Music and the Armenian Diaspora
114 pages

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View accompanying audiovisual materials for the book at Ethnomusicology Multimedia Follow the author on interview with the author:

Survivors of the Armenian genocide of 1915 and their descendants have used music to adjust to a life in exile and counter fears of obscurity. In this nuanced and richly detailed study, Sylvia Angelique Alajaji shows how the boundaries of Armenian music and identity have been continually redrawn: from the identification of folk music with an emergent Armenian nationalism under Ottoman rule to the early postgenocide diaspora community of Armenian musicians in New York, a more self-consciously nationalist musical tradition that emerged in Armenian communities in Lebanon, and more recent clashes over music and politics in California. Alajaji offers a critical look at the complex and multilayered forces that shape identity within communities in exile, demonstrating that music is deeply enmeshed in these processes. Multimedia components available online include video and audio recordings to accompany each case study.

Guide to Online Media Examples
1. Ottoman Empire, 1890-1915: Komitas Vartaped and the Construction of "Armenia"
2. New York, 1932-1958
3. Beirut, 1932-1958
4. Beirut, 1958-1980
5. California



Publié par
Date de parution 07 septembre 2015
Nombre de lectures 2
EAN13 9780253017765
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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Public Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa
Paul A. Silverstein, Susan Slyomovics, and Ted Swedenburg, editors

Ethnomusicology Multimedia
Ethnomusicology Multimedia ( EM ) is a collaborative publishing program, developed with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to identify and publish first books in ethnomusicology, accompanied by supplemental audiovisual materials online at .
A collaboration of the presses at Indiana and Temple universities, EM is an innovative, entrepreneurial, and cooperative effort to expand publishing opportunities for emerging scholars in ethnomusicology and to increase audience reach by using common resources available to the presses through support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Each press acquires and develops EM books according to its own profile and editorial criteria.
EM s most innovative features are its web-based components, which include a password-protected Annotation Management System ( AMS ) where authors can upload peer-reviewed audio, video, and static image content for editing and annotation and key the selections to corresponding references in their texts; a public site for viewing the web content, , with links to publishers websites for information about the accompanying books; and the Avalon Media System, which hosts video and audio content for the website. The AMS and website were designed and built by the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities at Indiana University. Avalon was designed and built by the libraries at Indiana University and Northwestern University with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Indiana University Libraries hosts the website, and the Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music ( ATM ) provides archiving and preservation services for the EM online content.
Sylvia Angelique Alajaji
This book is a publication of
INDIANA UNIVERSITY PRESS Office of Scholarly Publishing Herman B Wells Library 350 1320 East 10th Street Bloomington, Indiana 47405 USA
2015 by Sylvia A. Alajaji All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The Association of American University Presses Resolution on Permissions constitutes the only exception to this prohibition.
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z 39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Alajaji, Sylvia, 1979- author.
Music and the Armenian diaspora : searching for home in exile / Sylvia Angelique Alajaji.
pages cm - (Public cultures of the Middle East and North Africa) (Ethnomusicology multimedia)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-253-01755-0 (cloth : alkaline paper) - ISBN 978-0-253-01776-5 (ebook) - ISBN 978-0-253-01761-1 (paperback : alkaline paper) 1. Armenians-Foreign countries-Music-History and criticism. 2. Expatriate musicians-Social conditions. 3. Musicians-Armenia (Republic)-Social conditions. 4. Music-Armenia-History and criticism. 5. Musicians-Armenia-Social conditions. I. Title. II. Series: Public cultures of the Middle East and North Africa. III. Series: Ethnomusicology multimedia.
ML 334.9. A 53 2015 780.89 91992-dc23
1 2 3 4 5 20 19 18 17 16 15
1 Ottoman Empire, 1890-1915
2 New York, 1932-1958
3 Beirut, 1932-1958
4 Beirut, 1958-1980
5 California
What is Armenian music? This question forms the core, the very heart, of this book. Although not always asked explicitly, it is a question asked earnestly. Through an exploration of the ways in which that question is answered in five different snapshots from the Armenian diaspora (a diaspora that formed largely after the pogroms and forced dispersions that occurred in the Ottoman Empire in 1915), this book attempts to show the complex ways in which a people defines itself through time and place. Moving through the Ottoman Empire in the years just preceding the massacres to three locations to which the survivors eventually arrived-New York, California, and Lebanon-each snapshot demonstrates how music has been used to situate Armenian diasporic communities in relation to their conceptions of home, wherever that might be, and their relationships to the past and present. The answers are indeed many, and the urgency I sensed in the many conversations I had and listened to made it clear that embedded in each answer was a meditation, a reflection, on just what it was to be Armenian. Each answer demonstrates that Armenian identity is not something formed in a vacuum, frozen in time, but something that forms out of a complex relationship to the past and to the present, to past homes and present homes-complex relationships that vary within and across the various diasporic communities that formed after 1915.
The snapshots chosen are by no means meant to be exhaustive or to imply that these were the only places and the only genres of musical significance to Armenians. Quite the opposite. Historically and currently important Armenian musical cultures can be found throughout the world, from Canada to France to Syria to Turkey to Detroit to Chicago, and, of course, to Armenia. The intention of this book is to provide a glimpse into just some of the ways in which Armenians have used music as a way to situate themselves in the world and the ways in which some of the many answers to What is Armenian music? exist contrapuntally, in consonance and dissonance with one another. It is my hope that the reader finds in this book not an answer to What is Armenian music? but an affirmation of the importance-the necessity-of asking the question at all.
Simply put, this book could not have been written without those named here. Throughout the process, I have been incredibly grateful for and humbled by the generosity, support, and kindness of the many people who helped me along the way: those who sat with me for hours, often at a moment s notice, thoughtfully and patiently answering my nonstop questions; those who opened their homes to me, told me their stories, and played me their music (and who did so all the while insisting that I eat, lovingly serving me foods I knew had taken hours to prepare); and those who encouraged and supported me when I thought I just couldn t do it any longer. It was not until I sat down and began putting together the list of people I wanted to thank that I realized the scope and magnitude of the generosity I d been shown. To all those listed below, I will be always grateful. Without question, any mistakes in this book are entirely my own.
Since beginning my studies in ethnomusicology, I have been surrounded by scholars who shaped me intellectually in profound and wonderful ways. First and foremost, I thank Ellen Koskoff, my ethno mom. She has been my mentor, therapist, and friend-the very model of the academic I can only wish to be. She knew just when to push me, when to challenge me, when to encourage me, and when to make me laugh. Thank you also to Ralph Locke, Gabriela Currie, and Jane Sugarman for their support and encouragement throughout the early stages of this project. Their keen eyes and probing questions helped push my research in the directions it needed to go. To my fellow ethnomusicology hais , who have helped me in ways they may not even realize: Zoe Sherinian, Melissa Bilal, and Anahid Kassabian. Zoe, whose face I remember in the audience the very first time I gave a paper at a professional conference and who, afterwards, gave me such support and encouragement; Melissa, whom, after I d known her for just a few minutes, I felt like I had known my whole life, and who continues to amaze me with her intelligence and passion; and finally, Anahid, who sat with me for hours when I was just beginning this research and questioning what my Armenian identity meant to me. For the first time, I felt as if I was talking to someone who understood, and that made all the difference. Her work inspired me to ask the questions that I ask and continues to inspire me still.
At Franklin Marshall College, I am lucky to be surrounded by supportive colleagues in a department I am proud to be a part of. I especially thank Debra Joseph, who always has the answers; and my friends and colleagues Matthew Butterfield, John Carbon, Bruce Gustafson, and Karen Leistra-Jones, each of them a brilliant scholar, musician, and teacher. I am also grateful to the college for the sabbatical that allowed me the time to finish this book and for the generous grants that allowed me to complete all the necessary travels back and forth to California and Beirut.
I am grateful to the wonderful team at Indiana University Press and the editorial boards of the Ethnomusicology Multimedia and Public Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa series. My thanks especially to Rebecca Tolen, for her early support of this project and for her valuable feedback and suggestions; to David Miller for his incredible patience and clarity of direction; to Susanna J. Sturgis for her eagle eye and careful edits; and Mollie Ables for all her help with the multimedia component of the book. Thank you also

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