Reception of music in cross-cultural perspective
Reception of music in cross-cultural perspective

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Reception of music in cross-cultural perspective

4 Conclusion

Since this course has covered a wide range of issues and examples, I will try to summarise the material we have covered here.

The key point of Section 1 is that one can usefully study reception by looking at the aesthetic values employed by performers and audiences in judging performances, and by examining the presence (or absence) of a distinct audience group, their role and their social identity.

We moved on in Section 2 to look in more detail at a particular performance event in Sunda, West Java. The aesthetic criterion ramé (lively, bustling) proved to be an important consideration within the culture. Another theme to emerge from this case study was that of change: that is, how changing social situations and the availability of new technology impact on musical performance.

These themes in turn provided the substance of Section 3, which concentrated on the impact of recording and broadcasting technologies in India and Java. The main points were:

  • that these technologies can, and do, have an effect on musical performance;

  • that the particular impact depends to some extent on local factors (i.e. the way people in different societies choose, or are able, to employ new technologies).

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