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ASIAN-EUROPEAN MUSIC RESEARCH JOURNAL (AEMR)

ISSN: 2625-378X

ASIAN-EUROPEAN MUSIC RESEARCH JOURNAL

The Sound of Reconciliation? Musical and Sociocultural Harmony in the Sri Lanka Norway Music Cooperation

Solveig Korum

ASIAN-EUROPEAN MUSIC RESEARCH JOURNAL 5 (2020)
https://doi.org/10.30819/aemr.5-7     pp: 51-65     2020-06-30

Stichworte/keywords: Sociocultural processes, Harmony, Sound, Sri Lanka, Reconciliation

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Korum, S. (2020). The Sound of Reconciliation? Musical and sociocultural harmony in the Sri Lanka Norway Music Cooperation. ASIAN-EUROPEAN MUSIC RESEARCH JOURNAL, 5 , 51-65. doi:10.30819/aemr.5-7
@article{Korum_2020,
doi = {10.30819/aemr.5-7},
url = {https://doi.org/10.30819/aemr.5-7},
year = 2020,
publisher = {Logos Verlag Berlin},
volume = {5},
pages = {51-65},
author = {Solveig Korum},
title = {The Sound of Reconciliation? Musical and sociocultural harmony in the Sri Lanka Norway Music Cooperation},
journal = {ASIAN-EUROPEAN MUSIC RESEARCH JOURNAL}
}

Abstract
This article presents findings from the Sri Lanka Norway Music Cooperation (SLNMC, 2009-2018) launched immediately after a twenty-four year long civil war in Sri Lanka. The project responded to a stated need of rebuilding a fractured society and re-establishing relations between Sinhala and Tamil populations of the island. The SLNMC comprised school concerts and public concerts, music education, heritage documentation and digitalization, in addition to skill training for musicians and technicians, festival organizers and other actors in cultural life.

The article offers a critical phenomenological approach to the concept of harmony, where both phenomena of musical and socio-cultural harmony are displayed and discussed in relation to each other. I set out to investigate whether harmony in the SLNMC was a taken for granted, ´dead metaphor´ or an actual creative and impactful tool for implementing musical activities in a post-war context. Theoretically, my point of departure is Howell’s conceptual investigation of harmony in multicultural musical projects (Howell, 2018) and specifically in the South-Asia context (Howell, 2019). I have combined elements from her framework with Sykes (2011 and 2018a) as well as insights from my own research data to present a schema of three musical and three socio-cultural definitions of harmony paired and discussed in relation to each other. In conclusion, I argue that attention to various types of musical and socio-cultural harmony can cast new light on existing art for reconciliation-practices as well as generate fresh and fertile views on how to conceive, implement and assess such initiatives in the future.