• Music Analysis and the Politics of Knowledge Production: Interculturality in the Music of Honjoh Hidejirō, Miyata Mayumi, and Mitski

    Toru Momii (see profile)
    Popular music, Race relations--Study and teaching, Ethnology--Study and teaching, Critical theory, Music, Japan, Music theory
    Item Type:
    Columbia University
    21st-century music, Honjoh Hidejirō, Mitski, Miyata Mayumi, Contemporary music, Critical race and ethnic studies, Interculturality, Japanese music, Popular Music Studies
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    This dissertation proposes a framework for analyzing musical interculturality—the processes through which musicians weave together multiple musical and cultural identities through performance—in twenty-first-century music. By attending to the specific sociopolitical contexts of the intercultural environment in which each performer takes part, I challenge multiculturalist assumptions of cultural purity, homogeneity, and authenticity that often undergird music theoretical analyses of non-Western music. My analysis of interculturality centers on musicians whose work risks being excluded from nation-state-based conceptions of cultural authenticity that have dominated music theoretical work on non-Western music. Through three case studies of active Japanese musicians, I explore how a collaborative project between shamisen player Honjoh Hidejirō and composer Fujikura Dai, performances by shō player Miyata Mayumi, and the music of mixed-race Japanese American singer-songwriter Mitski present heterogeneous possibilities of national and cultural identity. Through close readings of musical recordings, videos, and scores, as well as through interviews and archival work, I demonstrate how cultural and musical identities are constructed through the particular historical and sociopolitical contexts within which performers operate. Focusing on how Honjoh, Miyata, and Mitski complicate and challenge strict dichotomies between Japanese and non-Japanese cultural, national, and musical affiliations, I pay close attention to how intercultural meanings are constructed through their performances, dialogues, and collaborations. In each case study, I argue that an analysis of interculturality necessitates a flexible, interdisciplinary, and transnational methodology that is tailored to the precise historical and sociopolitical circumstances in which the music is being created, performed, and interpreted.
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    2 years ago
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