STUDIA INSTRUMENTORUM MUSICAE POPULARIS, Vol. VIII
All scholars make valuable contributions in questions about sound manipulation or about musical instruments of humans as part of nature. Did you know that Jimi Hendrix manipulated his sound effects or how many waza trumpets of the Berta are quickly tuned and which instruments accompany a joik in reality? These, and many other questions are answered in the diverse articles compiled in this volume. They celebrate diversity in their own way.
THE TUVAN KHÖÖMEI THROAT SINGING AND ITS IGIL ACCOMPANIMENT AS INSTRUMENT OF NATURE
Choduraa Tumat, Bernard Kleikamp
https://doi.org/10.30819/5685.02 pp: 19-30 2023-10-25
Keywords: Tuva, Throat singing, Body instrument, Igil, Nature
This essay introduces the vocal art of Tuvan throat singing – khöömei – and also the musical instrument – igil . These two are important in the musical culture of the Tuvans. In the Tuvan worldview, khöömei and igil are connected with nature. Tuvans say that man is a child of nature. Everything that sounds is subordinated to and equal to the highest standard of sound: the sound of nature. In this essay, we show that the human voice is a body instrument when performing khöömei. When traditional musicians accompany their khöömei with the igil, the fullness of the whole symphony of nature is shown. In legends about the origins of khöömei and igil, we read that the sound is sacral and khöömei and igil were given to the Tuvans by the spirits of nature. Khöömei and igil are not a human product.
THE IDEALS OF NATURE IN GUQIN PERFORMANCE PRACTICE: THE 7-STRING CHINESE ZITHER
Hoh Chung Shih
https://doi.org/10.30819/5685.03 pp: 31-56 2023-10-25
Keywords: Dapu (打谱), Dahuange qinpu (大还阁琴谱), Xu Shangying (徐上瀛), Xishan Qinkuang (溪山琴况), Performance Practice, Kinaesthetics
In this paper I will examine the interactions between 3 aspects of guqin music: its aesthetics, techniques, and the sonic-performance medium, which is the performance practice. For the first aspect, I shall explore the Chinese notion of nature - ”道法自然“ “the way following nature” (Chapter 25, 道德经), its manifestations in aesthetics - 溪山琴况 Xishan Qinkuang (1641) - with its 24 categories of aesthetic aspects, including interesting pairings of opposites, and how ideas from these texts might apply to re- creations (打谱) through the performance of several pieces (山居吟，听泉吟，良宵引，etc.) in 大还阁琴谱 Dahuange Qinpu (1673). Xishan Qinkuang and Dahuange Qinpu are specifically chosen for a closer study as they share the same authorship of 徐上瀛 Xu Shangying, an important late Ming qin master of the Yushan School (虞山派). Examples of acoustics properties of guqin in both silk and steel strings used nowadays, and various fingerings with considerations of possible rhythmic outcomes will be examined alongside descriptions of fingerings with gestural and kinaesthetic references to fauna and natural phenomena in 太古遗音 Taigu Yiyin (1511) as approaches to techniques, and the sonic-performance medium. Movement-sound-perceptive relations as often described in various literature will play an important role in this kind of workshop demonstration.
SOUND OF ‘LOFI’ IN THE SUBTROPICAL AFTERNOON: OKINAWAN RYUKYU KAREN IN THE VIEW OF ART THERAPY AND WELL-BEING
https://doi.org/10.30819/5685.04 pp: 57-80 2023-10-25
Keywords: Okinawa, Ryukyu karen, Lofi, Ambient music, Well-being
Ryukyu karen is a relatively new 13-string musical instrument designed by Komesu Seijiro from Okinawa in 2003. Similar to Okinawan sanlele, it hybridizes taishōgoto, Western guitar, and Okinawan sanshin, embodying Okinawan cultural spirit of ‘chanpuruu’. This paper is based on fieldworks and research that existed, in the views of ‘art therapy’ and ‘anthropology of the good’ , and argues that its soothy melody, swinging rhythm, natural soundscape, chords and prolongation sound, rich layers, and clean timbre collectively create a sense of atmosphere, which has been increasingly used in therapeutic practices in recent years. Especially, the intimacy of group musiking, the easy-to-perform, and the social space of public performance enable the disabled and elder minority, who have been exclusive from marginalization. Just like the word karen, which literally means lovely, can be interchanged with Renge (lotus), its sound is metaphorized as joy and sorrow of life with healing power beyond entertainment.
