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Sounding the Indian Ocean is the first volume to integrate the fields of ethnomusicology and Indian Ocean studies. Drawing on historical and ethnographic approaches, the book explores what music reveals about mobility, diaspora, colonialism, religious networks, media, and performance. Collectively, the chapters examine different ways the Indian Ocean might be “heard” outside of a reliance on colonial archives and elite textual traditions, integrating methods from music and sound studies into the history and anthropology of the region. Challenging the area studies paradigm—which has long cast Africa, the Middle East, and Asia as separate musical cultures—the book shows how music both forms and crosses boundaries in the Indian Ocean world.
About the Author
Jim Sykes is Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and author of The Musical Gift: Sonic Generosity in Post-War Sri Lanka.
Julia Byl is Associate Professor at the University of Alberta and author of Antiphonal Histories: Resonant Pasts in the Toba Batak Musical Present.