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Welcome to my weblog!
The place where I will regularly post thoughts and comments on any aspect of music.
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(As you see, the blog is in DInglish - Dutch International English - but comments in Dutch, German, French, Spanish and Frisian are welcome.)

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Beautiful, the Ugly, The Good … ánd the Bad

I promised to write a blog on “dialogic research” and “advocacy” in ethnomusicology. So there we go.
In ethnomusicology, the main concern seems of old to be the music of “the other” – music of non-western cultures rather than western, folk music rather than classical music. Understanding the other, and taking care of the world’s diversity of “others”, are main points on the agenda of ethnomusicology.
With understanding the other comes a connected move: trying to acknowledge that other music may seem strange but is in reality beautiful – as long as you know how to listen. And with taking care of the diversity the world’s musics also comes a connected move: a tendency to protect other musics from abuse, or even extinction. Hence the attention for advocacy (in favor of endangered musics) and of dialogue (with the musickers of the endangered participants, in order to make advocacy a shared – and not a paternalistic-colonial – undertaking).

Friday, July 15, 2011

"What's your music?"

I write this while I am attending a big conference. Several hundreds (!) of ethnomusicologists from all over the world are meeting in Newfoundland, Canada, these days, to present their research to each other, to meet and have fun.
I like ethnomusicologists. I am one myself, but that is not the reason. The reason is that most of them are passionately in love with music. That many of them are not passionately in love with their own  music, but with someone else’s music which has become theirs after some time, makes them even more adorable.

Monday, July 4, 2011

What is it with music in schools

Oh, the endless amazement music leads to.
Last week, on Thursdays, I had organized a workshop on Indian music for our students. Teachers were Ludwig Pesch and Yoga Manickam Yogeswaran (for both of them, see www.aiume.org). For 3 hours they entertained us on high level – explaining how to fill an 8-beat cycle with fixed patterns of 1 to 7 semi-quavers, adding up to a total of 32 semi-quavers; “some percussion players are living computers”, Ludwig said. More important for me were the raga-improvisations Yoga sang – and especially how he sat there, just doing what he had to do, I imagined. And me being kind of part of that.