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"Thanks for lending me the music".: Loops: preservation and innovation in traditional music
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
Svenskt Visarkiv.
2019 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this joint presentation we will discuss traditional music in terms of musical routes and loops.

In the first part we will follow a number of specific loops. One of them started with a visit by a Swedish composer to a small Balkan village in the 1960’s. Back in Sweden, the composer first used the collected songs as a creative aesthetic resource in his own compositions. Three decades later the songs were presented in a series of radio broadcasts as representations of a now almost extinct Balkan folk culture. The collection was then donated to the Swedish National Music archives, where the recordings were digitalized. A copy is now on its way to the Institute of Musicology at Academy of Music, University of Sarajevo.

In the second part we will reflect over how these specific cases illustrate ideas concerning preservation and innovation, tradition and change. Such notions are regularly positioned as antonyms (even when presented, as here, with a conjoining “and”). From an intellectual viewpoint, we understand that cultural expressions collected by museums and archives (or private initiatives for that matter) change through the gathering process, and, not least, through archiving. The view of collections and archives as “frozen” pictures of history at a certain moment in time can be contrasted with an approach in which collections are seen as an active part of a living tradition. The process can be described as a kind of cycle or loop which we can comprehend by viewing the archives as active parts of the tradition and not as passive documentation institutions.

Thus, we propose ‘routes’ and ‘loops’ as a way to slip out of such dichotomisa­tions, and instead underline how expressive forms, such as music, are always in motion, transit or flux. A loop is established when a phenomenon (a signal, sign, an expressive form etc) is set in motion in a circular manner. While notions like ‘preservation’ and ‘change’ seem to imply naturalised static positions, ‘loops’ call for an understanding of cultural phenomena as confined by motions, tracks, routes and itineraries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
Archive, folk music, Sweden, Bosnia, collection, preservation, change, loops
National Category
Ethnology
Research subject
Ethnology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-401568OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-401568DiVA, id: diva2:1383577
Conference
2nd International conference: Musical heritage of Montenegro, Cetinje 22-25/8 2019
Available from: 2020-01-08 Created: 2020-01-08 Last updated: 2020-01-08

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf