This can't be emphasized enough, but let's put sound to some of these composers, and the types of groups they compose for, to decenter European composers/instruments. 16 composers from the greater Turkic/Western Asian world.

Sərdar Fərəcov (b. 1957) Azerbaijani composer

Müjgan Zülfüzadə (left photo)- Tar Soloist
Children and Youth Folk Instruments Orchestra of the Azerbaijan State Children's Philharmonic (right photo)

Svetlana Apasova (b. 1963) Kazakh composer

"Saryarka XXI"
Academic Folk-Ethnographic Kazakh Orchestra "Otyrar Sazy" (photos below)
Established 1982 Almaty, Kazakhstan…

Leyla Zagirovna Ismagilova (b. 1946) Bashkir composer

Two concert pieces for piano (2000)
Elina Valieva - piano

Khabibulla Setekov (b. 1958) Uighur-Kazakh composer

"Almaty Autumn"
Aigul Shamshidenova - solo vocalist

Rustam Abdullayev (b. 1947) Uzbek composer

"Ratalla" Fantasia for piano, string orchestra and percussion
Mirzakamalova Elnura Rustamovna - piano solo
Sun Symphony Orchestra (est. 2017 in Hanoi, Vietnam)

Ermek Umirov (b. 1954) Kazakh composer

Tattimbet Academic Orchestra of Folk Instruments
Est. 11988 in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. 80+ players

Rovshan Nepesov (b.) Turkmen composer


Compare two performances:

(European Orchestra)

(Kazakh Orchestra)

Bakhtiyar Amanzhol (b.) Kazakh composer

"Crossing the Urals"
Gulzhan Amanzhol (r. photo)- kyl-kobyz (l. photo)
Bakhtiyar Amanzhol - piano
Dancers unnamed in video.

Khurshida Khasanova - Uzbek composer

"Color of Tones" Overture
Sogdianda Orchestra of Folk Instruments of Uzbekistan
established in 1991.…

Balnur Kydyrbek (b. 1955) Kazakh composer

"Oren" for string orchestra
Chamber Orchestra of the Astrakhan State Philharmonic Society

Tatiana F. Shalginova (b.) Khakassian composer

Concerto for Khakassian khomys (photo) and orchestra (piano reduction)
Aisili Mainagasheva - khomys soloist
Tatiana F. Shalginova - piano

Rashid Kalimullin (b. 1957) Tatar composer

Trio for three clarinets (2017)
Natasha Fearnside (E flat clarinet)
Robert Schubert (B flat clarinet)
Olivia Grosfeld (A clarinet)

Ilham Azmanli (b. 1964) Azerbaijani composer

"Milli sərvət"

Info about 13 of the 16 composers from the initial tweet are above. Here’s the tweet that inspired this one.

PS. I explored some of the issues this thread brings up in my "What is #ClassicalMusic?" thread. Issues surrounding how we use instrumentation or ethnic origins to frame and center discussions and inform how we exclude in the classical music field.

PPS. As many of the composers (& the ensembles they wrote for) were products of the Soviet system we can't ignore how it was a response to combat what the Soviets saw as Western Imperialism. This is not unlike what happened with Anti-Colonial Orchestras.…

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More from @Silpayamanant

7 Apr
Loved it for what it was, but this take is close to how I feel.

"[O]ne film shouldn’t have to handle the weight of representing an entire geographic region, and I don’t expect Raya and the Last Dragon to do so, though it appears to desperately want to."…
And this still stings a little.

"It mostly goes into the issue of treating Asians as a monolith, no matter which country they come from. And there is a distinction between East Asian countries and Southeast Asian countries."…
Yup, definitely this part!
Read 4 tweets
6 Apr
I'm so glad there are videos of Dina Nurpeisova (1861-1955) in existence. Some of her music, and other dombra masters' compositions, are the foundation for Symphonic Quy--a nationalist genre for Kazahkstan Folk Instrument Orchestras. Here s her "Nawiski."

A more contemporary performance by Assel Alina during a Kurmangazy Orchestra concert. Folk orchestra concerts almost invariably alternate between full symphonic works, solo (unaccompanied and accompanied) works, and vocal pieces.

The 80+ piece Kurmangazy Orchestra is just 13 years shy of its 100th anniversary and it's one of almost a dozen symphonic folk orchestras in all the regions of Kazakhstan.

Read 8 tweets
10 Nov 20
Re-reading this and thinking about it in light of Dr. Jacqueline C. DjeDje’s work researching the little known African American Fiddling traditions and all the early Blues violinist recordings that we have.

All the more reason to #CiteBlackWen @citeblackwomen
It shouldn’t be surprising that an ethnomusicologist researching African/African American fiddling traditions and a French-Senegalese immigrant researching African Diaspora/Black Muslim Slavery would have a take on the origins of the Blues being Islamological/Afrological.
Which says a lot about the tools/background knowledge that researchers bring with them and why most American Music Studies is inherently Anglo-Eurocentric and Colonialist.
Read 5 tweets
9 Nov 20
I am so excited to see "The Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev" as part of the National Library of Israel Film Festival in November! I've spent the past 11 years exploring and performing music of the Bukharan Jews, this is just really exciting!…
I've spent the past 11 years learning the about the repertoire of that region of the world and the pst 3 years have been arranging music for @EnsembleSulh to perform in collaboration with the Crescent Moon Dance Company--a project we call "Raqs Maqom."

It's been one of the most rewarding musical experiences of my life--and in some cases some of the msot difficult music I've ever had to perform. For example, this image is from a performance of "Doira Dars," a 5 minute tune I spent 6 weeks practicing every day to learn (by ear).
Read 14 tweets
8 Nov 20
When I read about Slave Orchestras I have that scene in "A Beautiful Mind" where Nash/Crowe, during his insight moment about Governing Dynamics, says to Hansen/Lucas "Incomplete. Incomplete."

If we can't own the FULL history of #ClassicalMusic, then it's systemically incomplete. Image
That <<logic of exclusion of colored bodies>> comes to play when thinking about the evolution #ClassicalMusic in these formerly colonized countries and how the composers, repertoire, & ensembles that emerged in them are distinctly absent from our whitewashed histories ...
... and how the contribution of scholarship from formerly colonized countries is also absent—the very scholarship that acknowledges the colonial histories and #ClassicalMusic’s Slave Orchestras/Choirs/Bands and hybridized performance practices.
Read 7 tweets
8 Nov 20
This thread outlines many of the reasons I see WPM (Western Pop Music) as the other side of the coin to WAM colonialism/white supremacism & why DEI initiatives that uncritically include WPM in the curricula are just reinforcing the same systemic structures we have in WAM studies.
Figure from Matthew Salganik and Duncan Watts' paper, “Leading the Herd Astray: An Experimental Study of Self-fulfilling Prophecies in an Artificial Cultural Market,” (… ) Image
Re: the figure above:

"Now let’s see what happened when the download counts were flipped, so that the new participants thought the least popular song was actually the most popular."

Read 8 tweets

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