New publication

European Voices III

The Instrumentation and Instrumentalization of Sound

Local Multipart Music Practices in Europe

In commemoration of Gerlinde Haid

CD-ROM with 65 audio and 32 video examples included.

Edited by Ardian Ahmedaja.
Series: Schriften zur Volksmusik, Volume 25.
Vienna: Böhlau, 2017.

ISBN 978-3-205-20513-5

(Click the Image on the right for a large version.)

The book is available at the price of € 70,00:

The entire text is available for download at:

Local multipart music practices are based on the intentionally distinct and coordinated participation of music makers in the performing act. Following the rules of interaction while promoting at the same time their personal goals, the protagonists share their own treasure trove of experiences and cultural affiliations and shape sounds and values. Such complex and dynamic processes are central to the investigations of instrumentation and instrumentalization of sound.

The understanding of instrumentation in music literature has been closely connected for a longer period with instruments and their sound qualities and fusion possibilities. Views like those held by Igor Stravinsky, who considered instrumentation to be an inseparable part of musical composition, widen the perspective. Significantly, such a perspective is a matter of course in local practices. Multipart music practices are of particular interest in this context, because they enable us to discern the most diverse ways of creating a common sound and to recognize this process as a “founder” of social interactions, which is more than an accomplishment in which it would be a pleasure to take one’s “part”. The instrumentation and instrumentalization of sound thus become particularly important for research.



Research Centre for European Multipart Music

Multipart music represents one of the most fascinating phenomena in the European musical practices. It has therefore been a favoured object of research for a long time now, particularly in a national context. Regional studies which extend outside of political boundaries, are, however, rare and sporadic. But, as a rule, the regional and the political boundaries in Europe do not coincide. Thus an almost untouched area for investigations has emerged here. Following a detailed analysis in 2003, the establishment of a Research Centre for European Multipart Music as an international network of specialists seemed to have become more than necessary.

A thorough examination of the diverse European multipart music practices can only be made by concentrating on specific topics and areas. The investigations include up to now the following issues: Multipart Singing in the Balkans and the Mediterranean (EV I), Cultural Listening and Local Discourse in Multipart Singing Traditions in Europe (EV II), The Instrumentation and Instrumentalization of Sound (EV III) and Multipart Instrumental Music. Soloist and Ensemble Traditions (EV IV).

Some of the results of the work carried out until now are published on this website to provide insights into this work and to obtain new impulses and suggestions from interested users.

Ardian Amedaja