The Musical Fabric of Globalization. Hegemony, Creativity and Change in Transcultural Settings, 1880s to 1930s

The Musical Fabric of Globalization. Hegemony, Creativity and Change in Transcultural Settings, 1880s to 1930s

Dr. Claudius Torp, Universität Kassel, in co-operation with Prof. Dr. Winfried Speitkamp, Präsident der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Fakultät Kunst und Gestaltung, Geschwister-Scholl-Straße 7, Van-de-Velde-Bau, Raum HP05
Vom - Bis
27.06.2019 - 29.06.2019
Torp, Claudius

The conference brings together key aspects of musical globalization that are commonly associated with separate research perspectives and academic disciplines. To investigate questions of symbolic domination, creative innovation, and cultural change simultaneously is to provide a way of understanding the global flows and intercultural encounters triggered by music in the age of empire. When it comes to gaining insights into such overarching historiographical topics as colonialism, cosmopolitanism, modernity, and migration, several transcultural contexts have become especially significant and will provide the analytic framework of our collaborative thinking.

The development of global circuits of music consumption was accompanied by a dissemination of western instruments, live performance, and recorded music. At the same time, such globalized consumption thrived on the commercialization of cultural difference. The contact zones of the cosmopolitan city, on the one hand, and of settler colonial societies, on the other, exhibited an equally ambivalent mixture of musical cross-fertilization and rigid racialized divides. We do need to attend to the music cultures of different bourgeois elites, because they differed in their degree of Europeanization, historicism, and nationalism in unpredictable ways. The collection and invention of various folk musics is another area in which cultural vectors from ethnomusicology to anticolonial movements and the music industry converged. Finally, the emergence of transcultural compositional techniques, which has to be distinguished from earlier forms of exoticism, is a phenomenon that involved a great deal of translation work and should be more closely examined both within European art music and beyond.

The contributions at this conference do not intend to reify the global as an ontological factor in musical life. Instead, they aim at greater historical specificity in the study of globalization. Thus, by identifying areas in which major transformations in cultural expression took place between the 1880s and the 1930s, we will ask about how these developments may be attributed to transcultural interactions and under what conditions the politics of cultural globalization and localization played out in each case.

The history of music in a globalized world—which has recently attracted increasing attention—critically engages notions that originated in the paradigm of western music history such as the emergence of the high/low distinction and the transition from participatory to presentational and commodified forms of music. In line with the perspectives of a cultural study of music (which highlights the historical underpinnings and repercussions of musical life), the conference also inquires into the making and breaking of western art music’s cultural hegemony and explores the possibilities for creative appropriations across music cultures, whether such cultures be socially or ethnically defined.


Thursday, June 27, 2019
13.30-14.00 Welcome Address and Introduction
Winfried Speitkamp (President of the Bauhaus-Universität) and Claudius Torp (Kassel)

14.00-14.30 Musical Prelude: “Transcultural Dialogues” with Mukasa Wafula (Kenya) and Mariano González (Brasil)

14.30-16.00 Panel I: Global circuits of music consumption

Friedemann Pestel (Freiburg)
Rising Demand(s) and Global Careers: German-speaking musicians in Latin-American migrant societies in the 1920s

Derek B. Scott (Leeds)
Cosmopolitanism and the global circuits of popular music

Coffee Break

16.30-18.00 Panel II: The cosmopolitan city

Harry Liebersohn (Urbana-Champaign)
Collecting the world: Scholars, exhibitions, and global instruments in Kensington, London, 1869-1910

Cristina Magaldi (Towson, MD)
The cabaret and the city

19.30 Dinner

Friday, June 28, 2019
9.00-10.30 Panel III: The musical life of settler colonialism

Jann Pasler (San Diego, CA)
The musical fields of practice and identity under French colonialism: A new paradigm

Claudius Torp (Kassel)
Examinations and Eisteddfodau: The piano in White South African musical culture

Coffee Break

11.00-12.30 Panel IV: The rise of a global bourgeoisie

Tobias Janz (Bonn)
Bourgeois society and music. Transnational perspectives

Takenaka Toru (Tokyo)
Primacy of gesture: How did modern Japanese assimilate Western musical emotions?

12.30-14.00 Lunch

14.00-16.15 Panel V: Folk revivalism: political, intellectual, commercial

Anna Maria Busse Berger (Davis, CA)
Bruno Gutmann, the Chagga, and Jugendbewegung

Lars Christian Koch (Berlin)
Adhunik Gan – neo-traditional songs and Bengali identity: “Folk invention” in a late colonial urban setting

Olavo Alén Rodríguez (Havana)
Cuban son music in a global age: Birth of a transcultural aesthetic

Coffee Break

18.45 Evening Lecture
Philip V. Bohlman (Chicago)
Musica in tempore belli – Musical topographies of global encounter

20.30 Dinner

Saturday, June 29, 2019
9.00-10.30 Panel VI: The emergence of a transcultural avantgarde

Tiago de Oliveira Pinto (Weimar)
Transculturation in the music history of Latin America: The case of Brazilian Samba

Christian Utz (Graz)
"Sounds that send chills up my spine". Modernist readings of Japanese and Indian traditional music between 1910 and 1935

Coffee Break

11.00-13.00 Roundtable discussion
with Markus Böggemann (Kassel),
Fanny Gribenski (Berlin),
Martin Rempe (Freiburg)


Claudius Torp

Fachbereich 05 Gesellschaftswissenschaften
Untere Königstr. 71, 34109 Kassel

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