Audible Locality: The Recording Industry in Indonesia and Its Approach to Minangkabau Music and Oral Tradition

Author: Suryadi
Year: 2020
ISBN: 978-967-0741-60-4
Price: USD100 / RM180 (hardcover); USD50 / RM80 (paperback)

AUDIBLE LOCALITY: THE RECORDING INDUSTRY IN INDONESIA AND ITS APPROACH TO MINANGKABAU MUSIC AND ORAL TRADITION is the first thorough study on the cultural ramifications of recording technology on ethnic sensibility in Southeast Asia. Exploring chronologically the representation of Indonesia’s regional cultures through recording media, it recounts the Dutch East Indies colonial society’s initial encounter with such media and the later adoption and social uses of various types of it among the Minangkabau of West Sumatra and their diaspora. The book traces the representation of Minangkabau music and its traditional verbal arts in commercial media, beginning with its first appearances on gramophone discs in the mid1930s and following on through the long procession of 20th-and 21st-century media: LPs, broadcast radio, cassettes, video compact discs (VCDs), and now mobile phones and internet radio. It demonstrates the relations between a metropolitan entertainment industry of national scope and Indonesia’s periphery, and shows not only how global technologies and discourses of music found its way into the Minangkabau community but also how the latter enriched the former without dismantling it. This book represents an innovative and novel ethnography of music and oral tradition of the biggest extant matrilineal society in the world. It is a must read for anyone interested in the history of the arrival of recording technology in Southeast Asia and anthropology of regional music production in the Malay world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Suryadi is a lecturer at the Department of South and Southeast Asia Studies, Leiden Institute for Area Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Focused on Indonesia and the Malay world, his research is mainly concerned with issues relating to Malay manuscripts, oral tradition, literature, and media culture.

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