[the world of music (new series) Vol. 2(2013) 2]
This issue revolves around musical practices of the Portuguese-speaking world in the light of postcolonialism and globalization. It looks at transatlantic cultural flows in which Portugal’s agency as a colonial and slave-trading power, as well as migration and diaspora, have played important roles. The articles analyse music, dance and performance within the complex fields of cultural and linguistic affinities and differences from which these practices emerge.
Through its focus on musical flows, the issue offers new perspectives on how musical performance works to articulate identities that depart from narratives about national culture. One of the aims of the issue is to look at tensions emerging between hegemonic forces and dynamics of identity construction in a given context; these tensions are implicated in the musical choices people make. Moreover, the issue analyses processes of knowledge-power production in the colonial setting. Theories of memory, discourse, narrative, race and ethnicity, cultural encounters, hybridity, multiculturalism and native theory play a special role. The issue builds on and rethinks Black Atlantic theories, such as those of Gilroy (1992), Naro et al. (2007) and Vale de Almeida (2007), offering multiple and alternative readings of transatlantic flows and of cultural heritage. The introductory article provides insight into the Lusophone transatlantic cultural history and reflects on the benefits and limits of an application of postcolonial theory to the Lusophone case. It also introduces complex discursive and conceptual fields such as the use of ‘Lusofonia’ as a label in the contemporary music industry. Individual articles draw from the fields of ethnomusicology, historical musicology, anthropology, popular music studies, cultural history, sociology and postcolonial studies. They examine cultural flows in traditional, popular, and art music in Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Angola, South Africa, the Caribbean and the US, whereby the categories of traditional/folk, popular and art are reflected upon critically in the introductory article. Musical genres on which the individual articles focus include lundu, cachucha, fado, morna, colonial art music, music for brass bands, capoeira, rap, hip-hop, reggae, semba, kizomba and kuduro.