“One united people”? The possibility for an authentic Singaporean identity and music’s role in composing it
Loh, Aloysius Dai Coon
Date of Issue2019-03-27
School of Humanities
In this paper, I have shown how national identity is formed through heritage, as the collectivisation of history and memory that are linked through music as a mediator, which is then mythologised by music in itself. I then presented an inter-subjective formulation of authenticity to assess said national identity, before processing that through Adorno’s strict formulation of authenticity, which is then broken down and rebutted. Finally, I provided a link to actual circumstances related to Singapore, relating music and national history to the concept of multiculturalism. I then pointed out the flaws in said concept, and offered cosmopolitanism as an alternative. It is my hope that this discourse on national identity will serve as a motivating point for Singaporeans, both new citizens and those that grew up here, as well as the migrant community to engage one another more. By generating a touchpoint for such engagements, perhaps we can all come to acknowledge our similarities and differences, learning to respect one another more, while recognising that all of us have a part to play in making this nation a gracious, yet tenacious, one – one that will continue breaking new grounds and a model of progression for the world.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University