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Sustaining difference: theorizing minority musics in Badakhshan

O'Connell, John Morgan ORCID: 2004. Sustaining difference: theorizing minority musics in Badakhshan. Hemetek, Ursula, Lechleitner, Gerda, Naroditskaya, Inna and Czekanowska, Anna, eds. Manifold Identites, Cambridge Scholars Press, pp. 1-19.

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This chapter concerns the ways in which music sustains difference in the Pamir Mountains of Central Asia. It shows how music-making serves to articulate identity amongst minority groups in Badakhshan by circumventing the monologic construction of ethnic awareness promulgated by dominant national élites and by emphasising instead the sonic and visual attributes of expressive culture as a unique manifestation of alterity. Drawing upon the theoretical precedents set by post-modern and post structural discourse in this respect, it is argued that music not only operates as a medium for differentiating cultural identities within a complex multicultural setting but that it also serves to sustain différance by highlighting the provisional character of ‘otherness’. In particular, the author focuses upon a mystic tradition symbolizing Badakhshani identity known as madh. By examining the different aspects of madh performance, it is shown how music-making subverts the very foundations upon which ethnic difference is conceptualised. The author shows how music sustains difference in Central Asia by presenting a new theory of minority music in Badakhshan.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Additional Information: The volume “Manifold Identities: Studies on Music and Minorities” presents the proceedings of the 2nd Meeting of the Study Group Music and Minorities of the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM), Lublin, Poland, 2002.
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Press
ISBN: 1904303374
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 07:00

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