Harmony, hegemony, and hindinization …

Matthew Allen is Associate Professor, Music Department and Coordinator, Asian Studies at Wheaton College Norton, MA 02766 USA. And he plans to visit Goa.

On an unusual mission, one might add.

He writes: “I’m an ethnomusicologist with a background in karnatak (south indian) vocal music for bharata natyam dance, and in a parellel life i’ve
also been a guitarist for many years. After a long time, I’m returning to India this summer to look into a couple of possible research projects. One of them involves Goa… For a decade I’ve taught a course called “the guitar in cross
cultural perspective,” which has slowly and steadily led me towards a book idea, tentatively titled “harmonic encounters: hegemony and indigenization on six strings.” I am researching how the guitar spread out from the Iberian peninsula, how it carried European musical concepts with it (functional harmony especially) on its travels, and at the same time, how it has been modified and adapted by local musicians to fit different music systems and individuals’ creative thinking. I’ve been researching guitar traditions in
Ireland, Hawai’i, Bbrasil, West Aafrica, and while i’ve been very curious about Goa for a long time, have never had the chance to spend time there, except for a brief visit back in 1990….

Sounds interesting! Dr Allen is looking out to meet up with people and institutions, whether guitarists or musicians who play any style of Goan music, or scholars interested in the kind of syncretism that he’s interested in!

Dr Allen also mentioned that he’ll be in Goa from August 5 to 12, 2006.


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