday, 16th October, the first European symposium for the support of women in popular music, came to a close in Dortmund, Germany. Patroness of this event was the minister for women, youth, family and health, Mrs Birgit Fischer.
More than forty experts from the music scene, music- and media business, from music colleges and universities, from supporting associations, institutions and administrations took part in the meeting. Thus, the three-day-symposium achieved its truly European significance. The specialists from eleven European countries came together to discuss the specific situation in the respective countries and to compare these findings. Regarding pop cultural, economic, media political, and social aims, they found women's activities and possibilities in pop music still restricted. The European participants and lecturers recommended to develop a support network for European women in popular music that takes into consideration the diverse and special needs of the respective countries.
Ulrich Golinske opened the symposium on Wednesday as representative of minister Birgit Fischer. He emphasised the importance of the event which for the first time pushed European team work regarding this subject. Jaap van Beusekom, manager of the Dutch music information centre, presented a survey of successful female pop musicians in the Netherlands during the past twenty years. The Norwegian Active Female Culture Centre (AKKS) explained how they have been systematically educating and aiding female pop musicians for 15 years facing deficits in this field of cultural enterprise. Anca Turcasiu-Georgescu, Romanian TV-presenter, stressed the lack of acceptance for Romanian pop music in her home country and the lack of social security for women who are active in pop culture.
Mario Rossori, representing the Austrian music information centre stated that pop music is of vital economic importance. However, only a small percentage (below 10%) of Austrian musicians are female.
Claire Levy, a pop music researcher from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia, presented some historical aspects of the female emancipation process in Bulgaria and the way it reflected on the women music activities there. She pointed out the need of research projects on female stereotyped images in music.
The Italian musician Etta Scollo, portrayed Italy as a nation of women singers, but, because of social, political and clerical influences, professional women musicians are very few in other pop music areas.
The participants decided that they will, despite missing funds from public institutions, form a European work team. They make use of existing structures, as far as these can be found. Missing structures will be developed in order to form an operating European network. Furthermore, the participants will realise joint projects. One aim of this network is to act as advisor in the European bodies and committees concerned with the situation of women in Europe. According to the participants, the symposium has already been an important step into the direction of erecting a network. The delegates gave rocksie! Kultur Kooperative Ruhr the task to act as interface and contact point for the forthcoming European network.
The biennial KlangArt began in Osnabrueck in 1991. It continues to explore the influence of electronics on mainly avant-garde electronic and computer music composition and performance, and includes its influence on jazz, rock and other popular music forms. The event is organised by the Osnabrueck Music and Electronics Forum with the co-operation of the city of Osnabrueck and university. It usually has three sections: the KLANGART Festival, the KLANGART Congress on New Music Technology, and KLANGART MusiTec exhibition.
This year the Festival was spread throughout the city with live acts and installations from a range of electronic music practitioners. A central theme was that artists were acknowledged as developing new trends and perspectives in their respective idioms. Many had written new material specifically for the festival. The headline act was the Berlin band ‘Tangerine Dream’ who played a memorable concert to an enthusiastic crowd.
Among the various concerts and installations were two main commissioned works: ‘Zeitgeist’ performed over two days by Vladimir Ivanoff and Oswald Henke; and ‘The Ancestral Path’ by American artist Chico MacMurtie, whose electronically controlled robots with the addition of pneumatics moved in order to make music.
The KLANGART MusiTec section concentrated on innovations in electronic musical instruments through exhibitions and workshops. Notable this year was ‘The Bodycoder System’, a sensor suit for real-time control and manipulation for audio and visual material by Mark Bromwich and Dancer Julie Wilson.
The central theme of the 1999 KLANGART Congress, co-ordinated by the Department of Music and Media Technology at the university, was the interlocking of science, technique and art. It was subtitled ‘Global Village, Global Brain, Global Music’. The programme centred on forty invited guest speakers, including some of the best internationally recognised practitioners in the field. Overseas speakers included Chadabe, Emmerson, Finch, Truax, and the upcoming generation of Palmer, Rudi, and Lyon. Leading German based writers, composers and programmers included Enders, Noll, Essl and Zannos.
Given the calibre of presenters, it is difficult to single out papers for particular mention. While focusing almost exclusively on production, topics covered artificial intelligence in composition, new music software and hardware, global music aesthetics, historical reviews, and issues of music theory. The lectures will appear next year in a two-volume book in English and German.
