Abstract: The current sense of crisis in the study of migration and music calls out for a broader contextualization. The study of migrant culture sat comfortably for a while with a structural-functionalist culture concept emphasizing boundedness and stasis, figured as transitional, adaptive, evidence of modernization or Westernization. An orientation toward hybridity in the 1980s began to shake some of these certainties, even if it kept others (the normative framework of the nation-state) in place. This article argues that work on refugees and diasporas at around the same time departed from them more radically. The current moment is one in which the final vestiges of language about migrant culture as adaptive have been swept away and in which the populist evocation of a migrant crisis at our gates has posed unsettling challenges. This article explores the tensions in the current literature between an emphasis on migrant creativity and survival, mobility and motility, and identity and citizenship.
How to cite this article: Stokes, Martin. 2020. “Migration and Music.” Music Research Annual 1: 1–29. https://doi.org/10.48336/n2g8-dh09.
About the author: Martin Stokes is King Edward Professor of Music at King’s College London. He is an ethnomusicologist who has written extensively on music in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and Europe, with a particular emphasis on Turkey and Egypt. Stokes is the author of The Arabesk Debate: Music and Musicians in Modern Turkey (1992) and The Republic of Love: Cultural Intimacy and Popular Music in Turkey (2010), and the editor of various edited collections including Ethnicity, Identity, and Music: The Musical Construction of Place (1992), Islam and Popular Culture (with Karin van Nieuwkerk and Mark LeVine, 2016), and Theory and Practice in the Music of the Islamic World (with Rachel Harris, 2019). He has taught at the Queen’s University of Belfast, the University of Chicago, and the University of Oxford. In 2013, he was the Bloch Lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley, and in 2017 he gave the IMR Distinguished Lectures at Senate House in London. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.