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Sound Properties, Festival Experience and Soundscape Perception of the Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak Cultural Village, Malaysia

Chieng, Julia (2019) Sound Properties, Festival Experience and Soundscape Perception of the Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak Cultural Village, Malaysia. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This interdisciplinary research into sound ethnography is a study of the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) that is held annually at the Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) in Malaysia through the combined methodologies of soundscape and ethnomusicology. This research attempted to discover the sound characteristics of an open-air leisure soundscape with music events, the meaning of world music in the context of a festival and soundscape experience in its social and physical setting. The research was carried out through soundscape documentation, surveys, interviews and participant observation. This study employed the paradigm of contextualism in three aspects. Firstly, in the sounding context, the soundscape of RWMF could be characterised as a trifold composite of cultural, social and environmental sounds. Consequently, this study highlighted the significance of scape-sounds from nature and animals, incidental sounds as well as sound properties of loudness and frequency range in the soundscape experience. Additionally, transmuted sounds from intermediation through the use of technology created a patterned soundscape of loudness and low frequencies in the music festival. Secondly, in the experiential context, world music was not only “presentational” and “participatory” but also “spectatorial” and “background”. Thus, world music had multiple meanings in its reception that could range from intellectual understanding to aural backdrop. World music was also heteronomous as its soundings were influenced by participation from the audience. Thirdly, the identity of place and type of soundscape were found to be closely related in the spatial context of sounds. The findings on the festivalisation of world music challenged its current discourse of authenticity and heterogeneity. Homogeneity in soundscape with enhanced loudness and low frequencies along with a sense of “difference” yet congeniality seemed to be preferred for a participatory experience. As a conclusion, the study of the soundscape of RWMF revealed the socio-cultural meaning of McDonaldisation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Music (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.770252
Depositing User: Miss Julia Chieng
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2019 09:52
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 20:07
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/23432

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