[Conference paper] Intercultural musicking: Responding to crises and personal development

Richard Fay, Zhuo Min Huang, Daniel J Mawson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The term ‘musicking’ (Small, 1998) refers to everything we do to make music happen, whether as performers or audiences, composers or arrangers, teachers or learners, organisers or promoters, producers or engineers, etc. Musicking can be understood to be intercultural when the music cultures involved are unfamiliar to those engaging with them and/or when those engaging with them differ in significant ways from each other. In this paper we focus on two projects involving klezmer (the term now used for the music culture which originated in the wedding music of Ashknazi Jews in Eastern Europe). The first project involved Ukrainian refugees, members of the Ukrainian diaspora, and our Manchester-klezmer community in developing a Humanitarian fundraising recording melding an iconic Urianina song with a classic klezmer dance tune. The second project uses arts-based methods (Blind Portrait) to explore the experience of music students’ personhood development through klezmer ensemble performance with a focus on the role of KEP for two musicians for whom klezmer was unfamiliar: a musician already experiencing acculturative stress during his academic sojourn in the UK; and a ‘local’ musician making sense of his musical identity and problematising the dimensions within it. The two projects both involve a consideration of the musical as a largely non-verbal dimension of interculturality, one focusing on a macro-level crisis, the other on the more personal, micro ‘crises’ involved in development with and through music.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Dec 2023
EventIALIC 2023 - Rethinking intercultural communication beyond verbal language: affect, materiality and embodiment in times of ‘crises’ - European University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus
Duration: 1 Dec 20233 Dec 2023


ConferenceIALIC 2023 - Rethinking intercultural communication beyond verbal language
Abbreviated titleIALIC 2023
Internet address


  • intercultural musicking
  • blind portrait
  • klezmer
  • personhood


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