Music and Conflict

Music and Conflict

JOHN MORGAN O’CONNELL
SALWA EL-SHAWAN CASTELO-BRANCO
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 304
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/j.ctt1x74rt
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Music and Conflict
    Book Description:

    This volume charts a new frontier of applied ethnomusicology by highlighting the role of music in both inciting and resolving a spectrum of social and political conflicts in the contemporary world. Examining the materials and practices of music making, contributors detail how music and performance are deployed to critique power structures and to nurture cultural awareness among communities in conflict._x000B__x000B_The essays here range from musicological studies to ethnographic analyses to accounts of practical interventions that could serve as models for conflict resolution. Music and Conflict reveals how musical texts are manipulated by opposing groups to promote conflict and how music can be utilized to advance conflict resolution. Speaking to the cultural implications of globalization and pointing out how music can promote a shared musical heritage across borders, the essays discuss the music of Albania, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, North and South Korea, Uganda, the United States, and the former Yugoslavia. The volume also includes dozens of illustrations, including photos, maps, and musical scores._x000B__x000B_Contributors are Samuel Araujo, William Beeman, Stephen Blum, Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco, David Cooper, Keith Howard, Inna Naroditskaya, John Morgan O'Connell, Svanibor Pettan, Anne K. Rasmussen, Adelaida Reyes, Anthony Seeger, Jane C. Sugarman, and Britta Sweers.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09025-7
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. vii-x)
    John M. O’Connell
  4. INTRODUCTION: An Ethnomusicological Approach to Music and Conflict
    (pp. 1-14)
    John M. O’Connell

    In his classic epic titledWar and Peace,Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) examines the nature of conflict during the Napoleonic era. With specific reference to the French invasion of Russia in 1812, he views war in terms of competing nationalisms, with two national armies representing two nation-states vying for political supremacy in a closely contested military encounter. In this matter, he understands peace as the necessary outcome of war, the only resolution possible in conflict, where winning all or losing everything is dependent on the tactical acumen of charismatic leaders. For him war and peace represent two polarities in a...

  5. PART 1: MUSIC IN WAR
    • [PART 1: Introduction]
      (pp. 15-16)
      John M. O’Connell

      In part 1, Jane Sugarman and Inna Naroditskaya examine how music is used to perpetuate conflict and to advance conflict resolution. With specific reference to two internecine conflicts involving Christians and Muslims that attended the demise of Communism, the authors show how music helps clarify complex cultural differences at a national and an international level. Studying two wars of independence in Kosova and Qarabağ, each scholar interrogates the ambivalent role of music in conflict in which several musical styles performed in a range of musical contexts are employed to influence attitudes toward war and peace both diachronically and synchronically. Here...

    • CHAPTER 1 Kosova Calls for Peace: Song, Myth, and War in an Age of Global Media
      (pp. 17-45)
      Jane C. Sugarman

      In 1946, in the wake of World War II, Yugoslavia was newly reconstituted as a multiethnic federation. From that date until 1991, it consisted of the six republics of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia, and, within Serbia, the two autonomous provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo (hereafter indicated by the Albanian-language name Kosova). In 1991, as socialist states were collapsing throughout southeastern Europe, Yugoslavia began to break apart, precipitating a series of violent wars. After a brief period of fighting in Slovenia, large-scale warfare erupted in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and eventually Kosova. By 2006, each of the country’s six republics...

    • CHAPTER 2 Musical Enactment of Conflict and Compromise in Azerbaijan
      (pp. 46-64)
      Inna Naroditskaya

      On the stage of the Moscow Conservatory in mid-January 1991, two hundred musicians—a group including the Azerbaijan National Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Chorus, and celebrated soloists—performed a monumental composition by one of Azerbaijan’s most distinguished composers, Vasif Adigozal (1935–2006). The event would have looked no different from many other “days of art and culture” organized by different republics in the Soviet capital if not for the ethnic conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the region of Qarabağ.¹ The wordQarabağitself is in the title of Adigozal’s oratorioQarabağ Shikestesi

      This mountainous region known as Qarabağ (Black...

  6. PART 2: MUSIC ACROSS BOUNDARIES
    • [PART 2: Introduction]
      (pp. 65-66)

      In part 2, Keith Howard and David Cooper explore the significance of music for conflict in divided territories. With reference to music making in two distinctive postcolonial contexts, both authors demonstrate how a shared tradition has become separated after partition, with different ideologies and distinctive policies shaping the ways in which music is promoted and restricted. In both instances, too, territorial division has resulted in extended periods of civil strife when divided communities owe allegiance to supranational bodies and music is implicated in a wider search for distinctive identities in a highly contested cultural space. They address a related academic...

