UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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The book Semionauts of Tradition: Music, Culture and Identity in Contemporary Singapore by Juliette Yu-Ming Lizeray and Chee-Hoo Lum has been published by Springer in January 2019.


Drawing on the fields of anthropology, cultural studies, and ethnomusicology, Semionauts of Tradition explores questions of identity, cultural change and creativity from the perspective of emerging millennial musicians engaged in redefining Asian musical traditions and notions of heritage in Singapore. Featuring photos, musical scores and reaction pieces by musicians, the book investigates the interweaving of cultural, national, musical, and personal identifications in their discourse and music practice. It is a timely contribution to global discussions about ‘multiculturalism from below,’ as well as musical, cultural and national identities in a postcolonial Southeast Asian setting, from the viewpoint of artists engaged in creative meaning-making.


"This captivating book explores - with tremendous intellectual vitality - the dialectic relationships between the cultural, ethnic and national identities of Singapore’s creative youth, and their creative practice. A compelling read!"

-Dr Liora Bresler, Professor, University of Illinois 


"A well-researched and thoughtfully well-written book about the diverse forms of music in Singapore and the musicians who created it."

- Jeremy Monteiro, jazz pianist, singer, composer, and music educator


"This wonderfully lucid and compelling book analyzes the musical and cultural creativity of young Singaporean musicians growing up in a multicultural and ethnically plural society, bringing Asian and Western musical cultures into creative dialogue."

- Dr Deborah Pacini Hernandez, Professor Emeritus, Tufts University


"A thought provoking dialogue on contemporary Singaporean music!"

-Eric Watson, composer, conductor, music technologist and pedagogue


The book is available now for purchase in eBook and Hardcover forms here


25 January 2019 - 28 February 2019

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