Music and Identity Formation Project
It is well known that there are a wide variety of music cultures in the world. This does not only mean that music can become the index for people’s sense of belongings to a specific group, but also musical activities such as playing instruments, singing, and dancing often form the sense of identity. For example, popular music such as jazz and hip-pop in America has represented the Black identity, and “Black culture” against the America’s white mainstream. Also, in a Christian denomination called “Pentecostals,” which has been spreading throughout the world in the 20th century, the practice of singing and dancing are essential to the formation of believers’ religious identities. Here, identity is constructed in the relations with others, and the music uniquely determines physical communication with others. This research aims to focus on people’s bodily communication during the musical performance (playing instruments, singing, dancing, etc.), and explore the relation between the process of the communication and individuals’ identity empirically. Those are the issues that this research project is working on, and this is going to be done through fieldwork in America and Africa. Those studies from the farthest nations will provide a clue when we think of our own music culture as resources in our society.