Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Plasketes, George. "Cross Cultural Sessions: World Music Missionaries in American Popular Music." Studies in Popular Culture 18, no. 1 (October 1995): 49-61.

While the popularity of "World Music" is growing, many have criticized collaborations between Western and non-Western artists, such as Paul Simon's Graceland, as being exploitive of non-Western traditional music. However, these cross-cultural germinations actually serve as cultural bridges leading to greater levels of understanding. In the 1960s and 1970s many Western artists, particularly jazz musicians, attempted to achieve a synthesis between Western musical traditions and the music of Eastern, African, and South American cultures. By the late 1980s "World Music" was a staple of the record store, and artists such as Peter Gabriel, David Byrne, and Paul Simon were incorporating elements of non-Western music into their work. More recently, artists like Ry Cooder, Henry Kaiser, and David Lindley have sought out collaborations with non-Western musicians to create a blending of disparate music traditions. Cooder's A Meeting by the River blends elements and performance techniques of Hindustani music with the American musical idiom of Delta blues, and his Talking Timbuktu seeks to blend Delta blues with traditional West African music. Kaiser and Lindley traveled to Madagascar and Norway to create albums steeped in these traditions. Rather than being thought of as appropriations, the work of Cooder, Kaiser, and Lindley should be seen as collaborations that attempt to preserve the integrity of non-Western sources while blending them with distinctly Western idioms.

Index Classifications: 1900s, Popular

Contributed by: Sarah Florini

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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