Listen but Don't Ask Question: Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar across the TransPacific

Duke University Press
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Performed on an acoustic steel-string guitar with open tunings and a finger-picking technique, Hawaiian slack key guitar music emerged in the mid-nineteenth century. Though performed on a non-Hawaiian instrument, it is widely considered to be an authentic Hawaiian tradition grounded in Hawaiian aesthetics and cultural values. In Listen But Don’t Ask Question Kevin Fellezs listens to Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) and non-Hawaiian slack key guitarists in Hawai‘i, California, and Japan, attentive to the ways in which notions of Kanaka Maoli belonging and authenticity are negotiated and articulated in all three locations. In Hawai‘i, slack key guitar functions as a sign of Kanaka Maoli cultural renewal, resilience, and resistance in the face of appropriation and occupation, while in Japan it nurtures a merged Japanese-Hawaiian artistic and cultural sensibility. For diasporic Hawaiians in California, it provides a way to claim Hawaiian identity. By demonstrating how slack key guitar is a site for the articulation of Hawaiian values, Fellezs illuminates how slack key guitarists are reconfiguring notions of Hawaiian belonging, aesthetics, and politics throughout the transPacific.
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About the author

Kevin Fellezs is Associate Professor in the Music and African American and African Diaspora Studies departments at Columbia University and author of Birds of Fire: Jazz, Rock, Funk, and the Creation of Fusion, also published by Duke University Press.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Duke University Press
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Published on
Dec 6, 2019
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781478007418
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / State & Local / West (AK, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NV, UT, WY)
Music / Ethnomusicology
Social Science / Ethnic Studies / Native American Studies
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Content protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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