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ETHNIC MUSIC OF NORTH AMERICA MUSIC AT THE URBAN FOLK FESTIVAL Performing Ethnicity in Pittsburgh The festival symbolizes Pittsburghs ethnicity and not the ethnicity of individual communities Festivals and Ethnic Music Today The folk festivals provide one of the most powerful metaphors for the music of ethnic North America The processes of ethnic transformation are acutely present in the music that we encounter at a folk festival Music must change to fit the conditions of the festival in the same way that immigrant traditions change to adapt to the conditions of a new nation This makes the festival itself a context for the making and re-making of traditional music THE MULTIPLICITY OF MUSICS IN NORTH AMERICA The Meaning of Ethnicity for Music in North America Ethnicity itself is a concept and set of cultural practices spread over many parts of society Understood from the perspectives of ethnomusicology ethnicity links music to culture in a multivalent fashion Therefore music that is ethnic reflects patterns of organization within the group and reveals the ways in which the group understands and maintains its identity Venues of Musical Practice in a Multiethnic Culture It is important to realize that the growing importance of cultural activities that bring many communities together actually encumbers any tendency toward a melting pot In order to participate in a folk festival or to contribute a performance to the series of ethnic Christmas shows at a civic museum ethnic communities more commonly expand their musical repertories engaging in both research and the reorganization of musical ensembles to create a performance convincing to those both inside and outside the ethnic community The multiethnic cultural environment of North America therefore stimulates rather than stems the diversity of musical activity IDEAS ABOUT MUSIC Preservation Preservation allows the best of the past to survive establishes links between the generations isolates the differences between one group
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