More episodes from The Music of Time radio series

On Sunday 24th December and Saturday 6 January the third and fourth programmes in the OU/BBC six-part radio series The Music of Time will be broadcast on BBC World Service Radio.

America’s Ottoman Diaspora
Sun 24 Dec at 14:06 and
Weds 27 Dec at 09:06

India: The sound of independence
Sat 6 Jan at 19:06 and
Sun 7 Jan at 12:06

America’s Ottoman Diaspora
Between 1895 and 1923, as the Ottoman empire was unravelling, several hundred thousand Greeks, Armenians, Arabs, Jews and Turks emigrated to America, bringing their music with them. When war, expulsions and massacres tore their world apart, music helped them preserve their culture and their memories – and, in some cases, to make a living. The Ottoman migration to America coincided with the birth of the phonograph industry and its discovery of a lucrative “ethnic” market. That in turn helped to nurture a lively nightclub scene on Manhattan’s Eighth Avenue, where Ottoman musicians pulled in the late-night crowds into the 1980s. As European-style national states took the place of the old multi-ethnic empire, the old “oriental” music was often frowned upon or even suppressed back home. But it continued to thrive in the diaspora, which preserved songs and styles that would otherwise have been lost. What happened to the music once it was transplanted? What did it mean to the emigrants, and to the generations that followed? How has it helped to hold their communities together?

India: The Sound of Independence
Jasdeep Singh explores the profound effects of Indian independence and partition on the music of north India. On 15th August 1947, India gained its independence and was simultaneously divided by lines drawn through Punjab in the north-west and Bengal in the east, creating the brand new, Muslim-majority country of Pakistan. As millions fled across these new borders, Muslims going from India to Pakistan, and Hindus and Sikhs coming the other way, this violent destructive and traumatic partition also affected centuries of musical tradition.

The final two episodes in the series, on Jamaica and Japan, will follow in February and March – broadcast dates to be confirmed.

OpenLearn also has content in connection with the series subject areas, including information about the OU Listening Experience Database Project:

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