Thabi tools for change: approaching the solo public songs of the west Pilbara
AuthorTRELOYN, S; Dowding, AM; Jebb, M
Source Title19th Foundation for Endangered Languages
PublisherFoundation for Enda
University of Melbourne Author/sTreloyn, Sally
AffiliationVictorian College of the Arts
Document TypeConference Paper
CitationsTRELOYN, S., Dowding, A. M. & Jebb, M. (2015). Thabi tools for change: approaching the solo public songs of the west Pilbara. 19th Foundation for Endangered Languages, Foundation for Enda.
Access StatusOpen Access
ARC Grant codeARC/DP150100094
Colonisation, industrialisation and new policies have brought massive changes to the lives and languages of Indigenous peoples in the west Pilbara region through the twentieth century. Solo-performed songs, composed and performed by Ngarluma, Yindjibarndi, Palyku, Martuthunira, Kurrama, Nyiyaparli, Banyjima, Yinhawangka, Kariyarra, Nyamal and Ngarla speakers, provide a window into these histories of change, upheaval and innovation. This paper presents a preliminary account of the thematic content and musical style of Tabi songs that were composed and/or performed by Robert Churnside (Dowding’s maternal grandfather) in the 1950s and 60s. Transcribed by linguist Carl Georg von Brandenstein (Brandenstein 1975), the song lyrics composed by Churnside and his associates record experiences of the emerging industries, new forms of transportation and travel, infrastructure and people in his and neighbouring countries, and present an intriguing insight into a region and period of musical innovation. The paper considers the ways in which Tabi songs, and legacy records of them, are used as tools to manage environmental change.
- Click on "Export Reference in RIS Format" and choose "open with... Endnote".
- Click on "Export Reference in RIS Format". Login to Refworks, go to References => Import References