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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the musical lives and experiences of Aboriginal children in Australia. It focuses on the Yanyuwa and Garrwa children living in the remote community at Burrulula in the south-west Gulf of Carpentaria, and urban Aboriginal children in Darwin. One of the biggest challenges faced by the children is the conflict of trying to be Aboriginal in a non-Aboriginal mainstream society. This tension is reflected in their musical choices, activities, and understandings. The children also struggle with the same questions relating to their identity as Indigenous Australians: should they be “shame” to be Aboriginal or should they be proud? Should they listen to Aboriginal music because that’s who they are? Or should they listen to the music that has meaning for them in their lives as children?

Keywords: musical culture, musical lives, Yanyuwa, children, Garrwa, Gulf of Carpentaria, Darwin, indigenous, identity

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