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Full-Text Articles in Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies

Afro-Cuba Transnational: Recordings And The Mediation Of Afro-Cuban Traditional Music, Johnny Frias Sep 2019

Afro-Cuba Transnational: Recordings And The Mediation Of Afro-Cuban Traditional Music, Johnny Frias

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation analyzes the way audio and video recordings and the internet have impacted, shaped, and helped create a transnational Afro-Cuban music scene. My focus will be on the most popular and widely-recorded genres of Afro-Cuban music—rumba and the religious repertoire of Santería, particularly batá drumming—both of which I also perform regularly with other Cuban musicians in Miami. Incorporating interviews, online ethnographic research, and participant-observation as a musician, my research has three main arguments.

First, recordings of Afro-Cuban music helped create a transnational Afro-Cuban music scene by increasing the popularity of these traditions outside of Cuba, including their ...


Dance Of Exile: The Sakharoffs’ Visual Performances In Montevideo (1935–1948), Pablo Munoz Ponzo May 2019

Dance Of Exile: The Sakharoffs’ Visual Performances In Montevideo (1935–1948), Pablo Munoz Ponzo

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This thesis explores the life-work chronology of the dancers and choreographers Clotilde von Derp (whose surname then was Sakharoff) and Alexander Sakharoff, who were exiled in Montevideo, Uruguay, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, between 1941 and 1948. During their stay in the Rio de la Plata region, the Sakharoffs stirred up the art scene by performing extremely detailed dances with great attention to costume design. This thesis begins with a review of the reception of the dancers’ performances by the artistic and cultural circles in Montevideo, arguing that the Sakharoffs’ “queer” trajectory resonated with the Uruguayan artistic community, influencing the creation ...


Reimagining The Collective: Black Popular Music And Recording Studio Innovation, 1970-1990, Will Fulton Jun 2017

Reimagining The Collective: Black Popular Music And Recording Studio Innovation, 1970-1990, Will Fulton

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation examines developments in the production practices of black popular music in the recording studio from 1970 to 1990. The year 1970 marked a transition in the recording practice of popular music that had a distinct impact on styles marketed as R&B, soul, and funk. Multitracking in the 1950s and 1960s had paved the way for a transformed production process, one initiated by Les Paul’s and Sidney Bechet’s overdubbing experiments in the 1940s. The collective sound of instrumentalists and vocalists heard on records no longer resulted from live-to-tape recordings of group performances, but was increasingly the product of constructed representations, as separate layered events were cut to multitrack tape.

When mixed together, these overdubbed tracks presented the listener with the impression of collective, interactive performances. Features central to the ethos of R&B music making – vocals in call and response, instruments in apparent rhythmic dialogues, and funky syncopation usually resulting from interactive group dynamism – were increasingly the product of the technologically mediated process of overdubbing, and performed often by one musician singing all of the parts or layering several instruments. By 1990, in part due to the popularity of newly developed drum machines, MIDI sequencers, samplers, and digital synthesizers, to record collectively in R&B-based black popular music was the exception rather than the norm.

This study considers new practices of record production that developed in this era of multitrack recording and electronic experimentation through an examination of four case studies: Stevie Wonder’s recordings in the early 1970s; Prince’s recordings from the late 1970s to the mid 1980s; Michael Jackson’s composition and recording process from this same period; and the mid-to-late 1980s sampling and sequencing processes of Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad production collective. The producers of these recordings, well aware of the collective ethos of earlier black music styles, conceived imaginative ways ...


Sacred Freedom: Sustaining Afrocentric Spiritual Jazz In 21st Century Chicago, Adam Zanolini Sep 2016

Sacred Freedom: Sustaining Afrocentric Spiritual Jazz In 21st Century Chicago, Adam Zanolini

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation explores the historical and ideological headwaters of a certain form of Great Black Music that I call Afrocentric spiritual jazz in Chicago. However, that label is quickly expended as the work begins by examining the resistance of these Black musicians to any label. I theorize that this resistance is due to the experiences of Black history, throughout which labels have been used to enslave, exploit, and control people. I begin by discussing early musical labels, several important n-words, and then the innovation of African diasporic subjecthood and its labels. Then Black is examined, along with several corollary social ...


