Music Post-Colonialism
by
Olivia Bloechl
  • LAST MODIFIED: 21 January 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199757824-0161

Introduction

Post-colonialism (postcolonialism) is a form of critical thought that investigates the cultural history of colonialism and analyzes its legacies and continuities in the present. It characteristically does so from epistemologies positioned outside or at the limits of the logics of colonialism, especially its foundational division of colonizer and colonized. Colonialism can be defined as the variable practices of colonization and their effects on colonized territories and peoples and to a lesser extent on colonizers. It is distinct from imperialism, which refers to ideologically driven state projects of expansion, conquest, or other domination. However, in practice both European colonialism and imperialism have been the focus of postcolonial studies from its beginnings in the late 1970s as an area of academic inquiry. Until recently postcolonial studies has addressed only European empires of the past millennium, with the bulk of research on modern European territorial empires. Regardless of its historical or geographical focus, the overriding concern of postcolonial research is generally with politicized culture. Most practitioners also appropriately see an anticolonial stance and vigilance toward domination and oppression as salient. This political and moral orientation is indebted to Marxist traditions of critique (especially non-Western ones), which were foundational for postcolonialism and remain contested within it. It is also influenced by the social positioning of founding postcolonial thinkers themselves, most of whom hailed from colonized or formerly colonized regions (such as India, the Caribbean, or Argentina). Accordingly, there is broad disagreement over whether “postcoloniality” properly designates a historical condition after decolonization that is marked by neoimperialism, or a committed critical practice stemming from the self-conscious theorizing of the anticolonial liberation movements. Answering this question depends partly on whether postcoloniality is thought as a quality of an object (a nation, novel, or musician), of a critical epistemology, or both. There are defensible rationales behind the first definition, which emphasizes the salience of colonial location or history to thought and creativity. However, this article prefers the second definition, stressing the greater salience of critical epistemologies that challenge colonial or neoimperial logics and politics. Among other advantages, this frees thought and creativity from a necessary defining relationship to colonial pasts; it also accommodates decolonial thought pertaining to groups or territories that remain colonized (as are many indigenous peoples and lands, such as in the United States). Postcolonialism in music studies shares most of these features, with the distinction that its primary object is music, organized sound, and musical life. Although anticolonial epistemologies are discernible in earlier research, particularly in ethnomusicology, music scholars generally came to postcolonialism later than in other disciplines, beginning in the 1990s. Postcolonial theory beyond that of Edward Said gained currency only in the 2000s. Postcolonial musical research has taken two broad forms: critically engaged documentation of musical life in colonial or postcolonial societies, and critique of colonialism’s effects on musical life past and present. Following this definition, this article excludes research on colonial or postcolonial contexts that lacks a critical framework, such as most traditional colonial music history or “salvage” musical ethnography. It does include self-consciously postcolonial research on music in early European colonies and colonizing polities, prioritizing research that has a robust critical component. The focus throughout is on European and US colonialism or neoimperialism and on research in English, which limits the depth of coverage but allows for broad representation of the music subdisciplines.

General Overviews

The research in this section offers a solid introductory knowledge of the history and theory of postcolonialism. None of the cited research is written from the perspective of the music disciplines, because no such full-length overview exists. This research nevertheless provides a helpful orientation to the multidisciplinary field of postcolonial studies. Gandhi 1998 and Young 2001 are excellent general introductions to postcolonialism and postcolonial theory. Loomba 2005 is an overview oriented toward literary studies and is particularly useful for researchers interested in early modernity. Moraña, et al. 2008 and Forsdick and Murphy 2014 are multiauthor introductions to Latin American and global Francophone postcolonialism, respectively. Schwarz and Ray 2005 and Huggan 2013 are multiauthor general overviews of postcolonial studies, both of which make a marked effort to put postcolonialism in dialogue with other relevant topics and critical paradigms.

  • Forsdick, Charles, and David Murphy, eds. Francophone Postcolonial Studies: A Critical Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2014.

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    Multiauthor edited collection of original essays on aspects of postcolonial studies in the Francophone world. Sections address the history of French colonialism, language and identity, nationalism and globalization, and Francophone postcolonial thought and culture. Usefully compares Francophone and Anglophone postcolonialisms. First published in 2003.

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  • Gandhi, Leela. Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.

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    First critical overview of postcolonial theory by a distinguished literary scholar. Recommended as an intellectual history and introduction to key debates. Includes sections on decolonization, postcolonial memory and counter-knowledge, the postcolonial humanities, Said, feminism, nationalism, and postnationalism, and postcolonial literature.

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  • Huggan, Graham, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Postcolonial Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

    DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199588251.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Multiauthor collection of original essays by leading scholars on aspects of postcolonial studies. Includes the sections “The Imperial Past,” “The Colonial Present,” “Theory and Practice,” and sections on postcolonialism in various disciplines and geographical locations. Each section includes a formal response.

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  • Loomba, Ania. Colonialism/Postcolonialism. 2d ed. London and New York: Routledge, 2005.

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    Important overview of postcolonialism by a renowned early modernist. Particularly clear and concise discussion of key concepts, histories, and critical debates. Especially valuable for researchers interested in early modern empires. First published in 1998.

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  • Moraña, Mabel, Enrique Dussel, and Carlos A. Jáuregui, eds. Coloniality at Large: Latin America and the Postcolonial Debate. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.

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    Landmark English-language collection of essays considering postcolonial histories and theories of Latin America. Usefully compares Latin Americanist postcolonialism with other forms. Distinctive focuses include coloniality of power, liberation theology and philosophy, and decolonization.

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  • Schwarz, Henry, and Sangeeta Ray, eds. A Companion to Postcolonial Studies. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2005.

    DOI: 10.1002/9780470997024Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Multiauthor collection of original essays introducing key issues in postcolonial studies. Features a roster of distinguished postcolonial scholars. Includes sections on history and critical issues, the local and the global, and key thinkers and formations. The essays on subaltern studies, feminist theory, and postcolonial queer theory are especially noteworthy.

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  • Young, Robert J. C. Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction. Oxford and Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2001.

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    Indispensable overview of the history, politics, and theory of postcolonialism by a prominent poststructuralist. Notable features include its historical account of the relationship of anticolonial movements, Marxism, and postcolonial theory. Also stands out for its nuanced critical interpretation of key postcolonial and poststructuralist thinkers.

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Reference Works

The citations in this section include encyclopedias, dictionaries, and glossaries or glossary entries. Olson 1991 and Page and Sonnenberg 2003 are reference works on European imperialism and colonialism, useful for historical orientation and fact checking. Page and Sonnenberg 2003 also includes key primary documents in imperial history. See also Postcolonial Research on Music History. Beard and Gloag 2005 is a brief glossary entry on postcolonialism for musicologists. Hawley 2001 and Ashcroft, et al. 2013 are glossaries pertaining to postcolonial studies, both written primarily for researchers in literary and cultural studies. Hawley 2001 has a more international and multilingual scope than Ashcroft, et al. 2013, but the most recent edition of the latter is more up-to-date and more broadly relevant for cultural studies, rather than literary studies per se.

  • Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin. Postcolonial Studies: The Key Concepts. 3d ed. Abingdon, UK, and New York: Routledge, 2013.

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    Influential glossary of concepts in postcolonial studies from a literary and cultural studies perspective. Part of the Routledge Key Concepts series. Useful for graduate and advanced undergraduate students as an introduction to critical concepts in postcolonialism. First published in 2000. Third edition includes new entries.

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  • Beard, David, and Kenneth Gloag. “Post-Colonial/Postcolonialism.” In Musicology: The Key Concepts. By David Beard and Kenneth Gloag, 103–106. New York: Routledge, 2005.

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    Glossary entry gives a brief orientation to the history, theory, and musicological application of postcolonialism. Although somewhat loosely organized, it provides a good starting point for research on postcolonial music studies, especially for undergraduate and graduate students.

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  • Hawley, John C., ed. Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2001.

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    Encyclopedia with entries on topics and individuals relevant to postcolonial studies, with a primary focus on literature and literary studies. Scope is more international and multilingual than Ashcroft, et al. 2013. Useful for readers interested in postcolonial literary studies, especially those working with world and non-Anglophone literatures.

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  • Olson, James S., ed. Historical Dictionary of European Imperialism. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1991.

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    Useful reference work on the history of European imperialism, with entries by historians and political scientists. Includes appendices on languages of the former European colonies, chronology of the European empires, and ocean island groups of the world. Valuable for fact-checking information on historical empires and colonization.

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  • Page, Melvin E., and Penny M. Sonnenberg, eds. Colonialism: An International, Social, Cultural, and Political Encyclopedia. 3 vols. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2003.

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    Extensive encyclopedia of colonialism and source anthology for imperial history. Volumes 1 and 2 have alphabetical topical entries, while Volume 3 collects key primary source documents pertaining to world empires (including Japanese, Ottoman, Russian, and US empires) and to anticolonial movements. Especially useful as a resource for students.

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Anthologies

Postcolonial studies is a heavily anthologized field, with most volumes oriented toward literary and cultural studies readers. There are no anthologies specific to music studies. Williams and Chrisman 1994; Ashcroft, et al. 1995; Castle 2001; Rodríguez 2001; Lewis and Mills 2003; and Desai and Nair 2005 collect key writings in postcolonial theory. Williams and Chrisman 1994 and Desai and Nair 2005 also present selections of canonical anticolonial writings. Lewis and Mills 2003 is a groundbreaking anthology of feminist postcolonial theory. Guha 1997 is a collection of essays from the Subaltern Studies series (founded in 1982), a journal that featured the historical research of the Indian and Indian-diasporic Subaltern Studies group. The Subaltern Studies group set out to rethink the history of India and south Asia from critical perspectives inspired in part by the work of Antonio Gramsci. Their work in the 1980s and 1990s gave rise to similar groups focused on regions other than south Asia. For example, Rodríguez 2001 builds on Guha 1997, with a selection of writings by members of the Latin American Subaltern Studies group, founded in 1992. Ashcroft, et al. 1995; Castle 2001; Lewis and Mills 2003; and Desai and Nair 2005 are suitable for undergraduates and general readers. Readers particularly interested in history and historiography should consult Guha 1997 and Rodríguez 2001.

  • Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin, eds. The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. London and New York: Routledge, 1995.

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    Collection of extracts from a wide range of mostly academic postcolonial writings. Sections include “Universality and Difference,” “Representation and Resistance,” “Nationalism,” “Hybridity,” “Ethnicity and Indigeneity,” “Feminism and Post-colonialism,” and so forth. The high degree of editorial extraction sometimes creates difficulties by removing surrounding contextual material needed for optimum comprehension.

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  • Castle, Gregory, ed. Postcolonial Discourses: An Anthology. Oxford and Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2001.

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    Anthology of postcolonial studies writings on colonial and postcolonial discourses. Groups writings by geocultural region (India, Africa, the Caribbean, Ireland, and the British Commonwealth). Provides alternate thematic groupings.

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  • Desai, Gaurav, and Supriya Nair, eds. Postcolonialisms: An Anthology of Cultural Theory and Criticism. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2005.

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    Valuable, chronologically broad anthology of anticolonial and postcolonial writings with introductions to each section. Sections include “Ideologies of Imperialism,” “The Critique of Colonial Discourse,” “Nationalisms and Nativisms,” “Hybrid Identities,” “Gender and Sexualities,” “Reading the Subaltern,” “Comparative (Post)colonialisms,” and “Globalization and Postcoloniality.” Most selections are not excerpted.

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  • Guha, Ranajit, ed. A Subaltern Studies Reader, 1986–1995. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997.

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    Collection of essays from the influential series Subaltern Studies, by the Subaltern Studies group. Focus is on south Asian history and society.

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  • Lewis, Reina, and Sara Mills, eds. Feminist Postcolonial Theory: A Reader. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2003.

