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Extra resources for Birdsong in the music of Olivier Messiaen, vol.1, vol.2 [PhD Thesis]

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121 July 1929, Dublin: In July 1929, a Parlophone/Columbia unit made the first commercial recordings in Ireland at Jury’s Hotel in Dublin. ”134 Beguine took over Parisian music halls like Stellio’s own Tagada Biguine and Le Train Bleu, where the African-American journalist J. A. Rogers reported that “the orchestra, all colored, is perhaps the chief attraction. 139 By August 1931, they had released a variety of discs in Yoruba: the drum-based aṣíkò music of A. B. O. 140 However, the crisis in the recording industry led to the absorption of Odeon into the newly formed EMI in 1931, and recording in coastal West Africa ceased soon after it began.

88 Indeed, across Europe, the music known in the 1920s as tzigane— the “verbunkos idiom” as Shay Loya calls it, “a highly hybrid and multicultural mix of Roma musical traditions, Magyar, Rumanian, and other folk musics, as well as Viennese urban music”89—was played by Roma musicians in “gypsy orchestras,” featuring violins and the cimbalom, a concert hammered dulcimer that was played across Central Europe in the late nineteenth century. ”91 Out of this world of the tzigane orchestras in Paris music halls came the young Gypsy virtuoso Django Reinhardt, who was first recorded in June 1928 by the Compagnie Française du Gramophone in Paris’s Pigalle, playing banjo-guitar for Jean Vaissade’s accordion-fronted musette band.

Why were these musics first heard in these ports? Why was samba born in Rio, hula ku‘i in Honolulu, tango in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, son in Havana, palm-wine in Accra, huangse yinyue in Shanghai, kroncong in Jakarta, jazz in New Orleans? The answer lies in the peculiar social and cultural formation of the colonial port: a volatile mix of millions of new migrants living in waterfront neighborhoods imbricated with the racial and ethnic logics of settler regimes and imperial conquests; a population dense enough to provide the critical mass to support the emerging institutions of commercial musicking, the urban industry of theaters, brothels and dance halls; a physical and cultural distance from the cultural capitals and centers of artistic prestige and power; and finally, a peculiar encounter and alliance between the “ear” musicians among the rural migrants, playing local musics on cheap, mass-produced horns, guitars, and concertinas as well as on hand-crafted drums and fiddles, and the “reading” musicians among the port’s subordinated but educated elite, a “talented tenth” playing waltzes and polkas as well as sacred hymns and calls to prayer.

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