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Towards a Social History of Music in Ancient Angkor: The Iconography of Music on the Bayon Temple Carvings
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.
2013 (English)In: Music in Art : International Journal for Music Iconography, ISSN 1522-7464, Vol. XXXVIII, no 1–2, p. 127-143Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The culture of ancient Angkor – a medieval empire that ruled a large part of the Southeast peninsula for about four centuries – remains still to be puzzling for researchers due to the lack of written sources. The excavations, which took place in Cambodia since the late 19th century, have revealed and are still revealing many new and sometimes astounding facts about this dense populated kingdom and its cities. Archeology and iconography play a crucial role if it comes to gain information from the preserved artifacts and buildings, for instance, about the division of Angkor’s history into different periods. In this context the iconography of music can contribute with valuable additional observations which allow us even to go so far to outline a social history of Angkor. The largest variety of pictures of musicians in Angkor Thom – the former temple town of the Angkor capital, nowadays located at the city of Siem Reap – can be found on the Bayon temple, which was erected at the end of the 12th century. I will present a first iconographical evaluation and interpretation of the depictions of musicians on this unique and mysterious building. My paper will describe the different sorts of instruments – of which some are still in use today in Southeast Asia –, ensembles, and audiences which were carved skillfully on the walls of the Bayon. From these bas-reliefs we can get an idea about the former musical life of the different social classes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, 2013. Vol. XXXVIII, no 1–2, p. 127-143
Keywords [en]
Angkor, music, iconography, social history, Asia, instruments, ethnomusicology
National Category
Musicology
Research subject
Humanities, Music science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-33466OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-33466DiVA, id: diva2:709026
Available from: 2014-03-31 Created: 2014-03-31 Last updated: 2014-03-31Bibliographically approved

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Knust, Martin

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf