Presentation Title

Music as Cultural Heritage: Issues and Dilemmas

Authors' Names

Madhu Jagdeeshan

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Music is intrinsic for communities to maintain and transmit their culture; it also serves as a specific kind of embodied knowledge. Music is not limited to the sound or text, rather is constructed through complex processes which has multiple subjects to it. This paper is the first part of a larger project, here a theoretical model has been developed for understanding music as cultural heritage. This paper serves as a call for newer ways of thinking and rethinking how ‘music’ as well as other oral traditions are conceptualized and understood within the field of cultural management.

The theoretical model developed here is interdisciplinary in nature drawing not only from the discourses within the fields of anthropology and cultural heritage but also draws substantially from the fields of ethnomusicology and linguistics. This model emphasizes that to gain an insight into the role of music in a culture; every musical piece needs to be understood within the soundscapes (Faudree 2012) in which they are created, situated and performed. This then intrinsically calls for the need to understand song texts as ‘oral-performatives’ (Hess 2015). This framework also calls for a need to understand affective aspect which is captured in the indexical meaning of that piece (Turino 2008) which is informed by both aspects i.e. the performer and the audience. It is only when all these three broad aspects of the musical piece is considered that the embodied meaning of music for that culture is truly captured.

Rather than understanding music as a static piece of performance; this model provides the space to understand music as a dynamic piece of heritage which is in the constant process of evolution and meaning-making. This model demonstrates the limits of the current interpretation of music as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. This paper also brings to attention the urgent need on the translation of this comprehensive understanding into practice, by drawing attention to the limits of cultural resource management (CRM) practice in translating the cultural heritage of music within the value framework model. Thereby, contributing substantially to the further the discourse in alternative management practices of intangible heritages such as music.

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Apr 27th, 1:25 PM Apr 27th, 1:40 PM

Music as Cultural Heritage: Issues and Dilemmas

UC Ballroom, Pod #3

Music is intrinsic for communities to maintain and transmit their culture; it also serves as a specific kind of embodied knowledge. Music is not limited to the sound or text, rather is constructed through complex processes which has multiple subjects to it. This paper is the first part of a larger project, here a theoretical model has been developed for understanding music as cultural heritage. This paper serves as a call for newer ways of thinking and rethinking how ‘music’ as well as other oral traditions are conceptualized and understood within the field of cultural management.

The theoretical model developed here is interdisciplinary in nature drawing not only from the discourses within the fields of anthropology and cultural heritage but also draws substantially from the fields of ethnomusicology and linguistics. This model emphasizes that to gain an insight into the role of music in a culture; every musical piece needs to be understood within the soundscapes (Faudree 2012) in which they are created, situated and performed. This then intrinsically calls for the need to understand song texts as ‘oral-performatives’ (Hess 2015). This framework also calls for a need to understand affective aspect which is captured in the indexical meaning of that piece (Turino 2008) which is informed by both aspects i.e. the performer and the audience. It is only when all these three broad aspects of the musical piece is considered that the embodied meaning of music for that culture is truly captured.

Rather than understanding music as a static piece of performance; this model provides the space to understand music as a dynamic piece of heritage which is in the constant process of evolution and meaning-making. This model demonstrates the limits of the current interpretation of music as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. This paper also brings to attention the urgent need on the translation of this comprehensive understanding into practice, by drawing attention to the limits of cultural resource management (CRM) practice in translating the cultural heritage of music within the value framework model. Thereby, contributing substantially to the further the discourse in alternative management practices of intangible heritages such as music.