The Rise of African Drumming among Adult Music Learners in Hong Kong

  •  Hung Kun Lee    


The present study aims at further examining an interesting finding of a recent empirical research on Hong Kong adults’ participation in African drumming from a sociological perspective by adopting some Bourdieuan concepts. Results of the semi-structured interviews with 82 informants with diverse musical backgrounds and occupations concur that African drumming was hardly evident in Hong Kong before 1991, but related learning programmes have burgeoned in recent years. This study finds that the rise of African drumming among adult music learners over the past two decades in Hong Kong where the African residents only amount to a very small proportion (less than 0.3%) of the total population is the consequence of the two-phase habituation of a receptive attitude towards the ethnic musical tradition. The new habitus has been gradually formulated by highly acknowledged individual and group, first in the field of professional education of percussionists and later in the field of community music, where the cultural capital of African drumming has been increasingly convertible into symbolic capital and economic returns.

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