chapter  1
Baluan chooses a researcher
ByTony Lewis
Pages 37

Chapter 1 sets out the aims, scope, and means of the study as a musicological analysis, within the discipline of ethnomusicology, of the garamut (log idiophone) drumming of Baluan Island. The introduction briefly addresses the author’s musical and analytical background and the experience and tools that he brings to the context, and outlines the structure of the book. The chapter sets out an introduction to the Manus Province and Baluan Island, including anthropological perspectives on the region and its cultures, the history, geography and politics of the region, and the cultural classifications that have historically been established. The chapter provides further background on the language groups of Baluan and the numerous spoken languages which the study necessarily negotiates, and provides an introduction to the historical and contemporary vocal music genres of the island. The chapter then addresses the author’s methodology and the practical and philosophical underpinnings that guide it, the circumstances of his fieldwork in Baluan, significant milestones in the progress of this fieldwork, and some of the challenges to it. In particular, the chapter recounts the circumstances and events that led to the author becoming accepted as a garamut player by the people of Baluan.