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Jennifer Fraser, Gongs and Pop Songs: Sounding Minangkabau in Indonesia

Jennifer Fraser, associate professor of Ethnomusicology and Anthropology, Oberlin College and Conservatory, presents "Gongs and Pop Songs: Sounding Minangkabau in Indonesia."

In this talk, Dr. Fraser draws on her new book, Gongs and Pop Songs: Sounding Minangkabau in Indonesia (Ohio University, 2015) to focus the lens on two radically different talempong (gong) ensembles used at weddings in West Sumatra, Indonesia to understand how people use music to negotiate who they are in the world. Taking a cognitive approach to ethnicity, the talk focuses on how, why, and when people engage with their Minangkabau ethnicity through musical means and how musical practices help create, produce, and represent ethnic sensibilities. These two gong styles are guided not only by different aesthetics but also by divergent ideological, fiscal, and social logics. Amongst people who understand themselves to be Minangkabau they represent very different ways of thinking about, playing, and valuing music, along with different ways of sounding Minangkabau.

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