For most of the twentieth century, the style of music written by Canadian composers seemed to mirror their contemporaries from other parts of the world. Canada’s artistic output was for a time largely rooted in the genres and aesthetics of its European colonies, and thus did not have much to differentiate it from other prominent artistic movements of the era. It was not until the 1970s that musicologists in Canada took interest in the traditional practices of the country’s First Nations Peoples. Of particular interest to researchers in this half of the century was a genre of throat singing known as the katajjaq, which was prominent among the Inuit population of Canada’s northernmost territories. This traditional practice became the primary source of inspiration behind composer Christos Hatzis’ Fertility Rites, an important work of solo marimba in Canadian music.
This paper analyzes the research conducted by musicologists on the katajjaq prior to Hatzis’ writing of the work in question, establishing a precedent for his understanding of the throat singing’s cultural significance within Inuit communities whilst also providing Hatzis with a concrete musical transcription of the practice from which he derives the thematic material of his music.
Furthermore, this paper examines the growing interest in electro-acoustic music among notable Canadian composers of the twentieth century, identifying Hatzis as a successor to this artistic trends.
Finally, the importance of Hatzis’ works being appreciative, rather than appropriative, of Inuit culture is elaborated upon in depth, identifying his music as the beginnings of Canada’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation with its First Nations Peoples.
|Commitee:||Shockley, Alan, Doyle, Alicia|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|Department:||Bob Cole Conservatory of Music|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 81/4(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Canadian music, electro-acoustic music, First Nations, Hatzis, Christos, Katajjaq, marimba|
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