Burma and Western music before ‘Mandalay’
DOI link for Burma and Western music before ‘Mandalay’
Burma and Western music before ‘Mandalay’ book
Given this background, it is perhaps not surprising that during the 19th century Burma was rarely associated in the public mind with Western music. There was one eld, however, in which it was given close attention and where music composed and performed by Europeans made a mark in the country itself. This was largely the result of efforts made by Christian missionaries, who established a presence in Burma even before the British colonialists. Strictly speaking, religious compositions do not fall into the category of ‘popular’ music, but such was the outpouring of both original and translated hymns during this period and the early 20th century, that they cannot be ignored in a survey of this kind. Before the turn of the century, secular music specically related to Burma was much less common. However, as the country became more familiar to Europeans and Americans, and was host to various military units, it gradually began to feature in popular songs and to be mentioned in stage productions of different kinds.