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On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
Print version ISSN 0018-229X


ROOS, Hilde. Eoan - Our Story: Treading new methodological paths in music historiography. Historia [online]. 2015, vol.60, n.2, pp.185-200. ISSN 2309-8392.

This article focuses on the use of innovative methodologies in the writing of Western classical music history as illustrated in the publication of the book Eoan - Our Story [2013). The primary methods used in this book are oral history and community interaction and I argue that the use of these methodologies have become possible due to recent developments in the discipline of musicology. I therefore begin with a brief exposition of some key changes in the discipline over the past few decades and highlight the triangular tension that underlies it: the autonomy of music, music in its social and cultural contexts and the loss of notion of "the objective fact" with its concomitant foregrounding of language and the position of the author. Eoan - Our Story recounts the experiences of an opera, dance and ballet company that operated as a so-called coloured arts organisation during the apartheid years in South Africa. Because this group found itself on the receiving end of dominant political and artistic discourses [pre- and post-1994), a democratised method was sought to allow for silenced voices to speak. The book was therefore put together by a committee comprising former Eoan members as well as academics. The challenges of "writing a book by committee" are numerous especially in an environment where the authority of the academic had to give way to other concerns. In my view however, these offset the creativity and innovative pathways these methodologies can bring to music historiography.

Keywords : Eoan Group; opera; music historiography; New Musicology; oral history; community interaction; Hobsbawm.

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