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Music and Conflict by John Morgan O'Connell


Music and Conflict by John Morgan O'Connell

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. 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. 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.


O'Connell and Castelo-Branco make a compelling argument for the need to shed scholarly and applied light onto these darker areas of musical behavior. --Notes Until now, the intersection of music and conflict has been under-documented and under-theorized in ethnomusicology. Music and Conflict bravely addresses the 'darker side
of musical behavior, documenting how music sometimes works to incite violence and how it may also be used to rebuild communities torn apart by misunderstandings, conflict, and even war

. --Nancy Guy, author of Peking Opera and Politics in Taiwan Recommended. --Choice

Valuable both for the contextual and geographic breadth of its content and for its commitment to engaging ethnomusicological discourse (theoretical and practical) in applied settings. --MUSICultures

About the Author

John Morgan O'Connell is a senior lecturer in ethnomusicology and the director of the program in ethnomusicology at Cardiff University. Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco is a professor of ethnomusicology and the director of the Institute of Ethnomusicology at New University of Lisbon, Portugal.

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Book Info

Publication date

23rd September 2010


John Morgan O'Connell

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University of Illinois Press


304 pages


Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography
Theory of music & musicology
Peace studies & conflict resolution



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