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    Anthology of feminist, womanist, and woman of color and Third World feminist writings on topics pertaining to postcolonialism. Sections include “Rethinking Whiteness,” “Redefining the ‘Third-World’ Subject,” “Sexuality and Sexual Rights,” and “Harem and the Veil.” Illustrates an intersectional feminist approach to postcolonialism.

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  • Rodríguez, Ileana, ed. The Latin American Subaltern Studies Reader. Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 2001.

    DOI: 10.1215/9780822380771Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Collection of essays by members of the Latin American Subaltern Studies group, which was inspired by the South Asianist Subaltern Studies Group. Adapts Subaltern Studies approaches and concerns to a Latin American context.

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  • Williams, Patrick, and Laura Chrisman, eds. Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory: A Reader. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

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    Early anthology of classic anticolonial writings and landmark academic postcolonial theory and research. Many items are excerpted. Includes sections on anticolonial resistance theory, theorizing the West, gender theory, theorizing intellectuals and institutions, and theorizing discourse and identity.

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Introductory Works in Postcolonial Music Studies

No full-length introductory-level study of postcolonialism in music scholarship currently exists. There are, however, a number of essay-length studies that introduce aspects of postcoloniality in the context of music studies. Generally speaking, coloniality and postcoloniality have received much less attention in the music disciplines than social politics and critical epistemologies of identity and difference. When postcolonialism entered music scholarship in the 1980s and 1990s, it often did so as a critical framework adjacent to these social difference-based forms of critique. Born and Hesmondhalgh 2000 and Radano and Bohlman 2000 were landmark publications that announced a more concerted focus of difference-based critical music scholarship in the 2000s on topics of coloniality and race. Born and Hesmondhalgh 2000 provides a thoughtful historical review of postcolonial theory and summarizes the state of postcolonial research in music studies at that time, considering the pros and cons of postcolonial critical models for music studies. Radano and Bohlman 2000 brings an explicitly postcolonial framework to bear on the analysis of race and music, advocating recognition of the importance of race for musical knowledge and critique. Like Born and Hesmondhalgh 2000, Featherstone 2005, James 2005, and Ramnarine 2007 address postcolonialism in the context of popular music studies. All three take diasporic popular music as their focus. Featherstone 2005 is an introductory-level chapter on music in a cultural studies monograph on postcolonialism, which summarizes Gilroy 1993 (cited under Colonial Diaspora and Hybridity) and examines several case studies. James 2005 is a philosophical critique of the invocation of popular music as exemplifying experience of coloniality and race, especially in scholarship on Afro-diasporic music. Ramnarine 2007 provides an overview of research on diasporic popular music in an introduction to a journal special issue, making the case for the importance of postcolonial analysis of diasporic performance. Raibaud 2009 brings a valuable human geography perspective to postcolonial analysis of global Francophone popular music. Building on Born and Hesmondhalgh 2000 and Tomlinson 2007 (cited under 1492–1815), Bloechl 2008 provides a broad analytical overview of postcolonial theory and proposes a colonial difference-based model of historical critique, focusing on early music history. Solomon 2012 provides a critical overview of postcolonial research in ethnomusicology, which is useful despite occasional gaps in the bibliography.

  • Bloechl, Olivia. Native American Song at the Frontiers of Early Modern Music. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

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    Introductory essay provides an in-depth overview of postcolonial theory, focusing on the poststructuralist and Subaltern Studies component. Critiques the limitation of postcolonialism in musicology to Saidian criticism. Develops a subaltern difference-based epistemology of music and music history. Argues for the interconnection of metropolitan and colonial musical pasts.

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  • Born, Georgina, and David Hesmondhalgh. “Introduction: On Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music.” In Western Music and Its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music. Edited by Georgina Born and David Hesmondhalgh, 1–58. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000.

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    Editors’ introduction draws on postcolonial theory to address two major problems in difference-based critical musicology: musical appropriation and representation. Gives an overview of postcolonial studies before considering potential benefits and shortcomings of postcolonialism as a framework for musical critique.

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  • Featherstone, Simon. “Music.” In Postcolonial Cultures. By Simon Featherstone, 33–64. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005.

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    Introduction to the study of postcolonial cultures, with chapters on music, dance, film, and literature. Chapter 2 (“Music”) reviews postcolonial theories of music in the black Atlantic diaspora, especially Gilroy 1993 (cited under Colonial Diaspora and Hybridity). Concludes with several case studies, including calypso, Apache Indian, and Lady Saw.

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  • James, Robin. “On Popular Music in Postcolonial Theory.” Philosophia Africana 8.2 (2005): 171–187.

    DOI: 10.5840/philafricana2005827Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Philosophical analysis of the use of popular music to exemplify experience of coloniality and race in postcolonial studies. Argues that discourses of music and race intersect, as each discourse inflects the conception and experience of the other. Reviews critical research on Afro-diasporic music, including Gilroy 1993 (cited under Colonial Diaspora and Hybridity).

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  • Radano, Ronald, and Philip V. Bohlman. “Music and Race, Their Past, Their Presence.” In Music and the Racial Imagination. Edited by Ronald Radano and Philip V. Bohlman. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

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    Editors’ introduction places the study of race and music in a broadly postcolonial context. Although the editors focus on race per se, they consistently highlight its colonial and postcolonial matrices. Valuable as an introduction to the ethno/musicological study of race from a postcolonial perspective.

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  • Raibaud, Yves. “Introduction. Les Musiques du monde à l’épreuve des études postcoloniales.” Volume 6.1–2 (2009): 5–16.

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    Introduction to a special issue of the French popular music journal on geography, music, and postcolonialism. Focuses on global popular music, especially in Francophone regions. Topics considered include authenticity, globalization, diaspora, the French banlieues and former colonies, and geographical location.

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  • Ramnarine, Tina K. “Musical Performance in the Diaspora: Introduction.” Ethnomusicology Forum 16.1 (2007): 1–17.

    DOI: 10.1080/17411910701276310Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Introduction to a special issue on “Musical Performance in the Diaspora.” This is an overview of musical diaspora studies by a distinguished music anthropologist. Argues for the importance of postcolonial analysis of diasporic musical production and performance.

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  • Solomon, Thomas. “Where is the Postcolonial in Ethnomusicology?” In Ethnomusicology in East Africa: Perspectives from Uganda and Beyond. Edited by Sylvia Nannyonga-Tamusuza and Thomas Solomon, 216–251. Kampala, Uganda: Fountain, 2012.

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    Critical overview of postcolonial research in ethnomusicology and, to a lesser extent, musicology. Gaps in the reviewed bibliography lead to some overstatement of the absence of musical research on postcolonialism. A useful overview, when read in conjunction with other introductory studies.

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Critical Concepts

Postcolonial thought, at its best, is fundamentally critical in orientation; as such, it usually involves some degree of theorizing in order to make general statements about the relationship between past or present forms of coloniality and contemporary epistemologies and experience. Postcolonial music research therefore relies on a wide array of critical theoretical concepts, many of which have generated considerable literatures of their own. In some cases these concepts are afforded full-length entries in Oxford Bibliographies, and their brief treatment here in the context of postcolonial music studies is not intended to replace their fuller treatment elsewhere. Many of the studies gathered here address particular histories or area cultures of interest to postcolonial studies, but in each case they are included because they represent a significant theoretical, critical, or methodological contribution, beyond any empirical one. The following sections highlight critical concepts of longstanding interest in postcolonialism (exoticism, Orientalism, diaspora, and hybridity), as well as concepts that have recently emerged or reemerged as focuses of postcolonialism broadly construed (decolonialism, coloniality of power, minor transnationalism, transcolonialism, and new comparativism). Some of these more recent critical literatures distinguish their approaches from postcolonialism or criticize postcolonial studies. They are included here because these debates are vital to current postcolonial thought and cannot be overlooked. See also Hawley 2001 and Ashcroft, et al. 2013, both cited under Reference Works.

Orientalism

Orientalism is a foundational critical concept of postcolonial studies, as developed in the work of the literary theorist and critic Edward Said. Said 2003 conceives Orientalism as a mode of colonial discourse and artistry that presents the “Orient” as significantly different from the “Occident,” in ways that have no necessary truth value but that can have significant pragmatic effects on peoples and places designated Eastern or Western. The analysis of Verdi’s Aida in Said 2003 (first published in 1978) inspired similar musicological research on Orientalism in opera beginning in the 1990s. McClary 1992 is an influential critical analysis of Orientalism in Bizet’s opera Carmen. See also Bellman 1998 and Locke 2009, both cited under Exoticism, and Born and Hesmondhalgh 2000 and Radano and Bohlman 2000, both cited under Introductory Works in Postcolonial Music Studies. Brett 2006 also focuses on opera but critiques Said 2003 for overlooking male homosexuality as a factor in fin-de-siècle Orientalism. Head 2000 is a self-consciously postcolonial study of Mozart’s “Turkish” music, which places its Orientalism in the context of 18th-century imperial, commercial, and class histories. Bloechl 2005 and Hisama 1993 (cited under Postcolonial Music Theory) address Orientalism in mass-mediated popular music of the late 20th century. Bloechl 2005 asks how musical Orientalism changes in hyperreal mediation, drawing on the postmodernist theory of Jean Baudrillard. Looking beyond representation, Willson 2013 examines the institutionalization of Orientalism in Western musical pedagogy, missionization, and cultural reform projects in Palestine, from the mid-19th century to the present. Finally, Head 2003 addresses the politics of historical musicological research on Orientalism and finds antitheoretical and depoliticizing tendencies, critiquing McClary 1992 and especially Bellman 1998, cited under Exoticism. Bellman 2011 rebuts Head 2003, arguing against postcolonial approaches to musical Orientalism and exoticism.

  • Bellman, Jonathan D. “Musical Voyages and Their Baggage: Orientalism in Music and Critical Musicology.” Musical Quarterly 94 (2011): 417–438.

    DOI: 10.1093/musqtl/gdr014Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Argues against postcolonial approaches to Orientalism and exoticism in critical musicology. Rebuttal of Head 2003. The representation of postcolonialism is often inaccurate.

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  • Bloechl, Olivia. “Orientalism and Hyperreality in ‘Desert Rose.’” Journal of Popular Music Studies 17.2 (2005): 133–161.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.1524-2226.2005.00039.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Theoretical analysis of Orientalism in multicultural popular music, focusing on a duet by British pop singer Sting and Algerian rai singer Cheb Mami. Draws on Jean Baudrillard’s theory of hyperreality in order to ask how Orientalism worked in mass-mediated music and music video at the turn of the 21st century.

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  • Brett, Philip. “Eros and Orientalism in Britten’s Operas.” In Queering the Pitch: The New Gay and Lesbian Musicology. Edited by Philip Brett, Elizabeth Wood, and Gary C. Thomas, 235–256. New York: Routledge, 2006.

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    Critical interpretation of Orientalist homoeroticism in the operas of Benjamin Britten. Finds a significant correlation between exoticized pseudo-Asian music in Britten’s operas and the dramatic depiction of male homosexuality. Critiques the avoidance of homosexuality in Said 2003. Originally published in 1994.

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  • Head, Matthew. Orientalism, Masquerade, and Mozart’s Turkish Music. London: Royal Musical Association, 2000.

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    Postcolonial historical interpretation of Mozart’s alla turca music in its 18th-century context. Argues for the relevance of Ottoman and Hapsburg imperial conflict, emerging orientalist discourses, and the gradual commercialization of music production. Sees Mozart’s imitation of “Turkish” music as a form of pleasurable escapism.

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  • Head, Matthew. “Musicology on Safari: Orientalism and the Spectre of Postcolonial Theory.” Music Analysis 22 (2003): 211–230.

    DOI: 10.1111/j.0262-5245.2003.00180.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Critical survey of musicological literature on musical Orientalism since the 1990s. Discerns an avoidance of postcolonial and cultural theory in musicological Orientalism research. Raises concerns about its politics and, in some cases, lack of critical reflexivity. Critiques McClary 1992 and especially Bellman 1998.