Despite the diversity of papers, most presenters were digitally based composers and/or computer programmers associated with music, computer science or arts departments. Evident within this group was an increasing awareness of recent writing in music cognition, and cultural studies approaches to music. Additionally, younger practitioners appear far more informed and comfortable with the best aspects of the older academy approach to computer music and the innovations of popular music.
Historically, the focus of many computer music conferences has been on technological invention at the expense of aesthetic and social concerns, and the traditional Humanities canon of the synthesis of invention, aesthetics and pragmatic outcomes largely marginalized. It is refreshing that through journals such as ‘Leonardo’ and ‘Organised Sound’, and events such as KLANGART, that this synthesis and renewal is again being made possible within the academy.
details on Klangart can be found at:
Music Department. Waikato University, New Zealand
Sharing the Voices II:
The Phenomenon of Singing International
St. John’s NF, Canada, 2 – 5 July 1999
Under the most glorious skies beside the sea 50 scholars and musicians met in St. John’s, Newfoundland Canada during the first long week-end of July this year to participate in the second Sharing the Voices: The Phenomenon of Singing International Symposium.
Participants have enthusiastically told us that the best part of this symposium is the diversity which is brought together under the theme of singing. Our call for papers invites presentation on any of the following themes in singing: cultural, sociological, historical, pedagogical, compositional and artistic. Again for the second symposium each focus area was well represented.
The symposium is part of the larger cultural event in Newfoundland now recognized world-wide as a major international choral festival, Festival500, named in honor of the first festival having taken place on the 500th anniversary of Cabot’s landing in Newfoundland in 1497. Choirs from around the world come tp perform and experience choral workshops and clinics with choral leaders from around the world.
The International Symposium is an integral academic component of the Sharing the Voices: Festival 500 and occurs immediately prior to the Festival 500 itself so that our participants who wish can stay on for the rest of the festivities. The goal of the symposium to gather together international expertise, provide a forum for interdisciplinary academic discussion and the dissemination of research and generate further knowledge relating tot he phenomenon of singing.
In 1999 the organizing invited four plenary speakers. Johan Sunberg whose presentation was titled “Where is the sound and what controls it”. Our next invited speaker was Nancy Telfer whose talk was titled “Singers wearing lionskins”. Third on our list was Horace Boyer who presented a session on Gospel and African American music. Let’s just say it wasn’t a talk! Finally the committee invited world renowned Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer who gave an inspiring discussion of “Voice: the original instrument”.
In addition to the invited speakers, nearly 50 other scholars from Canada, the UK, the USA, South Africa, Australia, Sweden, Ireland, and Japan gathered to present juried selected papers under the headings of all of the focus areas. I’ll offer just a few titles to show the diversity of the presentations:
How can I keep from singing: A lifetime of sweet singing in the choir
Bi-musicality in Japanese folk song and Italian art song: A study of vocal timbre
A gestural language for the representation and communication of vocal harmony
Experience of self in the music of heavy metal singer Timmy Owens
Vocal timbre preference in children
RehearSING! from the podium
Birth of a website: Creation of the Diction Domain
Songs by women composers of the 18th and 19th Century
Improving Choral Diction
The Arts Songs of Harry Burleigh (lecture recital)
Singing in German: Moving beyond the diction class
“She’s like the Swallow”: Creating a cultural icon
It is difficult to express in any condensed format the enormous energy that was present at the symposium. The caliber of presentations was very high. The ability to move around among the various areas of expertise offers a unique way to place your own knowledge base in a perspective that is not easily done elsewhere. For music educators to confront singing technicians for an hour followed by folklorists the next and musicologists the next makes for a remarkable experience. Not all of our time was devoted to heady work at the university. Most everyone came along to the dinner theater and also went whale watching and most said they would come back for these events even without another symposium.
Brian A. Roberts
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Faculty of Education and member of the Symposium Organizing Committee
Sydney, Australia, July 13, 1999
by Will Straw
Graduate Program in Communications, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
for the conference "Changing Sounds: New Directions and Configurations in Popular Music"
I’m honored to be doing this, but a little worried, as well, since one of the predictable aspects of IASPM conferences is that many of those who have offered these closing remarks in the past have never been heard from again, at least as far as international IASPM conferences is concerned. The presence here of Shuhei Hosokawa is a reassuring exception to that.
