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

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June 2016 - December 2017

At once a historic point of confluence between immigrant, diasporic and autochtonous communities and a globalized interconnected hub, contemporary Singapore presents a rich and unique musical scene which hasn’t often been studied. More akin to a constellation of distinct yet interconnected and inderdependent actors, the music scene is a fascinating point of departure to understand contemporary Singaporean society.

This multi-disciplinary research project aims to examine the contemporary identities of local musicians by exploring how they translate their own complex identities and worldviews into their music-making as well as how they interpret, negotiate and construct notions of community, culture, tradition and collaborative creativity.

The research focuses on a wide range of bands comprising the younger generation of Singaporean musicians.

The documentary "Sounds of Singapore" was created as a result of the study, bringing us closer to the musical lives of four specific musical groups (SA, NADI Singapura, Flame of the Forest and Kulcha):



For detailed reading about the findings of the study, please refer to:

Lizeray, J. Y.-M., & Lum, C.H. (2019). Semionauts of tradition: Music, culture and identity in contemporary Singapore. Singapore: Springer.


Background photo: Nadi Singapura rehearsing for Journey 2 The Pulse (J2TP), November 2016.

Principal Investigator: Dr Lum Chee Hoo

Research Assistant: Juliette Yu-Ming Lizeray

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