"The Planet Is The Way It Is Because Of The Scheme Of Words": Sun Ra And The Performance Of Reckoning, Maryam Ivette Parhizkar Sep 2015

"The Planet Is The Way It Is Because Of The Scheme Of Words": Sun Ra And The Performance Of Reckoning, Maryam Ivette Parhizkar

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This constellatory essay is a study of the African American sound experimentalist, thinker and self-proclaimed extraterrestrial Sun Ra (1914-1993) through samplings of his wide, interdisciplinary archive: photographs, film excerpts, selected recordings, and various interviews and anecdotes. In composing this essay, I particularly consider how these fragments resonate against each other, offering insight into how Ra radically subverts the restraints imposed upon him as a black man in the United States and thus transfigures his racial alienness into a liberatory, literally alien performance. This self-transfiguration allows Ra to transform such impossible restraints into a condition of possibility for reckoning. I consider ...


Performing Blackness In A Mulatto Society: Negotiating Racial Identity Through Music In The Dominican Republic, Angelina Maria Tallaj-García Feb 2015

Performing Blackness In A Mulatto Society: Negotiating Racial Identity Through Music In The Dominican Republic, Angelina Maria Tallaj-García

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

My dissertation analyzes Dominican racial and ethnic identity through an examination of music and music cultures. Previous studies of Dominican identity have focused primarily on the racialized invention of the Dominican nation as white, or non-black, often centering on the building of Dominican identity in (sometimes violent) opposition to the Haitian nation and to Haitian racial identity. I argue that although Dominicans have not developed an explicit verbal discourse of black affirmation, blackness (albeit a contextually contingent articulation) is embedded in popular conceptions of dominicanidad ("Dominicanness") and is enacted through music. My dissertation explores ways in which popular notions of ...


Redefining Diaspora Consciousness: Musical Practices Of Moroccan Jews In Brooklyn, Samuel Reuben Thomas Oct 2014

Redefining Diaspora Consciousness: Musical Practices Of Moroccan Jews In Brooklyn, Samuel Reuben Thomas

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation examines the role of musical practices in the synagogue life of Maroka'im (Moroccan Jews) in Brooklyn, New York. Living in an urban setting known for its diverse and robust Jewish life, community members utilize several different types of musical expression to emblematize three distinct diasporic ethnic identities: Jewish (of ancient Israel), Sephardi (Spanish), and Maroka'i (Moroccan). Based upon ethnographic fieldwork carried out between 2008 and 2013, this study demonstrates how Maroka'im in Brooklyn use musical expressions to evoke more than one sense of diaspora consciousness--Jewish, Sephardi, and Maroka'i--to foster what I term a layered ...


Different Placements Of Spirit: African American Musicians Historicizing In Sound, Casey Hale Oct 2014

Different Placements Of Spirit: African American Musicians Historicizing In Sound, Casey Hale

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation examines two recent projects by African American musicians that enact critical and historiographic agency by reconstructing the music of the past: William Parker's project The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield, dedicated to re-imagining the works of the soul music icon with an ensemble featuring the poetic recitation of Amiri Baraka; and Marcus Roberts's reinvention of the Jazz Age rhapsodies of George Gershwin and James P. Johnson, Rhapsody in Blue and Yamekraw: A Negro Rhapsody. Rooted in African American interpretive traditions, and working both within and against such discursive categories as "jazz," "black music," and "American music ...


The Mad Science Of Hip-Hop: History, Technology, And Poetics Of Hip-Hop's Music, 1975-1991, Patrick Rivers Oct 2014

The Mad Science Of Hip-Hop: History, Technology, And Poetics Of Hip-Hop's Music, 1975-1991, Patrick Rivers

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

In 1979, the first commercial recordings of hip-hop music were released. The music's transition from the parks and clubs of the Bronx to recorded media resulted in hip-hop music being crafted and mediated in a recording studio before reaching the ears of listeners. In this dissertation I present a comprehensive investigation into the history of the instrumental component of hip-hop music heard on recordings, commonly referred to as beats. My historical narrative is formed by: the practices involved in the creation of hip-hop beats; the technologies that facilitated and defined those practices; and the debates around these two aspects ...


The Music And Multiple Identities Of Kurdish Alevis From Turkey In Germany, Ozan Aksoy Feb 2014

The Music And Multiple Identities Of Kurdish Alevis From Turkey In Germany, Ozan Aksoy

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation investigates the experiences of Kurdish Alevis, currently living in Germany, who trace their background to locations within the boundaries of the Republic of Turkey. I argue that music has been a particularly important mode through which Kurdish Alevis in Germany have articulated collective histories and have fashioned narratives of belonging and multiple and sometimes contradictory identities. The subjects of my research are immigrants and refugees who are ethnically Kurdish and whose religion is Alevi, an Anatolian religion whose relations to both Sunni and Shi'a Islam are historically controversial. They speak Turkish along with Kurdish, in most cases ...