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For the sake of a song: Wangga songmen and their repertories

Wangga is a genre of public dance-song from the Daly region of northwest Australia; the country that lies to the north and south of the mouth of the Daly River . This book focuses on the songmen (medjakarr in Batjamalh; ngalinangga in Marri Tjavin) who have composed and performed wangga in the Daly region in the last fifty years. Many of these singers are now deceased, though their descendants and heirs continue to perform the songs in ceremonies and various public events. At the core of the book is a corpus of some 150 wangga song texts, organised into six repertories: four from the Belyuen-based songmen Barrtjap, Muluk, Mandji and Lambudju, and two from the Wadeye-based Walakandha and Ma-yawa wangga groups, which are named after the ancestral song-giving ghosts of the Marri Tjavin and Marri Ammu people respectively. In this chapter we provide an introduction to wangga and its performance contexts, before presenting a social history for each of the main communities (Belyuen and Wadeye), and tracing the performance lineages of the repertories presented here.

Lists of the tracks associated with chapters 4 to 9 are listed here. Links to streaming versions of the music will be available shortly.