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Contextualizing Contemporary Musicians: A Case Study of Oumou Sangaré.

Dahm, L. C. (in press; 2022). Contextualizing contemporary musicians: A case study of Oumou Sangaré. Journal of Popular Music Education.
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Oumou Sangaré has used her voice to take on local political and social issues over her thirty-plus year career as a singer. However, those stances can be lost on global listeners who lack emic understandings of Sangaré’s context: the local music and politics of Wassoulou. Scholarship in music education notes the importance of contextualizing the musical cultures introduced to students, and this issue is paramount if the inclusion of world music is to be a decolonizing praxis. Considering the music of Oumou Sangaré, this article demonstrates that while metadata (lyrics, translations, interviews, profiles, media, etc.) can be found to teach and contextualize Sangaré’s music in the classroom, information on contemporary musicians is not always easily accessible in the digital and streaming age of music mediation. More work and sources are needed to provide music educators with increased access to the contextual information that is critical for including world musics and musicians in music curricula.

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