Music, Sound, and the Moving Image

Med Hondo's Sarraounia: The musical articulation of cultural transformation

Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (2009), 3, (2), 195–213.

Abstract

This article examines music in Med Hondo's Sarraounia, considering how it contributes to the dramatic form of the movie while concurrently articulating narratives regarding cultural transformation through both its extrinsic (cultural) and intrinsic (formal) dimensions. Examining how the use of traditional and contemporary African music politicises diegetic space by referring us to the relationships between indigenous musical forms and their global, culturally hybrid descendents, it then demonstrates the complex manner in which the film uses the formal specificities of African and Western musical idioms to articulate a narrative regarding the cultural transformations that occur when an oral culture (Africa) encounters a literate, modernised culture (the West).

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Slobin, M. (2008) Global Soundtracks: Worlds of Film Music, Middletown CT: Wesleyan University Press Global Soundtracks: Worlds of Film Music Google Scholar

Todorov, T. (1977) The Poetics of Prose, trans. Richard Howard, Oxford: Blackwell Google Scholar

Zuckerkandl, V. (1969) Sound and Symbol: Music and the External World (trans. Willard R. Trask), Princeton: Princeton University Press Sound and Symbol: Music and the External World Google Scholar

Blacking, J. (1995) 'Music Culture and Experience' in R. Byron (ed.) Music, Culture and Experience: Selected Papers of John Blacking, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 223–42 Music Culture and Experience Music, Culture and Experience: Selected Papers of John Blacking Google Scholar

Brown, R. S. (1994) Overtones and Undertones: Reading Film Music, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press Overtones and Undertones: Reading Film Music Google Scholar

Chernoff, J. M. (1979) African Rhythm and African Sensibility, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press African Rhythm and African Sensibility Google Scholar

Dahlhaus, C. (1982) Esthetics of Music (trans. William Austin), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Esthetics of Music Google Scholar

Diawara, M. (1992) African Cinema: Politics and Culture, Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press African Cinema: Politics and Culture Google Scholar

Echenberg, M. J. (1978) 'Tragedy at Thiaroye: The Senegalese Soldiers' Uprising of 1944' in P. Gutkind, R. Cohen and J. Copans (eds.) African Labor History, Beverly Hills, CA and London: Sage, 109–28 Tragedy at Thiaroye: The Senegalese Soldiers' Uprising of 1944 African Labor History Google Scholar

Gabriel, T. (1989a) 'Third Cinema as Guardian of Popular Memory: Towards a Third Aesthetics' in J. Pines and P. Willemen (eds.) Questions of Third Cinema, London: British Film Institute, 53–64 Third Cinema as Guardian of Popular Memory: Towards a Third Aesthetics Questions of Third Cinema Google Scholar

Gabriel, T. (1989b) 'Towards a Critical Theory of Third World Films' in J. Pines and P. Willemen (eds.) Questions of Third Cinema, London: British Film Institute, 30–52 Towards a Critical Theory of Third World Films Questions of Third Cinema Google Scholar

Goehr, L. (1992) The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works: An Essay in the Philosophy of Music, Oxford: Clarendon Press The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works: An Essay in the Philosophy of Music Google Scholar

Gorbman, C. (1987) Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music, London: British Film Institute Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music Google Scholar

Husserl, E. (1964) The Phenomenology of Internal Time-Consciousness (trans. James S. Churchill), Bloomington & London: Indiana University Press The Phenomenology of Internal Time-Consciousness Google Scholar

Kassabian, A. (2001) Hearing Film: Tracking Identification in Contemporary Hollywood Music, London and New York: Routledge Hearing Film: Tracking Identification in Contemporary Hollywood Music Google Scholar

Langer, S. K. (1953) Feeling and Form, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons Feeling and Form Google Scholar

Leahy, J. (2003) 'Camp de Thiaroye', in Senses of Cinema http://archive.sensesofcinema.com/contents/cteq/03/28/camp_de_thiaroye.html Google Scholar

Locke, David (2001) 'Africa/Ewe, Mande, Dagbamba, Shona, BaAka' in J. Titon (ed.) Worlds of Music, 4th edn., Belmont, CA: Schirmer/Thomson Learning, 87–149 Africa/Ewe, Mande, Dagbamba, Shona, BaAka Worlds of Music Google Scholar

Meyer, L. B. (1956) Emotion and Meaning in Music, London and Chicago: University of Chicago Press Emotion and Meaning in Music Google Scholar

Orlov, H. (1979) 'The Temporal Dimensions of Musical Experience' in The Musical Quarterly, 65(3), 1979, 368–78 'The Temporal Dimensions of Musical Experience' The Musical Quarterly 65 368 78 Google Scholar

Pfaff, F. (1997) 'Sarraounia: An Epic of Resistance (Interview with Med Hondo)' in K. Harrow (ed.) With Open Eyes: Women and African Cinema, Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rudolphi, 151–8 Google Scholar

Slobin, M. (2008) Global Soundtracks: Worlds of Film Music, Middletown CT: Wesleyan University Press Global Soundtracks: Worlds of Film Music Google Scholar

Todorov, T. (1977) The Poetics of Prose, trans. Richard Howard, Oxford: Blackwell Google Scholar

Zuckerkandl, V. (1969) Sound and Symbol: Music and the External World (trans. Willard R. Trask), Princeton: Princeton University Press Sound and Symbol: Music and the External World Google Scholar

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Author details

Fisher, Alexander