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In this article, I address music – that is, humanly and purposefully organized sound (Blacking 1973; Shelemay 2001) – as a personal, cultural and research experience. Drawing on my experience of learning, researching and performing Indonesian music, I discuss several issues that are pertinent to the ethnomusicological/anthropological study of non-native music-cultures. I examine the concept of bi-musicality, its challenges and limitations; the role of a phenomenological perspective and hermeneutics in conceptualizing the complexities of music experience and meaning in music; and the role of music in shaping identity, especially at the community level.
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