Australian popular music in perspective by Marcus; Australian Institute Of Aboriginal Studies; Brunton,

By Marcus; Australian Institute Of Aboriginal Studies; Brunton, Marylouise Breen

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Examples on Ted Egan's LPs, including, Tabu Naba Norem, also heard on The First Australians, 1978 and Songs of Torres Strait, from Aboriginal Artists Agency Other examples from Bob Randall, Ballads by Bob Randall, CAAMA, 1983 Published versions in Let's All Sing, ABC Songbook, 1981, and Time To Sing, ABC Songbook 1982 OUR PLACE OUR MUSIC 43 23. Australian Women's Weekly, 12 August 1981:G 24. J Beckett, 'Aborigines Make Music', Quadrant, No 8, Spring, 1958:37 25. See 'Aboriginal Population', Aboriginal Affairs Background Notes, Canberra, 1982, No 8 The 'more recent' figure was published in Vol 1 of the Australian Bicentennial History Project, Australians to 1788 26.

B Sansom, 'Contemporary Issues', in A Barlow and M Hill (eds) Black Australia, AIAS, Canberra, 1978:109 5. The word 'tribal' is disputed in connection with Aborigines, whose main social units are smaller and more democratic than t h e word suggests But it will have to stand here because we shall be using 'traditional' to refer also t o westernised Aboriginal people 6 T Jones, in Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Vol 1, 1980:712 A number o f features of voice production, melody, rhythm and metre are listed and Jones notes that local styles result largely from the way they are combined or omitted 7.

He is in every way like the whites: same themes, songs, vocal techniques, done in that same distinctively white style that has been stolen from blacks. His music is a very popular model for Aboriginal performers Slim Dusty and Reg Lindsay still do some balladising in the older style, while Ted Egan and Chad Morgan are mainly balladeers Since all of these are known in the outback through tours, there may be some slight hope that t h e precountry and western ballad form will survive This will especially be the case if it is aided by black bands who value their communities' balladising traditions and even their music hall, folk song and hymn singing traditions MUSIC IN A SEPASATED COMMUNITY Now we shall draw a slightly arbitrary line at the arrival of rock music and television This happened at different times in different parts of the Aboriginal frontier, so that the old situation is still observable in the remote areas We shall spend a lot of time describing some of the varieties of t h e older music making, before going o n to outline the changes that are now taking place MARY: Aboriginal people who have had some formal music training are today regarded as the professional musicians of the Aboriginal community But not only those Technical considerations in western terms don't come into it very much The criteria for a 'community professional' are different These people are the musical leaders They are called upon to enable musical events to function CHESTER: One of the criteria is probably the old tribal one: 'This is the person who knows all the songs' MARY: Especially since many of them are very good improvisers and can play whatever song is wanted, by ear.

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