THE FUTURE OF INSTRUMENTAL SOUND AND INSTRUMENTALISTS
https://doi.org/10.30819/5685.05 pp: 81-90 2023-10-25
Keywords: Visions, Research, Musicology, Organology, Future
The accelerated development of technology and climatic changes, which is progressively interwoven with each other, will unavoidably lead to changes in the production and use of musical instruments. It is time to investigate into these upcoming changes and their impact on many features of social life, with the views on past issues included. In this regard, the aim of this paper is to give a first overview on how practices with musical instruments can be continued on different levels of production and use through a historically informed kind of musician and instrument producer. Insofar, this overview can be seen as a beginning of diverting from a physical fixing in ethnic belongings and financial approaches widely requested among musicologists of the 21st century. ‘The global perspective cannot be the end of musical instruments’ is one of the theses being discussed with the help of most recent literature on the topic. It is dedicated to the second main topic of the symposium.
The structure of this paper follows the classical three-folded principle: Introduction and Background, Analysis and Findings, and Conclusions for each section, followed by a list of references that were used. This order is extremely boring, and I do not welcome the stubborn keeping to indiscriminate structures. Yet, in this case, these boring structures have to be filled with some life following the facts found.
BAMBOO SIBLINGS: SOME MOUTH ORGANS IN CONTINENTAL SOUTHEAST ASIA AND CHINA
https://doi.org/10.30819/5685.06 pp: 91-106 2023-10-25
Keywords: Free reedpipes, Gourd, Natural materials, Sound manipulation, Making of National Instruments
Mouth organs are very popular in continental Southeast Asia and China, even becoming the representative instruments of many people. Generally, they belong to four types: sheng, qeej, naw, and khaen. Similar in construction and function, there are many ideas about their provenance and transmission. However, a closer look at their nuanced difference leads to the argument that these four types are rather independent siblings than ancestors and descendants. Besides morphological taxonomies, for example mentioned by Blench1 in 2020, the more distinctive differences lie on the reeds and how the pipes are coupled with them. Different shapes of reed tongues serve various peoples’ timbral preferences and functional expectations for their instruments. The manipulation of pipes contributes to each instrument’s idiomatic repertoire. Moreover, both are highly affected by locally available natural materials, ranging from cinnabar ore and clam shells to bees that brew sour honey. When a mouth organ spreads to a place lacking these resources, makers wield their skills and wisdom to adapt their instruments to newer materials while maintaining the timbral preferences.
BREAKING FREE: A NEW CONVERSATION FOR VIOLA AND ZHONGRUAN
Lok Sulwyn, Andrew Filmer
https://doi.org/10.30819/5685.07 pp: 107-114 2023-10-25
Keywords: Local musics, Viola, Zhongruan, Performer-researcher, Performer-composer
This project brings together a performer-researcher with a performer-composer for a composition that explores not just the two instruments chosen for performance, but also a wide range of Southeast Asian traditional instruments and associated traditions, from which the music gains inspiration. The work will be scored for viola and zhongruan, with the project stemming from the 2020 work Conversations that brought together 21 musicians across three continents, of Western and Burmese musical traditions. The new work aims to take yet a new step in seeing how the broader soundscapes of Southeast Asia, including the angklung, gamelan, khene, dan bau, and Hindustani violin, can influence and even be distilled – refined – into the viola, consulting practitioners of these instruments where possible. The alternative tuning technique of scordatura is likely to be centre stage in the exploration of tonal colours and sympathetic resonances those instruments embody, along with other extended techniques. This process will encompass philosophical questions of appropriation vis-a-vis originality and the nature of collaboration, seeking insight into how the decision to be inspired by another instrument involves both refining and simplification alongside preservation, and the discovery of old things anew within unexpected confluences of diverse musical traditions.
THE MANDOHARP OF AMARADHEVA AND ITS USE IN THE 1980S AND 1990S
Chinthaka P. Meddegoda
https://doi.org/10.30819/5685.08 pp: 115-122 2023-10-25
Keywords: Sri Lanka, Mandoharp, Amaradheva, Manipulation of sound, Music shows
The discrimination of instrumental sound in the evaluation and appreciation of Amaradheva’s (born in 1927, passed away in 2016) performances lead to a big gap between praising vocal achievements and using his unique musical instrument that he created out of two, as he stated.
This paper is to analyse this instrumental creation and the way how he used it. The reasons for its decline will also play a role. He could have used another musical instrument, such as the Indian svarmandal, but he preferred his own creation. The sound he tried to produce should sound well in the context of his singing. His popularity was based on his deep knowledge of Indian classical music, mainly light classical music. As a violinist, he tried to idealize a specific sound to be fitting in his time, voice, and social environment.
For this small research, I consulted his son as an inheritor, read evaluations given in the literature and other shapes of documents, and analyse the musical ergology of the instrument. It can be found that all parts of the instrument play an important role in achieving the desired sound. This study can give an insight into media reflections on musical instruments in Sri Lanka.