I first went to an international IASPM conference in 1985, when I was on a panel that dealt with Live-Aid, a panel which took place simultaneous with that event itself. There are only six or seven of us here whose IASPM experience goes back that far, I believe, but the people I met then and have met since are among my most cherished friends. I would like to reiterate the feelings already expressed by some of you, particularly in the AGM yesterday: that one of IASPM’s great strengths is the sense of generosity, openness and respect which people display for each other.
It is curious tome, to be at a conference in which there are as many Finns or Canadians as there are people from the U.S. This is statistically anomalous, and full of clues about the relationship between IASPM international and some of the national branches. One of the effects of this under-representation of the U.S. is the ways in which certain things get talked about. The discussions of an African-Atlantic Diaspora, example, which ran through so many papers on hip-hip, often went unchallenged in a way which would have been unlikely at a US IASPM conference. This is a sign of the freedom which comes from being in a group which has no obvious center, no privileged place from which claims to speak with greater authority about certain phenomena may be made. It is also a sign of the respect we hold for each other, and for the diversity of musical forms as these have proliferated around the world.
Indeed, I’m struck by the ways in which this conference has been full of discussions of African-American-derived forms from outside the U.S.: hip-hop in so many countries, rock in Italy, Japan or Australia, and so on. From one perspective, we have been discussing margins while the center remains under-represented here. But I also think that we might perhaps stop thinking in these terms. Often, at IASPM events, people from a dozen countries will describe national struggles to achieve, for example, local versions of rock or hip-hop or jazz. (I talked a little bit about these issues in my own paper, yesterday.) We should, perhaps, began to look at the forest instead of the trees -- to note that this struggle was a broadly international shift, and that the magnitude of this effort across so many countries is at least as full of historical weight as those American processes of which we have long seen them as imitative. On their own, each local version of hip-hop or rock becomes an anecdotal instance of adaptation. Seen as local instances of a collective, international project, it might be claimed, this process of adaptation may be the most significant event in the history of these forms.
My main memory of this conference is of the large numbers of papers devoted to the musics of minorities: of Finns in Sweden, of Ethiopian Jews in Israel, of the Irish in the UK, of Moluccans in Holland, of the Montagnais in Quebec, and so on. It is work of this kind which nourishes my sense that popular music is the most useful example of all cultural forms in dealing with the present-day world. For a long time, music’s great interest was in the ways in which it inspired us to think about the local (while those who studied television or film were always drawn to higher orders of collectivity.) More recently, music has become interesting because it is, perhaps, the richest cultural example for studies of globalization. Music is global in the ways in which cassettes travel in the backpacks of bohemian travelers, in the ways it fits into the restaurants, bars and other small-time commercial activities of immigrants, in the role it plays in maintaining lines of affinity between dispersed populations. Music is more mobile than other forms, just as, for so long, we believed it was so much more rooted than other cultural forms.
It is, perhaps, because popular music studies are full of an endless variety of interesting examples these days that there has seemed to me to be a certain waning of debate at this conference, a waning of polemic. We’re all respectfully curious about the things we show each other, but this respect and this curiosity have somehow, I would suggest, weakened our ability to argue.
Over the years that I’ve been attending IASPM conferences, I’ve seen controversies -- and, even, deeply-rooted hostilities-- come and go. Claiming the value of pop versus that of rock was once a risky endeavor; the question of whether one could take dance music seriously likewise seemed up for grabs. The status of world music, of collaborative projects like those of Paul Simon, the ethical character of charity events, the political-economic status of small labels -- all of these were once hotly fought over. All of these polemics, in a way, have dissolved into a polite tolerance. More significantly, I think, all have been resolved through an acceptance of how complex everything is. We are too suspicious of romanticizing creativity or small-scale capitalism to unreservedly embrace the claims of alternative rock culture; we are too accommodating of the politics of irony or affective investment to dismiss pop as worthless; we conclude discussions of world music or charity events by acknowledging their messy complexity. We are, perhaps, too smart to return to a period in which we might, with conviction, argue about these things, but no new polemics have emerged to take their place More positively, I think, the state of popular music (and its study) is now one in which we confront an endless parade of musics whose rights to existence none of us wish to challenge.
Perhaps the most striking example of this waning of polemic has to do with the ways in which longstanding tensions between musicologists and sociology/cultural studies has evolved. These tensions were a key source of friction at IASPM meetings, but the project of a grand methodological synthesis which would unite us all was long on the agenda. That project can be found in the works of John Shepherd, Susan McLarey, Peter Wicke and so many others who worked to overcome the gulfs between two traditions.
