Title: Alan Lomax lecture on cultural diversity to mental health professionals in Newark, New Jersey (part 2)
Date recorded: September 18, 1975
Date recorded: September 18, 1975
Subject(s): Cultural diversity
Tape number: T4012
Track Number: 2
Archive ID: T4012b
Belongs to: Lomax, 1975
Note: The conference voice - not too loud, not too soft - is closely correlated to complexity: [Sample of T.S. Eliot reading "Four wax candles in a darkened room."] [Sample of Bing Crosby] a conference voice, but backed up by a large, complex orchestra, indicating a large, complex polity (at least in 80% of cases, if not always). Where you have wide and relaxed voices and cohesive singing, women generally dominate the productive system. In African gathering societies, women are responsible for 75% of the food production. Cults such as Santeria may deal with overloading of African women. In Middle Europe, women participated in the fields. Even before communism women have always been half of the farm team. Wide, clear voices singing in harmony (polyphony), a direct correlation to the feminine role. In Norway and Western Europe where men do 75% of the food production, the solo and unison hunter style predominates. Cohesiveness demonstrated by Polynesian polyphony. Anecdote about a seeing film about dance therapy in which a girl from Philadelphia tried to teach a beer barrel polka to a group of mental patients in Maryland. Blacks all withdrew immediately. In the film, this was diagnosed as disturbed behavior, but actually evidenced cultural misunderstanding. People's own musical traditions should be available. Sexual customs. Trial marriage versus child marriage. Permissive (toward females) correlates with wide, open voices - central Europe, not Mediterranean. The high lonesome voices of the Southern mountains are calling across the barriers. It is the voice of the honor/shame cultures, the pastoral peoples, where everything depends on the male lineage. Embellishment correlates with social layering. Although everybody embellishes, it is the frequency with which this takes place that makes the difference. Demonstration of geographic distribution of song-style features. Dance: central body impulse goes with integrative systems. Signal from the middle body and radiating outward to the limbs permits workers to anticipate other workers' movements and enhances their ability to work together. African style focuses on middle body rather than head and eye, therefore if someone doesn't look you in the eye, this may be a cultural trait.
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