THE PRODUCTION OF TABLA IN SRI LANKA
Nishadi Prageetha Meddegoda
https://doi.org/10.30819/5685.09 pp: 123-140 2023-10-25
Keywords: Sri Lanka, Tabla, Drumming, Instrumental features, Social conditions
North Indian music plays a considerable role in Sri Lanka. This paper discusses the assembly of the North Indian tabla, a pair of single-headed membranophones which arrived in Sri Lanka in the late 19th century. As an instrument of the Indian heritage, it is of great importance in accompanying vocal renderings in ensemble with other types of instruments in different genres.
Sri Lanka has a capacious history of drumming and inventing drums such as ‘yak beraya’, ‘geta beraya’, ‘rabana’. Even though there is not much interest in the production of the tabla in the country, it still continues to get imported from India. The instrument is played with the hands, palm, and fingers, which is made of cow or goat skin. The middle part (black part) of the tabla is made of iron-oxide ash, glue, wheat-flour paste, soot, and copper vitriol. There are some varieties of woods out of which the tabla is made, such as rosewood, neem (Azadirachta indica), and mahogany. The wrapper of the Bayan (left) drum is bowl-shaped; it is made of chrome-plated copper. The materials which are used to make the tabla are available in Sri Lanka. Accordingly, this raises a question that why may Sri Lankans mostly desire to import the instrument while there are many skilled instrument makers and required materials? In this research, the views on tabla making, crafting skills, and underlying reasons have been discussed. Previous literature on organology, musical instruments making, and some socio- musicological studies were studied in this regard, and personal interviews with craftsmen were conducted in order to gather information. This research may provide some insights about a desired industrial development of instrument making as a contribution to the economy and the society.
NEW MATERIALISM IN ETHNOGRAPHIC ORGANOLOGY AND PA’O KHAYA
Christopher A. Miller
https://doi.org/10.30819/5685.10 pp: 141-158 2023-10-25
Keywords: Materialism, Organology, South Asia, Myanmar, Khaya
New materialism offers a philosophical lens through which to understand the musicking of musical instruments. The allied fields of ethnomusicology and organology may employ those new tools for scholarship. In the words of Ian Bogost, the goal is to “amplify the black noise of objects to make the resonant frequencies of the stuffs inside them hum . . . to write speculative fictions of their processes, their unit operations . . .”. In so doing, we could aspire to come to a deeper understanding of the musical instrument’s operation of repertoire, its mechanical functions, and its choreography of us as performers. Object oriented ontology provides an essentially flat ontological framework through which the ethnographic approach to organological fieldwork, organized primarily around the music lesson, may provide a differently nuanced examination and subsequent description of the instrument itself. I offer waypoints in a proposed expansion and exploration of the application of this theoretical framework by revisiting recent relevant literature (Bates, Dawe, Roda); suggesting refinements to the ideas of the same; and applying those updated ideas to the Pa’O khaya in Myanmar. The article ultimately serves as a basic roadmap for future trajectories in my ongoing research.
BIEGGA, ČÁHCI, DUODDARAT, AND OTHER ‘GEO-PHONES’. POLYORGANICITY OF SÁPMI AND ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOMPANIMENTS TO SÁMI JOIK
https://doi.org/10.30819/5685.11 pp: 159-176 2023-10-25
Keywords: Circumpolar cultures, Sámi Indigenous peoples Environment, Polyorganicity
Similarly to other circumpolar cultures, Sámi indigenous peoples from Arctic Europe have not developed specific interests in fostering a significant variety of musical instruments. Within ethnographic literature, this circumstance is read as a symptom of Sámi early semi-nomadic history and Arctic harsh conditions, which discouraged the carriage of burdensome instruments along reindeer trails, and rather catalyzed the development of a highly sophisticated vocal tradition. Joik is commonly defined as vocal music traditionally performed by individuals without any accompaniment and believed to originate from nature and “live” in open environments. Based on fieldwork and literature review, the paper discusses the nuanced boundaries around the idea of “accompaniment” within traditional and modern joik. From emic ontological and acoustemological perspectives, the Sámi interpret wind, rivers, boulders, and every feature of Sápmi environment as potential music actants capable of intervening polyphonically and polyorganically to the performance of joik. Additionally, contemporary Sámi musicians are increasingly introducing virtual reconstructions of Sápmi sonosphere to their productions by manipulating field-recordings as instrumental sounds. By presenting heterogeneous samples of Sámi land-based sound sources, practices and aesthetics, the notion of musical instrument is called into question, urging it past what is humanly manageable and opening it up to more-than-human ontologies.