What has disappeared, I think, is the sense that we will resolve this gulf if we just keep working a little harder on the model. Instead of ambitious attempts at methodological synthesis, we now have a plurality of approaches, in which formal and non-formal kinds of analysis are brought into play to respond to the exigencies of a given case study, not as building blocks in the elaboration of a great, unifying Method. Again, this new acceptance of methodological diversity is one of the things that makes IASPM so welcoming. Musicologists and media studies/cultural studies/sociology types were present at Sydney in proportions that have changed little over the last decade, but the sense of an uneasy truce had gone. The truce was easy.
It may be that IASPM has replicated that process by which longtime foes become friends simply through having shared so many battles. It may be that we are all responding to the complexity of a world in which certainties are less easily maintained, and in which respect is one of the covers behind which uncertainty hides. It may be that the multiplicity of channels through which we all talk about popular music (the internet, in particular) has diffused a sense of urgency, and that, as debates which once split the field are now taught in seminar courses as canonical collections of texts, they are now more easily lived-with. If polemic continues to wither within IASPM, the worse that can happen is that we become a show-and-tell organization, to which we bring examples of local curiosities, to show and explain to others.
At the party which followed the last day of the conference, a string of people came up to me to tell me, proudly, that they’d just been arguing with someone, or that heated debates had broken out over one topic or another. IASPM conferences are famous for their length, and for the toll which five days of sitting, drinking and social excitement will take on bodies, attention spans and patience. One way to ensure a renewed sense of polemic at IASPM might be extend the conferences to 10 or 11 days, to bring us all to the point at which we’ll argue about absolutely everything.
Objects, Practices, Approaches
Sofia, Bulgaria, 23 to 24-June-2000
The seminar aimed to outline and discuss with a larger locally engaged audience the flexible, dynamic contours of what?/why?how? is studied in the field of popular music studies which shape the core of one already legitimized academic discipline in the world of contemporary humanities. As a first IASPM gathering in Bulgaria, the seminar aimed as well to introduce the specific challenging spirit, penetrating the IASPM international community where the idea of achieving something more than the very realizing of deep scholar activities or personal academic careers is essential. For those, felt that spirit, it must be already clear that over the years (already twenty since its beginning in 1981) IASPM generated also a style, a way of behavior between colleagues and friends, which not only stimulates the international, interprofessional, and interdisciplinary communication, but stimulates as well the impulses of strong engagement, generosity, and mutuality in the dialogue. This, along with the hope that the knowledge in the field could play any positive role in the social change, is something which gives a special meaning of the intellectual efforts in building critical knowledge in terms of the music entering the everyday culture in one so multilayered and controversial way. As it has been suggested in the keynotes of Philip Tagg – one of the IASPM founders, – such a critical knowledge is not looking for suspiciously easy answers, frozen canons, centric concepts, or comfortable ad hoc directions. The humanitarian profile of thinking on popular music, seen also as a matter of specific democratic mentality, outlined some of the main discussion points during the seminar. Perhaps a bit out of date for the more experienced IASPM people, such a discussion was especially useful for the local scholar thinking, still very much under the influence of traditional elite euro-centric understandings in terms of values in music which quite often exclude as worthy-to-be-studied pop music developments of non-western kind.
Having the participation of one motley enough international company whose multidisciplinary staff presented specialists from nine countries, the Sofia gathering attempted to dwell on rather this profile. It made as well its own contribution in diversifying and decentralizing the scholar thinking in the field which is in general sensitive to the broad dialogue and to the exchange of opinions and views formulated in different geographical and cultural environments (see abstracts at: http://musicart.imbm.bas.bg/ispm_abstracts.htm#Abstracts). In this sense it must be pointed out that Sofia questioned and melt the ideas for “center” and “periphery” by making the IASPM cause attractive for colleagues from Turkey, Singapore, Israel, Austria, Germany, U.S., Canada, U.K., and certainly from Bulgaria.
IASPM – Bulgaria
This year the Popkomm, one of the biggest popular music events in Germany, was held in Cologne from August, 17th to August, 19th. In the twelve years of its existence the Popkomm has grown from a small trade show with less than 20 exhibitors and around 1.000 participants to an enormous size with this year’s 924 exhibitors and more than 17.000 participants. The Popkomm has become not only a German, but rather an international event. More than 50 % of the exhibitors come from abroad. Besides the trade show, the accompanying music festival, called Komm.Unity this year presented 541 acts to over 88.000 people.
