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Happy Birthday world music!

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:11 pm
by Ian A.
19 years old today!

(there's a Muddy Waters song which goes with that . . . )

http://www.frootsmag.com/content/featur ... y/minutes/

ROTFLOL

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 7:53 pm
by That Was Jonathan E. Then
That made me laugh out loud! Almost rolled on the floor!!

As detailed elsewhere, the emergence of world music as a concept/movement/object-of-passionate-debate predated the 1987 industry gathering to discuss its marketing to English record stores by several years.

For those sufficiently masochistic or new to the conversation, the gory details are at http://www.charliegillett.com/phpBB2/vi ... 6eae5da280 .

"Happy Birthday!" anyway, however old it is!!! May there be many more.

A few more words

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 8:10 pm
by That Was Jonathan E. Then
A shorter, and more objective, piece that at least in passing references the early '80s San Francisco world music/beat scene can be read at http://www.sfbg.com/38/31/art_music_anikulapokuti.html . It's mostly about the Black President show of artwork inspired by Fela, but, hey!, there's a little flavour of the times.

And, please note that my own long-winded piece linked to above has a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek, which in retrospect I admit is not very evident within the limitations of bulletin board/forum discussion.

Re: A few more words

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 11:02 pm
by Charlie
Jonathan E. wrote:And, please note that my own long-winded piece linked to above has a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek, which in retrospect I admit is not very evident within the limitations of bulletin board/forum discussion.


I just read your long piece again, Jonathan, and it is, as Howard Male noted at the time, very interesting and enlightening.

You mention the discovery of the phrase 'rock 'n' roll' in many forties R&B records, long before Alan Freed was credited with coining the term, and likewise cite the various references to world music before the Empress of Russia meetings in 1987.

I used to go looking for such 'firsts' too, but have come around to accepting that the moment that matters is when a word or phrase gathers momentum and moves into general usage and dictionaries. And there is no question that Alan Freed (in 1953) and the Empress of Russia (1987) deserve to be credited as getting the respective phrases into common parlance.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:30 am
by That Was Jonathan E. Then
Charlie,

I very much admire both your instinct to see the differing truths in various points of view and your unerring ability to express those truths elegantly and diplomatically while still retaining your own unique perspective. If only you weren’t so valuable to the world of music, I’d wish you would consider a career in international politics at the United Nations. After dealing with the rowdies on this bulletin board, it would probably be a cakewalk.

You are, of course, at least mostly right as far as the United Kingdom is concerned: “[. . .] the moment that matters is when a word or phrase gathers momentum and moves into general usage and dictionaries. And there is no question that Alan Freed (in 1953) and the Empress of Russia (1987) deserve to be credited as getting the respective phrases into common parlance.â€

PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 9:51 am
by Charlie
[quote="Jonathan E."] Obviously, a decision was made to use the term “world musicâ€

PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 5:10 pm
by That Was Jonathan E. Then
This morning (in the western US), I can express my overall point more succinctly.

It's a Gaian thing. I hope you'll understand.

PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 5:40 pm
by That Was Jonathan E. Then
Charlie wrote:But dare I suggest that your long original piece, and these later additions, are of special interest because the events you describe are precursors of the world music scene that we are part of today. If the Empress of Russia meeting had not launched the term into worldwide use (I have seen it used in shops and magazine sections in Spain, Germany, New Zealand and Russia - it's not just a UK thing), the antecedents you document would not be so fascinating.


Well, yes — and no. Yes, because all these events are part of a longer and more fascinating story and my Gaian-type theory of self-governing cultural global evolution. No, because it was my personal experience and thus relevant and fascinating to me (at least) anyway regardless of the eventual outcome, although I am of course pleased that world music has continued to grow.

I suppose I get frustrated because I think world music was happening anyway and would have continued to happpen with or without the Empress of Russia. I think it was inevitable. That is not to say that the consequences of the Empress of Russia were not important. They were important — I don't deny that. I just prefer the more complex and longer story. As those who dabble in mythology know, the power to name something is a very great power indeed.

I feel it is important not to lose sight of the antecedents to the Empress of Russia and to have some comprehension of world music as more than just ear candy. I know that to some this is a very arcane discussion, but I remember when rock'n'roll was not taken seriously except by a few initiates. The study of its origins and impulses has reshaped our understanding of both the creative and historical world. In due course, I think something similar will be true of world music and that it is thus important to preserve the whole story rather than accepting the Empress of Russia as Day One, which I honestly believe is the way it is often presented.

Sorry to cease being succinct so quickly — and thanks once more for your diplomacy!