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  • McClary, Susan. Georges Bizet: Carmen. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1992.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139166416Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An influential feminist historical criticism of Bizet’s opera, Carmen. One of the first musicological studies of Orientalism in opera, influenced by Said 2003. Distinguished by its rich analysis of race, gender, and class as intersecting axes of exoticist musical representation in Carmen. Part of the Cambridge Opera Handbooks series.

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  • Said, Edward W. Orientalism. New York: Vintage, 2003.

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    Foundational study of the politicized representation of peoples and places to the south and east of Europe. Adapted Foucault’s discourse theory to Western academic knowledge and artistic evocation of the “Orient,” including in opera. Argued that these modes of Orientalism gave cultural ballast to European colonial projects. First published 1978.

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  • Willson, Rachel Beckles. Orientalism and Musical Mission: Palestine and the West. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139567831Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Critical historical study of Orientalism in Western projects of musical pedagogy, missionization, and cultural reform in Palestine, from the mid-19th century to the present. Theoretically astute and historically erudite. The analysis of contemporary cross-cultural music projects is especially noteworthy.

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Exoticism

Research on musical exoticism has been predominantly carried out by historical musicologists, much of it inspired by Said 2003, cited under Orientalism. As with research on Orientalism, music scholarship on exoticism examines the politicized representation of other peoples, places, and epochs as significantly different than one’s own, through musical, verbal, or visual means. Betzwieser is a study of “Turkish” topics in early French opera, and it is representative of the historical musicological literature in its approach to exoticism as a function of differentiated musical topics or style idioms. See also McClary 1992, cited under Orientalism. A similar approach is found in Bellman 1998, which was the first edited volume on musical exoticism. The introduction gives an overview of styles and research, and many of the essays have been influential. Since Bellman 1998 there has been an outpouring of research on specific types or histories of musical exoticism. Hayward 1999 addresses exoticism in popular music after 1950, while Sheppard 2001 focuses on exoticism in 20th-century modernist musical theater. Exoticist representation of Romany (“Gypsy”) music has generated a considerable literature of its own, but Piotrowska 2013 is distinguished by its broad chronological scope, its attention to Romany music history, and its critical approach. See also Bellman 1998, Taylor 2007, and Locke 2009. Racial aspects of musical exoticism are discussed in Piotrowska 2013 and Radano and Bohlman 2000, cited under Introductory Works in Postcolonial Music Studies. Locke 2009 provides an overview of exoticist Western music since the 18th century and proposes a model of exoticism criticism that looks beyond differentiated musical styles themselves to encompass extra-musical contexts. Significant critique of musicological research on exoticism has emerged since the early 2000s, with debate centering on its relationship to postcolonialism and, more broadly, its politics. This debate emerged in the context of a proliferation of research on exoticism in historical musicology, in particular, in the 1990s and 2000s. Critics have voiced concerns that this research tends to adopt the concept of the “exotic” from postcolonialism without its animating anticolonial and anti-racist commitments. Taylor 2007, Bloechl 2008 (cited under 1492–1815), and Revuluri 2011 represent this critique, finding a depoliticization of exoticism in much historical musicological research on the topic. Taylor 2007 takes an alternate, genealogical approach to Western musical exoticism and appropriation, which positions these artistic processes within oppressive structures of colonialism, imperialism, and globalization. Revuluri 2011 is a review of Locke 2009 that outlines broad concerns with musical exoticism research that neglects power relations or lacks critical reflexivity. Head has a related critique of musicological research on Orientalism, which is rebutted in Bellman 2011 (both cited under Orientalism).

  • Bellman, Jonathan, ed. The Exotic in Western Music. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1998.

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    Widely cited edited collection of essays that was instrumental in establishing musicological research on exoticism. The introduction provides an overview of exoticism in Western music, and the essays address cases from the 15th through the 20th centuries.

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  • Betzwieser, Thomas. Exotismus und “Türkenoper” in der französischen Musik des Ancien régime: Studien zu einem ästhetischen Phänomen. Laaber, Germany: Laaber-Verlag, 1993.

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    Study of the alla turca style in 17th- and 18th-century French opera. With McClary 1992 (cited under Orientalism), an early example of research on exoticism in opera and musical theater. Approaches exoticism as a function of musical topics or style idioms.

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  • Hayward, Philip, ed. Widening the Horizon: Exoticism in Post-War Popular Music. Sydney: John Libby, 1999.

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    Edited collection of essays on 1950s and 1960s exotica and other exoticist popular music from the postwar period. One of the earliest collections on musical exoticism and the first focusing on popular music. Introduction contextualizes and critiques Bellman 1998.

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  • Locke, Ralph P. Musical Exoticism: Image and Reflections. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

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    Survey of exoticism in Western music from the 18th through the 20th centuries. Part 1 evokes a “worldly” criticism indebted to Said 2003 (cited under Orientalism) and defines exoticism as encompassing musical style and extra-musical context. Part 2 surveys opera and concert music, with a briefer treatment of popular styles.

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  • Piotrowska, Anna G. Gypsy Music in European Culture: From the Late Eighteenth to the Early Twentieth Centuries. Boston: Northeastern, 2013.

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    Critical study of discursive and musical representation of Romany (“Gypsy”) in Western common-practice music. Proposes assimilation and non-assimilation as two discursive models for situating Roma people and their music within European culture, the latter of which involves concepts of exoticism and race. Discusses a wide range of musical examples.

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  • Revuluri, Sindhumathi. “Review: Musical Exoticism: Images and Reflections by Ralph P. Locke.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 64.1 (2011): 253–261.

    DOI: 10.1525/jams.2011.64.1.253Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Review of Locke 2009 that represents a critical perspective on exoticism as a category of musicological criticism. Argues against restricting exoticism analysis to the content or extra-musical contexts of works. Advocates historicizing their production and reception within Western colonialism and neo-imperialism and recommends fuller engagement with postcolonial research on difference.

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  • Sheppard, W. Anthony. Revealing Masks: Exotic Influences in Modernist Music Theater. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2001.

    DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520223028.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Analyzes the multiple ways in which modernist musical theater incorporated exoticized influences. A series of short introductory chapters thoughtfully defines key terms (musical theater, the exotic, ritual, and performance), and the remaining chapters address a variety of French, British, and American cases.

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  • Taylor, Timothy D. Beyond Exoticism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007.

    DOI: 10.1215/9780822389972Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Traces the changing political economic conditions for exoticist representation and appropriation in Western music, spanning four centuries. Includes discussion of many musical examples, focusing on their relationship to empire and globalization. Accessible to generally educated readers and undergraduate students.

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Colonial Diaspora and Hybridity

Musicians, musical materials and practices, and musical knowledge have been integrally involved in diasporic human migration spurred by colonization, colonial trade, and neoimperialism. Gilroy 1993 is a foundational study of the “black Atlantic,” as a space of African diasporic migration in the context of colonial slavery and its aftermath. It also noted the importance of race and of African diasporic culture for postcolonialism, taking African American music as a case. Hill 2013 adapts Gilroy 1993 to the Francophone black Atlantic and takes a sound studies approach to “French imperial soundscapes.” On Gilroy 1993, see also Featherstone 2005, James 2005, and Ramnarine 2007 (all cited under Introductory Works in Postcolonial Music Studies) and Monson 2003 and Sieber 2005 (both cited under Africa). Roy 2010 addresses the postcolonial Indian diaspora in a study of the global and regional circulation of Bhangra music. If postcolonial diaspora studies emphasize human migration and re-settlement, studies of hybridity focus on the cultural mixture that results from colonial and postcolonial travel, migration, and media circulation, as theorized in García Canclini 1995, Bhabha 2004, and Young 2014. García Canclini 1995 is an empirically oriented, celebratory study of intercultural hybridity as a central component of Latin American modernity. In contrast, Bhabha 2004 theorizes a poststructuralist and psychoanalytic model of cultural hybridity in colonial settings, emphasizing its multidirectionality and political ambiguity. With Gilroy 1993, it catalyzed interest in hybridity in Anglophone postcolonial studies. Young 2014 provides an excellent critical history of colonial discourses of hybridity and argues for their continuity with postcolonial uses of the term. Musical hybridity has been extensively researched, especially in popular music and world music studies. See Born and Hesmondhalgh 2000, Hutnyk 2000, and Roy 2010, as well as Pacini Hernandez 2010 (cited under Americas and the Caribbean). Like García Canclini, Lipsitz attributes positive subversive effects to hybridity in popular music, while Hutnyk 2000 takes a critical stance on the politics of musical hybridization. Roy 2010 urges thinking musical hybridity beyond multiculturalist and world music paradigms, recognizing the importance of precolonial and contemporary regional hybridization not involving Western metropolitan culture. Distinct concepts and epistemologies have been developed in order to theorize hybridities emerging from particular locations. See the discussion of creolization in Glissant 1997, Lionnet and Shih 2011, and Johnson 2012 (all cited under Minor Transnationalism, Transcolonialism, and New Comparativism. See also the discussion of mestizaje in Anzaldúa 2012, cited under Decolonialism and Coloniality of Power.

  • Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. London and New York: Routledge, 2004.

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    Major poststructuralist and psychoanalytic theory of colonial hybridity as a multidirectional differentiation stemming from the violence of colonial relations. Introduces the influential concept of the hybrid “Third Space” and re-conceives key concepts such as mimicry and recognition. Emphasizes the political ambiguity of hybridity vis-à-vis colonial domination. First published in 1994.

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  • Born, Georgina, and David Hesmondhalgh, eds. Western Music and Its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000.

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    Edited collection of essays on differentiation and mixture in encounters between Western and non-Western music. The editors’ introduction and several of the essays discuss the ethics and politics of musical hybridity, together with related questions of misrepresentation and appropriation. Focus throughout is on 20th-century popular musical practices.

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  • García Canclini, Néstor. Hybrid Cultures: Strategies for Entering and Leaving Modernity. Translated by Christopher L. Chiappari and Silvia L. López. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995.

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    Influential study that celebrates hybridity as a subversive democratizing force and a catalyst of creativity in Latin American cultures. Develops Gramsci’s theory of hegemony and Weber’s theory of modernization with regard to hybrid culture. Emphasizes the two-way nature of hybridization. Translation of 1989 Spanish-language edition.

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  • Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993.

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    An important historical analysis of black intellectual and musical production in a transatlantic diasporic framework. Argues that this transnational movement of people and technologies fostered black “countercultures of modernity,” taking African American music as a primary case. Established the importance of race and the black Atlantic diaspora for postcolonialism.

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  • Hill, Edwin C., Jr. Black Soundscapes White Stages: The Meaning of Francophone Sound in the Black Atlantic. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

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    A series of case studies analyzing Francophone black Atlantic soundscapes as politicized spaces for colonial and anticolonial struggle. Adapts Gilroy 1993 to a Francophone context and introduces a sound studies approach to the black Atlantic. Title alludes to Fanon 2008 (cited under Postcolonial Aesthetics and Ethics of Music).

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  • Hutnyk, John. Critique of Exotica: Music, Politics and the Culture Industry. London and Sterling, VA: Pluto, 2000.

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    Critiques the misuse of hybridity in global popular music and the commercial culture industry, from an anthropological and Marxist perspective. Argues that marketing of hybridity exoticizes Asian-derived popular music, under the banner of multiculturalism.

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  • Roy, Anjali Gera. Bhangra Moves: From Ludhiana to London and Beyond. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2010.

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    Theoretically sophisticated study of the global circulation of the British-Asian dance music form Bhangra to and from India, focusing on its use in Panjab. Urges greater attention to musical hybridities beyond those of the colonial diaspora, such as Indian hybridization of Bhangra within the subcontinent. Develops and critiques Hutnyk 2000.

