Note on Indigenous Music

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We currently plan to post two articles under this heading, on traditional and contemporary music, respectively. Meanwhile, the following links may be useful (this is currently anecdotal but we may expand it into a full article on Indigenous organisations later):

The Black Book web-based directory "lists more than 2,700 Indigenous people and organisations working in the arts, media and cultural industries. You can search listings by their state, Indigenous nation or language group, name and category." Searching specifically for music organisations yielded four entries:

  • The role of Aboriginal Corporation "is to create a positive environment that promotes teamwork, self-esteem and independent learning utilizing all fields of music." Abmusic is an Aboriginal Corporation formed in 1986 to support and nurture Aboriginal musicians in Western Australia.
  • Broome Musicians' Aboriginal Corporation (BMAC) represents the interests of traditional musicians in the Kimberley region, organises the annual Stompem Festival, and owns, through Broome Aboriginal Media Association (BAMA), the media corporation Goolarri Media Enterprises.
  • CAAMA Music is a music recording studio and record label that "produces Indigenous music for the world". It is part of the Alice Springs-based CAAMA group, which was established in 1980 to "promote Aboriginal culture, language, dance, and music while generating economic benefits in the form of training, employment and income generation."
  • Songlines Music Aboriginal Corporation - an Incorporated Aboriginal Association based in Melbourne. “Our aim is to connect with industry and to provide employment and training opportunities to maximise Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders development within the music industry.” Songlines offers accredited training courses in music management, and its current website contains notes from a conference dealing with “how to distribute your product” and “empowering our talent”.

Another Incorporated Aboriginal Association is Gadigal Information Service (GIS), which aims to "provide a community based media, arts and information service for the Indigenous community in Sydney." In 2oo1, it obtained a full-time broadcasting licence to operate Koori Radio, which is on air at 93.7 FM. The format is "live and deadly" (fantastic, great, terrific in Aboriginal English), and "99% black and Indigenous".

Government funding authorities provide further information; the Australia Council's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders' Arts Board (ATSIA) at national level. The State and Territory arts funding and policy bodies are conveniently listed under the MCA links to organisations.


Hans Hoegh-Guldberg. Last updated 16 April 2007

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