Symposium – Music in culturally diverse societies

Sydney Conservatorium of Music is delighted to announce the Australian Research Council supported Symposium – Music in culturally diverse societies: Strategies, social engagement and significance to take place at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 April 2018.

Venue – Recital Hall East, Library and Atrium, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Symposium schedule (correct as of 28 March 2018)

Keynote speaker

Alfred Hook Lecture

Tuesday 3 April, 5:00pm, Recital Hall East
Entry is free and bookings are not required.

Please join us for refreshments from 6.00pm in the Music Cafe after this lecture.

In 1928 the German companies Odeon and Beka made the only recordings of music in Bali published prior to World War II. From 2002-2009 Dr Edward Herbst acquired 111 of these recordings from diverse archives in Asia, Europe, and North America. His discoveries came at a time when the last artists of that generation were available as links to the creative and cultural currents of the 1920s.

Using film excerpts, archival photographs, and musical recordings this lecture will illustrate aesthetic and ethical approaches to dissemination through new and emerging forms of digital media; challenges of accessing archives worldwide; collaborative research methodologies; and strategies for grass-roots repatriation, in this case, via publication of a series of five volumes as CDs and DVDs. This presentation elucidates ways that collaborative, dialogic research has benefitted the Balinese public, stimulating new and revived perspectives and musical practices.

Registrations are not required – this event is free of charge.

Madi dancers and musicians from the South Sudanese Australian community performing at the “Africultures” Festival, Sydney, March 2018 (Photo by Chol S Chol)

Cultural diversity is a key feature of many Western and non-Western societies, and musical performances are one of the major ways in which this diversity is expressed and celebrated. However, despite the well-documented benefits to minority communities of maintaining their own distinctive musical activities (Reyes 1999; Hesser and Heinemann 2010; Marsh 2013; Ingram and Wu 2017), and despite the positive flow-on effects of these benefits to society as a whole, current social trends and reality seem less and less likely to afford support for the musical traditions of non-mainstream groups.

This two-day symposium looks more deeply into some of the strategies and forms of social engagement that are related to the use of music by smaller groups within culturally diverse societies, and explores the particular significance of the music of smaller groups within a culturally diverse landscape. It brings together a diverse group of ethnomusicologists from the United Kingdom, Australia and elsewhere to promote a deeper and more nuanced understanding of how minority communities produce and maintain music-making within the context of culturally diverse societies such as Australia and the UK, working towards a broad understanding of any common issues that emerge from nationally specific contexts.

The symposium keynote address will be given by Dr Edward Herbst, a leading authority on Balinese music and Balinese musical repatriation, and the author of Voices in Bali: Energies and Perceptions in Vocal Music and Dance Theatre (Wesleyan, 1998).

The symposium is supported by funding from the Royal Society UK, the SCM Research Unit for Musical Diversity and the University of Sydney’s Southeast Asia Studies Centre, and is convened by Dr Catherine Ingram and Professor Linda Barwick.

Registrations are not needed but please email the contact below if you are needing further information. The program may still be subject to change. Please note that there will be no further call for papers.

Please contact for further details.

Organisation committee: Dr Catherine Ingram and Professor Linda Barwick