If we open our introduction to this colloquy with a question, namely how and to what ends we might theorize global music history, it is because critical questioning seems to be at the heart of the contributions gathered here. We invited six authors to reflect on a key historical concept, process, or formation they have encountered in their globally oriented music research; as we expected, the topics and methods of their resulting contributions vary widely. They nevertheless converge on a number of common research issues that may serve as departure points for thinking about musical pasts across different spaces and chronologies. Four issues seem most salient: languages and translation practices, the histories of interconnection that “music” reveals and conceals, the political contexts of our research modalities, and the spatial and temporal scales of music-historical inquiry. Together, the contributions offer a series of thoughtful meditations on pressing issues facing global music...
Colloquy: Theorizing Global Music History
OLIVIA BLOECHL is Professor of Musicology at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of Native American Song at the Frontiers of Early Modern Music (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and Opera and the Political Imaginary in Old Regime France (University of Chicago Press, 2017), and coeditor of Rethinking Difference in Music Scholarship (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Her current book projects are Music and Sound in the Struggle for the Ohio Country, 1740–1795 and a coedited handbook on global music history.
HYUN KYONG HANNAH CHANG is Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Korean Studies at the University of Sheffield. Her research reconceives a range of art, religious, and vernacular music in twentieth-century Korea within a transpacific framework. She is currently conducting a project titled Pacific Voicings: Korean Hymns and Prayers in the Age of Empires as a recipient of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Research, Development, and Engagement Fellowship.
JULIANA M. PISTORIUS is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London, and the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Her research investigates the racialized politics of Western art music practice in postcolonial contexts, with a focus on apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. Her monograph Postcolonial Opera: William Kentridge and the Unbounded Work of Art is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.
JULIA BYL is Associate Professor at the University of Alberta. She writes about music cultures of Southeast Asia. Her recent coedited volume Sounding the Indian Ocean (University of California Press, 2023) builds upon her musical ethnography of North Sumatra, Antiphonal Histories (Wesleyan University Press, 2014). Her current research includes studies of music and the institution in East Timor and of community archiving initiatives in Alberta. She currently serves as President of the Canadian Society for Traditional Music / Société canadienne pour les traditions musicales.
HEDY LAW is Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of British Columbia. She has published articles in the Journal of Musicology, Cambridge Opera Journal, and Opera Quarterly, and contributed to the edited volumes Musique et geste en France de Lully à la Révolution (Peter Lang, 2009), The Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies (2016), The Oxford Handbook of Music Censorship (2018), and The Oxford Handbook of Music and the Body (2019). Her book Music, Pantomime, and Enlightenment France was published by Boydell in 2020.
GABRIEL SOLIS is Professor of Music and Divisional Dean of the Arts at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is the author of Monk’s Music (University of California Press, 2008) and Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall (Oxford University Press, 2014), and coeditor of Musical Improvisation: Art, Education, and Society (University of Illinois Press, 2009). His current research focuses on the transnational history of Black music from the United States and West Indies as a cultural resource for Indigenous artists in Australia and Papua New Guinea.
CHOI YU-JUN is Professor at the Chonnam National University in South Korea. He is interested in musical modernity and cultural identities and has investigated cultural phenomena with a focus on music from the perspective of aesthetics and cultural studies. He is a contributor to Decentering Musical Modernity: Perspectives on East Asian and European Music History (Columbia University Press, 2020), and has published several books in Korean, including Eumak Munhwawa Gamseong Jeongchi: Geundaeui eumjowa geu taja (Musical culture and emotional politics: modern tonality and its others) (Jageun iyagi, 2011).
DANIEL F. CASTRO PANTOJA is Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is a specialist in Latin American music with research interests that extend into populism studies and global music history. He is the first Latino recipient of the Society for American Music’s Wiley Housewright Dissertation Award, and is currently co-convenor of the Global Music History Study Group of the American Musicological Society.
Olivia Bloechl and Hyun Kyong Hannah Chang (Convenors), Juliana M. Pistorius, Julia Byl, Hedy Law, Gabriel Solis, Choi Yu-jun, Daniel F. Castro Pantoja; Colloquy: Theorizing Global Music History. Journal of the American Musicological Society 1 December 2023; 76 (3): 831–872. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jams.2023.76.3.831
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