← Back to blog

Cultural sensitivity and interpretation of cross-cultural Western music from the performer’s perspective

Doctoral project of Reetta Näätänen

My research topic concerns cultural sensitivity when performing works from different periods that combine foreign cultures. In particular, I examine the representation of Japanese culture in contemporary Western music. I have always felt a particular attraction to East Asian cultures, and in my career as a musician I have found that Asian cultures often inspire composers. Does Orientalism still exist in contemporary music and are there remnants of a colonialist mentality, when foreign, distant cultures are used as inspiration? How can the performer increase the perception of cultural inequalities and cultural sensitivity in the music they perform? In my doctoral concerts I will perform works that incorporate elements from different cultures (not only Japanese, but also Australian and Torres Strait Islander indigenous peoples, among others) and explore the responsibility of the performer when performing music composed in different time periods and contexts.

Reetta Näätänen is a doctoral student in the Arts Study Programme at the DocMus doctoral school.

Keywords: multiculturalism, oriantalism, exotism, contemporary music, performer responsiblility

Future doctors in music

We have approximately 150 doctoral students enrolled at the Sibelius Academy. This blog offers a view to their research projects.

The doctoral students are a part of a research community which is a unique combination of artistic activities, education, and research.

Their projects cover a wide spectrum of topics in the realm of music, combining musical practices and different research approaches.

Latest posts

Follow blog