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Key Term: Hybridity

Peter Blouw

Published: 2010-06-11

Although the postcolonial term 'hybridity' has typically been associated with failed cultural erasure carried out by imperial powers, this article suggests that in the context of musical and non-musical forms of improvisation, cultural difference might also be seen as the basis for meaningful collaboration. Hybridity is celebrated as the conceptualization of mutually reliant cultural relationships in the process of continual growth and change.

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Improvisation implies a deep connection between the personal and the communal, self and world. A “good” improviser successfully navigates musical and institutional boundaries and the desire for self-expression, pleasing not only herself but the listener as well.

– Rob Wallace