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Exchange, Appreciation, Appropriation, Or Assimilation?

  • Lathrop Hall 1002 University Avenue Madison, WI, 53706 United States (map)
Madison Public Philosophy's logo.

Madison Public Philosophy's logo.

The concept of appropriation has become ever more present in discussions of everyday behavior and popular culture, as people debate who has a proper claim to various elements of culture and expression, and whether there is ever a respectful or acceptable way to borrow those things. There's no end of opportunities to confront appropriation in music—an art form with a long history of adaptation, borrowing, blending, reinterpretation, and outright theft—and the Madison Public Philosophy group and experimental/contemporary-classical outfit Sound Out Loud Ensemble are putting their heads together to do just that. At this session and two others (October 28 at DreamBank on the Square and October 29 at Arts + Literature Laboratory), UW-Madison musicologist Andrea Fowler and Sound Out Loud will discuss and perform pieces of music such as Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, "White Christmas," "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," and "Kung Fu Fighting," offering a bit of context on each and engaging the audience in a group discussion about where these works fall when it comes to "exchange, appropriation, appreciation, and assimilation." (Full disclosure: Sound Out Loud played a Tone Madison-curated stage at this year's Willy Street Fair.) The range of music discussed, and the format's mix of performance and debate, should offer a refreshing angle from which to consider these issues. —Scott Gordon

Earlier Event: October 22
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (free)
Later Event: October 24
Violent Femmes, Brett Newski