Communities of Engaged Performance: Investigating Soundscapes and the Sonorous Past

Author(s): Katrina Kosyk

Year: 2018


The relationship between individuals and urban soundscapes can tell us about the personhood and sonic practices of people in the past. To reconstruct the interaction between a musician and audience in archaeological contexts, I introduce a novel theoretical framework called ‘communities of engaged performance’ (CEP). CEP is defined as the transmission of knowledge through performance resulting in variable group-specific sound practices. CEP is derived and builds upon theories of ‘communities of practice’ and is identifiable in the archaeological record as intentional modifications to both space and sound-related artefacts. CEP is especially pertinent to the discussion of multicultural social organization, because it denotes group identity based on consistencies within practices rather than by ethnic origin. For example, variation in instrument design, playing of a musical instrument (gestures, finger positions, etc.), or in soundscapes might suggest the presence of several distinct communities of engaged musical performance. On the other hand, consistency or shared practices across groups might reflect the development of a single performance community. A case study from Central America will explore these different aspects of CEP in a multi-ethnic landscape.

Cite this Record

Communities of Engaged Performance: Investigating Soundscapes and the Sonorous Past. Katrina Kosyk. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444794)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -92.153; min lat: -4.303 ; max long: -50.977; max lat: 18.313 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21836