- 総合政策論叢 (ISSN:13463829)
- no.5, pp.133-146, 2003-03
Various researches in popular music studies and related areas have been discussing the correlation between pop music and violent behaviors. While this study finds ground in the both sides of arguments - music as the root of violent behavior of teenagers and music having nothing to do with violence - it focuses on where and how violent behavior and music meet to form a nexus of cultural context. A recent study on urban Papua New Guinea by Karl Neuenfeldt has made an account of "mayhem" took place in during a pop concert at Port Moresby Show in order to exemplify contemporary cultural complex of the country. This study takes advantage of the Neuenfeldt article to posit an argument on violence and music by taking three separate incidents of violence at outdoor music concerts from the Madang area, where the author conducted a field research between 1997 and 1998. Both in Port Moresby and Madang, the aspect of moral panic may involve micro-ethnic conflict, sexual attack, and quality and repertoire of musical performance. However, the cases from Madang reflect more rural context than Port Moresby in the sense that both musicians and audiences are grassroots, whereas in Port Moresby the musicians tend to be widely recognized social figures. Thus in the Madang area, the complex of violence and music is exemplary of cultural production of the grassroots. The nature of violence, aside from direct causes such as the alcohol or personal feud, exists in the ideological effect of 'addressing' of singing voices. The singing voice, which always follows the phonetics of native languages and Melanesian Pidgin in the case of grassroots pops, becomes subject to imagining who is singing. The worst, occasionally violent reaction, is the consequence of a "White men's song", which is either copy of Western pop or an original that makes use of hard rock-style complex chords or a slow tempo like rock ballad. A grassroots audience clearly imagines a non-Papua New Guinea face behind such a singing voice, even if the singer is a Papuan or Melanesian, and reacts with negative comment or violence. The sense of 'being made resonate' with the sound of White men's song leads grassroots audience to the feeling of alienation and deprivation of identity. In the cases of a denied romantic approach leading to sexual violence, which in one case resulted rape, listening to grassroots music that romanticizes local and lived spaces of life, such as a lover, surmounts the feeling of lack. Along with the beat of reggae that often incorporates words from local traditional dance, the grassroots music may alienate the audience by creating a feeling of loss, such as feeling that The voice that is singing, is not I.' Even if the music is sung in a pleasant voice, emotive contents, and played in a dancing rhythm, when it is felt as an addressing voice, it makes an awareness in the audience that he or she is not the one who is singing, or who is expressing feelings so deeply.