24-27 Mar 2022 Berkeley (United States)


Tourism and Musical Imaginaries

A Conference organized by EIREST, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne-Pantheon, TSWG, University of California at Berkeley and the Geography Dept. of the University of Geneva

The important place of music in world tourism is still not a widely researched topic. The first published volume on the topic was Kanko to Ongaku [Tourism and Music] edited by Prof. Shuzo Ishimori in cooperation with the Department of Musical Research at Japan’s National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka (see Lie and Abelmann 1992). As the Japanese scholars could not find enough contributions to complete their book, they included three works by Berkeley anthropology students (graduates Yvonne Daniel and Sandra Smith, and undergraduate Allison Powell, working under the supervision of N. Graburn). Daniel (1995, 2011), went on to be an important leader in this field.

In the 1990s, the main concerns were:

-Tradition, tourist musics and authenticity, with the assumption that tourism may change, simplify or modernize the ethnic, local music or that it may help revive or preserve those which are under threat from modernity in general. Case studies (e.g. Hawaii, Tahiti) exemplified these and more complex processes of hybridization and other influences.

-Cultural and regional, Identity, nationalism and the politico-economics of music and tourism. Cuba, Kuna (Panama),

-Music as part of the rituals of hospitality, modified to welcome tourist-strangers, Bali, many European folk traditions.

-Travel as a theme in or inspired by music, such as both Japanese and American pop music in the 1950s-70s, and the emergence of global music expanding imaginary horizons.

Since that time, a number of important musicologists have pointed out that as the discipline has changed, the influence of tourism, music camps, itinerant musicians have become regular subjects of research. However, the relation of tourism and music is still a scarce subject within contemporary ethnomusicology[1] and anthropology. This conference intends not only to promote this important field of inquiry, but also to chart ways forward for new research.

The conference “Tourism and Musical Imaginaries 2022” is particularly interested in research which shows the power of music in tourism imaginaries shaping their identity of places as destinations, and the tourist experience, performance and re-imagination at the destination. And, of course, the memory, re-experience and “re-broadcast” of that musical imaginary after the return home. We expect that like some serious tourists or pilgrims, there will be those who wish to keep alive the musical experience by belonging to an organization or frequenting venues where they can experience the music and meet with like-minded tourists afterwards (e.g., Japanese women tourists to Cuba frequent Rumba dance studios back in Tokyo). We also expect that, like lifestyle migrants in Europe (Benson and Osbaldiston 2014), Asia and the Americas, some of the tourists may wish to move and live in the musically attractive venues for some years or even for the rest of their lives.

[1] For instance, at the 2018 SEM 2018 Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, NM November 15-18, 2018, not a single paper touched on tourism or travel.

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