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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And you might check my other blog, Evert Listens to Dylan, if you would be interested what listening to the complete recordings of Bob Dylan does with (or to, or for) me.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Defining World Music

The term “world music” has always been hotly debated, even contested. People struggle with a definition. They often refer to the fact that it is a term of slightly dubious origin – it was invented in the commercial sector, as a label in record shops for the growing amount of…. yes, of what? Of world music cd’s needing a fitting label.
But actually defining world music is not difficult at all. Let me propose you my definition. World music is the kind of music that, due to statements on the possibility to identify its sound as connected to a certain specific geographic origin, offers itself as being referred to as exotic and sold as such in some part of the western(ized) world.
Yes, some work has to be done on a clearer phrasing, I agree. But let me point out some of the major points in my definition:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On Coding an Interview

I am looking at a pile of interviews on my desk. The phase of conducting interviews is nearly over, I have to start analyzing them. After some postponing (a grant proposal had to be written, a book had to be read) I finally take a deep breath and start.
I take the first part of the first interview, which I transcribed in full. Line by line I read it and attach codes to lines, to alineas, and sometimes to single words – codes being words, concepts, short phrases that capture what is being said in the interview on a slightly more abstract level. The idea is that through coding and recoding, constant comparison of passages, writing memos on the process during the process, eventually a picture arises of a possible interpretation of the interviews - or of several possible interpretations. Codes get more and more abstract during the process, and eventually you end up with some sort of theoretical model.

Quote of the Week

"I can understand German as well as the maniac that invented it but I talk it best through an interpreter."
Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Invention of Tradition

If you thought that the Scottish tartan (you know, the striped cloth of which the pattern indicates the clan you’re from) is a tradition going back to times immemorial, you should read the chapter on it in the book The Invention of Tradition, edited by Hobsbawm and Ranger. The chapter describes beautifully how at some point in time there was no such thing as a tartan-tradition, and that ten years later it was an age-old tradition.
I liked the story – I even thought, and still think, it is hilariously funny in some ways. Read it, when you can. When I first read it, a long time ago, it also showed to me the capacity of us, human beings, to invent our past in ways that are fitting to our present. I was gripped, at the time, by the idea of showing the inventedness of many traditions, and even wrote an article on an evident invention of tradition: the invention of a Frisian folk song tradition by the group Irolt, a tradition which they then, although it was fake, could revive in order to create a Frisian folk revival analogous to the “second English folk revival”, specifically of groups like Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention.