THREAD: #OperaDiversity

Taking @GarrettMcQueen's comments (Quote Tweeted below) as a point of departure.

I may add to this from time to time, so this is going to be an open-ended thread. But first a few caveats.

1.0/ THREAD: #OperaDiversity

#Opera #ClassicalMusic #WAM
When I say "Opera Diversity" I'm talking about <<Diversity OF Opera>> not <<Diversity IN Opera>>. These are two very different ideas and I articulate that a bit in this piece:…

2.0/ THREAD: #OperaDiversity Caveats

#Opera #ClassicalMusic #WAM
One of my other research projects is compiling a list of First Language Operas: a catalogue of the first time languages are used in the libretti of Operas historically. Many examples here will pull from that list.

2.1/ THREAD: #OperaDiversity Caveats

#Opera #ClassicalMusic #WAM
Some examples might be considered Opera-adjacent. I.e., these might be works that emerged in hybridized traditions due to colonialism and cultural imperialism; or are from convergent evolutionary traditions.

2.2/ THREAD: #OperaDiversity Caveats

#Opera #ClassicalMusic #WAM
One example of a hybridized tradition are the Mugham Operas of Uzeyir Hajibeyov. One example of a convergent evolutionary tradition are Thai Likay (ลิเก), a type of folk Opera that my mother absolutely adores!

2.3/ THREAD: #OperaDiversity Caveats

#Opera #ClassicalMusic #WAM
Keep in mind that by considering these different boxes for Opera Types, we've veered close to the <<Logic of Exclusion of Colored Bodies>> that I started articulating in this piece:…

2.4/ THREAD: #OperaDiversity Caveats

#Opera #ClassicalMusic #WAM
And how that <<Logic of Exclusion of Colored Bodies>> is at play in how we treat some sounds as other: thus creating a <<Perpetually Foreign Music>> that I've tweeted about lately.…

2.5/ THREAD: #OperaDiversity Caveats

#Opera #ClassicalMusic #WAM
Now for examples of the three types mentioned above.

1) Opera in non-Canonical Language (NCL)
2) Opera from Hybridized Opera Tradition (HOT)
3) Opera from a Convergently Evolutionary Tradition (COT)

3.0/ THREAD: #OperaDiversity Examples

#Opera #ClassicalMusic #WAM
Opera in non-Canonical Languages (NCL) 1/5

"Sangdugong Panaguinip" (1902)
Ladislao Bonus - music
Roman G. Reyes - libretto (Tagalog adaptation of Pedro Paterno's "La Alianza Soñada"…

3.11/ THREAD: #OperaDiversity Examples

#Opera #ClassicalMusic #WAM
Opera in non-Canonical Languages (NCL) 2/5

"Salawat Yulayev" (1955)
Zagir Ismagilov - music
Bayezit Bikbay - libretto (Bashkir)

Based on life of Bashkir national hero, Salawat Yulayev

3.12/ THREAD: #OperaDiversity Examples

#Opera #ClassicalMusic #WAM
Opera in non-Canonical Languages (NCL) 3/5

"Agni" (2007)
Premasiri Khemadasa - music
Eric Illayapparachchi - libretto (Sinhalese)
Premiered on 26 May 2007 in Colombo, Sri Lanka

3.13/ THREAD: #OperaDiversity Examples

#Opera #ClassicalMusic #WAM
Opera in non-Canonical Languages (NCL) 4/5

"Ìrìn Àjò" (2018)
Bode Omojola - music and libretto (Yoruba, English)
Story of Kayode, Nigerian immigrant who seeks a better future in the US

3.14/ THREAD: #OperaDiversity Examples

#Opera #ClassicalMusic #WAM
Opera in non-Canonical Languages (NCL) 5/5

"Nikola Šubić Zrinski" (1876)
Ivan Zajc - music and libretto (Croatian)
Battle of Szigetvár in 1566 - Croatian/Hungarian forces vs Ottomans

3.15/ THREAD: #OperaDiversity Examples

#Opera #ClassicalMusic #WAM

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More from @Silpayamanant

14 Oct
An 1870 photo of the Slave Band of Antônio Luís de Almeida.

Figure 10, pg. 66 in Luiz Cleber Moreira Freire's 2007 dissertation, "NEM TANTO AO MAR NEM TANTO À TERRA:
Agropecuária, escravidão e riqueza em
Feira de Santana - 1850-1888"…

Antônio Luís de Almeida was a Brazilian Coffee Baron in Bananal, São Paulo. The white guy at the top-center of the photo is German conductor, Wiltem Sholtz. Most slave orchestras and ensembles were directed by European conductors.

