Michael Dias, born in Switzerland and currently living in Lisbon, is Master in Ethnomusicology by FCSH/NOVA (2017) with a dissertation devoted to the work of Belo Marques and his experience in colonial Mozambique. He is a PhD student in Ethnomusicology in the Department of Musical Sciences of the FCSH/NOVA. He integrates the international research team of the project Timbila, Makwayela e Marrabenta: a century of musical representation in Mozambique. Projects of R&D (FCT). PTDC/CPC-MMU/6626/2014. His research concerns processes of identity construction, expressive behavior, and its representations and discourses during the colonial period between Portugal and Mozambique, 1930-60.
"Being Original: is being true and honest": Belo Marques and the "Black Music"
This thesis consists of the understanding of the category “black music” by which Belo Marques, throughout his book Música Negra – Estudo do folclore Tonga (1943), described rural expressive practices in the south of Mozambique. Under the formulation of such category lies a complex network of relations and cultural and intellectual influences, and it is this network that needs to be clarified in order to understand the meaning of “black music” as a set of performative practices. I discusss the dialectic and complex relation between Belo Marques and the context in which he is historically situated, as other variables such as the internal context of Belo Marques, in order to understand the tension that emerges from this relation, useful for a more elaborate grasp on the category “black music”.Simultaneously, it will be discussed the fabrication or reinforcement of representation of identities consonant with the ideology of the Estado Novo regime, expressed by categories such as “Nation”, “Empire”, “Africa”, “batuque”, for a better understanding and interpretation of the book of Belo Marques.Last but not least, it will be demonstrated how Belo Marques used “black music” in his own compositions.