Mapping Musical Mobilities: Challenging Musical Nationalism Through Mobility and Migration

Michael Holden, Peter Adey, Norbert Meyn, Beth Snyder, Nils Grosch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Often, music – particularly classical music – has been viewed in some quarters as a product of particular national cultures, with little regard paid to the ways in which mobile phenomena can contribute to its production, whether in the form of mobile people, objects, or concepts. This paper turns to notions of mobility as a means of exploring how musical cultures can be animated. It explores, too, the possibilities of particular forms of ‘mapping’ as a way to retain, but also rethink, the spatial specificity so emphatically signalled in some musical tradition-claiming, while simultaneously avoiding the excessive valorisation of mobility that can characterise many musical careers as endlessly nomadic or socially detached. We begin by discussing the question of music and nationalism in more detail, particularly as it has been conceived of within musicology, ethnomusicology, and nationalism studies. In so doing, we aim to establish a sense of the national framing and fixing through which (classical) music has hitherto been understood in some contexts. This leads naturally onto an attendant discussion of the mobility of music, in which we will outline some of the nascent material on this topic.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 24 Jul 2023

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