What is Oromo music? A socio-historical perspective

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Seminar by Anaïs Maro
CFEE Seminar Past and Present: History, Memory and Heritage
Thursday 9 November 2017, 2-4 PM, Berhanou Abebe Library of Ethiopian Studies, Centre français des études éthiopiennes -CFEE.

“New Oromo music”: This classification can often be found on YouTube videos for music in Oromo and is a popular search for anybody interested in discovering new releases from Oromo artists. But this concept is relatively new and cover different kinds of genres and geographical origins. There is no direct translation for this concept in Oromo language, rather a multitude of genres exist. So what is ‘Oromo music’? What makes it a stand-alone category, beyond the common language?
Reviewing existing studies and analyzing them in a socio-historical framework, I will present various forces that linked music with Identity and their evolution in time. This seminar, preliminary to my Ph.D. fieldwork, presents a meta-analysis of existing literature with a first approach to modern music videos. Beyond the particular interest about the Oromo people and ethnomusicology, this research questions cultural heritage as a dynamic process rather a fixed asset.

About the speaker

Anaïs Maro is a specialist of performing arts and a consultant in creative and cultural industries. She is currently a full-time Ph.D. candidate with Queensland University Technology (QUT), Faculty of Creative Industries in Brisbane, And associate reasercher at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University. Her transdisciplinary approach is using history, anthropology, and ethnomusicology as a base, but is also very influenced by the theories performance studies. Her interpretation framework is based on a hermeneutic that doesn’t read all phenomenon as a text, rather tries to interprets embodiments and emotions extra-textually.

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