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  • Young, Robert J. C. Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture, and Race. 2d ed. London and New York: Routledge, 2014.

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    An influential historical critique of colonial discourses of hybridity in the 19th and 20th centuries. Points out their proximity to postcolonial discourses reclaiming hybridity for oppositional thought. Has an excellent overview of postcolonial theories of hybridity. Includes significant discussion of diaspora. Originally published in 2005.

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Decolonialism and Coloniality of Power

Decolonialism and the concept of the coloniality of power have considerable overlap with postcolonialism, but the research they have inspired approaches the colonial and postcolonial from distinctive epistemological positions, Sandoval 2000, Mignolo and Escobar 2010, Mignolo 2012, and Smith 2012 offer general accounts of decolonialism, which is distinguished from postcolonialism by its focus on decolonization as an unfinished project and its markedly activist orientation. Sandoval 2000 and Mignolo 2012 attribute the genesis of decolonial thought to liberation theories and practices of the global South and the minoritized North, in dialogue with critical Western theories and philosophies. On this “creolization” of emancipatory theoretical thought see also Young 2001, cited under General Overviews, and Lionnet and Shih 2011 (cited under Minor Transnationalism, Transcolonialism, and New Comparativism). Anzaldúa 2012 (first published in 1987) is a landmark work on decolonial Chicana lesbian feminist “border thinking,” which influenced Mignolo 2012. Like Lugones 2007 and Anzaldúa 2012, Sandoval 2000 develops a decolonial “methodology of the oppressed” that is grounded in US Third World and woman of color feminism. Quijano 2000 has a foundational discussion of the “colonial/modern” world and of the “coloniality of power,” which decolonial thought generally views as a fundamental problematic of Western modernity. His research has had a particularly profound influence on Latin American and Hispanophone decolonial scholarship, as discussed in Mignolo and Escobar 2010. See also Moraña, et al. 2008, cited under General Overviews. Hernández Salgar 2007 applies conceptions in Quijano 2000 to the case of Colombian music, as it is represented in world music discourses. Mignolo 2012 develops Quijano 2000 in a genealogy of the “modern/colonial world system,” modifying Wallerstein’s world-systems theory. He also integrates Anzaldúa’s (Anzaldúa 2012) conception of “border thinking” as a means of contesting coloniality/modernity, although he deemphasizes the feminist and lesbian aspects of Anzaldúa’s epistemology. Lugones 2007 likewise critiques Quijano 2000 as insufficiently attentive to gender and sexuality as aspects of the colonial/modern system. Smith 2012 was a watershed publication on indigenous decolonial knowledge and includes methodological recommendations for indigenous researchers, as well as culturally appropriate protocols for non-indigenous researchers.

  • Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. 4th ed. San Francisco: Aunt Lute, 2012.

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    Landmark work theorizing a Chicana lesbian feminist epistemology of the US-Mexico borderlands. Established the influential concept of “border thinking” and further developed the concept of mestizaje as Chicana feminist hybridity. Includes a section of bilingual poetry. First published in 1987.

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  • Hernández Salgar, Oscar. “Colonialidad y Poscolonialidad Musical en Colombia.” Latin American Music Review 28.2 (2007): 242–270.

    DOI: 10.1353/lat.2007.0030Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Analysis of coloniality and postcoloniality in historical and contemporary discourses of Colombian music. Draws on Quijano 2000 to critique the racialization of Colombian music in multiculturalist world music discourse. Includes a case study of the music of the “conjunto de marimba de chonta.”

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  • Lugones, Marìa. “Heterosexualism and the Colonial/Modern Gender System.” Hypatia 22.1 (2007): 186–209.

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    Critical analysis of gender and sexuality as fundamental elements of the colonial/modern system and the coloniality of power. Criticizes and develops the analysis in Quijano 2000 from a perspective informed by Third World and woman of color feminisms. This is the basis for her shift in later writings toward a specifically decolonial feminism.

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  • Mignolo, Walter. Local Histories, Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012.

    DOI: 10.1515/9781400845064Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Traces a genealogy of the imaginary of the modern/colonial world system theorized in Quijano 2000, in an adaptation of Wallerstein’s world-systems theory. Advocates a decolonial scholarship driven by a “will to transform” and grounded in experience of colonial difference; he refers to this as “border thinking,” following Anzaldúa 2012. Reissue of the 2000 edition, with a new preface by the author.

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  • Mignolo, Walter, and Arturo Escobar, eds. Globalization and the Decolonial Option. New York: Routledge, 2010.

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    Pivotal collection of essays on the coloniality of power and decolonialism. This excellent overview of theory and research from decolonial frameworks includes essays on the coloniality/modernity system, decolonizing subjectivity, the colonial nation, race, post-Fordist capitalism, and gender. Many of the essays originally published in a special issue of Cultural Studies (2007).

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  • Quijano, Aníbal. “Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism and Latin America.” Nepantla: Views from the South 3 (2000): 533–580.

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    Landmark essay theorizing global race-based social categorization and its harmful effects as the “coloniality of power.” Integrates a theory of the racialized division of labor in global capitalism. Also sets out influential concepts of the “colonial/modern” world and of “coloniality/modernity.” Translation of Spanish-language original.

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  • Sandoval, Chela. Methodology of the Oppressed. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000.

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    Analysis of canonic Continental theory that finds an affinity with “insurgent” theory produced by postcolonial subjects. Finds potential in this alignment for a decolonizing epistemology and activism (the “methodology of the oppressed”), grounded in US Third World and woman of color feminism. Includes a foreword by Angela Y. Davis.

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  • Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. 2d ed. London and New York: Zed Books, 2012.

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    An influential critical epistemology of research by and with indigenous intellectuals. Criticizes the history of harmful non-indigenous research on indigenous communities and offers a Maori-centered decolonial protocol and methodology for ethical research, aimed primarily at indigenous researchers. Updated version of 1999 edition.

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Minor Transnationalism, Transcolonialism, and New Comparativism

If the critical concepts of transnationalism and colonialism were well established in cultural theory by the turn of the 21st century, their inflection toward the minor (versus the dominant group, or majority, in US parlance) represents a distinctive development of the 2000s and 2010s. Lionnet and Shih 2005 established “minor transnationalism” and “transcolonialism” as important critical concepts for researchers in postcolonial studies and related areas, which intervene in the tendency to emphasize settler and other dominant cultures. While they build on postcolonial theory, they also critique postcolonialism as too focused on the “vertical” relationship between dominant and dominated cultures, neglecting “horizontal” relationships between minoritized groups and individuals. In some ways, this resembles subaltern studies approaches of the 1990s, but it is not as invested in socialism and emphasizes transborder cultural and political formations. Their minor transnational and transcolonial thought is notably indebted to Glissant 1997, especially his influential concept of creolization as an evental encounter and unlimited creative synthesis of differences. Building further on Glissant 1997 and Lionnet and Shih 2005, Lionnet and Shih 2011 advocates the “creolization of theory,” as the development of “reciprocal, relational, and intersectional” forms of critical thought that are vigilant toward the contemporary legacies of colonialism. In addition to essays on music in Lionnet and Shih 2005, minor transnational and transcolonial music research is found in Karantonis and Robinson 2011, Bissett Perea 2012, and Johnson 2012. Karantonis and Robinson 2011 and Bissett Perea 2012 include discussion of transindigenous and minor transnational musical collaboration and mixture, and Bissett Perea 2012 characterizes the music of the Native Alaskan band Pamyua as an expression of “circumpolar Inuit transnationalism.” Johnson 2012 looks historically at black circum-Caribbean artistic exchange in the wake of the Haitian Revolution. On minor transnational music, see also Sharma 2010 (cited under Americas and the Caribbean). New comparative approaches to postcolonialism have developed since the 1990s, and Diamond, et al. 2008 illustrates a version of this approach in postcolonial music studies. Tomlinson 2012, cited under Postcolonial Music Historiography, also calls for a new comparativism in music studies, as does Agawu 2003, cited under Postcolonial Music Theory.

  • Bissett Perea, Jessica. “Pamyua’s Akutaq: Traditions of Modern Inuit Modalities in Alaska.” MUSICultures 39 (2012): 7–41.

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    A critical analysis of the Afro-Inuit style and marketing of Native Alaskan band Pamyua. Locates the band within a history of “circumpolar Inuit transnationalism.” Usefully theorizes “sound quantum politics” as a racist metric for determining what counts as “Native” in the music industry. Part of a special issue on “Indigenous Modernities.”

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  • Diamond, Beverley, Denis Crowdy, and Daniel Mark Downes, eds. Post-Colonial Distances: The Study of Popular Music in Canada and Australia. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars, 2008.

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    A collection of essays on popular music in Canada and Australia. Takes a comparative approach to the postcoloniality of musical life in both countries. Most essays focus on either Canada or Australia, but the last two essays (by Beverley Diamond and Guy Morrow) discuss both.

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  • Glissant, Édouard. Poetics of Relation. Translated by Betsy Wing. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997.

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    A key text of Caribbean postcolonial theory, which articulates Glissant’s influential concepts of the imaginary, relational poetics, and creolization. The latter concept has been widely adapted beyond the circum-Caribbean, but here it refers to a two-way process of translation in which dominated and dominating cultures are mutually, if unequally, transformed.

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  • Johnson, Sara E. The Fear of French Negroes: Transcolonial Collaboration in the Revolutionary Americas. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2012.

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    Study of black subaltern collaborations across the Caribbean and the United States following the Haitian revolution. Chapter 4 (“French Set Girls and Transcolonial Performance”) argues that Afro-French migration in the circum-Caribbean catalyzed an “interisland performance aesthetic.” Enriches the history of creolization in the Americas by focusing on transcolonial musical exchange.

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  • Karantonis, Pamela, and Dylan Robinson, eds. Opera Indigene: Re/presenting First Nations and Indigenous Cultures. Farnham, UK, and Burlington, VT; Ashgate, 2011.

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    Edited volume of essays on indigenous participation in European-derived opera, historically and in contemporary productions. Includes an introduction and valuable interviews with artists involved in recent productions. Several essays document transcolonial and minor transnational collaboration in opera creation and in new productions.

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  • Lionnet, Françoise, and Shu-Mei Shih, eds. Minor Transnationalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.

    DOI: 10.1215/9780822386643Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Important edited collection establishing minor transnationalism as a research framework. Influenced by Glissant 1997. The theoretical introduction by the co-editors advocates research on minor-to-minor networks, in addition to critical research on minority resistance to majority cultures. Most essays focus on literature, but several focus on music and sound.

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  • Lionnet, Françoise, and Shu-Mei Shih, eds. The Creolization of Theory. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011.

    DOI: 10.1215/9780822393320Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Edited collection that documents and advocates the creolization of post-Continental critical and cultural theory. Influenced by Glissant 1997. Also includes an interview with Glissant. The editors’ introduction gives a genealogy of post–Second World War emancipatory theory as creolized and recommends its repoliticization through transformative engagement with decolonial projects.

