Transcultural Musical Agency — Concepts & Perspectives

Kunstquartier Studio 1, Mariannenplatz 2, 10997 Berlin Map
Tickets: 4 € / 8 € day pass (at the door)


14:30 16:00

In the absence of an integral paradigm capturing the complexity of current transcultural processes, it is necessary to develop a more modest phenomenology of transcultural situations. These situations articulate a transcultural agency that informs the production, diffusion and appropriation of musical materials. In an attempt to address this agency in a reflexive, non-reductionist mode, voices from the academy and from cultural institutions discuss new forms of active subject-positioning that are triggered by musical practices. Under which conditions can agency articulate itself as ‘transcultural’? How can this form of agency be observed? Is it factual in any sense? Is it a social construct or a strategy of appropriation? How does transcultural agency reconfigure the notions, concepts, and economies of music-making and diffusion? How does music relate to action? How does transcultural agency relate to the issue of social and economic power?

Agency is understood as the individual’s and collective capacity to act and to exert power (decide, make sense of, etc.) in a variety of contexts. The working hypothesis of this panel is (i) that transcultural processes affect these subjective positionings as spheres of experience and that opportunities of sense-making across cultures multiply in the global information society, and (ii) that music plays a specific role in this process. The focus on agency is bound to strengthen the situative perspective and presents an alternative to  talking about globalization in terms of institutions and larger cultural and economic processes. 

The panel addresses these issues through a site-specific study of trans-local underground musical cultures in Dublin and through an in-depth study of worldwide niche audiences that group around the classical Indian style of Dhrupad. 


Hosted by the Humboldt University's Chair of Transcultural Musicology.


Ashish Sankrityayan[IN]

Ashish Sankrityayan is an exponent of the Dagar tradition of dhrupad and is presently the Guru and Director of Dhrupad Kendra Bhopal. He received his MA in Mathematics from the University of Bombay and studied dhrupad with Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar, Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar and Ustad Hussain Sayeeduddin Dagar. 

Lars-Christian Koch[DE]

Prof. Dr. Lars-Christian Koch is head of the department of ethnomusicology and Berlin Phonogram Archive at the Museum of Ethnology in Berlin. He is also professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Cologne and honorary professor of ethnomusicology at the University of the Arts in Berlin. He was guest professor at the University of Vienna and at the University of Chicago.

Jaime Jones[IE]

Jaime Jones is Lecturer in Ethnomusicology and current Head of School at University College Dublin, where she teaches modules on world musics, ethnomusicology, Indian music, popular music, music and religion, and film music. Before turning to the study of ethnomusicology, Jaime trained as a pianist and composer in New York and Chicago. She completed her PhD in ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago in 2009.

Sebastian Klotz[DE]

Dr. Sebastian Klotz is professor of Transcultural Musicology and Historical Anthropology of Music at Humboldt University Berlin. He was researcher at the Istituto Storico Germanico in Rome, Bosch Fellow at the University of Chicago and held the chair of Systematic Musicology at Leipzig University. 

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