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n Historia - : treading new methodological paths in music historiography

Volume 60, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0018-229X
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Abstract

This article focuses on the use of innovative methodologies in the writing of Western classical music history as illustrated in the publication of the book (2013). The primary methods used in this book are oral history and community interaction and I argue that the use of these methodologies have become possible due to recent developments in the discipline of musicology. I therefore begin with a brief exposition of some key changes in the discipline over the past few decades and highlight the triangular tension that underlies it: the autonomy of music, music in its social and cultural contexts and the loss of notion of "the objective fact" with its concomitant foregrounding of language and the position of the author. recounts the experiences of an opera, dance and ballet company that operated as a so-called coloured arts organisation during the apartheid years in South Africa. Because this group found itself on the receiving end of dominant political and artistic discourses (pre- and post-1994), a democratised method was sought to allow for silenced voices to speak. The book was therefore put together by a committee comprising former Eoan members as well as academics. The challenges of "writing a book by committee" are numerous especially in an environment where the authority of the academic had to give way to other concerns. In my view however, these offset the creativity and innovative pathways these methodologies can bring to music historiography.

Hierdie artikel bespreek die gebruik van vernuwendes metodes vir die skryf van die geskiedenis van Westerse klassieke musiek in Suid-Afrika soos dit toegepas is in die publikasie (2013). Mondelingegeskiedenis en gemeenskapsinteraksie is die primêre metodes wat gebruik is en ek voer aan dat dit moontlik geword het as gevolg van onlangse ontwikkelinge in die dissipline van musiekwetenskap. Die artikel begin met 'n kort uiteensetting van hierdie veranderinge van die afgelope paar dekades en belig die drieledige spanningsveld wat dit onderle, naamlik die outonomie van musiek, musiek in sy kulturele en sosiale kontekste en die verlies van die idee van "die objektiewe feit" wat die posisie van die skrywer/verteller en die gebruik van taal op die voorgrond plaas. vertel die verhaal van 'n opera, drama en ballet geselskap wat tydens die apartheidsjare in Suid-Afrika as 'n sogenaamde kleurling organisasie gefunksioneer het. Omdat hierdie groep (voor en na 1994) deur heersende politieke en artistieke diskoerse benadeel is, is 'n gedemokratiseerde metode gesoek wat voorheen stilgemaakte stemme ruimte gee om gehoor te word. Die boek is om daardie rede saamgestel deur 'n komitee wat uit vorige lede van Eoan en akademici bestaan het. In 'n omgewing waar die outoriteit van die akademikus plek moes maak vir ander prioriteite was die uitdaginge van die skryf van 'n boek deur 'n kommitee soos hierdie veelvoudig. Ek voer aan dat die die kreatiewe en innoverende resultate van hierdie proses positief afweeg teen die uitdagings.

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/content/hist/60/2/EJC183136
2015-01-01
2016-12-11

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