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JavaphiliaAmerican Love Affairs with Javanese Music and Dance$
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Henry Spiller

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824840945

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824840945.001.0001

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Man(tle Hood), the Unknown

Man(tle Hood), the Unknown

(p.124) Chapter 5 Man(tle Hood), the Unknown

Henry Spiller

University of Hawai'i Press

Chapter 5: Mantle Hood, provides a fresh take on one of the founding fathers of American ethnomusicology. I assess how his interest in the occult, in New Age philosophy, and the writings of Stewart Edward White colored his approach to Javanese music. Hood’s own research—writing about the limits and mechanics of “improvisation” in Javanese music—seamlessly combined his polymathic preoccupations. I pay particularly close attention to his voluminous writings on Javanese pathet (mode) and what he characterized as “group improvisation,” the history of gamelan, and theory and method in ethnomusicology, as well as the autobiographical details revealed in some of his later novels (The Celestial Connection, From Out of the Blue, and Quantum Forces of Creativity) to develop an understanding of Java’s role in Hood’s complex mobilization of Java as a window into understanding the “unobstructed universe” and alternative realities.

Keywords:   Mantle Hood, Stewart Edward White, unobstructed universe, pathet, gamelan, group improvisation, quantum theory, untalkables, Hardja Susilo

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