A conference adds to trade show and music festival. This year it presented a wide variety of issues. One of the majors topics of the conference has been the possibilities and problems of digital music distribution. In his keynote speech, Dr. Thomas Middelhoff, the chairman of the executive board of Bertelsmann AG discussed the challenges and dangers of digitalisation for the music business. Later a session called “The Digital Routine” started with the discussion “Miss the boat and the market will have its revenge?”, bringing together representatives of the traditional music industry, digital distribution companies and management consultants. The talk showed a clear discrepancy of attitudes towards new models of music business between companies actively forcing new products and distribution canals and companies passively awaiting the trend to become majority. It also showed an unequivocal disagreement between the discussants about how new business models can be developed and dealt with. Also in the above mentioned session, Dr. Martin Schaefer, chairman of the German International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, gave a lecture about the legal situation in digital music distribution. Under the slogan “Everything legal and above board” he made clear that the music industry interprets the new digital way of music distribution as a forceful threat to intellectual property rights throughout the world. Referring to the German legal situation, he emphasised the legal priority of the rights of intellectual property owners, e.g. stating that private copies of records are not at all legally allowed – as it is often peddled – , but just tolerated. Naming several examples like Napster and others (and referring to them as „the dark side of the force“), he argued that these companies do indeed act on an illegal basis. He stated that the pseudo-revolutionary attitude of these companies towards property rights of others (that is often adopted by their consumers) is not at all reflected in their own behaviour when confronted with misuse of their property rights. Schaefer also reported on the status of European intellectual property rghts law.
Besides the session on “The Digital Routine” that went on with lectures and discussions on issues such as “Billing on the Net”, “The big e-commerce cake” or “Digitalisation – The death knell for promotional work?”, there has been a wide variety of other presentations. Another session e.g. dealt with the diverse relationships between film and music. There were interviews with directors and a discussion “in search of the ideal mix” between music and film. Some other events were gathered in the “fono day” and the EinsLive Forum, respectively. In these sessions, there have been e.g. workshops on the prerequisite of an artistic career in the music business, on trademarks and their protection and on the digital distribution of videoclips. There have also been discussions about if music journalism is a contradiction in terms, the future of German Hip Hop, the possibilities of female musicians or – among others – the future of A&R in times of the Internet. Diverse presentations, e.g. about the expectations of the DVD-business, an overall positioning of the music biz and some company-presentations complete a challenging variety of issues that filled the three tradeshow-days with interesting talks.
Meeting This year's "Special Lecture" was delivered by
C.P. Joseph, Editor of "Raga to Rock." As the title "The Present
Situation in Music Journalism in India" shows, the talk illustrated various
aspects found in recent music scenes in India. What interested us most was a
fact that there existed so many independent record companies in India and even
INOUE Takako, who organized this session and translated the lecture, sometimes
puzzled and amazed with the number such as 20,000,000. Symposium, "A Japanese Bandsman: From Military Band
to the Accompaniment for Songs" coordinated/chaired by ABE Kan'ichi, dealt
with the history of brass band in Japan since the Meiji era, about 150 years
ago. Panelists are HOSOKAWA Shuhei, TOYA Mamoru, TSUKAHARA Yasuko and TAKAZAWA
Tomomasa. Mr. TAKAZAWA is a composer/conductor and you can call him a
"Walking Dictionary" of Japanese brass band history. He taught several
leading composers both in classical and in popular music, for instance DAN Ikuma
and AKUTAGAWA Yasushi and so on. The highlight of this session was no doubt an
interview with TAkAZAWA the bandsman, while HOSOKWA depicted the worldwide
popularity of brassband and TSUKAHARA gave us interesting information on the
reception of Western music in Japan. TOYA suggested the trends and changes of
the use of brass instruments in Japanese popular music. The second day consisted of paper sessions and workshops: Paper Session (1): Paper Session (2): Work Shop (1): Work Shop (2): Professor IWAMURA Takuya of the Department of
International Communication chaired the organizing committee.
Japanese Association for the
Study of Popular Music (JASPM)
Shukutoku University, Saitama/Japan, November 18-19, 2000
1. SANADA Kazuhiro: "Return to 'J-pop' led by the female artists."
2. KIMOTO Rei'ichi: "'_Ba_'[place or situation] and authenticity: in the case of rap in Japanese."
3. MORITA Shin'ichi: "A characteristic style found in the guitar accompaniment played by the Japanese singers themselves."
