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On this page you can find the list of forthcoming events with details, in addition to the link to the music section of the university's What's On guide.

Research Forum: Caroline Bithell (Manchester)

31st October 2017, 14:00, Concert Room - Music Department

Georgian polyphony goes global: Folklore, heritage and cultural politics in Post-Soviet Georgia

Free and all welcome

More than twenty-five years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and seventeen years after UNESCO’s proclamation of Georgian Polyphonic Singing as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, Georgia (Caucasus) offers a compelling case study for examining the potency of musical legacies in societies undergoing radical transformation.

I explore the ways in which Georgia’s extraordinarily rich heritage of polyphonic song articulates with the country’s aspirations to reinvent itself as part of the new Europe and how this reorientation is in tension with the Soviet legacy that continues to colour new directions. I consider how the discourse of authenticity that continues to drive cultural politics in Georgia plays out alongside new grass-roots initiatives in Georgia itself, world music’s embrace of diversity, and the shift of interest in some areas of ethnomusicology towards models of sustainability. More broadly, I set these trends in the context of current issues in revival studies, heritage management and cultural tourism.

Caroline Bithell is Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Manchester. Her research specialisms include polyphony in oral traditions, music revivals, singing and activism, the politics and aesthetics of world music, intangible cultural heritage, and cultural tourism. She is the author of two monographs, Transported by Song: Corsican Voices from Oral Tradition to World Stage (Scarecrow Press, 2007) and A Different Voice, A Different Song: Reclaiming Community Through the Natural Voice and World Song (Oxford University Press, 2014). She is also co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Music Revival (2014).

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