The International Journal of Traditional Arts 2018-11-20T12:16:46-08:00 The Editors Open Journal Systems <p><em>The International Journal of Traditional Arts</em> is an international, peer-reviewed Gold Open access journal that promotes a broad-ranging understanding of the relevance of traditional arts in contemporary social life.</p> Music, Affect and Atmospheres: Meaning and Meaningfulness in Palauan omengeredakl 2018-11-19T07:59:07-08:00 Birgit Abels <p>In this article, I explore facets of the complex musical experience afforded by <em>omengeredakl</em>, a genre of traditional vocal music from Palau, Western Micronesia. The concept of atmosphere will lead me to propose a conceptual distinction between musical meaning(s) and musical meaningfulness as well as enable an integrated analysis of both. With this, I am pointing at weaknesses in some of the recent ethnomusicological literature on atmosphere: atmosphere should not be identified with affect, or looked at as part of a two-stage process in which affective experience is followed by reflective interpretation. The potential of atmospheres for the study of music lies precisely in that the concept enables us to transcend this and other pairs of opposites. Overcoming this binary will allow us to draw closer to the efficacy of music: after all, the proverbial “power of music” exceeds the impact of affective experience and discursive meaning by far. </p> 2018-04-09T09:09:29-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## ‘I realised it was the same song’: Familiarisation, assimilation and making meaning with new folk music 2018-11-20T12:16:46-08:00 Fay Hield Sarah Price <p>In many settings, folk music continues to be a vibrant resource for contemporary audiences. Existing research in the folk music scene has largely been centred on participation, reflecting historical tensions surrounding the professionalisation of the genre. However, in this paper, we challenge the binary between participatory and presentational forms of music (Turino, 2008), positioning listening as a form of participation and highlighting the work done by audiences for presentational folk music. This paper presents the findings of a longitudinal, qualitative study of listening experience around the release of a new folk album by the first author: Fay Hield’s <em>Old Adam</em> (2016). Through a series of focus groups, eight participants gave increasingly personalised accounts of their relationship with the music, from first reactions to finding deep meaning in the songs. We draw on disparate strands of research including developments in music psychology and audience research, as well as theoretical literature on the value of storytelling, to consider how songs go from unknown entities to important emotional resource for listeners. We demonstrate that familiarisation with new music is impacted on by: live and recorded listening contexts, musical preference, existing knowledge of folk music repertory, and genre conventions. We show that while listeners may make their own meaning from music, they need to find resemblance between a song’s meaning and their own lived experience in order to connect with it deeply. While theoretical storytelling literature suggests narrative is important as a means of mentally rehearsing for future experiences, instead we found participants reject that notion, understanding rather that song stories act as a tool for reflection and in making meaning of previous experience. This depth of engagement shows that while these listeners may not be getting their fiddles out or leading a chorus song in a singaround, they are far from a passive audience.</p> 2018-11-19T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## It was Never Just about the Music: How Artistic Communication Genres Could Liberate Ethnomusicology 2018-11-19T07:59:07-08:00 Brian Schrag <p>In this rhetorical short essay, I argue for the benefits and possibility of grounding ethnomusicological research in enactments of artistic communication genres. I describe the conceptual imprecision and incomplete analyses that often result from our fieldwork being guided by abstract categories like music and dance. I go on to outline the kinds of research needed to better understand any and all artistic acts formally and socially, and point to the promise of richer, more coherent, more productive, more multi-disciplinary output, with more relevance to the world.</p> 2018-11-19T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##