4. SHIMIZU Terumasa: A musicological analysis of the title songs of Japanese TV animation during 1963-65."
1. MORI Hiroshi: "_Danny Boy_ as a traditional song."
2. WAJIMA Yusuke: "Formation and change of 'axe-music': 'locality' in globalization."
3. KATO Go: "Standards: foundation of text in jazz."
1. SHIBUKAWA Miki and FUNADA Mariko: "A mensural assessment tentatively applied to the similalities on musical pieces."
2. HIGUCHI Yoshiaki, YAMASHITA Yu'ichi and WATANABE Tasuku: "Constructing the system for recommending artists based on the analysis of tastes."
3. TSUCHIYA Tadayuki: "On 'verses change as singers change'."
1. KONISHI Junko: "History of Buninto: a note on the history and music in Ogasawara Islands."
2. HIYOSHI Akihiko: "A study on the events of popular music in Vietnamese language in Japan: focusing on the relation to the "Ethnic Media Event" for the Vietnamese in Japan."
3. TOMITA Akira: "Pan in Japan: reception and popularlization of the steel pan in Japan."
"Distribution of Music in Electronic Society: Present and the Future."
Coordinator/Chair: SUZUKI Takashi
Panelists: AZAMI Toshio, MASUI Motoo and ADACHI Jun
"Asian Pop and the Japanese: Reception, Representation and Image."
Coordinator/Chair: INOUE Takako
Panelists: FUKUOKA Shota, KUMADA Susumu and SEKIYA Motoko
This year's "Special Lecture" was delivered by C.P. Joseph, Editor of "Raga to Rock." As the title "The Present Situation in Music Journalism in India" shows, the talk illustrated various aspects found in recent music scenes in India. What interested us most was a fact that there existed so many independent record companies in India and even INOUE Takako, who organized this session and translated the lecture, sometimes puzzled and amazed with the number such as 20,000,000.
Symposium, "A Japanese Bandsman: From Military Band to the Accompaniment for Songs" coordinated/chaired by ABE Kan'ichi, dealt with the history of brass band in Japan since the Meiji era, about 150 years ago. Panelists are HOSOKAWA Shuhei, TOYA Mamoru, TSUKAHARA Yasuko and TAKAZAWA Tomomasa. Mr. TAKAZAWA is a composer/conductor and you can call him a "Walking Dictionary" of Japanese brass band history. He taught several leading composers both in classical and in popular music, for instance DAN Ikuma and AKUTAGAWA Yasushi and so on. The highlight of this session was no doubt an interview with TAkAZAWA the bandsman, while HOSOKWA depicted the worldwide popularity of brassband and TSUKAHARA gave us interesting information on the reception of Western music in Japan. TOYA suggested the trends and changes of the use of brass instruments in Japanese popular music.
The second day consisted of paper sessions and workshops:
Paper Session (1):
Paper Session (2):
Work Shop (1):
Work Shop (2):
Professor IWAMURA Takuya of the Department of International Communication chaired the organizing committee.
International Computer Music Association
Gateways to Creativity
Berlin/Germany, 27 August to 1 September 2000
The International Computer Music Association's annual conference, the largest and most significant academic event in the field of music technology, was held in Berlin from 27 August to 1 September 2000.Advertised as 'Gateways to Creativity', the intended focus was 'the creative use of technological developments in the arts and the emergence of a new generation of human-oriented technologies'. Around 600 new compositions and 380 papers were submitted for consideration to be included in the event. The outcome was twelve concerts featuring 70 new composition, over 130 paper presentations published in the proceedings, panel discussions, a number of installations, poster presentations, and commissioned compositions. A conference audio CD included ten of the new works.
size of this annual event reflects the breadth and depth of research and
creative work taking place in the international computer music community. The
programme began with two days of pre-conference workshops/tutorials on topics as
diverse as 'Cognition and Perception Issues in Computer Music' to 'Spatialization
Techniques with Multi-channel Audio'. Three
paper presentation sessions ran through each of the five days, in addition to
two concerts each day. Papers concentrated aesthetics, compositions systems,
synthesis and signal processing/spacialization, and interactive systems/live
performance. Many new technical developments were presented, including Scanned
Synthesis, a hybrid of wavetable and physical modelling synthesis, by Max
Mathew, Robert Shaw and Bill Verpank. Extensions to established systems such as
SuperCollider, MAX, and Open Music were also notable.
