Matthew Garza
Brown University '11

I am a rising junior at Brown University concentrating in Education Studies and Anthropology. My Project focuses on the musical and linguistic performative traditions of the Mali community. A current member of the New Works World Traditions Dance Company, I look forward to collaborating with Professor Michelle Bach-Coulibaly and my fellow team members this summer to sharing my work to the Mande Dance, Music, and Culture Program at Brown. The "Mali Music Project" is a sub-project of the Bloodline work.

The Mali Music Project: Empowerment through Music and Song
With my background in Music, Education, and Anthropology, I will conduct holistic, participant, observation-based research on the political consequences, historical significance, and social tenets of Mali's music to better understand the culture of Mali's performative traditions through their use of language and communicative behavior. As a linguistic anthropologist, I want to examine the speech community of Bamako and the performative aspects of their identity as a speech community. I hope to gain an EMIC metapragmatic perspective of the music and song of the community as its purpose as a form of social circulation. As a service component of my research, I will furnish Madame Togo's orphanage with access to a structured music program, musical direction, and improved physical classroom facilities to build community through Mali's existing traditions of performance and song. What the orphanage lacks the resources and external organization/networking of a formal musical experience, they are abundant in skill, passion, talent, and drive. With the ongoing learning that will occur in Mali, I intend to create and compile literature, reflections, and songbooks so that the community can apply the existing traditions and passion for music to a new direction of organization and quality.

Through participant observation, I plan to learn the musical and linguistic performative traditions of the Mali community to bring to the Mande Dance, Music, and Culture Program at Brown. This will happen through my work with as well as outside of my work with Madame Togo's orphanage. Throughout my experiences with Mande music, I will be documenting the musical notation and lyrics to Mande proverbs, song traditions, and proverbs so that we can compile a song book and CD for use in the Mande Program at Brown and for continuous fund raising efforts to further our work and make a lasting impact after our summer in Mali. My goal for the songbook is for it to serve as a piece of ethnography and because we are taking a piece of their music and culture, we can also take the profit that we make from the songbook and share this with the community in Bamako.

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