Diaspora and American music
- Kenneth S. Habib
The condition and experience of a group of people living outside of their homeland and remaining connected to it in meaningful ways. The term specifically refers to a dispersion, scattering, or movement of people who share cultural practices and ethnic identity as well as a consciousness of displacement that oftentimes involves socio-political forces beyond their control. In the framework of dislocations from home, music factors formidably into the negotiation, construction, and development of personal and social meaning within and with respect to the new places of residence. In particular, the sonic, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual capabilities of music combine in powerful ways to engage memory, to arouse aspiration, to evoke community, and to define identity in new geo-cultural contexts. In the discourse on music and diaspora, broad challenging themes have intersected in multidimensional ways and have included sameness or continuity of music culture on the one hand and difference or departure from tradition on the other hand....