cover of book

Music Worlding in Palau: Chanting, Atmospheres, and Meaningfulness
by Birgit Abels
Amsterdam University Press, 2022
eISBN: 978-90-485-5051-7

Music Worlding in Palau: Chanting, Atmospheres, and Meaningfulness is a detailed study of the performing arts in Palau, Micronesia as holistic techniques enabling the experiential corporeality of music’s meaningfulness—that distinctly musical way of making sense of the world with which the felt body immediately resonates but which, to a significant extent, escapes interpretive techniques. Drawing on long-term ethnographic research alongside Pacific Islander and neo-phenomenological conceptual frameworks, Music Worlding distinguishes between meaning(s) and meaningfulness in Palauan music-making. These are not binary phenomena, but deeply intertwined. However, unlike meaning, meaningfulness to a significant extent suspends language and is thus often prematurely considered ineffable. The book proposes a broader understanding of how the performing arts give rise to a sense of meaningfulness whose felt-bodily affectivity is pivotal to music-making and lived realities. Music Worlding thus seeks to draw the reader closer to the holistic complexity of music-making both in Palau and more generally.

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