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Universalism and Fragmentation in Percussion Practice


Universalism and Fragmentation in Percussion Practice is an examination of the formation of percussion repertoire and practice within Western Art Music. Through historical analysis, cultural anthropology, and autobiographical ethnography, I seek to explore the relationships between percussion, liberal universalism, postmodernism, and neoliberalism. I argue that percussion practice has developed in line with the Enlightenment-values that have driven the development of Western culture, despite its typical claims to revolutionary origins and percussion’s historical portrayal as Other. I also argue that this universalism as it manifests in percussion has been comfortably married to capitalist production and neoliberal values. I ultimately arrive at a deconstruction of the universal as it pertains to the intercultural dialogues at play within percussion, and propose an alternative model to universalism in the form of fragmentation driven by lived lives and non-teleological aesthetic judgments.

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