National spaces and global imagination: 'Ethiopian sounds' around the world and in Australia

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Throughout the 1990s and the early part of this century, World Music discourse has emphasized a local– global syllogism in which global hegemonic forces have been pitted against smaller more locally defined musical practices. A few notable exceptions within the discourse have recognized the national space as a significant, although often absent, middle space between the local and the global. This article examines contemporary Ethiopian music and the way Ethiopia—the nation-state, the geography, and the global myths that construct its identity on the world stage—heavily influence the vectors of circulation through which its music is constructed, appropriated, transformed, and manipulated. Diasporic musicians confront the mythical Ethiopia and adopt ambassadorial musical roles to portray themselves and their homeland in ways that seek to liberate it from the homogenization of globalization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-28
Number of pages14
JournalMusicology Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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