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Musical Journeys in Sumatra$
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Margaret Kartomi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036712

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036712.001.0001

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Sumatra’s Performing Arts, Groups, and Subgroups

Sumatra’s Performing Arts, Groups, and Subgroups

(p.1) 1 Sumatra’s Performing Arts, Groups, and Subgroups
Musical Journeys in Sumatra

Margaret Kartomi

University of Illinois Press

This book examines the traditional musical arts of Sumatra, with particular emphasis on the ethnographic, cultural, and historical contexts of the performing arts that contain music as well as some of the changes in their style, content, and reception from 1971 when the author began her field travels. The musical arts, or performing arts containing music, include the vocal, instrumental, and body percussive music, the dance and other body movement, the art of self-defense, the bardic arts, and the musical theater performed at domestic ceremonies. The book considers the musico-lingual groups and subgroups of Sumatra—population groups and subgroups that are primarily distinguished from one another on the basis of the lingual attributes of their vocal-musical genres (including songs, ritual/religious chanting, song-dances, and intoned theatrical monologues or exchanges). This chapter provides an overview of some of the major themes that recur throughout the book—identity, rituals and ceremonies, religion, the impact of foreign contact on the performing arts, the musical instruments and pitch variability, the dances and music-dance relationships, social class, gender issues, and arts education.

Keywords:   musical arts, Sumatra, performing arts, musico-lingual groups, rituals, religion, musical instruments, dance, social class, gender

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