Isn't it easier to just play? The practicalities of documenting a cross-cultural collaboration: a musician's perspective

McGuinness, Sara ORCID: (2016) Isn't it easier to just play? The practicalities of documenting a cross-cultural collaboration: a musician's perspective. In: IMR/BFE/IASPM Study Day: "Researching Music: Interviewing, Ethnography, and Oral History", 06 June 2016, London, UK. (Unpublished)

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Having worked as a musician for most of my life I decided to enter the world of the researcher. My experience is that, in order to master styles and progress, musicians put a lot of time and effort into their own form of research. Hence, when I joined academia it seemed natural for me to continue researching in the way that I was accustomed to. My work is in the field of Congolese and Cuban music and the similarities and differences between the two styles. I chose to explore this through forming a band with musicians from the two traditions. My project has managed to combine our work as a gigging band with my research but this has at times posed certain problems. When I started out I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do, namely write and develop material with the band, record and play the material live and judge audience response. I had to grapple with ideas about how to chart our progress and present the work in a meaningful and acceptable fashion for academic purposes. I cannot judge how much success I have had in achieving this but I have certainly gained a lot from the process. In addition to charting my experience and that of my fellow musicians. I developed a method of working together with musicians, recording and sequencing complex parts, which I then transcribed. I would like to share experiences of working as a musician and researcher with other participants.

I chose to make extensive use of transcriptions to illustrate musical points, this proved to be an exciting and enlightening process and, in fact, something I have not seen done previously in the field of Congolese music.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Performing arts
Depositing User: Sara McGuinness
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2016 22:34
Last Modified: 19 May 2023 15:46

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