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Divine Inspirations Music and Islam in Indonesia by David D. Harnish

Divine Inspirations Music and Islam in Indonesia


Divine Inspirations Music and Islam in Indonesia by David D. Harnish

Indonesia is celebrated for its courtly arts, its beautiful beaches, its tourist attractions, and its artisan marketplace. Yet long overdue is a look at Indonesian Islam as the source of and inspiration for the arts throughout the history if its people, and in the dynamic popular performances of today. From the rhythmic grooves of dang dut, the archipelago's tenacious pop music, to the oft-quoted image of the wayang shadow puppet-theater, Divine Inspirations: Music and Islam in Indonesia investigates the expression of the Muslim religion through a diversity of art forms in this region. And from Quranic recitation by teenaged girls and women in Jakarta to the provincial patronage of Sufi arts and Muslim ritual as regional performance, this volume further addresses the ways in which Islam-inspired performance has been co-opted and appropriated for the expression of national culture. Eleven ethnographic case studies by an international roster of specialists in Indonesian expressive culture and performing arts are complimented by an introduction by co-editors David Harnish and Anne Rasmussen, and an epilogue by senior scholar Judith Becker. The collection explores the region's various micro-cultures of music, dance, religious ritual, government patronage, social censorship, tourism, development, and gender roles and relations. This pastiche speaks on personal, political, global, and local levels to the most important question of identity and ideology in Indonesia today: Islam. Divine Inspirations will engage readers interested in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Islam, world religions, global discourse, and music, arts and ritual.


This innovative volume edited by David D. Harnish and Anne K. Rasmussen introduces the reader to the world of religion, music and society. In the enriching introduction the editors tell about the generally positive attitude of Indonesian Muslims towards music and the hybrid character of Muslim music in the archipelago which brings together local, Arab and Indian traditions, sounds, stories and instruments. * Amanda Kovacs, Asien *

About the Author

Anne K. Rasmussen is associate professor at The College of William and Mary, where she also directs a Middle Eastern Music Ensemble. She is the author of Women's Voices, the Recited Qur'an, and Islamic Music in Indonesia (California, 2010) and is co-editor of Musics of Multicultural America (Schirmer, 1997) and a former Fulbright senior scholar. David Harnish is Professor of Ethnomusicology at Bowling Green State University. He is author of Bridges to the Ancestors: Music, Myth and Cultural Politics at an Indonesian Festival (University of Hawai'i, 2006) and has recorded and/or performed Indonesian, jazz, Indian and Tejano musics with five different labels.

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Book Info

Publication date

9th May 2011


David D. Harnish

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Oxford University Press Inc


408 pages


World music
Islamic life & practice



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