that are rarely rendered due to the logistics of staging, such as John Cage's HPSCHD,
were played through around fifty speakers in the
Berlin Philharmonie Foyer. The opportunity to hear a good range of new
experimental pieces, like composer Ludiger Brümmer and video artist
Silke Brämer's work for loudspeaker and video projection using software that
interrelated the material, provided extensive sonic interest.
most commissioned works for the event, Elizabeth Hoffman's work 'Mannhattan
Breakdown' for clarinet, cello, percussion, tape and live electronics lived up
to all expectations. Beautifully crafted, it included improvised structures
based on predetermined elements. The free temporal interrelation between live
performance and tape added to the sense of immediacy.
the conference ran an extensive Off-ICMC included more commercial music
approaches to composition engaged with 'non-academic audiences', diversifying
the range of artistic expression offered at the conference. It may have been
interesting to see more of the innovative artistic adaptations of commercially
available products presented as part of the main event, as there were many
the central themes of the conference were well explored, and well reflected in
the range of compositions in both the main and Off-ICMC events. However, the
division between academic and popular approaches to composition seems to remain. In
the Keynote address, Joel Chadabe (Founder of the Electronic Music Foundation)
outlined the need to develop instruments and processes of music that are
intellect based rather than body dependent: arguing that the body view inherent
in traditional music making hinders musical progress. The argument and it
practical consequences remains to be fully explored. An aesthetics panel
addressed some of these issues, but the session needed a wider cross-section of
people to do it justice.
the sheer diversity and quality of material presented over the week ensured that
the event remains the most rewarding in the field. Further details on the event
can be found at http://www.icmc2000.org/
Music Department. Waikato University, New Zealand
Following the 1996 conference on Balkan Popular Music, Slovenian IASPM devoted its second international conference to a not less broad theme giving this time a space for discussion on the relation between the “national” and the “popular” in music, seen basically in the context of recent social, political, and cultural changes happening after the fall of the Berlin Wall and also with regard to the end of the “big narratives”. Reflecting the burden of all difficult processes, effected the former Yugoslavia, such a theme has been obviously chosen not by chance but, first of all, as a hot necessity to be spoken out more on the important notions distinguishing the national from the nationalistic strategies, performed in culture, and the complex way in which music may be employed to serve different causes. Even based on different materials, this aspect was largely discussed from a variety of geographical points of view. The topics, discussed during the conference, included as well specific notions of the Balkans, Europe, and the world, without missing ad hoc identity issues, giving new arguments in re-thinking the “national” as a rather imaginary and changeable category than as a frozen concept. Another aspect, interestingly discussed, embraced the notion of multiculturalism, subcultures and ethnicity, enriched by broad reflections on hybridity and syncretism (instead of synthetism), meant to define, for instance, post-industrial phenomena like the one called Hip-Hop Nation, and in more general terms, the new modernity.
Emphasizing but not restricted to these specific thematic aspects, the 24 paper-presenters from eight countries, including Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Poland, Germany, Australia, UK and the US, debated in a stimulating way and made a challenging contribution to the subject which undoubtedly keeps being one of the most largely discussed issues in contemporary humanities.
IASPM – Bulgaria
Alternative, constructive and multi-layered as the conference site were also more than 20 presentations, which conveyed a convincing impression of the range of Popular Music today and the role of national culture that appears in many aspects in this music.
Jože Vogrinc opened the conference with a definition of nation, national culture and Popular Music. In doing so, he also dealt with possible political contents of these terms. The special status of female singers in the Balkans was analysed by Svetlana Slapšak. She mentioned the so-called „Bad girls“ as well as the blind women singers, who had a unique status among a patriarchal society. Alexei Monroe dedicated his presentation to the work of „Laibach“ and asked for national identity and symbolism in connection with the New Slovene Art, exemplified by two albums of the 80ies. Peter Stankovič demonstrated that there is more than war and ethnic cleansing within former Yugoslavia: Even here, Rock and Roll functions as an element that combines cultures and supports peace. As an example, he presented the Slovenian rock music of the 90ies. Nikolai Jeffs presented another musical aspect of former Yugoslavia with the CD-Sampler „Rock Under Siege“, which was released in the mid 90ies in Sarajevo and which was an example of a new kind of multi-culturalism. Especially in this region, this is meant to be a political and sociological challenge. Claire Levy explained the conflict of two streams within Bulgarian Popular Music, the modern national elite versus the musicians that are more traditionally oriented or tend to play world music, as ethno-bands like the „Kou-Kou Band“. Svanibor Pettan showed a video-presentation, which impressively illustrated the recent situation and the performance techniques of gypsy musicians from Kosovo. Here, the variable applications of traditional acoustical and modern electro-acoustical instruments became clear as well.
