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Marginality and Cultural Identities: Locating the Bagpipe Music of Serbia

JAKOVLJEVIC, RASTKO,STEVAN (2012) Marginality and Cultural Identities: Locating the Bagpipe Music of Serbia. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This dissertation examines the gajde (bagpipe) music tradition of Serbia in the context of the increasing marginality of such cultural identities (i.e. musician, performer) over the period of rapid modernisation since 1945. It is argued that the process of marginalisation of gajde music in the second half of the twentieth century reached a critical point where social and ideological developments intertwined and resulted in radical changes to the cultural and musical identity of this tradition. The gradual decline in the number of the gajde performers, contextual changes, political influences and the dissolution of traditional values led to a stage where a once central and popular musical practice became marginalised and relocated into relative cultural obscurity.
In this project the employed concepts of marginality and identity are derived from a range of sociological and anthropological sources and perspectives, including Bhabha (1994), Sennett (1974, 2008), Lee (1995), and Rice (2007). The research into the process of marginalisation itself, as a dynamic category, has served to generate a theoretical dialogue between ethnomusicological and sociological discourses, the individual experiences of the performers of gajde music, fieldwork data, and other relevant sources that include archival materials and personal statements. The articulation of distinctive features of this musical tradition, such as the technical features of the music-making process itself, performance practice and its function in different localities, formal characteristics of the music, its expressive potential, and the kinds of meanings attributed to it, provide a space for discussion and understanding of the fundamental characteristics of this music and its context. This also serves to raise a wider range of issues regarding musical identities and their location within culture.
It is the argument of this dissertation that the concept of marginality offers a way of understanding identities that are in a state of flux, particularly in the collision between tradition and modernity. It examines the kinds of fundamental meanings that traditional music creates, for example in relation to nature, and it follows significant aspects of the music-making process as a distinctive type of human creativity, regarding music as a specific craft. This study also provides a space for understanding the broader social, cultural and political conditions in which gajde practice developed, identifying the polarities that arise between the traditional and the modern, the shifts between centres and margins, and the politics that have informed these processes.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:traditional music, bagpipes, Serbia, marginality, marginal, cultural identities, culture, nature, location, noise, mediation, craft, ethnomusicology
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Music, Department of
Thesis Date:2012
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:17 May 2012 15:47

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