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Postcolonial Music Historiography

Postcolonial historiography of music generally takes one of two forms. The first and most commonly pursued by historical musicologists, urges a greater inclusiveness of music historical knowledge to encompass non-European or Euro-settler musical pasts, reforming historiographical categories and methods as needed to accomplish this goal. The second and critical form of historiographical research is more properly postcolonial, in this article’s definition of the term. It proceeds from a politicized skepticism toward conventional Western music historiography and challenges many of its received premises and methods, claiming that they perpetuate colonial epistemologies and their politics in the present. Klein 2008, Schofield 2010, Tomlinson 2012, Diamond 2013, and Bloechl 2015 fall most clearly into this latter category of research. See also Tomlinson 2007 and Bloechl 2008 (both cited under 1492–1815). Klein 2008 addresses the historiography of non-Western musical pasts, developing an African-centered postcolonial epistemology of historical west African music. Likewise, Diamond 2013 surveys indigenous North American “ways of history,” discussing their overlap and, in some cases, incompatibilities with non-indigenous-centered historiographies of music. Schofield 2010 is also the work of an ethnomusicologist, who proposes a broadly conceived postcolonial historiography of musical classicization around the world. It focuses on the 17th-century Mughal classicization of Hindustani music (on classicization, see also Weidman 2006, cited under Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands). Tomlinson 2012 is an influential genealogical account of the colonial historical conditions in which Western music history and anthropology came to be distinguished. Bloechl 2015 takes a comparable genealogical approach to the historicist neglect of colonial race as a dimension of early musical pasts and advocates for the development of “untimely historiographies” of music before 1800. Coelho 2005 and Baker 2008 more closely resemble the first form of postcolonial research described above (see also Irving 2010, cited under 1492–1815). Both are studies by early music historians who explore the challenges of a postcolonial approach to the musical life of European settler and maritime colonies in the 16th through 18th centuries. Portuguese Goa is the focus of Coelho 2005, which concludes that histories of European music on the Indian subcontinent should incorporate non-European perspectives and reflect an awareness of music’s role in colonial cultural politics. Baker 2008 takes issue with the conventional cathedral-centered historiography of music in the European colonies, and he develops an urban historiography that looks beyond composed music to consider the colonial urban soundscape.

  • Baker, Geoffrey. Imposing Harmony: Music and Society in Colonial Cuzco. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.

    DOI: 10.1215/9780822388753Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Develops an urban historical approach to musical life in early European colonies, as an alternative to the cathedral-centered historiography predominant in early musicological research on colonial societies. Emphasizes urban and parochial soundscapes and institutions as sites for colonial contestation over cultural dominance and authority.

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  • Bloechl, Olivia. “Race, Empire, and Early Music.” In Rethinking Difference in Music Scholarship. Edited by Olivia Bloechl, Melanie Lowe, and Jeffrey Kallberg, 77–107. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

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    Critical essay that advocates for historical research on race and early music and theorizes an “untimely” historiography of global music before 1800, which rejects the Eurocentric and white-dominant underpinnings of strict historicism. Reviews the historiography of early race and includes a case study of blackface costuming in 16th- to 18th-century French ballet and opera.

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  • Coelho, Victor Anand. “Music in New Worlds.” In The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Music. Edited by Tim Carter and John Butt, 88–110. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

    DOI: 10.1017/CHOL9780521792738Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Introduction to 17th-century colonial music historiography and case study of European music in Portuguese-occupied Goa. Briefly discusses postcolonial theories of history and reflects on the challenges of working with politically charged colonial music sources.

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  • Diamond, Beverley. “Native American Ways of (Music) History.” In The Cambridge History of World Music. Edited by Philip V. Bohlman, 155–180. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

    DOI: 10.1017/CHO9781139029476Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Surveys indigenous North American philosophies and methods of music and dance history, emphasizing literatures on First Nations, Inuit, and Métis forms of music. Helpfully foregrounds historiographies developed by scholars of indigenous descent. The literature reviewed is mainly ethnomusicological and anthropological.

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  • Klein, Tobias Robert. Moderne Traditionen: Studien zur postkolonialen Musikgeschichte Ghanas. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2008.

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    A historiographical study of postcolonial west African music, with a focus on music in Accra. The introductory chapter engages questions of musical nationalism, modernity, and history within a postcolonial theoretical framework. Emphasizes writings on music by African intellectuals and musician-scholars as resources for postcolonial knowledge of west African musical pasts.

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  • Schofield, Katherine Butler. “Reviving the Golden Age: ‘Classicization,’ Hindustani Music, and the Mughals.” Ethnomusicology 54.3 (2010): 484–517.

    DOI: 10.5406/ethnomusicology.54.3.0484Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Broaches a postcolonial historiography of art music in Asia and elsewhere, particularly processes of classicization. Focuses on the case of the Mughal classicization of Hindustani music in the 17th century.

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  • Tomlinson, Gary. “Musicology, Anthropology, History.” In The Cultural Study of Music. 2d ed. Edited by Martin Clayton, Trevor Herbert, and Richard Middleton, 59–72. New York and London: Routledge, 2012.

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    Influential genealogical account of musicology before and after the emergence of historiography and ethnography as distinct epistemologies in the 19th century. This distinction, which depended on colonial geocultural divisions and values, was reproduced in the modern division of musicology and ethnomusicology. Advocates a critical, non-Eurocentric neocomparativism. First published in 2003.

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Postcolonial Research on Music History

Like postcolonial historiography, postcolonial research on music history takes a variety of forms. The following sections prioritize research on musical life in past colonial or postcolonial settings that incorporates a robust critical approach (see also the Introduction). Accordingly, traditional colonial music histories and historical studies of postcolonies are not included here, unless they take a self-consciously critical approach to their material. Most of the following research is by historical musicologists and by historically oriented scholars from other disciplines. Given the cross-fertilization of anthropological and historical approaches to music scholarship in recent decades, a number of writings in the section on Postcolonial Ethnomusicology and Anthropology of Music could easily have been located here, and vice versa. The criterion for including research on the past in this section was its predominant disciplinary orientation, as historical or anthropological scholarship. The chronological divisions of the following sections correspond to a common periodization of European empires, beginning with research on music in the first centuries of global exploration, colonization, and colonial slaving (1492–1815). The second section (1815–) includes the era of modern imperialism (1870–1914) and extends through mid-century decolonization to encompass the rise of neoimperialism and neocolonialism in the second half of the 20th century.

1492–1815

Historical scholarship on music in colonial and precolonial societies dates back to at least the 18th century and persists into the 21st century. However, postcolonial research on music in early European empires has only emerged in the early 21st century, with a florescence of research in the past ten years. Tomlinson 2007 and Powers 2014 include research first published in the mid-1990s, on colonial representation of Mesoamerican singing and on Francophone musical theater in the Caribbean, respectively. The research in Tomlinson 2007 was both groundbreaking and controversial. Tomlinson’s poststructuralist approach influenced Bloechl 2008, which finds that early colonial differentiation of Native North American music was formative for European musical thought and creativity, especially in France and England. Bloechl 2008 and Powers 2014 incorporate postcolonial hermeneutics, critiquing the representation of subaltern peoples in European courtly musical theater and opera. See also Betzwieser 1993 (cited under Exoticism). Agnew 2008 analyzes the influence of 18th-century colonial discourses, especially in Pacific travel writing, on German and British musical aesthetics and politics. Baker 2008 and Irving 2010 combine historicist studies of music in Spanish colonies, especially in colonial urban institutions, with a critical historiographical framework. Both studies emphasize European-derived music but also document indigenous and Afro- and Asian-diasporic musical forms. Baker and Knighton 2011 is a volume of mainly historicist essays on urban music in the Spanish American colonies, which incorporate critical perspectives on colonialism. Mann 2010 takes a sociohistorical approach to music and dance in the Catholic frontier missions in northern New Spain, emphasizing the mission soundscape and attempting to reconstruct indigenous music based on more recent sources. Davis 2006 (cited under 1815–Present) is noteworthy for its focus on gender in 18th-century British colonial discourse on Irish music.

  • Agnew, Vanessa. Enlightenment Orpheus: The Power of Music in Other Worlds. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336665.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Cultural history of 18th-century German and British musical aesthetics and politics that argues for the constitutive role of colonial travel writing, especially in Pacific travels. Includes close readings of a range of European travel writings. Thoughtfully analyzes late-18th-century European musical aesthetics from a postcolonial perspective.

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  • Baker, Geoffrey. Imposing Harmony: Music and Society in Colonial Cuzco. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.

    DOI: 10.1215/9780822388753Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Urban history of musical life in colonial Cuzco during the 17th and 18th centuries. Focus is on music in ecclesiastical, religious, and confraternal institutions and soundscapes, including in the indigenous urban and rural parishes. Critiques cathedral-centered colonial music historiography.

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  • Baker, Geoffrey, and Tess Knighton, eds. Music and Urban Society in Colonial Latin America. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

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    Edited collection of historical essays on urban musical life in colonial Latin America, from the 16th through the 18th centuries. Includes an introductory essay on urban music historiography.

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  • Bloechl, Olivia. Native American Song at the Frontiers of Early Modern Music. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

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    Critical history of European engagement with Native American music in the early colonization of North America. Finds a formative influence of early colonial music discourses on European musical thought and composition. Cases include French and English religious controversies, court masques, and ballets de cour, and operas by Lully and Rameau.

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  • Irving, David R. M. Colonial Counterpoint: Music in Early Modern Manila. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195378269.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    History of music in colonial Manila during the 17th and 18th centuries. Based on extensive archival and primary source research. Devotes considerable attention to musical transculturation and syncretism. Makes a convincing case for historical research on music in early globalization.

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  • Mann, Kristin Dutcher. The Power of Song and Dance in the Mission Communities of Northern New Spain, 1590–1810. Berkeley, CA: Academy of American Franciscan History, 2010.

    DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804770866.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Social history of music and dance in the Catholic frontier missions in northern New Spain. Focuses on the mission as soundscape and site for musical and dance performance. Attempts to reconstruct indigenous forms of music based on more recent sources.

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  • Powers, David M. From Plantation to Paradise? Cultural Politics and Musical Theatre in French Slave Colonies, 1764–1789. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2014.

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    Cultural history of French opera in the French Caribbean colonies during the second half of the 18th century. Topics include Afro-diasporic participation in French musical theater, colonial theatrical politics, and representation of people of color, especially black Africans, in colonial musical theater.

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  • Tomlinson, Gary. The Singing of the New World. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

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    Critical history of singing in indigenous Mesoamerican and South American societies in the first century of Iberian colonization. Takes a poststructuralist approach to metropolitan and colonial music writing and discourse. The analysis of colonial affect in chapter 7 (“Fear of Singing”) is especially noteworthy. Incorporates published and new essays.

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1815–Present

The 19th and 20th centuries saw the height of European overseas expansion and the decolonization of most formerly colonized territories, as well as the rise of capitalist neoimperialism and neocolonialism after the Second World War. Accordingly, the majority of postcolonial research focuses on this long period, and the relevant historical literature outside the music disciplines is quite extensive. However, music scholarship on this period has been slower to embrace postcolonial frameworks, and so the literature is smaller than in other fields. Historical musicologists have traditionally carried out the majority of research on the 19th century, while ethnomusicologists and musicologists have been equally concerned with the 20th- and 21st centuries. Olwage 2006 and Castro 2011 research musical creation in modern European and US colonies and in postcolonies, taking a critical stance toward colonial structures of race and musical modernity, respectively. Olwage 2006 is a critical analysis of the music of black South African choral composer John Knox Bokwe (b. 1855–d. 1922), which disarticulates the politics of music from its racialized style provenances and criticizes celebratory narratives of musical hybridity. Castro 2011 takes a wider historical scope, as a cultural history of music and nationalism in the Philippines across the 20th century, spanning the US colonial and postcolonial periods. Her research also addresses the important problem of musical modernisms and critical modernities in postcolonial cultures. In contrast, Pasler 2004, Davis 2006, Rosenberg 2014, and Beckles Willson 2013 research metropolitan representation of and intervention in the musical forms of colonialized people. Pasler 2004 documents racialized iconographic representation of non-Western musical instruments and reflects on its utility for metropolitan French politics in the late 19th century. Addressing an earlier moment of French expansionism, Rosenberg 2014 analyzes imperialist and nationalist currents in French travelers’ musical thought, transcription, and creation. Davis 2006, Beckles Willson 2013, and Ochoa Gautier 2014 take a different approach, considering the effects of metropolitan musical discourses and practices in colonized regions themselves (Ireland, Palestine, and Colombia, respectively). Davis 2006 is a cultural history of the colonial genesis of notions of Irish national musicality, which brings in important considerations of gender. In a critically astute and wide-ranging historical study, Beckles Willson 2013 examines Orientalist music writings, institutions, and programs in Palestine, from the 19th century to the present. Finally, Ochoa Gautier 2014 investigates written traces of listening practices in 19th-century Colombia and presents a critical account of the colonial and postcolonial politics of listening in Latin America.

  • Beckles Willson, Rachel. Orientalism and Musical Mission: Palestine and the West. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9781139567831Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Critical history of Western Orientalist projects of musical pedagogy, missionization, and cultural reform in Palestine, from the mid-19th century to the early 21st century. Combines discourse analysis with institutional and cultural history in a skillful and original study. Lays the groundwork for a Palestinian music history.

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  • Castro, Christi-Anne. Musical Renderings of the Philippine Nation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746408.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Cultural history of music in the 20th-century Philippines. Examines the relationship between music and nationalism in the colonial and postcolonial eras, with an emphasis on the latter. Topics include postcolonial musical modernism and hybridity, as well as Filipino critical modernities.

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  • Davis, Leith. Music, Postcolonialism, and Gender: The Construction of Irish National Identity, 1724–1874. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2006.

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    Examines 18th- and 19th-century discourses on Irish music that contributed to colonial representation of Ireland as the “land of song.” The majority of the book addresses the 19th century. Several chapters focus on gender or on women’s history. Reflects thoughtfully on the relevance of postcolonialism to Irish music history.

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  • Ochoa Gautier, Ana María. Aurality: Listening and Knowledge in Nineteenth-Century Colombia. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014.

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    Critical history of listening and sonic epistemologies in 19th-century Colombia, which also reflects on the relationship between this colonial past and modern Latin American auralities. Examines traces of past listening in travel writings, literature, songbooks, grammars, orthographies, and musical notations, as a basis for critiquing their “zoopolitics of the voice.”

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  • Olwage, Grant. “John Knox Bokwe, Colonial Composer: Tales about Race and Music.” Journal of the Royal Music Association 131.1 (2006): 1–37.

    DOI: 10.1093/jrma/fki010Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Critical study of the choral music of black South African composer John Knox Bokwe. Finds that its Victorian British stylistic idiom was compatible with Bokwe’s increasingly anticolonial politics. Criticizes celebratory narratives of musical hybridity as decolonial resistance, noting that the politics of music extend beyond musical style and its provenances.

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  • Pasler, Jann. “The Utility of Musical Instruments in the Racial and Colonial Agendas of Late Nineteenth-Century France.” Journal of the Royal Musical Association 129.1 (2004): 24–76.

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    Investigates the use of racialized popular discourse and iconography of musical instruments in debates over imperialism and assimilationist colonial policy in 19th-century France. Richly illustrated with images from late-19th-century colonial journalism. Historically adept analysis of French cultural politics from a postcolonial perspective.

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  • Rosenberg, Ruth E. Music, Travel, and Imperial Encounter in Nineteenth-Century France: Musical Apprehensions. New York and London: Routledge, 2014.

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    Analyzes imperialist and nationalist currents in 19th-century French travelers’ musical thought, transcription, and creation, from the perspective of a historically trained ethnomusicologist. Discusses travel writings, folklore and folksong collections, ethnographic transcriptions, and works of fiction. Like Ochoa Gautier 2014, this includes significant discussion of listening as a colonial perceptual modality.

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Postcolonial Ethnomusicology and Anthropology of Music

Although the disciplines of ethnomusicology and anthropology of music are direct legacies of colonialism (see Tomlinson 2012, cited under Postcolonial Music Historiography), they have also led the way in challenging colonial epistemologies of music. Yet their response to postcolonial and decolonial approaches in the humanities and social sciences has been mixed. Both disciplines routinely study music in decolonized or decolonizing societies, and anticolonial perspectives on musical life pervade much research carried out since the 1960s. Nevertheless, ethnomusicologists have in general been slower than anthropologists to embrace postcolonial and related cultural theory. This may stem partly from the field’s strong valuation of empirical research, which is well represented in the following sections. However, in recent years ethnomusicology has also adopted postcolonial and decolonial frameworks more readily and explicitly, and a selection of that literature is represented here. The following sections group research by geographic area rather than chronology, with transborder research placed appropriately. This organization acknowledges the predominant area studies orientation of ethnomusicology and anthropology. It is not meant to imply a “lack” of music history in the documented societies, which was a pernicious tenet of colonialist Western historiography. That said, much of the research in the following sections does emphasize the present or recent past, employing ethnography or fieldwork methods of working with living subjects. Finally, all of the research cited here either explicitly adopts a postcolonial or decolonial framework or else brings a robust critical perspective to historically colonial or postcolonial cases. In the case of the latter, it is assumed that documenting music societies with a colonial past does not in itself constitute “postcolonial” research, in the present sense. Such studies abound in anthropology and ethnomusicology, as in historical musicology. Whatever their other merits, they are excluded here in favor of research that proceeds from an authorial perspective that is critically reflective on colonialism and its legacies.

Africa

The musical life of societies on the African continent has, in many instances, been profoundly altered by European colonization and colonial trade, decolonization, and neoimperialism, although colonialism is by no means definitive of African or African-derived musical creation in the past or present. The early colonial procurement of slaves along the western African coast, which peaked in the 18th century, initiated a series of diasporic forced migrations to the Americas and the Caribbean. These migrations, as well as those of free individuals, had a lasting effect on musical life everywhere that saw significant concentrations of enslaved persons and their descendants. In the late 19th century, European nations competed to systematically control as much of the Continent as possible, yet by 1990 all the former colonies except South Africa had thrown off formal political control by foreign powers in favor of self-rule. In many societies, neo-colonialism and economic neoimperialism perpetuated the ills of colonization under different formal leadership. Postcolonialism is accordingly a relevant and influential framework for scholarly reflection on the musical forms of Africa and the Afro-diaspora, although it is not necessarily evoked explicitly in ethnomusicological or anthropological Africanist research. Postcolonial frameworks are especially prevalent in research on modern African and Afro-diasporic popular musics, as in Waterman 1990, Erlmann 1999, Monson 2003, Sieber 2005, and Ntarangwi 2009. Waterman 1990 is a much-cited anthropological analysis of Yoruban jùjú and identity formation in modern Nigeria, which emphasizes structures of inequality stemming from colonization and postcolonial regimes. Erlmann 1999 recapitulates the author’s earlier research on South African traditional and popular genres in a wide-ranging study of music in the global imagination, which is explicitly framed within postcolonialism. In Monson 2003 a distinguished group of scholars consider the relationship between music of various sorts and the emergence of 20th-century African diasporic sensibilities. Many of the authors also address postcoloniality. Muller 1999 documents the religious music and dance of the South African Nazarite Church, finding that it indigenized colonial Protestant missionary forms and adapted them in response to changing historical conditions. Agawu 2003 discusses a variety of African musical forms in a controversial critique of Africanist ethnomusicology and anthropology of music as, in essence, insufficiently postcolonial. Rejecting difference-based music epistemologies as repeating colonial logics of social division and unequal power allocation, it advocates music theoretical approaches that begin from the premise of underlying sameness.

  • Agawu, Kofi. Representing African Music: Postcolonial Notes, Queries, Positions. New York: Routledge, 2003.

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    Critique of ethnomusicological research on African music, from the perspective of a Ghanaian music theorist and Africanist. Sophisticated and controversial argument against difference-oriented knowledge of African music. Advocates musical engagement predicated on the possibility of sameness. Critical response in Erlmann 2004, cited under Postcolonial Music Theory.

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  • Erlmann, Veit. Music, Modernity, and the Global Imagination: South Africa and the West. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195123678.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Analyzes the role of music in South African, European, and African American global imaginaries, from the late 19th through the late 20th centuries. Explicitly framed as postcolonial research, this book revisits the author’s distinguished research on isicathamiya and other cases. Somewhat loosely organized, but navigable.

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  • Monson, Ingrid, ed. The African Diaspora: A Musical Perspective. New York and London: Routledge, 2003.

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    Edited collection on African-derived diasporic music in the African continent, the Americas and the Caribbean, and Europe. Part 2 focuses on music in west Africa, especially performance styles that challenge colonial distinctions between indigenous and Western musical forms.

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  • Muller, Carol Ann. Rituals of Fertility and the Sacrifice of Desire: Nazarite Women’s Performance in South Africa. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.

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    A historical ethnography of the songs and dances of the South African Church of the Nazarites (ibandla lamaNazaretha). Emphasizes the everyday lives of Nazarite women. Incorporates a reflexive method and is noteworthy for its nuanced critical perspective on missionization in colonization and Apartheid. Includes a CD.

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  • Ntarangwi, Mwenda. East African Hip Hop: Youth Culture and Globalization. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009.

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    Ethnography-based study of east African hip-hop as a medium for emancipatory social commentary and protest. Discusses the challenges artists face in blending transnational Afro-diasporic styles with local musical practices and values. Highlights musical exchanges within east Africa. Includes chapters on gender and on HIV/AIDS politics.

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  • Sieber, Timothy. “Popular Music and Cultural Identity in the Cape Verdean Post-colonial Diaspora.” Etnográfica 9.1 (2005): 123–148.

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    Ethnographic study of popular music taste among diasporic Cape Verdeans in Portugal, Mozambique, and the eastern United States. Documents a shift away from Lusophone music and toward African-based musical forms, especially Afro-Caribbean ones. Finds an accompanying identification with transnational blackness, while retaining a Cape Verdean ethnic identification.

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  • Waterman, Christopher Alan. Jùjú: A Social History and Ethnography of an African Popular Music. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.

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    An influential historical and ethnographic account of the Yoruban popular genre of jùjú in urban Nigeria, from the 1920s to the 1980s. Investigates the role of jùjú in social identity formation, in the context of colonial and postcolonial structures of inequality.

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The Americas and the Caribbean

Postcolonialism provides a valuable critical perspective on the music of South and North America, Mesoamerica, and the Caribbean as, in many instances, profoundly shaped by histories of European colonization and oceanic trade. The American continents and the Caribbean islands absorbed the brunt of early European overseas expansion and plantation, and they saw some of the most ambitious colonial settlement projects in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were also the final destination for most enslaved black Africans who endured the Atlantic crossing in the triangular trade. Finally, neoimperial control exercised by the United States, itself a settler colony, has been a major force in hemispheric political and economic relations since the early 20th century. Despite the relevance of these forms of coloniality and postcoloniality to musical life, ethnomusicological and anthropological research on the western hemisphere has in general been slow to embrace postcolonial frameworks per se. Often researchers incorporate critical epistemologies that are recognizably postcolonial without overtly signaling this connection, especially in research before the 2000s. This is the case with Robertson 1992, a landmark volume commemorating the quincentenary of the Columbian voyages to the western hemisphere. Its essays combine ethnographic and historical approaches to the musical legacies of early Atlantic colonialism, and many of them critically connect the colonial past to the present. Browner 2002 is an ethnography and analysis of Native North American intertribal pow-wow, which places it in a historical context of anticolonial resistance and survival. Although this study is more decolonial than postcolonial, its critical stance toward colonialism and linking of the colonial past with the present overlaps with postcolonial approaches (see Decolonialism and Coloniality of Power). Pacini Hernandez 2010 and Sharma 2010 research popular music in US minoritized transnational communities. Pacini Hernandez 2010 discusses Latino/a popular music forms and borderland hybridity, while Sharma 2010 takes a comparative racial approach to South Asian–American hip-hop. Guilbault 2007, Rommen 2007, and Veal 2007 are studies of Caribbean popular music. Guilbault 2007 is an ethnography and history of the politics of calypso before and after independence, while Rommen 2007 offers and ethnography-based analysis of the ethics of postcolonial Trinidadian gospel. Veal 2007 looks at Jamaican dub in relationship to roots reggae since the 1970s and interprets it as an expression of Afro-diasporic and postcolonial experience. Ochoa Gautier 2006 is a theoretical argument that conflict over Latin American music epistemologies has created a public space of deliberation over postcolonial sonic modernity.

  • Browner, Tara. Heartbeat of the People: Music and Dance of the Northern Pow-wow. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2002.

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    Ethnographic and analytical study of North American intertribal pow-wow music, dance, and ceremony, focusing on the northern style. Includes consideration of anticolonial politics and histories of pow-wow performance. Is not framed as postcolonial research but is an important example of anticolonial or decolonial research on indigenous musical forms in the Americas.

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  • Guilbault, Jocelyne. Governing Sound: The Cultural Politics of Trinidad’s Carnival Musics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

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    Ethnography-based study of the cultural politics of calypso. Traces the involvement of calypso with colonial, post-independence, and neoliberal politics. Includes a CD.

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  • Ochoa Gautier, Ana María. “Sonic Transculturation, Epistemologies of Purification and the Aural Public Sphere in Latin America.” Social Identities 12.6 (2006): 803–825.

    DOI: 10.1080/13504630601031022Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Theorizes a “recontextualization” of traditional and popular forms of music that has created a space of deliberation over Latin American postcolonial sonic modernity. Finds a contradiction between epistemologies of purification and of transculturation, which are contested in this “aural public sphere.”

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  • Pacini Hernandez, Deborah. Oye Como Va! Hybridity and Identity in Latino Popular Music. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2010.

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    Takes an anthropological approach to questions of stylistic hybridity and hybrid identification in contemporary Latino/a popular music. Topics include musical transnationalism, mestizaje, and Latinidad.

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  • Robertson, Carol E., ed. Musical Repercussions of 1492: Encounters in Text and Performance. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1992.

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    Edited collection of essays commemorating the Columbian voyages of 1492. Not explicitly postcolonial, but the introduction and many essays take a critical approach to the colonial musical past and its modern legacies. Brings together ethnomusicological and musicological approaches, in case studies spanning five centuries and the Atlantic rim.

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  • Rommen, Timothy. “Mek Some Noise”: Gospel and the Ethics of Style in Trinidad. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007.

    DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520250673.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Ethnography of Trinidadian gospel music that analyzes the ethical convictions that guide its creation and reception in a postcolonial context. Theorizes an “ethics of style” as a model for the process by which musical style, in an expansive definition, shapes identity formation in relation to a local sense of the good.

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  • Sharma, Nitasha Tamar. Hip Hop Desis: South Asian Americans, Blackness, and a Global Race Consciousness. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.

    DOI: 10.1215/9780822392897Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Ethnographic study of South Asian–American hip-hop culture. Focuses on the aesthetics, politics, and racial identifications of young, mostly male Asian-American hip-hop artists and fans. Discusses the relationship between artists’ identification with African Americans as a racialized US minority and their diasporic self-identification.

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  • Veal, Michael. Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2007.

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    A historical, analytical, and interpretive study of Jamaican dub, based partly on interviews conducted with musicians. Discusses dub’s relationship to roots reggae and interprets dub as a product and expression of Jamaicans’ postcolonial experience.

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Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands

The degree to which histories of empire, colonization, and colonial trade affect musical life in Australasia and the Pacific Islands varies so widely as to nearly defy generalization. In the modern era, the Asian continent has seen imperial and neo-imperial projects pursued by Japan, China, and the United States, in addition to European powers. Australia, itself a settler colony, has also exercised neoimperial control over nearby Pacific islands. Nevertheless, some broad differences can be noted, in the context of music research. Occupation colonies, which comprised the majority of European colonies in Asia, generally had a lesser direct impact on local musical forms than settler colonies, where majority-white communities instituted their own musical practices as socially dominant forms. As in Africa and the Americas, informal colonial or imperial agents, such as foreign missionaries and teachers, were often most directly responsible for coerced musical change in colonized Asian societies. In the era of decolonization, developing critical modernities has been an important component of cultural life in former colonies. Roseman 2000, Shannon 2006, and Weidman 2006 approach music as a means of negotiating modernity in postcolonial west, central, and south Asia. Roseman 2000 has an analysis of traditional ceremonial spirit song in forested Malaysia, while Shannon 2006 and Weidman 2006 examine Syrian Arab and South Indian musical forms, respectively. Weidman 2006 is representative of one prominent mode of postcolonial anthropological (and historical) research on music, in its method of layering a modest postcolonial critical apparatus over what is fundamentally an empirical study. Chun, et al. 2004 and Roy 2010 examine contemporary Asian popular music from postcolonial, transnational, and colonial diasporic frameworks. Postcolonial approaches are especially prominent in research on Aboriginal Australian, New Zealand, and other indigenous types of music, especially popular musical idioms. Corn 2009 is a study of the history and politics of the Aboriginal Australian band Yothu Yindi, produced in collaboration with the band’s leader, Mandawuy Yunupiŋu. Such collaborations, when they involve substantial non-academic indigenous control, can be an effective decolonial intervention in conventional anthropological methods (see also Smith 2012, cited under Decolonialism and Coloniality of Power). Non-indigenous research on indigenous musical forms has too often perpetuated colonial narratives of decline and disappearance, most notoriously in Boasian “salvage ethnography” of the early 20th century. For this and other reasons, Schwartz 2012 is noteworthy as an ethnography and history of Marshallese women’s survival and protest songs, which respond to successive waves of colonization and mid-century US nuclear testing.

  • Chun, Allen, Ned Rossiter, and Brian Shoesmith, eds. Refashioning Pop Music in Asia: Cosmopolitan Flows, Political Tempos, and Aesthetic Industries. London: Routledge Curzon, 2004.

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    Edited collection of essays on popular music in east Asia, from anthropological and media studies perspectives. The introduction and a number of the essays address postcolonialism, as well as transnationalism.

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  • Corn, Aaron. Reflections and Voices: Exploring the Music of Yothu Yindi with Mandawuy Yunupiŋu. Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2009.

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    Addresses the history and politics of the Aboriginal Australian band Yothu Yindi, based partly on interviews with band’s leader, Mandawuy Yunupiŋu. Part of the Aboriginal-led National Recording Project for Indigenous Performance in Australia. A notable example of collaborative music scholarship between indigenous and non-indigenous intellectuals.

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  • Roseman, Marina. “Shifting Landscapes: Musical Mediations of Modernity in the Malaysian Rainforest.” Yearbook for Traditional Music 32 (2000): 31–65.

    DOI: 10.2307/3185242Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Ethnography-based study of the ceremonial music of Malyasian Temiars, which documents how they have used spirit song receipt and performance to reinforce relationships with their changing environs. Draws on postcolonial and transnational theories.

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  • Roy, Anjali Gera. Bhangra Moves: From Ludhiana to London and Beyond. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2010.

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    Theoretically sophisticated study of the global circulation of the British-Asian dance music form Bhangra to and from India, focusing especially on one of its originating sites in Panjab. Details Panjabi adaptations of British-Asian Bhangra and underlines the significance of “peripheral” models of musical hybridity.

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  • Schwartz, Jessica A. “‘Between Death and Life’: Mobility, War, and Marshallese Women’s Songs of Survival.” Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture 16 (2012): 23–56.

    DOI: 10.1353/wam.2012.0023Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Ethnography-based historical analysis of Marshallese women’s songs as part of a project of survival and cultural memory after colonialism and US nuclear testing. Sophisticated discussion of the women’s musical-poetic negotiation of changing gender roles. Examines song as anti-imperial activism.

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  • Shannon, Jonathan Holt. Among the Jasmine Trees: Music and Modernity in Contemporary Syria. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2006.

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    Anthropological study of the aesthetics of musical authenticity in contemporary Syria and its relation to Syrians’ negotiations with modernity. Focuses especially on the role of musical heritage in the formation of modern subjectivities in a postcolonial society.

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  • Weidman, Amanda J. Singing the Classical, Voicing the Modern: The Postcolonial Politics of Music in South India. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006.

    DOI: 10.1215/9780822388050Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Ethnographic and historical study of the politicization of Karnatic vocality as classical and Indian. Traces the colonial-era classicization of Karnatic music and discusses its postcolonial situation as both modern and the embodiment of authentic oral tradition. Argues that colonialism was a formative condition for modern discourses of classical music.

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Europe

Postcolonial studies has mainly engaged Europe critically as the world area whose Western nation-states and trading companies initiated the most ambitious projects of colonization, empire, and colonial commerce in the modern era. However, anthropological and ethnomusicological research on European musical forms traditionally focused on folk and popular idioms, rather than the cultivated music of the social and political elites who generally drove overseas imperial projects. This has indubitably changed. However, postcolonialism has had little presence in ethnomusicological scholarship on European societies until recently, and this may be partly a function of traditional topical preferences. It is perhaps telling in this regard that research on the music of postcolonial migrants to Europe and on transborder commercial popular music constitute the main exceptions, where postcolonial epistemologies have had a significant presence. For instance, Sharma, et al. 1996; Hutnyk 2000; and Bakrania 2013 all address Asian-British popular musical forms produced and used by colonial diasporic migrant communities. Sharma, et al. 1996 was foundational and influenced Hutnyk 2000 and Bakrania 2013. While all three studies are concerned with politics, Sharma, et al. 1996 emphasizes protest politics, whereas Hutnyk 2000 highlights anti-racist resistance within a context of corporate commodification. Bakrania 2013 discerns a range of anti-racist and anti-sexist politics in her informants’ musical engagement and critiques Hutnyk 2000 for subordinating gender as a site of struggle. Helbig 2014 also documents the hybridized popular music of postcolonial migrants, in this case hip-hop created by black migrants from Uganda to Ukraine. In addition to providing a model of multisite ethnographic research on transborder musical forms, Helbig 2014 represents the convergence of two important vectors of Europeanist research on postsocialism (after the dissolution of the USSR) and on black European arts and culture. Both vectors have an integral, if complex, relation to postcolonial studies. Research on the music of indigenous European groups has also sometimes adopted postcolonial frameworks. Hilder 2015 stands out as an example of research combining a solid ethnographic foundation with thoughtful integration of multiple strands of postcolonialism, in the service of an overarching narrative about Sámi musical politics. Barendregt and Bogaerts 2014 is an essay collection on Indonesian-Dutch musical encounters in the historical Dutch Empire and in the postcolonial Netherlands, both of which are under-researched. Finally, Gray 2007 focuses on the post-imperial space of Lisbon in an ethnography of fado performance, which sees it as a vehicle for melancholic national memory of empire.

  • Bakrania, Falu. Bhangra and Asian Underground: South Asian Music and the Politics of Belonging in Britain. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2013.

    DOI: 10.1215/9780822395645Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Ethnographic and theoretical study of Asian Underground music in Britain in the 2000s. Analyzes the creation of Bhangra and Asian Underground music by male DJs and its use by female club-goers, based on interviews with scene participants.

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  • Barendregt, Bart, and Els Bogaerts, eds. Recollecting Resonances: Indonesian-Dutch Musical Encounters. Boston: Brill, 2014.

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    Edited collection of essays on musical interaction between Indonesians and Dutch colonizers over several centuries. The introduction situates the book as part of a Dutch “postcolonial dialogue” on its colonizing past.

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  • Gray, Lila Ellen. “Memories of Empire, Mythologies of the Soul: Fado Performance and the Shaping of Saudade.” Ethnomusicology 51.1 (2007): 106–130.

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    Ethnographic study of fado in Lisbon. Sees it as a performance tradition that affectively links a sense of place and belonging to memory of Portugal’s colonial history. Minimally critical, but arguably postcolonial in outlook.

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  • Helbig, Adriana N. Hip Hop Ukraine: Music, Race, and African Migration. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2014.

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    Ethnography and analysis of hip-hop by black migrant musicians in post-Soviet Ukraine and in their communities of origin in postcolonial Uganda. Examines hip-hop as mediating interracial relationships between African- and non-African Ukranians, and as a means for musicians to situate themselves in their new homeland.

