Essay on Western Music vs. Indigenous Music

2295 Words 10 Pages
Defining ‘reconciliation’ alone can be a cumbersome task. It has been defined as many things such as “a collection of lived practices – a culture, a cultural project, a sea-change in the psyche of a nation and a product of the imagination of the ‘lunar left’ (Rigney & Hemming, 2011).” The main idea one should keep in mind when reading this paper, is the discrepancies between Indigenous and Western worlds and the way in which they conceptualise music. When understanding music as a tool for reconciliation, it can be defined under any of the headings stated above. The way in which traditional and popular music is discussed in this paper can be identified as ‘a collection of lived practices – a culture (Rigney & Hemming, 2011)’.
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When thinking about the music industry from this point of view, the lack of credit and exposure given to traditional music is appalling. Traditional communities assign an array of powers to their music such as: ‘the power to heal sickness, create bountiful game, cause lightning to strike [and] kill (Mills, 1996).’
As Allan Marett (2005) states in his text Songs, Dreamings and Ghosts: ‘there is a great deal of ambivalence within Australian society about the contribution that Aboriginal knowledge and modes of expression can and should make to the national consciousness, ranging from those who embrace Aboriginal ways of being in the world as the key to understanding how to be in Australia, to those who reject them totally as primitive, inimical to development, or simply irrelevant to ‘civilised’ values.’ This description is a seemingly accurate account from both sides of non-Indigenous Australian’s perceptions of Indigenous Australians. John Howard’s eleven year reign as Prime Minister, and his political campaign of ‘Practical Reconciliation’, sheds some understanding on the assimilationist and westernised mindset that some Australian citizens possess (Gunstone, 2010). However, as Australia becomes more multicultural - unless the nation is content with going into a state of ruin - acceptance of diverse cultures must be recognised and
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