    • CHAPTER 3 Music across the DMZ
      (pp. 67-88)
      Keith Howard

      According to the standard historical account, the Korean peninsula was unified in 668 CE and remained a single state for almost 1,300 years. The division of Korea in 1945, into today’s two rival states, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea), had little to do with the Koreans themselves. The division is, then, an aberration. On both sides of the three-kilometer-wide strip of no-man’s land separating the two states, the “demilitarized zone” (the DMZ)—which, despite its name, is one of the most heavily fortified places on earth, patrolled at its edges...

    • CHAPTER 4 Fife and Fiddle: Protestants and Traditional Music in Northern Ireland
      (pp. 89-106)
      David Cooper

      In recent years, and in particular since the beginning of the most recent period of interethnic or interreligious conflict in Northern Ireland, the category of “Irish traditional music” has become closely identified with Irish Nationalist and Republican politics, to the extent that some members of the Catholic community actively regard it as “their” music.¹ By contrast, only a minority of those brought up as Protestants seem to be willing to fully accept it as part of their cultural heritage.

      The rejection of what is perceived as an alien music by some Northern Irish Protestants and the turn to “Scottish” folk...

  7. PART 3: MUSIC AFTER DISPLACEMENT
    • [PART 3: Introduction]
      (pp. 107-108)

      In part 3, Anthony Seeger and Adelaida Reyes explore the varied uses of music in conflict among displaced communities in two equatorial regions. Like Sugarman and Naroditiskaya (part 1), both authors recognize the power of music to help understand conflicts in distinctive contexts and between different groups. Like Howard and Cooper (part 2), they demonstrate how music is employed to articulate conflict and to promote conflict resolution among divided populations. However, the contributors also provide their own unique insight into music and conflict. While Sugarman is hesitant to recognize the potential of music to advance peace, Seeger is not reluctant...

    • CHAPTER 5 The Suyá and the White Man: Forty-five Years of Musical Diplomacy in Brazil
      (pp. 109-125)
      Anthony Seeger

      This essay recounts the musical components of the relations between the Suyá Indians in Mato Grosso, Brazil (who call themselves Kĩsêdjê), and members of Brazilian society since they made peaceful contact with each other in 1959. Although all Suyá music originates from beings with whom there is a potential for conflict, Suyá performances are demonstrations of the continuity of Suyá society and their success in managing the relationships with those beings. In a sense, the Suyá sing their enemies’ songs and make them their own. Brazilians, in turn, have their own preconceptions about Indians and their music, which have shaped...

    • CHAPTER 6 Asymmetrical Relations: Conflict and Music as Human Response
      (pp. 126-138)
      Adelaida Reyes

      Few relationships are as complex and asymmetrical as those between forced migrants and the rest of the world. The juxtaposition of these two entities, one identifiable as a human population somehow thrust onto the other, a rather diffuse demographic or political organism, throws the asymmetry into stark relief.

      Forced migrants who leave the nation-state in which they were citizens, become stateless, devoid of the protection of any government, uncertain of where they can go to find refuge yet fearful of returning to their homeland. Powerless and often without the resources even for sheer survival, they become the charge of world...

  8. PART 4: MUSIC AND IDEOLOGY
    • [PART 4: Introduction]
      (pp. 139-140)
      John M. O’Connell

      In part 4, William O. Beeman and Anne K. Rasmussen examine the role of music and ideology in conflictual situations. With specific reference to the Islamic world, they consider the ways in which music is both approved and disapproved of by distinctive groups and show how an ambivalent attitude toward musical prohibition exists throughout the region. In this regard, the authors not only explicitly address conflicting viewpoints concerning musical performance in Muslim territories but also implicitly address a wider issue of relevance to music and conflict, namely, music censorship. That is, they explore the ways in which music producers and...

    • CHAPTER 7 Music at the Margins: Performance and Ideology in the Persianate World
      (pp. 141-154)
      William O. Beeman

      The Islamic world has long had an ambiguous attitude toward music and musical instruments. Though there is no Qur’anic prohibition against music, most severe Islamic theologians nevertheless enforce a blanket prohibition. They then allow exceptions based on special conditions occasioned by various hadith, or traditions of the Prophet. More-modern interpreters of Islamic law have extended these views to cover modern situations such as the use of electronic instruments and activities involving music as a secondary concomitant, for instance, the music accompanying films or television programs. More-liberal theologians not only allow musical performance; they encourage it in many situations. In this...

    • CHAPTER 8 Performing Religious Politics: Islamic Musical Arts in Indonesia
      (pp. 155-174)
      Anne K. Rasmussen

      From Qur’anic recitation to Ramadan videoklips,multiple voices comprise the soundscape of Indonesian Islam. In this chapter, I describe two streams of Islamic music that exemplify the kind of plurality that characterizes religious expression in contemporary Indonesia. The first stream is the music culture generated by the ensemble Kiai Kanjeng, its leader Emha Ainun Nadjib, and the participants (both performers and audiences) that have proliferated around the performance culture they generate. The second stream is thenasyidscene, a popular religious musical subculture comprised of vocal ensembles of primarily young men, their fans, and the lifestyle they promote.

