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Picture of Experiencing Rhythm

Experiencing Rhythm

Contemporary Malagasy Music and Identity

Author(s): Jenny Fuhr
Subject: Music

Book Description

How is “rhythm” experienced? What role does “rhythm” play in musicians’ search for a collective musical identity? These questions are answered in this book on the fascinating blend of musical styles and influences within contemporary Malagasy music.

Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world, “the footprint between Africa and Asia,” with a history marked by many waves of migration. Over the centuries, a wide range of styles of music, of instruments and of dance have become a part of the island’s musical palette. Despite this and the resulting diversity of regional musical particularities, musicians claim there is one element they all share: a common rhythmical base.

To explore this claim and the meaning of “rhythm” in the Malagasy context, Jenny Fuhr makes use of her dual role as musician and researcher. Self-reflexive field research combined with learning to play and perform Malagasy music enables a profound intercultural dialogue. This book shows how her intense involvement in music-making and a constant dialogue between musical experiences and discourses opens up new paths of understanding. In doing so, it challenges prevalent Western analytical perspectives on music and demonstrates the need for a more performance-based approach to ethnomusicology.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-5047-6
ISBN-10: 1-4438-5047-0
Date of Publication: 01/10/2013
Pages / Size: 205 / A5
Price: £52.99


Jenny Fuhr holds a PhD from the University of Southampton and an MMus Ethnomusicology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. She is a violinist, flutist and singer, performing regularly on international stages. Specialising in Malagasy music, the Indian Ocean region and the developments of “world music” in Europe, she also works as a freelance radio author.