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Audience and keynote event

Music in culturally diverse societies

Strategies, social engagement and significance
This Australian Research Council supported Symposium presents music research in countries and regions as diverse as Aboriginal Australia, Africa, Melanesia, Spain, the UK, Japan, Bali and more.

Date: Tuesday 3 April and Wednesday 4 April 2018
Location(s): Recital Hall East, Library and Atrium, Sydney Conservatorium of Music 
Registrations are not required. This event is free of charge.
Full schedule (PDF, 60kb)

This two-day symposium looks deeply into some of the strategies and forms of social engagement that are related to the use of music by smaller groups within culturally diverse societies and explores the significance of the music of smaller groups within a culturally diverse landscape.

We bring together a diverse group of ethnomusicologists from the United Kingdom, Australia and elsewhere, to promote a deeper and more nuanced understanding of how minority communities produce and maintain music-making within the context of culturally diverse societies. Throughout the symposium we aim to reach a broad understanding of any common issues that emerge from nationally specific contexts.

Keynote address

Date and time: 5pm, Tuesday 3 April 2018
Location: Recital Hall East, Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Join us for refreshments served in the Music Cafe at 6pm)

The symposium keynote address will take the form of an Alfred Hook lecture given given by Dr Edward Herbst, a leading authority on Balinese music and Balinese musical repatriation, and the author of Voices in Bali: Energies and Perceptions in Vocal Music and Dance Theatre (Wesleyan, 1998).

In 1928 the German companies Odeon and Beka made the only recordings of music in Bali published prior to World War II. From 2002 - 2009, Dr Herbst acquired 111 of these recordings from diverse archives in Asia, Europe, and North America. His discoveries came at a time when the last artists of that generation were available as links to the creative and cultural currents of the 1920s.

Using film excerpts, archival photographs, and musical recordings this lecture will illustrate:

  • aesthetic and ethical approaches to dissemination through new and emerging forms of digital media
  • challenges of accessing archives worldwide
  • collaborative research methodologies
  • strategies for grass-roots repatriation (in this case, via publication of a series of five volumes as CDs and DVDs). 

This presentation explains ways that collaborative, dialogic research has benefitted the Balinese public, stimulating new and revived perspectives and musical practices.

Funding and organisation

This symposium is supported by funding from the Royal Society UK, our Research Unit for Musical Diversity and the University of Sydney’s Southeast Asia Studies Centre.

The organisation committee included Dr Catherine Ingram and Professor Linda Barwick.