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1.5 Differing perspectives

Closely related to representation of religion is the recurring issue of differing perspectives. In talking about perspectives here, we are thinking about how we look at something. We rarely approach anything neutrally – either consciously or subconsciously we tend to adopt a particular perspective – and how we look at something affects what we see. Whenever we make assumptions, we impose them on events, phenomena and other people. This is as true for scholars examining religion as
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3.6 Conclusion

I asked the question at the beginning of this section on Sundanese gamelan music: how is it possible for a group of musicians to play highly complex music, in a cohesive manner, without the use of notation and without having to memorise impossibly large amounts of music? My answer came in a number of stages.

  1. Rather than reading, or memorising vast amounts of music, the musicians memorise the simple frameworks of pieces (the Javanese term for this, bal
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3.4 Variation

In order to take us this far, I've had to write down a few parts and analyse them. This has clarified some points, but obscured others, the most basic of which can be stated bluntly: virtually every part in every Sundanese gamelan piece is subject to variation. Each player has, as a general rule, not a single correct part but rather a selection of equally correct options. In fact each player knows the basic structure (such as that discussed in Author(s): The Open University

3.3 The musicians at work

3.2 Parts of the gamelan salendro

The next set of video sequences feature a type of Sundanese ensemble called gamelan salendro. You will need to know that this music is based on a pentatonic scale, also called salendro. The Sundanese use various methods to describe this scale, the simplest of which is a numerical system in which each note of the scale is assigned a number from 1 to 5. One aspect of the system which may take a bit of getting used to is that the Sundanese assign the numbers to a descending
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2.2 Notation

The next thing to consider is the role of notation in this tradition. At one point on the video you saw Veena Sahasrabuddhe singing from a printed notation, from a collection first published in the first quarter of the twentieth century by the famous Indian musicologist Pt V.N. Bhatkhande (originally in the Marathi language, this is now best know in its Hindi translation in volume 5 of Bhatkhande, 1987). Actually, she did this at our request – she would not normally sing from notation, but
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1.6 Summary

You may find it useful to go over the main points of the first section again.

  1. We in the West generally recognise two different concepts of musical creation, namely composition and improvisation. Composition is widely characterised as a relatively lengthy process involving the use of notation; improvisation involves the spontaneous generation of music without notation. The distinction can be useful when applied to our own art music tradition.


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1.4 Models and building blocks

When any musicians perform they refer to something pre-existent, something we might call a ‘model’ or ‘referent’. For musicians performing written music, the most important of these (although not necessarily the only one) is the score or part from which they perform. Depending on the particular genre and period in question, the performer may have freedom to choose or alter certain parameters (tempo, dynamics, phrasing, in some cases the notes themselves), but the score will indicate,
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1.3 Studying unwritten musics

I want to move now from concerns relevant to all music to those more relevant to the study of unwritten musics in particular. One of the biggest distinctions between the European art tradition and most others is in the use of notation, which musicians in the former use more extensively than those anywhere else. Although music notation is used in many other traditions, particularly within Asian art musics where it has a long history (for example, the earliest surviving written mu
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1.1 Composition and improvisation in the world's musics

I want to begin with some general issues. Since the words composition and improvisation will play an important role in this chapter, where better to start than with definitions of these two terms?

Activity 1

What do
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Introduction

This unit explores two important concepts relating to the creation of music, namely composition and improvisation. The concepts of composition and improvisation are closely linked, and the reason for looking at non-Western music is partly to demonstrate this truth – it should help to clarify these two concepts, and the relationship between them.

We couldn't hope to cover a representative sample of the world's musics in a single unit, and I have certainly not tried to do so here. What
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4.19 Technologies and explicit knowledge continued

The following examples give a taste of what is now making the transition from research laboratories into commercial products. Large hierarchical information structures are extremely common, whether in libraries, organisational charts or websites. Displaying such large structures is a challenge, and since the user soon runs out of screen space, navigating them can be tedious. Screen 7 shows a system that uses animation and carefully designed graphical effects to give the impression of manipula
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3.5.1 Planning a group memory system: a framework

Nothing can be stored in a computer-supported organisational memory unless it is encoded in some form. Who is going to invest the effort to encode information within an organisation?

Creating a dedicated team of information librarians and knowledge managers is certainly one route, perhaps necessary for long-term maintenance of a large repository, just as librarians are needed to manage traditional libraries. But such a team cannot be experts in all aspects of the organisation's activiti
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2.2 Representation, interpretation and communities of practice continued

The preceding discussion brings us to a critical concept introduced earlier: the community of practice (Lave and Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998; Bowker and Star, 1999). Wenger emphasises that such communities are not the preserve of what are commonly conceived as knowledge workers. Wenger's central example is of a department of staff processing medical insurance claims, somewhat in contrast to the autonomous knowledge workers defined by Peter Drucker. In fact, as the term reflects,
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2.5 ‘Events, dear boy, events’

A further influence on accounting is, to borrow Macmillan, events. (Macmillan was the Prime Minister of the UK (1957–1963) who famously observed that the greatest obstacle to political achievement was ‘Events, dear boy, events’.)Countries' systems are overtaken by events of one kind or another that bring accounting consequences. Not least of these is war. Napoleon's desire to conquer Europe had the side effect of exporting his Roman law paradigm and the commercial code within it, to hal
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2.2 Objectives of financial reporting

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has a conceptual framework that aims to set out publicly which qualities should be in the forefront of the standard-setters' minds when making accounting rules. The IASB explains that ‘the objective of financial statements is to provide information about the financial position, performance and changes in the financial position of an entity that is useful to a wide range of users in making economic decisions’ (IASC, 1989, paragraph 12). (
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you will be able to:

  • identify factors that have influenced the development of financial reporting;

  • provide examples of how those factors have effected change in particular countries;

  • list a number of variables that affect the development of accounting rules in different jurisdictions;

  • explain the contingent model of accounting change;

  • apply the theories of accounting development to new situations
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5.2 Institutionalising French bread

The context-specific nature of rationality is such that, as we have just indicated, many insider norms are not apparent to outsiders. From the point of view of an organisation, the institutional rules of practice that prevail in any given context enable and constrain the dimensions of viable practice. Managers who try to do things that violate accepted norms about practices that insiders judge to be sacred or profane tend to encounter resistance. The capacity to achieve a difference – the p
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4.1 Scientific management

Frederick Winslow Taylor, who is often regarded as the father of modern management, was an engineer, born of a wealthy Pennsylvanian family. He was expected to go into the law or some other genteel profession: instead he preferred to work on the shop floor. As he reflected on his experiences as a foreman in the Midvale Steel Works, he concluded that the workers knew more about the actual processes they were working on than their managers did. Workers could tell stories about why things were t
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3.3.2 China

When the medieval Italian traveller, Marco Polo (1254–1324), returned from China, he shocked Europeans with the news that the Chinese used not metal but paper money; indeed, European resistance to representative money based on paper notes stretched into the nineteenth century (de Soto, 2000, p. 222). While China might have had a few centuries away from the global limelight, it is currently staging the biggest economic boom in the history of the planet. In common with Japan, China runs a sub
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