Formation of the Bow Music Foundation
The Bow Music Foundation (BMF), formed during the first Bow Music Conference, held at the University of KwaZulu Natal, February 24-27, 2016, in Durban, South Africa, is an organization that celebrates the worldwide art of musical bow performance traditions. BMF enshrines one of the most ancient musical instruments as an expression of our common humanity and desire to create music. The diversity of musical bow practices throughout the world conveys the richness and diversity of human cultures. The simplicity of the instrument itself allows for the practice to be found in the hands of the privileged as well as the marginalized, and as such acts as a leveller of the playing field, economically and culturally. At its best, it represents the equality of every human being. It beseeches us to look back to our elders and elder cultures in order to find our way in modern society.
BMF seeks to consolidate international cooperative networks that generate and organize opportunities for creative projects, performances, publications, research, and worldwide recognition for bow music and bow musicians. The organization makes the case for the often-marginalized people and the communities that produce this music. BMF offers a voice to the under-represented through a demonstrated respect for the musical artistry of individual musicians. The Foundation recognizes and builds upon the vast research compiled and organized by a wide body of scholars. It brings awareness to the excellent musicianship of many elder players in diverse cultures throughout southern Africa and more broadly throughout the world. Its regular conferences serve as the focal gathering for the worldwide network of bow enthusiasts, musicians, and researchers. The demonstrated success of the first Bow Music Conference in 2016 represents a promising beginning to the realization of the goals stated herein.
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