An investigation of the popular music and popular culture of 1968-1970 in the US counterculture, viewed through the lens of the back-to-the-land movement and pastoralism. Treats nature, whiteness, and authenticity as major analytic categories, and seeks to explain the shift away from psychedelia and blues rock to country rock., 2008, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/171, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Lancefield, Robert C. (Robert C. Lancefield) (author), (Mark Slobin) (Thesis advisor)
The performance of gendered racial stereotypes is a powerful tool for fostering belief in essentialized human categories. In the early 20th-century United States, supposedly Chinese and Japanese orientality was enacted by white people playing Asian Others and by Asian and Asian American performers widely believed to embody authentic racial difference. As modes of representation and grounds for interpretive acts of reception, these practices could offer troubled meetings of music, ideology, and cultural hegemony. In many such moments, sonic experience gave specifically musical weight to raciological ideas about orientality, whiteness, and Americanness.
White Americans made diverse but hegemonically guided meanings from experiences framed by white nativist and other dominant discourses. In contexts fraught with anti-Asian racism, ideas about music, race, the voice, and the body could support belief in a dangerous (male) "yellow peril" or a safely distant, aestheticized (female) orient of kimono and fans. Reinscribing such tropes along with narratives of exclusion or assimilation, performance gave deceptively compelling support to typologies of difference.
Naturalizing rhetorics of authenticity suffused European American responses to Tamaki Miura and other Japanese sopranos performing "Madame Butterfly" and to Asian Americans in vaudeville. Many listeners heard Tomijiro Asai's oratorio excerpts as singing his assimilation. Notions of mimetic skill underpinned reviews of white orientalist performers.
Blanche Bates and Walker Whiteside recounted experiential grounds for their yellowface techniques. Pantomimes, operettas, martial arts, and society balls fostered children's and adults' amateur mimesis. The ta-tao, an ostensibly Chinese social dance, offered an antidote to tango-induced moral panic. Orientalism in popular music could promise exotic alternatives to the supposed dangers of African American practices or hybrid novelty with "jazz" gestures.
Some white performers sang orientality through mimetic practices examined as "yellowvoice." Sheet music supported domestic singing, and recordings document professional acts ranging from comedy monologues to fox-trot choruses. Musical aspects of silent cinema exhibition supported orientalist spectatorship of works including Griffith's "Broken Blossoms"; some presented scenes of music-making. Hollywood film scoring and other recent practices often echo earlier acts. This interdisciplinary work offers connections to Ethnomusicology, American Studies, Performance Studies, Cultural Studies, and Media Studies., Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_diss/2, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
Stein, Matthew Richard (Matthew Richard Stein) (Author), (Mark Slobin) (Thesis advisor)
Portamento is “the carrying of a sound with the voice or stringed instrument, the transition from one note to another, higher or lower, without break in the sound.” This research explores the concepts of “Jewishness” and “individuality” as they relate to violin soloists of the early and later parts of the twentieth century, focusing in particular on their use of portamento in the performance of Jewish art music. The paper defines a new formal, atomic language for portamento classification and analysis, and it proceeds to use this system to analyze the contextual portamento use in Jacob Gegna’s “Choz – Jewish Melody” and in twelve recordings of Ernest Bloch’s “Nigun”, demonstrating the patterns this system reveals as well as suggesting further applications to integrate this system with microanalysis of other key musical parameters., 2016, Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_hon_theses/1591, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)
This dissertation examines the social production of musical and cultural identity mediated through performance and the development of communitas among a subset of Colombian cohort musicians in the New York City diaspora between 1995 and 2010. Through an ethnomusicological analysis of ethnographic and historical data, I discuss social phenomena involving transnational migration, musical performance, and intercultural aesthetic interaction for processes of cultural production and identity formation. I argue that the evolution and efflorescence of this cosmopolitan musicians community reflects both an entry of new modes of Colombian musical expressions into the pan-Latin/o urban soundscape and the transformation of Colombianidad, or sense of Colombian identity, among its members to an unprecedented degree.
Through the conceptual and theoretical frameworks of interculturalism and performance, augmented and supported by indigeneity and music and violence as discursive tangents, the study focuses upon details of musical form, nuance, and contestations and tensions associated with the construction of a particular diasporic Colombianness. Documenting selected key individuals, organizations, and institutions involved with the creation, production, and performance of traditional, neo-traditional, and contemporary new Colombian musics in New York City, I viii discuss the historical and cultural contexts as well as the strategic multiplicities in which the social production of music is embedded and manifested. Focusing upon the contemporary musical practices of the musicians, the dissertation investigates performance, reception, and tropes of self-representation at local, translocal, and transnational and global levels. As new generations of New York Colombian musicians achieve status and garner spaces for new Colombian musics among Latin/o and world musics, I expose transformations within the diasporic Colombian community through its resolute socio-cultural resilience, underlying interculturality, and desire to represent themselves., Old URL: https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/etd_diss/18, In Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)