      Although...

  9. PART 5: MUSIC IN APPLICATION
    • [PART 5: Introduction]
      (pp. 175-176)
      John M. O’Connell

      In part 5, Svanibor Pettan and Britta Sweers investigate the potential of music to combat conflict and to promote conflict resolution. Informed by an established interest in musical advocacy, both authors are concerned with the musical representation of subaltern groups in different European contexts, for the most part immigrant communities that have suffered racism and violence both at home and abroad. While Pettan examines the plight of refugees after national disintegration, Sweers studies the situation of displaced peoples after national unification. In both instances, the Roma are important subjects of applied research. Here the contributors detail the design and implementation...

    • CHAPTER 9 Music in War, Music for Peace: Experiences in Applied Ethnomusicology
      (pp. 177-192)
      Svanibor Pettan

      Most people would perhaps agree with the seventeenth-century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza, whose words were convincingly interpreted by the American actor Martin Sheen, one of the artists featured on Nenad Bach’s recordingCan We Go Higher?(1992), which was produced in response to the devastation caused by the military in Bach’s native Croatia. Yet the fact is wars and other violent conflicts stimulate musical creativity and thus call for the attention of researchers. For instance, the French Revolution during the eighteenth century inspired the creation of more than 2,500 songs (Jean-Louis Tournier, cited in Brécy 1988). In a similar fashion,...

    • CHAPTER 10 Music against Fascism: Applied Ethnomusicology in Rostock, Germany
      (pp. 193-214)
      Britta Sweers

      It only takes these three sentences from a radio broadcast to evoke violent images of a problematic chapter in German history immediately after reunification. In August 1992, several thousand neo-Nazis attacked a multistory building housing Roma asylum seekers from Romania and Vietnamese contract workers in Lichtenhagen, a suburb of Rostock, a city in the former East Germany. After a siege that lasted several days, the first two floors were set on fire. Miraculously no one was seriously injured. The “Lichtenhagen Pogrom,” as it was called later, not only led to stricter asylum laws in the newly reunified Germany but also...

  10. PART 6: MUSIC AS CONFLICT
    • [PART 6: Introduction]
      (pp. 215-216)
      John M. O’Connell

      In part 6, Stephen Blum and Samuel Araújo (with Grupo Musicultura) investigate the place of music in conflict with respect to North and South America. Although very different in scope and approach, each author examines the importance of music for advancing self-respect among subaltern groups that aim to combat exclusion in the musical realm and to promote inclusion in the social domain. In this matter, both authors explore the definition of conflict through music, Blum noting the sonic manifestation and Araújo emphasizing the symbolic dimension of music in conflict. While the Blum chapter considers a theoretical problem and the Araújo...

    • CHAPTER 11 Sound Praxis: Music, Politics, and Violence in Brazil
      (pp. 217-231)
      Samuel Araújo and Grupo Musicultura

      This essay addresses social conflict and its relationships to socially produced sound formations from the perspective of ongoing research projects being conducted in marginalized areas of Rio de Janeiro. Inspired by the theoretical and methodological formulations of the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire in particular and by “participatory action research” more generally, teams of university-based ethnomusicology students and teachers have been working dialogically with groups of residents from these communities. These residents participate actively as coresearchers. Their goal is to produce knowledge about different meanings articulated by the musical practices in marginalized and violence-ridden areas of Rio. By discussing issues such...

    • CHAPTER 12 Musical Enactment of Attitudes toward Conflict in the United States
      (pp. 232-242)
      Stephen Blum

      The conflicts that have been most audible and visible in the musical life of the United States are linked to our long history of injustice toward so-called peoples of color. Musical performance, often including dance, has been one of the main areas of activity in which European Americans and African Americans could act out their anxieties, desires, and fantasies about the actualities and prospects of our living together. Consider, as symptomatic of the anxieties, the endless arguments over names and attributes of genres, idioms, and categories—what is or is not jazz, or serious music, or commercial, or classical, or...

  11. Epilogue: Ethnomusicologists as Advocates
    (pp. 243-252)
    Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco

    This book contributes to an emerging area of research and action within ethnomusicology.¹ It problematizes conflict and violence from an ethnomusicological perspective and exemplifies how ethnomusicologists can engage in conflict resolution. The essays address the complex relationship between music and conflict and violence within the framework of asymmetrical power relations and analyze the relationship between ideology, political action, conflict, music discourse, and social change. Examining the multiple associations between music and conflict and violence, the book illustrates how music identifies, incites, promotes, and celebrates conflict and violence. It also highlights how music can be a catalyst for imagining conflict resolution,...

  12. REFERENCES
    (pp. 253-272)
  13. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 273-278)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 279-289)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 290-292)