Melbourne Conservatorium of Music - Theses

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    Hyper-visibility and under-representation: inclusivity, diversity, and the alternative music scene in Melbourne
    D'Cruz Barnes, Isobel Irene ( 2020)
    This ethnographic study documents the lived experience of People of Colour (PoC) making alternative and punk music in Melbourne, Australia. Exploring local discourse on cultural diversity, inclusivity and racial difference, I offer previously undocumented Australian perspectives on race and popular music. The study traces issues of whiteness, anti-racism and punk in Australia down to three key components: subculture, genre and capital. Through formal, semi-structured interviews, the study asks how notions of cultural diversity impact alternative music scenes. I argue that PoC in these scenes experience race-based exclusion, both a result of the longstanding erasure of PoC from written histories of Western punk, combined with Australia’s specific position as a white multicultural, settler-colonial nation. In challenging the notion of punk as a white musical tradition, and recognising the specific conditions that foster racism in Australian music scenes, my informants and I discuss how anti-racist values may be meaningfully embodied in local music contexts.
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    Marjorie Lawrence’s Australian and European troop tours, 1944-1946
    Lincoln-Hyde, Ellan A. ( 2016)
    In 1944 While the Australian Army battled Japanese troops in New Guinea and the Allied Nations continued the fight against Axis forces in Europe, a performance of German operatic works sung by Marjorie Lawrence was being cheered on at a remote army base in Australia’s Northern Territory. By 1946 Lawrence was singing the same German repertoire in Berlin to an audience of United States, Russian, French and British Generals accompanied by the Berlin Philharmonic. This dissertation aims to answer why an opera singer was chosen to entertain one of the biggest military audiences of World War II in Australia, why an Australian was chosen to sing at the highly diplomatic Berlin concert in 1946, why Lawrence was singing Wagner, Richard Strauss and other German composers’ works to Allied forces at all and on both occasions, why Lawrence sang the repertoire she did.