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  • Hilder, Thomas. Sámi Musical Performance and the Politics of Indigeneity in Northern Europe. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

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    Ethnographic study of the Sámi music scene in northern Europe, which focuses on its role in Sámi politics of self-determination, religious cultural revival, and trans-indigenous cosmopolitanism. Thoughtfully integrates postcolonialism, including green and feminist postcolonial perspectives, into the discussion.

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  • Hutnyk, John. Critique of Exotica: Music, Politics and the Culture Industry. London and Sterling, VA: Pluto, 2000.

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    This theoretically sophisticated study critiques hybridity in global popular music and the commercial culture industry, from an anthropological and Marxist perspective. Builds on Sharma, et al. 1996. Focuses on cross-cultural music production and consumption in the UK, with case studies of Asian Dub Foundation, Apache Indian, Fundamental, and Kula Shaker.

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  • Sharma, Sanjay, John Hutnyk, and Ashwani Sharma, eds. Dis-Orienting Rhythms: The Politics of the New Asian Dance Music. London and Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Zed Books, 1996.

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    Groundbreaking edited collection on south Asian–derived dance music in Britain. Opens with a pair of theoretical chapters (by A. Sharma and S. Sharma, respectively) critiquing rhetorics of ethnicity and hybridity in discourse on Asian dance music. Includes sections on “Expressive Styles,” “Engagements and Entanglements,” and “Phantasmagoric Terrains.”

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Postcolonial Music Theory

Music theory and varieties of cultural, critical, and social theory have not traditionally converged to any significant extent. Like historical musicology, music theory has also traditionally focused on western European cultivated music and musical systems. Critiques of this Eurocentrism, from postcolonial perspectives, have sometimes come from music theorists themselves, as well as from other music scholars. For example, Scherzinger 2001, Agawu 2003, Agawu 2011, and Titus 2013 critique the paucity of music theoretical models for African music. Scherzinger 2001, Agawu 2003, and Agawu 2011 seek to Africanize music theory itself, arguing for the emancipatory potential of a postcolonial formalism. Agawu 2003 and Agawu 2011 take the strongest position on this point. In contrast, Titus 2013 joins Feld 1981 and Perlman 2004 as examples of ethnotheory of music; Perlman 2004 and Titus 2013 adopt overt postcolonial frameworks. Ethnotheory has existed since the 1970s, but its emphasis on ethnic epistemological particularity has sometimes drawn criticism, as in Agawu 2003. Erlmann 2004 responds thoughtfully to Agawu 2003. Feminist approaches to disciplinary music theory and analysis remain unusual and feminist postcolonial ones nearly non-existent. Hisama 1993 is a noteworthy exception to both rules, as a music analysis and criticism of Orientalism in Mellencamp, Bowie, and Zorn, from an anti-racist feminist postcolonial perspective. One of the more promising developments in music theory is an increasing engagement with relevant critical theories and philosophies outside the field, for the purpose of creating counter-knowledge of musical processes. Moreno 2015 is an example of this development, bringing postcolonial theories of critical modernities and the philosophy of Alain Badiou to bear on the jazz music of MacArthur fellow and Puerto Rico/US migrant Miguel Zenón.

  • Agawu, Kofi. Representing African Music: Postcolonial Notes, Queries, Positions. New York: Routledge, 2003.

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    Landmark study that seeks the development of a postcolonial musical analysis of African music. Rejects analytical approaches premised on the strong difference of African music, particularly its rhythm. Urges the presumption of deep musical comparability, without disregarding differences. Chapters 3, 4, and 8 are particularly relevant for music theory.

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  • Agawu, Kofi. “The Challenge of African Art Music.” Circuit: musiques contemporaines 21.2 (2011): 49–64.

    DOI: 10.7202/1005272arSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Critiques the neglect of African and Afro-diasporic art music by the music disciplines. Advocates thoughtful creative and analytical engagement with individual African composers and art music, as a postcolonial act.

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  • Erlmann, Veit. “Resisting Sameness: À propos Kofi Agawu’s Representing African Music.” Music Theory Spectrum 26.2 (2004): 291–304.

    DOI: 10.1525/mts.2004.26.2.291Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Thoughtful engagement with the major points in Agawu 2003, from the perspective of an Africanist ethnomusicologist. Questions the pairing of postcolonial universalism and Africanism that he finds in Agawu 2003. Advocates “provincializing” music theory, postcolonial or otherwise, by scrutinizing its universalist claims.

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  • Feld, Steven. “‘Flow Like a Waterfall’: The Metaphors of Kaluli Musical Theory.” Yearbook for Traditional Music 13 (1981): 22–47.

    DOI: 10.2307/768356Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Influential study that analyzes Kaluli metaphors for vocal music as coded music theoretical thought. Includes an extended discussion of ethnotheory.

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  • Hisama, Ellie M. “Postcolonialism on the Make: The Music of John Mellencamp, David Bowie, and John Zorn.” Popular Music 12.2 (1993): 91–104.

    DOI: 10.1017/S0261143000005493Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Path-breaking critical music analysis of postmodern Orientalism in music by Mellencamp, Bowie, and Zorn. Discerns intersecting heterosexist and anti-Asian stereotyping in the lyrics, music, and video imagery. Critiques the invisibility and acceptance of Orientalism in music by white male artists.

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  • Moreno, Jairo. “Difference Unthought.” In Rethinking Difference in Music Scholarship. Edited by Olivia Bloechl, Melanie Lowe, and Jeffrey Kallberg, 382–421. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

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    Critical analysis of the jazz music of MacArthur Fellow and Puerto Rico/US migrant Miguel Zenón. Integrates theories of Latin American and Caribbean critical modernities and the philosophy of Alain Badiou into a discussion of Zenón’s resistance to identity-based valuation of his music. Advocates recourse to musical listening as singular, unrepeatable form.

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  • Perlman, Marc. Unplayed Melodies: Javanese Gamelan and the Genesis of Music Theory. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2004.

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    An ambitious study of implicit-melody concepts and their cognitive genesis in Javanese gamelan theory. Initial chapters introduce basic gamelan melodic organization before turning to Javanese theories. Relates Javanese musicians’ conceptualization of gamelan melody to their postcolonial social and historical context.

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  • Scherzinger, Martin. “Negotiating the Music Theory/African-Music Nexus: A Political Critique of Ethnomusicological Anti-Formalism and a Strategic Analysis of the Harmonic Patterning of the Shona Mbira Song Nyamaropa.” Perspectives on New Music 39.1 (2001): 5–117.

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    Ethnomusicological analysis of harmonic structures in a Shona mbira song. Criticizes the restriction of Africanist musical inquiry to contextual epistemologies as unjustly limiting and neo-colonial. Offers an extended “tactical” harmonic analysis and urges the development of a postcolonial African music theory.

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  • Titus, Barbara. “‘Walking Like A Crab’: Analyzing Maskanda Music in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Ethnomusicology 57.2 (2013): 286–310.

    DOI: 10.5406/ethnomusicology.57.2.0286Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An ethnographic approach to musical analysis of the South African genre of maskanda, focusing on its call and response. Critiques the opposition of musical and cultural analysis and the restriction of Africanist scholarship to the latter. Views “indigenized” music analysis as a kind of participant observation, or “analytical participation.” Develops Agawu 2003.

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Postcolonial Aesthetics and Ethics of Music

Postcolonial aesthetics and ethics of music date from at least the mid-20th century (Fanon 2004 and Fanon 2008), but the past two decades have seen a surge of publications. There is as yet little consensus on what constitutes a “postcolonial” aesthetics and ethics of music. One prominent family of approaches is ethnoaesthetics and what might be called ethnoethics of music, both of which are rejected by Agawu 2003, Fanon 2004, and Fanon 2008 as overly invested in colonial structures of racial difference. Instead, they advocate broadly humanist projects of articulating and generalizing good musicalities from postcolonial locations. Agawu 2003, Hayward 1998, Rommen 2007, and Robinson 2012 all address the ethics and politics of musical aesthetics. Hayward 1998 finds a postcolonial “syncretic aesthetic” at work in the 1980s and 1990s creative collaboration between Papua Guinean musicians and the Australian band Not Drowning, Waving. Rommen 2007 advances a model of musical ethics as adherence to religious conviction in modern Trinidadian gospel, while Robinson 2012 investigates intercultural musical production in 21st-century Canada as a possible means of reconciliation and redress. Robinson 2012 is distinguished by its critical focus on indigenous and métis musicalities in a colonial settler state, rather than a postcolonial one. As with other such research on colonial (rather than postcolonial) indigeneity, the relevance of postcolonial versus decolonial or anticolonial approaches to musical aesthetics and ethics is debated. See Decolonialism and Coloniality of Power. Finally, Baker 2008 considers the ethics of early music revivals of Latin American Baroque music, in the light of its colonial genesis.

  • Agawu, Kofi. Representing African Music: Postcolonial Notes, Queries, Positions. New York: Routledge, 2003.

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    Landmark critique of Africanist music scholarship that advocates an African-centered approach to music of the Continent and diaspora. Includes earlier essays and new ones. The chapter on the “ethics of representation” considers best stances and practices of Africanist music research. Discussion throughout of what constitutes “African” performance ethics and aesthetics.

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  • Baker, Geoff. “Latin American Baroque: Performance as a Post-Colonial Act?” Early Music 36.3 (2008): 441–448.

    DOI: 10.1093/em/can082Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Analyzes the early music movement’s revival of Latin American Baroque music in the late 20th century from a postcolonial perspective, considering the ethical and political dilemmas raised by the music’s colonial genesis. Urges historically and critically aware performance practice that keeps moral concerns about the music in view.

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  • Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. Translated by Richard Philcox. New York: Grove, 2004.

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    Section 4 (“On National Culture”) develops the critique in Fanon 2008 of the négritude aesthetic movement championed by Senghor. Advocates modern jazz as part of a dialectical process of postcolonial cultural self-realization. Updated translation of the 1961 French edition, with a new foreword by Homi Bhabha.

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  • Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin, White Masks. Translated by Richard Philcox. New York: Grove, 2008.

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    Existentialist study of the subjective violence of racialized colonialism, where Fanon articulates a radical anticolonial humanism. Includes his classic argument against racial recognition-based struggles, including the négritude movement, as pathologies of subordination. Updated translation of the 1952 edition, with a new foreword by Kwame Anthony Appiah.

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  • Hayward, Philip. Music at the Borders: Not Drowning, Waving and Their Engagement with Papua New Guinean Culture (1986–96). Sydney: John Libbey, 1998.

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    A postcolonial analysis of the creative engagement of the Australian band Not Drowning, Waving with Papua Guinean musicians. Addresses the political asymmetry of this encounter and concludes that the result is not appropriation or imitation, but a collaborative “syncretic aesthetic.” Combines interview-based documentation with musical analysis of the band’s output.

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  • Robinson, Dylan. “Listening to the Politics of Aesthetics: Contemporary Encounters between First Nations/Inuit and Early Music Traditions.” In Aboriginal Music in Contemporary Canada: Echoes and Exchanges. Edited by Anna Hoefnagels and Beverley Diamond, 222–249. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2012.

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    Examines intercultural music in Canada at the millennium involving First Nations/Inuit music and early European music. Asks whether these collaborations can be understood as forms of symbolic reconciliation and redress. Analyzes the “sonic positionality of encounter,” assessing the extent of indigenous sovereignty over “aural space” in performance.

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  • Rommen, Timothy. “Mek Some Noise”: Gospel and the Ethics of Style in Trinidad. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007.

    DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520250673.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Ethnography of Trinidadian gospel music that analyzes the ethical convictions that guide its creation and reception in a postcolonial context. Theorizes an “ethics of style” as a model for the process by which musical style, in an expansive definition, shapes identity formation in relation to a local sense of the good.

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