The online journal Analytical Approaches to World Music (AAWM) aims to bring together analysts from a broad range of conceptual and cultural traditions in order to explore new modes of musical description and understanding capable of navigating the multicultural soundscape of the twenty-first century. In so doing, AAWM seeks to expand the potential for musical analysis from a cross-cultural perspective by applying diverse theoretical and analytical concepts to repertoires outside the Western art music tradition.
We welcome submissions that examine world musical traditions from a wide variety of analytical and theoretical perspectives. These may include, but are not limited to: the adaptation of analytical approaches usually associated with Western art music to address various world music traditions; the use of indigenous analytical tools and strategies to characterize particular musical styles and genres; and the development of "hybrid" analytical systems and theories that integrate the aforementioned approaches. Furthermore, we whole-heartedly embrace research that encompasses various formal, cultural, aesthetic and philosophical analytical perspectives. It is our hope that by bringing together analysts from a broad range of conceptual and cultural traditions, new modes of musical description and understanding may emerge.
Please visit the journal website to view the complete submission guidelines, as well as the current issue and online discussion forum.
Tana Varnam-s: An Entry into Raga Delineation in Carnatic Music Robert Morris Tana varnam-s form a genre of Carnatic music that bridges the gap between pedagogical etudes and concert music. A varnam is a composition explicitly designed to present the raga in which it is composed in all of its subtleties of ornamentation, special phrases, and overall pitch movement; it teaches the student how to sing, perform, and eventually improvise in its raga, as well as serving as sort of raga dictionary, on which other compositions and performances are based... more >>
Analyzing Javanese Grimingan: Seeking Form, Finding Process Sarah Weiss In some styles of Javanese wayang kulit, grimingan flows forth from the hands of the gender player for nearly four of the eight or so hours that comprise an all-night performance. Although their performances are regularly punctuated by other musical events, sometimes a gender player will be asked to perform grimingan for 30-40 minutes without pause... more >>
The Metric Matrix: Simultaneous Multidimensionality in African Music David Locke Although music typically is regarded as being temporally ephemeral, this model insufficiently theorizes African polyphonic music for dance in which performers set up dynamic steady states that present to the mind's musical ear multiple simultaneous views that are constantly in a condition of non- resolving metamorphosis. This paper argues that when musicians compose and improvise, they intentionally design their musical choices to enable and maintain an open-ended quality... more >>
Implicit Rāga Knowledge in the Kathmandu Valley Richard Widdess The term rāga is current not only in the classical traditions of North and South Indian music, where it is the subject of an extensive written and oral theory, but also in many non-classical traditions especially of religious music in South Asia. For example, devotional songs (dāphā) sung by groups of Newar farmers in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, are regularly attributed to rāgas; but there is little explicit (i.e. verbally expressed) knowledge about rāga among the performers... more >>
The Hurrian Pieces, ca. 1350 BCE: Part One—Notation and Analysis Jay Rahn The least conjectural components of the earliest known system of musical notation (ca. 1850-500 BCE) are 14 names for pairs of strings. Each of these names designates a pair of numbered strings on a Mesopotamian harp or lyre. These numbered string-pairs provide a basis for analyzing the earliest musical scores that survive, 35 musical notations of Hurrian provenance ca. 1350 BCE... more >>
Temporal Transformations In Cross-Cultural Perspective: Augmentation In Baroque, Carnatic And Balinese Music Michael Tenzer To advance any cross-cultural musicology we could do worse than to refine our perspectives on temporality. Yet labeling qualities of musical time–as if such qualities were static–locks in counterproductive essentializations, since old categories like linear and nonlinear time emerged from obsolete distinctions between the West and “the rest” and are based on misleading analogies to the physical world. Such polarized distinctions now seem insufficient... more >>
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