Welcome to the wiki for the University of Minnesota's Musical Ethnography of the Twin Cities project (MUS: 5950-2, Prof. Schultz
). This is a work in its first phase of an urban-ethnomusicology project intended to map, explore, and document the diverse musical and cultural expressions found within the city limits.
The goal of our research is to document the richness and diversity of musical expressions in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul), Minnesota. From the Barrios of South Minneapolis, Frogtown, the East African West Bank, and the Little Mogadishu of Loring Park . . . The Twin Cities is resonating with many different sounds.
So, while the banks of the Mississippi are being fed by the waters of the Nile and the Mekong, we in the music department at the University of Minnesota want to sift the changing sands. This project and website were created by our dear colleague, friend, and mentor, the late Dr. Mirjana Lausevic, a Professor of Ethnomusicology. With her, we began to document the extraordinary music that is finding a home here in Minnesota. This is an ongoing project conducted by University of Minnesota students and is currently being directed by Dr. Anna Schultz
. Our goal is to bring music making people(s) together and enlighten music lovers to the amazing diversity of music and culture that is alive in the Twin Cities. We want to tap into this wealth, help share it, and learn something about each other in the process.
Do you sing lullabies to your children? Do you play in a Hmong rock-band? Do you sing Somali songs? What are the types of music that are special to your community? We welcome your interest and input.
|HMong New Year|
at the Metrodome, 2001
While the images of Minnesota and Minnesotans one gets from listening to the "Prairie Home Companion" or seeing "Fargo" might be accurate for certain portions of the state, Minneapolis and St. Paul demand a much more current, diverse, and inclusive picture. The Twin Cities provides an astonishing opportunity to investigate musics of many cultures within one culture.
- Have you ever wondered about the musical life of approximately 70,000 Hmong in the Twin Cities?
- Where do 15,000 Somalis go for musical entertainment?
- What kind of music do 15,000 Liberians enjoy?
- Who are the local musicians?
- What roles do music play in their lives and in the lives of their communities?
- How do they negotiate issues of personal and group identity through their musical practices?
These are some of the questions our research team will investigate. We are interested in traditional musical styles as much as in finding out ways in which musicians are figuring out new rules in new environments, and opening themselves up to cross-cultural collaboration. We want to connect our scholarly and research endeavors with the needs of the communities we are working in, and will put particular effort into making our findings public.
Our goal is to create a resource that will be useful to community members, cultural organizations, media, and all those interested in learning about the cultural diversity of the Twin Cities.