Strings across the ocean: practices, traditions, and histories of the Cocos Malay biola in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean
Source TitleEthnomusicology Forum
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
University of Melbourne Author/sIrving, David
AffiliationMelbourne Conservatorium of Music
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsIrving, D. (2020). Strings across the ocean: practices, traditions, and histories of the Cocos Malay biola in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Indian Ocean. Ethnomusicology Forum, 28 (3), pp.283-320. https://doi.org/10.1080/17411912.2020.1754874.
Access StatusThis item is embargoed and will be available on 2021-11-07
The biola (violin) is an emblematic musical instrument of the Cocos Malay community, who have been based on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands – part of Australia’s Indian Ocean Territories – since 1826. In Cocos Malay culture, the biola accompanies local dance genres and occasional performances of bangsawan theatre. Malay melodies constitute the bulk of the repertoire; there are also melodies exhibiting Scottish characteristics. The latter are often attributed to the influence of the Clunies-Ross family, who maintained a commanding presence on the islands from 1827 to 1978. Since the mid-twentieth century, biola playing has been the preserve of two families on the islands and in Western Australia. The practice has declined over the past two decades, owing to a decrease in players; however, a revitalisation programme was initiated in 2014. This article explores aspects of the practice and cultural functions of the biola on Cocos and documents the history of the instrument on the islands, drawing on data from ethnographic and archival research.
- 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