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Singing or speaking or both?
Håkan Lundström and Jan-Olof Svantesson

starting point was a conference on endangered languages and musics, Humanities of the Lesser-Known , organized in Lund in 2010, which brought together those who came to be the members of the Borderland project. 1 The material is intercultural and includes a variety of language and music contexts: Kammu (Laos), Akha (Thailand), Seediq (Taiwan), Tanana (Interior Alaska), and Ryukyuan (Okinawa, Japan). A long-term aim has also been to play a part in the revitalization of such oral traditions and to contribute to

in In the borderland between song and speech
Struggles for power over a festival soundscape
Lorenzo Ferrarini

, repeating the same melody, verse after verse. Some more musicians join in, others drop out. … crowned with lilies and roses / in this chapel Mary rests crowned by the heart of Jesus / Madonna di Pollino help me … One after another the musicians touch the case and, while it seems that the piece is approaching its conclusion, the zampogna has never stopped its droning. Suddenly the drums change pace and the music becomes a tarantella . Two men briefly start dancing, then one of the organetto players dances a few steps in front of the statue, imitated by the

in Sonic ethnography
Open Access (free)
Music-making as creative intervention
Nicola Scaldaferri

This chapter is centred on my research into sound identities and musical practices in Basilicata, which started at the end of the 1980s. Ever since, I have used performing music as a form of research by way of active participation as a musician in the local scene. Performance-based research has a long history within ethnomusicology (Cottrell 2007 ). One of its most famous formulations is found in the concept of bimusicality proposed by Mantle Hood, who considered musical practice a privileged way to approach a foreign musical culture ( 1960 ). As a native

in Sonic ethnography
Open Access (free)
Recorded memories and diasporic identity in the archive of Giuseppe Chiaffitella
Nicola Scaldaferri

regional circuit, but a diasporic community whose identity must be understood on a wider transnational scale. Music and sound continue to play a crucial role in giving a meaning to its identity thanks to their strong evocative function and nostalgic component (Pistrick 2015 ). However, in addition to music-making practices, an even more important role is that of sound recordings. Emigrants who recorded on tape voices, musical instruments or church bells were able to offer them to their diasporic community through the magnifying glass of acousmatic listening, whereby

in Sonic ethnography
Anastasia Karlsson, Håkan Lundström, and Jan-Olof Svantesson

use plant-medicine to heal the wound or cure the illness. 3 Kammu language and vocal expressions Previous studies of Kammu language and music had made it clear that the analysis of some vocal expressions from the perspective of a performance template is a rewarding pursuit. 4 One main objective at the start of this study was to investigate more vocal expressions in a search for different performance templates, as well as for differences and similarities between them. There was also

in In the borderland between song and speech
Open Access (free)
Identity, heritage and creative research practice in Basilicata, southern Italy

Sonic ethnography explores the role of sound-making and listening practices in the formation of local identities in the southern Italian region of Basilicata. The book uses a combination of text, photography and sound recording to investigate soundful cultural performances such as tree rituals, carnivals, pilgrimages, events promoting cultural heritage and more informal musical performances. Its approach demonstrates how in the acoustic domain tradition is made and disrupted, power struggles take place and acoustic communities are momentarily brought together in shared temporality and space. This book underlines how an attention to sound-making, recording and listening practices can bring innovative contributions to the ethnography of an area that has been studied by Italian and foreign scholars since the 1950s. The approaches of the classic anthropological scholarship on the region have become one of the forces at play in a complex field where discourses on a traditional past, politics of heritage and transnational diasporic communities interact. The book’s argument is carried forward not just by textual means, but also through the inclusion of six ‘sound-chapters’, that is, compositions of sound recordings themed so as to interact with the topic of the corresponding textual chapter, and through a large number of colour photographs. Two methodological chapters, respectively about doing research in sound and on photo-ethnography, explain the authors’ approach to field research and to the making of the book.

Open Access (free)
Method, results, and implications
Håkan Lundström and Jan-Olof Svantesson

expressions is as fundamental to human nature as speech, and can indeed be understood as a different mode of speech. Obviously, different ways of using vocal expressions for these basic needs of human society have evolved in their separate cultural contexts. The vocal expressions appear to be the result of parallel developments in language and music, and this accounts for similarities as well as differences in the material under study here. The performance templates serve to organize the vocal expression of

in In the borderland between song and speech
Open Access (free)
Towards a sonic ethnography of the Maggio festival in Accettura
Lorenzo Ferrarini and Nicola Scaldaferri

material, developing arguments in sound through strategies of editing borrowed from electroacoustic music (Drever 2002 ; Scaldaferri 2018 ; Truax 2008 ). The post-production of sonic ethnographies is a powerful analytical device that allows detection in the recordings of unexpected relationships and structures that the ethnographer might otherwise have missed (Feld and Scaldaferri 2019 : 82–84). However, finally it is important to stress that a sound-centric approach to ethnography is not meant to replace other, more established ways of working, but can be useful to

in Sonic ethnography
Siri G. Tuttle and Håkan Lundström

language and the traditional customs, many elders are increasingly engaged in preserving their heritage. Robert’s brother Neal Charlie was a traditional chief of the village, and he knew his culture very well. He was of the opinion that singing was a key for preservation; and at a 2005 workshop, he urged researchers to take up the task of music research: I’m going to get back to some of our native ways. These are the things that used to be important. Let young people know about their

in In the borderland between song and speech
Listening to the Campanaccio of San Mauro Forte
Nicola Scaldaferri

control over their sound. The team leader can carry out this role in various ways: with a handful of small bells hanging from a staff, with which they periodically hit the ground in the double function of acoustic and visual signal, or using a whistle, a snare drum or a bass drum. Sometimes they simply place themselves at the head of the group, leading as a herd leader, dictating the pace with their bell. A good starting point to frame the Campanaccio is Blacking’s definition of music as ‘humanly organized sound’ ( 1973 ). This reference, as important as it is, is

in Sonic ethnography