Offering innovative approaches to thinking about orchestras, Global Perspectives on Orchestras: Collective Creativity and Social Agency adopts ethnographic, historical and comparative perspectives on a variety of traditions, including symphony, Caribbean steel, Indonesian gamelan, Indian film and Vietnamese court examples. The volume presents compelling analyses of orchestras in their socio-historical, economic, intercultural and postcolonial contexts, while emphasizing the global and historical connections between musical traditions.
By drawing on new ethnographic and historical data, the essays describe orchestral creative processes and the politics shaping performance practices. Each essay considers how musicians work together in ensembles, focusing on issues such as training, rehearsal, creative choices, compositional processes, and organizational infrastructures. Testimonies of orchestral musicians highlight practitioners' views into the diverse world of orchestras. As a whole, the volume discusses the creative roles of performers, arrangers, composers and arts agencies, as well as the social environments supporting musical collaborations.
With contributions from an international team of researchers, Global Perspectives on Orchestras offers critical insights gained from the study of orchestras, collective creativity and social agency, and the connections between orchestral performances, colonial histories, postcolonial practices, ethnographic writings and comparative theorizations.
About the Author
Tina K. Ramnarine is Professor of Music at Royal Holloway, University of London. Following a career as an orchestral violinist she has held academic appointments in music and anthropology. Her research is based on social theory, performance skills and multi-sited fieldwork (including northern Europe, the Caribbean, India and Indonesia). She has published widely on music, politics and global challenges.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Global perspectives on orchestras
Tina K. Ramnarine
Part 1: Community and Capital in Orchestral Contexts
Chapter 1: Cultural demand and supply in an imperial trading centre: developing the Liverpool Philharmonic Society Orchestra in the mid-nineteenth century
Fiona M. Palmer
Chapter 2: Context, community and social capital in the governance of a New Zealand orchestra
Chapter 3: Musical ambition and community-building in Trinidad and Tobago's steel orchestras
Chapter 4: Steel orchestras and tassa bands: multiculturalism, collective creativity, and debating co-national instruments in Trinidad and Tobago
Christopher L. Ballengee
Chapter 5: Pioneering the orchestra-owned label: LSO Live in an industry in crisis
Part 2: Intercultural Orchestral Collaborations
Chapter 6: Voices on the wind: eddies of possibility for Australia's orchestral future
Chapter 7: The women's international gamelan group at the Pondok Pekak: intercultural collective music making and performance in Bali, Indonesia
Chapter 8: Gamelanesque effects: musical impressions of Java and Bali in interwar America, Matthew Isaac Cohen
Chapter 9: 'Every town our home town': how a Finnish symphony orchestra collaborates with South Indian Carnatic musicians
Chapter 10: Orchestra and song: musical narratives in Tamil films
Chapter 11: The Hindi film orchestra: cinema, sounds and meanings
Chapter 12: Orchestras and musical intersections with regimental bands, black minstrel troupes, and jazz in India, 1830s-1940s
Part 3: Decolonizing and Postcolonial Orchestral Contexts
Chapter 13: Tiki Taane's With Strings Attached: Alive & Orchestrated and postcolonial identity politics in New Zealand
Chapter 14: State orchestras and multiculturalism in Singapore
Shzr Ee Tan
Chapter 15: The British symphony orchestra and the Arts Council of Great Britain: examining the orchestra in its economic and institutional environments
Chapter 16: Orchestrating the nation: court orchestras, nationalism and agency in Vietnam
Chapter 17: Orchestral connections in the cultures of decolonization: reflections on British, Caribbean and Indian contexts
Tina K. Ramnarine