2 areas of China
Canton (cantonese) and Mainland (Mandarin)
The two genres of opera stories
Romance or war
4 skills needed to be developed for Opera
vocal/speech delivery, acting, singing, acrobatic/martial arts
2 kinds of opera performances
ritual and commercial
ritual opera
at fairs, informal, people can watch different ones, don’t need to sit down
commercial opera
formal opera, what we usually think of as opera, 3-4 hours long
cantonese name for song, are performed by chinese americans to reconnect to their culture
spoken dialogue in opera
yamngok se
private cantonese opera clubs developed after operas declined in the 50’s, where people came to meet each other and develop their skills together
aria type
emotional moment in opera that is hardest to perform, melody is all over the place, must be professional to do it well, singer bounces off of what the musicians do
Paaiji/Siukuk type
“fixed type”, melodies stay the same but different lyrics can be put over melody, easier to sing
Percentage of cantonese opera that is either aria type or fixed type
narrative type, very long and wordy because it tells a story, not common because it is too long to remember usually
Benefits of karaoke

  • cheap and portable
  • use machine whenever you want, instead of waiting to attend a yamngok se meeting
  • can be done with friends and neighbors
  • don’t need to be very musically talented like in cantonese opera

Downsides of karaoke

  • less live musicians become hired
  • you can’t do aria types
  • too much practice with a machine will make you go “flat”
  • you can’t change the key

rhythmic stereotype
you hear a melody and you know exactly what it means
Native Americans and Cowboys in the 1930’s + key movie

  • Cowboy was hero -> beautiful expansive melodies
  • N.A. were savages -> modal melodies
  • there is this American ideal of Manifest Destiny
  • key movie: Stagecoach

Native Americans and Cowboys in the 1950’s + key movie

  • Hero (cowboy) becomes more realistic
  • US is not free of flaws
  • N.A. is no longer seen as a savage
  • cultural exchange between N.A and cowboy -; pay attention to the N.A. way of life
  • music is diegetic
  • modal-romantic theme, usually played with a flute, bc cowboy and N.A. woman are in love
  • keeps most N.A.;stereotypes
  • key movie: Broken Arrow;

Native Americans and Cowboys in the 1970’s + key movie

  • Vietnam is present, so we see N.A. as substitutes for Vietnamese
  • consequences of violence are portrayed
  • N.A. gets musical depth instead of stereotyping
  • long stretches of N.A. speech without subtitles
  • N.A. becomes portrayed as the hero and noble
  • White man is seen as the savage
  • key movie: A Man Called Horse

Native Americans and Cowboys in the 1990’s + key movie

  • real N.A. music, actors, and language used
  • N.A. are really the stewards of the Earth and that they know best
  • they know how to live and take care of the Earth
  • whites are just ignorant oppressors
  • key movie: Geronimo

Famous composer who represented N.A. as world citizens through elaborate scores
Ry Cooder
Aboriginal belief about existence
things exist when they are named

  • Aboriginal belief of creation
  • occurs during dreamtime
  • has to do with spirituality
  • means artwork, visions and songs


  • key instrument used in Aboriginal music
  • made from a hollowed out branch
  • usually accompanied by clapsticks
  • played using circular breathing -; creates uninterrupted sound

music overheard is what you see (what you see is what you hear)
Order of Nitmiluk

  1. Starts with White Cockatoo (Ab. traditional)
  2. V1: Pre- Australia (pop song)
  3. Refrain
  4. V2: Tragedy
  5. Refrain
  6. V3: Hopeful/Reconciliation
  7. refrain
  8. ends in Ab. traditional

terraced melody
melody dips from hi to low, but in steps
Outcomes of “Nitmiluk”

  • the use of Ab. Traditional in beginning and end show that they were there first and will always be
  • the ending is not necessarily a victory, but more of a reconciliation
  • shows that art and advocacy can work together
  • not the norm for others

Yothu Yindi – “Treaty”

  • originally very political and hardcore
  • did not get much attention
  • once it was turned into remix, it became a sensation
  • but this contained less intense lyrics and less influential message -; didn’t really stand up for the cause

Politics of Representation
You choose in what ways you want to represent yourself
2 main musical genres in Bahamas
junkanoo and rake n scrape
3 levels of interpreting Bahamien genres

1. geography

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2. economics

3. politics

Relationship between mass tourism and live music
As mass tourism increased, live music decreased
Examples of up and down economy in Bahamas

  • “wrecking” in the 1600’s-1700’s
  • supplying shelter and getaway to loyalists during the Revolutionary Way
  • being rum runners during Prohibition