EMBRACING NATURE FOR CULTURAL CONTINUITY: WAZA TRUMPETS AND THE MUSICAL TRADITION OF THE BERTA
https://doi.org/10.30819/5685.12 pp: 177-194 2023-10-25
Keywords: Sudan, Ethiopia, Waza, End-blown trumpet, Ensemble music
The present study results from an ethnomusicological field research carried out in 2005 Benishangul Gumuz region of western Ethiopia . This region is famous for its plentiful flute, trumpet and animal horns observed in nearly every village of the Berta communities inhabiting the border regions of both Ethiopia and the Sudan. My investigation will provide a detailed examination of end-blown gourd trumpets called waza. It explores the traditional production process of these musical instruments, a special skill transmitted orally for generations. All materials used for waza making derive from what nature provides. For that, traditional and experienced instrument makers plant special gourds suitable to construct wazas in sets of up to 12 variously sized and tuned tubes. The study elucidates the century-old oral tradition of instrument making among the Berta. It also explores a waza ensemble performance, i.e. the instrumental setting, sound production related with the hocket technique, as well socio-cultural features. Video and audio recordings as well as photos taken during the fieldwork in the villages Inzi Shederia, Gambella and Nifro Gebeya located in close proximity of the region’s capital, Assosa.
WOONG YI LEE’S TRANSNATIONAL ‘MUSICKING’ RESEARCH
https://doi.org/10.30819/5685.13 pp: 195-204 2023-10-25
Keywords: Daegeum, Shi Zi Ran, Performance study, Autoethnography
This article takes Woong Yi Lee (Chinese name Shi Zi Ran), a Korean daegeum musician living in Shanghai as the focal point of the research, and discusses his music changes after transnationalization by following his music exchange activities, music performances, daegeum production and teaching and other content. In terms of musical exchange activities, Shi Zi Ran has taken on the composite identity of a tea man and a musician since his arrival in China, and has enriched the cultural space of Daxian music by adding it to tea culture activities. As a musician, he donated a number of Korean musical instruments to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, contributing to cultural exchange. In terms of musical performance, he tries to perform cross-culturally with instruments such as the erhu and Chinese drums, and selectively takes and enhances the performance techniques of the traditional music of the daegeum in his performances. In his music teaching, Shi Zi Ran teaches the Chinese to produce and play daegeum. It can be said that in a transnational context, the presence of daegeum takes on a new cultural function and value in Shi Zi Ran's life journey.
RE-SOUNDING THE AZANDE MANZA XYLOPHONE COLLECTION THROUGH A DIY REPLICA INSTRUMENT AND ARTISTIC EXPERIMENTATION
https://doi.org/10.30819/5685.14 pp: 205-226 2023-10-25
Keywords: African music cultures, Azande, Manza, Xylophone, Replica recordings
The paper will discuss the interdisciplinary methodology of re-constructing the music practice, embodiment, and social-cultural traits of historical musical instruments through making replica-sound installations and artistic experimentation. Out of the vast collection of 159 Central African xylophones of Africa Museum (Brussels), the project focuses on two manza xylophones of the Azande people in north DR Congo, a musical heritage that has been in perceptible decline since the 1950's . Performed in court events, the xylophones were owned by Chief Guga at Bondo, and acquired by Belgian military and ethnographer Hutereau in 1912, who has also collected sound recordings of these instruments. We have scarce information about the musical practice due to limited and incomplete ethnographical documentation, and lack of interest in past scientific research and expedition; hence, the project proposes to reconstruct the missing knowledge through analysing audiovisual, photography, and document archives, and through hypothesising the movement patterns, bodily posture and techniques of playing the sound recordings using the replica-sound installations. This experimental approach will reveal to us xylophone musicians’ embodied experience, their musicking and listening processes (Small 1998), and a deepened understanding into the social meanings and functions of the instruments.
THE FUNCTION OF THE TIMBRE OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND IT’S REFLECTION IN RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES OF CHINA
Zhong Wei Cheng
https://doi.org/10.30819/5685.15 pp: 227-242 2023-10-25
Keywords: Ritual music, Musical instruments, Timbre, Functionality
There are many kinds of national musical instruments in China, which can be divided into wind, string, plucked string percussion according to different performance methods. Each type of musical instruments has different timbres due to different sounding materials and the high and low frequencies produced while playing melodic units. In the current occasions of folk activities, the use of various musical instruments presents a uniqueness in distribution of occasions. This topic will focus on the discussion of the characteristics of the timbre of the main musical instrument in folk Daoist ceremonies and the issue of the timbre of the instrument, aiming to answer ‘What kind of functionnality does the timbre of the instrument has in Daoist rituals?’ and ‘Why does they have these functionalities?’ and other questions.
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