Music in the American Diasporic Wedding explores the complex cultural adaptations, preservations, and fusions that occur in weddings between couples and families of diverse origins. Discussing weddings as a site of negotiations between generations, traditions, and religions, the essays gathered here argue that music is the mediating force between the young and the old, ritual and entertainment, and immigrant lore and assimilation. The contributors examine such colorful integrations as klezmer-tinged Mandarin tunes at a Jewish and Taiwanese American wedding, a wedding services industry in Chicago's South Asian community featuring a diversity of wedding music options, and Puerto Rican cultural activists dancing down the aisles of New York's St. Cecilia's church to the thunder of drums and maracas and rapping their marriage vows. These essays show us what wedding music and performance tell us about complex multiethnic diasporic identities and remind us that how we listen to and celebrate otherness defines who we are.
Inna Naroditskaya's new collection, Music in the American Diasporic Wedding, focuses on the role of music in the often-delicate negotiations surrounding weddings in immigrant communities. Each article beautifully unpacks the ins and outs of the often-contradictory hopes, dreams, and multiple identities of various couples as they work towards this hallmark of American romantic love. Filled with sometimes heart-breaking, sometimes hilarious portraits of well-made plans, often gone awry, this collection places music at the heart of these ceremonies, ultimately seeing it as a sounded source of reconciliation." (Ellen Koskoff, author of A Feminist Ethnomusicology: Writings on Music and Gender)
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Table of Contents
1. Kay Shelemay, “From Generation to Generation: Musical Traditions and Political Negotiations in Weddings of the African Horn and Its Diaspora”
2. Kaley Mason, “Music Specialists, Wedding work, and the Politics of Intimate Recognition in Chicago’s South Asian Communities”
3. Carol Silverman, “Negotiating Gender, Community, and Ethnicity: Balkan Romani Transnational Weddings”
4. Meredith Schweig, “Sounding the Harmonious Union: Musical Notes on a Taiwanese and Jewish American Wedding”
5. Natalie Zelensky, “Of Brides and Balalaikas: Playing ‘Diaspora’ in the Russian-American Wedding”
6. Adriana Helbig, “Singing Out: Gay Weddings in Diaspora”
7. Shayna Silverstein, “(Re)Mixed Bridal Beats: Arab Dabke, Islamic Hiphop and the Politics of Difference in Arab-American Chicago”
8. Andrew Eisenberg, "Wedding Soundtracks and Diasporic Consciousness among Kenyans in the U.S."
9. Inna Naroditskaya, “Big Fat Diasporic Weddings: Music, Cinema, TV”