Music and memory politics: emergence, history, appropriations

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The forms of representation in every period

Music and memory politics: emergence, history, appropriations

  • Presentation
Music and memory politics: emergence, history, appropriations
Couverture de disque de "Folk music", Kerala (Inde). Photo: Christine Guillebaud

The quest to reconstruct the styles and histories of musical genres of the past is an old preoccupation. Since the 19th century, the orientalist imaginary contributed considerably to the notion of the existence of “origin-musics”. Whether “Pharaonic,” “Arab,” or “Hindu,” a common reference to the past, seen as prestigious and immutable, contributed to the rationalization of musical knowledge on the basis of constructed connections. The orientalist period being relatively well documented, the POLIMUS program is more focused on ways of speaking of and describing the past over the course of the 20th century and into the 21st. Bringing anthropologists and historians together, it encourages not only a particular emphasis on the process of recounting the past as-such, but also the specific processes involved the narrative’s construction. We will focus on constructs emerging from scientific disciplines like musicology and musical archaeology, and those playing out within artistic creation itself – both areas that are also tied in with local, national, and international political stakes.

Project leader
Christine Guillebaud, CNRS researcher, Center of Research in Ethnomusicology (CREM)

Project members
Salwa Castelo-Branco
Séverine Gabry-Thienpont
Julien Jugand
Leonor Losa
Jean Lambert

Internal cluster partners
Laboratory of Comparative Ethnology and Sociology (LESC, UMR 7186, CNRS – University of Paris West) Center of Research in Ethnomusicology (CREM)
Quai Branly Museum, Media library; Department of research and instruction

Associated Partners
Institute of Ethnomusicology (INET), New University of Lisbon, Portugal
Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale (IFAO), Cairo, Egypt

Duration: 3 years