Westernizing reform and indigenous precedent in traditional music: Insights from Turkmenistan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ethnomusicologists have often shown how traditional musics at prestigious institutions have taken their current form only recently, under Western influence. The post-Soviet state of Turkmenistan at first appears to offer yet another case: contemporary musicians have used modern technology and Western notation to studiously reproduce masters' classic versions of traditional pieces, all the while using terms that recall canonizing discourse from European art music. But this article argues that the Turkmen practice is well grounded in indigenous precedent that predates Soviet modernization efforts. This finding therefore complicates the usual story about the rise of canonization processes in Western-influenced musics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-226
Number of pages25
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Music


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