In Brazil, slavery didn't end till 1888, so finding actual photographs of slave ensembles in existence shouldn't be surprising.

This group was often called "Banda do Tio Antoniquinho" and as many slave ensembles, would have to perform diverse functions.

Read 15 tweets
13 Oct
Adventures in compiling bibliographies: Arabic #MusicTheory edition. PART III: Graeco-Arabic Translation Movement.

One of the pleasures of working on this bib is coming across other folks' work. For example, the Digital Corpus for Graeco-Arbic Studies!
Western Music Theorists/Historians don't generally have a healthy understanding of the Islamic Golden Age and the translation movement that likely helped preserve a fair number of ancient Greek Music treatises which might not have otherwise survived.…
The Greek works, obviously, haven't been the only ones preserved, translated, and commented on in Baghdad and Cordoba. My 1st two threads talked about the Syriac and Hebrew/Judaic overlap. Some translators were ethnically Persian so there's also overlap with Pahlavi works.
Read 10 tweets
11 Oct
Current Diversity initiatives is just a replay of Melting Pot racism ideology. It was an idea that was stewing (pun intended) for some time but really came into general usage in the US after the Israel Zangwill's play by the same name in 1908.

1/ Image
The idea has always been at the back of my mind while writing the Diversity, Inclusive Programming, and Music Education' Series which is one of the reasons I focused on the Third Wave (1880-1920) of immigration as a backdrop for it.…

Many of us in the States know the Melting Pot metaphor--that all races & cultures will "melt" and blend into one new and utopic "American" culture. But really, it's a monocultural metaphor for assimilating the new 20 million immigrants coming into the US during that 3rd wave.

Read 13 tweets
8 Oct
Adventures in compiling bibliographies: Arabic #MusicTheory edition. PART II

It was inevitable I'd eventually hit all the Abrahamic religions. Just came to this:

"Judeo-Islamic sacred soundscapes: The maqamization of the Eastern Sephardic Liturgy" 1/…
The past 16 years or so I've been also playing Jewish music. From about 2009-2013 I played with the River City Klezmer Band organized by Dr. Al Goldin who just passed this past June (at 97).

One of my favorite memories: all these Somali kids just had to dance with our singer! 2/ Image
The past 5 years, been playing in a Sephardic Jewish band led by Cantor Sharon Hordes.

Was asked to record on 2 tracks of "Mi Coraçon Sospira"--her first CD--and to play the CD release. The group stuck & were dubbed "Transito."

At the Cantor's Assembly in Louisville 2019. 3/ Image
Read 9 tweets
6 Oct
Adventures in compiling bibliographies: Arabic Music Theory edition.

Just traveled down a rabbit hole of Syriac Christian Chants and the Beth Gazo (collection of Syriac hymns dating back to Bardaisian 154-222 CE) and I'm reminded how Eurocentric #MusicTheory is as a discipline.
Tala Jarjour, in her "Syriac Chant at the Negotiation of Source and Method in the Two Music–“ologies”," probably sums up a lot of what's running through my head right now.… Image
And Jarjour really hits it on the head here because this could be said of so many of the Christian chant traditions. This applies even to the more well studied ones like the Byzantine and Znamenny, much less Armenian Apostolic, Georgian, Zema, and Coptic traditions. Image
Read 14 tweets
29 Sep
THREAD: US Orchestras and Large Ensembles

The past 10 years I've been researching and cataloguing the Orchestra. Not "Euro-styled Orchestras" (ala Lewis, "Eurological Orchestras"), but ALL Orchestras. Seven years ago I started a site (not public) to chart this in the US.

1/ Image
The generally received view is that the Orchestra evolved into its "final mature form" in the first half of the 20th century.

That's simply not the case and easily demonstrably false as long as we leave out Eurocentric/Colonialist/White Supremacist views and definitions.

The Orchestra as an institution is constantly evolving and taking many different forms all around the world, but like the White Male Classical Music Canon, we tend to only see canonical ensemble types and treat them, like the repertoire canon, as universal and neutral.

Read 16 tweets

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