The Croatian Popular Music of the second half of the 90ies was analysed by Branko Kostelnik. He emphasized the new Croatian “Folk Dance” as typical, which combines eastern rhythms and modern western production techniques. Jasmina Milojević concentrated on the new Serbian Popular Music and its struggle between the influence of western culture and national identity. During the 90ies, this led, among others, to a newly composed folk music, which found its climax in the so-called „Turbo-Folk“, a stylistic variant of western “Dance”. Thus, it combines western and eastern influences as well.
Possibilities of a Pan-European Popular Music and its market were analysed by David Laing. He asked for national and transnational trends, which might occur in the charts as well as in the popularity of artists like Bocelli and Ramazotti. Caroline Kovtun led to the Czech Popular Music of the early 90ies and their connection with political topics of these times. As typical examples, she presented the rock band „Už jsme doma“ and the singer / songwriter „Karel Kryl“. Wojciech Siwak gave an insight into the contemporary Popular Music of Poland and explained its use of the term „national“, which ranges, in this case, from rock music movements that are clearly influenced by fascist ideas to expressions of international hip hop.
Welsh Popular Music in the Anglo-American market was the topic of Sarah Hill. She described its development since the 60ies and analysed the language problem and the target group of national and international audiences. The question whether the bands should sing in English or Welsh has been solved for some mainstream bands only, which prefer English. Is „White Power Music“ a national culture or a global phenomenon? This question was asked by Erika Funk-Hennigs and she explained connections between Ska, Skinheads, Oi-Music, Neo-Nazism and the different musical presentations with regard to the contents in the German and international scene. Aaron Mulvany looked for the position of Folk-Metal in a global popular culture. As this special genre is distributed nearly solely on disks, posters and in the Internet, a live-scene or local scene does not and cannot exist. The genre blends mythic lyrics with traditional melodies and heavy metal interpretation. Ulrich Dieter Einbrodt concentrated on the German „Krautrock“ of the 70ies and analysed different sub genres with their individual characteristics and typical common aspects. The development of the German „Space Music“, the Romantic Music, and the fantasy element were exemplified by bands like „Tangerine Dream“, „Novalis“ and „Eloy“. As elements of “Krautrock” are detectable even in modern productions, this genre reaches an important and influential status within the history of Popular Music. The Russian Rock Music was presented by Mark Yoffe, who demonstrated why this music differs from western rock music. Aspects of carnival, humour, and politics play an important ideological role and contribute to its special shape. Nichola Wood analysed the role of music in Scottish National Culture and its peculiarities that become apparent in the individual use of melody, instrumentation, and language. In addition, certain variants of traditional and contemporary Celtic music are included.
Tony Mitchell referred to the musical contributions of the closing festivity of the Olympic Games 2000 in Sydney. Here, the unclear political and social status of the aborigines and the way the Australian government treats them was demonstrated by the performances of bands like „Midnight Oil“ and „Yothu Yindi“, the latter being the most famous aborigine band. Steven Curtis led over to Asia with his presentation of the situation of two Nepalese bands, „Sur Sudha“ and „Namastate“, and their position in the international music market. Marjan Ogrinc tried to cover a wide range of elements from a special version of the Band-Aid-Song with new lyrics over the music business of record companies to hearing physiology and the phenomenon of Rock and Roll.
In a lively performance, Ičo Vidmar gave explanations to the Slovenian Popular Music of the 80ies, exemplified by the bands „Srb“ and „Begnagrad“ and their folk-oriented „Narodna“-style. Rajko Muršič gave insights into the problems of local Popular Music and its dependence on local, urban, suburban, and even global influences. In addition, there are also strong dependences on national and international aspects that might shape local music scenes.Concerts of many bands from different popular genres, ranging from folk over ethno to punk, completed the national as well as the global and multi-cultural aspect of Popular Music vividly.
Institute for Musicology and Music Education
University of Giessen
last update: 17-May-2001
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