The Contribution of the Institute of Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology to isaScience focussed on one of the long term topics of the Institute: the research on Romani music.
The program was well received by a large audience and the combination of research inputs and practical experience seemed to be an attractive format.
Below the programme and some photographs taken by Ursula Hemetek and Eva Mayerhofer.
Svanibor Pettan - lecturing, Christiane Fennesz-Juhasz – preparing her paper, Speranta Radulescu - talking to a Romanian participant, Ursula Hemetek – organizing and Ivana Ferencova – encouraging the participants sing and teaching to dance.
Programme – isaScience, Thursday, 15 August 2013
“The Other from Within”: Romani Music
The Scandalous Representation of the Romani People and their Music
The music of the Romani people is an important topic in European classical music, though it is for the most part represented in a stereotypical manner. We wish to discuss how Romani music has been represented by outsiders as well as various modes of self-representation.
This discussion should serve as inspiration to rethink stereotypes and prejudices.
Chair: Ursula Hemetek, Head of the Institute of Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology
Panel Statements and Discussion:
Christiane Fennesz-Juhasz: Performing and Celebrating “Romanipe”
In the Romani language, the term “Romanipe” (“gypsyhood”) denotes the totality of Romani identity, culture, tradition, social codes and rules. In short, it means “being a Romani” (as opposed to being non-Romani). This contribution will explore ways in which contemporary musicians with Romani background deal with their cultural heritage. Using some examples from Austria, it will question the meaning of “Romani music” with regard to situational and functional aspects, on the one hand, and aesthetic and stylistic features on the other. In other words: is there a difference between performing and celebrating “Romanipe” through music?
Christiane Fennesz-Juhasz, PhD, is an ethnomusicologist and curator of the ethnomusicological and Romani collections at the Phonogrammarchiv [Audiovisual Research Archive] of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. She has dealt with Romani music on the basis of archival holdings and her own fieldwork conducted mainly in Austria. Her publications include articles, books and CD editions of Romani music and other oral traditions, as well as writings on holdings of the Phonogrammarchiv and on issues of audio-visual archiving.
Svanibor Pettan: Gypsies in the Arts – Romanies in Real Life
Glorified throughout the 19th century and beyond for their sense of romantic freedom and connections to nature , but also mistreated as a social and cultural anomaly, the Romani people have increasingly been taking charge of their own representation via the Internet and other means of mass communication. This presentation analyses major gaps between the stereotypical imagery (in literature, music and film) and reality, which is characterised by different values, expectations and challenges, and also examines the appropriation of stereotypes for social gain.
Svanibor Pettan is professor and chair of the Ethnomusicology program at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Secretary General of the International Council for Traditional Music. His publications deal with music in relation to politics, war, minorities and applied ethnomusicology. The findings of his work with Romani people in Kosovo have been published in various formats, including books, articles, CDs and DVDs.
Speranţa Rădulescu: “[Musical] language constructs reality rather than merely reflecting it”…
…says Nicholas Cook, paraphrasing one of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s ideas. The academic musicians of the 20th century “invented” a Romani music in which the Romanies did not recognize themselves.
Does this benefit the Romani people in any way? Yes, it does: this new “music of the Romani people” is considered beautiful and worthy of appreciation by the “scholarly” world. The fact that Romanies do not recognize themselves in it is not necessarily unusual. After all, those entities involved in human relations—people, communities, nations—mutually reinvent one another on a continuous basis. Such relations are positive when reinventing the other occurs in good faith and with good will.
Speranţa Rădulescu, doctor of musicology. Ethnomusicological activity with the Ethnography and Folklore Institute, the Peasant Museum and the National University of Music in Bucharest. Researcher on Romanian traditional music, new pan-Balkan musics, the musical reflection of Romanian social-political structure and ideology, and music of minorities (Romanies, Jews, Hungarians, Ukrainians, Aromanians). She edited the Ethnophonie series (23 CDs) and has published a significant number of books and articles both in Romania and abroad.
3:30–4 pm Coffee break
Introduction to the Vienna Gypsy Music School by Ferdinand Koller
Ferdinand Koller is the head of the pedagogic activities in the organisation Romano Centro in Vienna. He is also very much involved in the affairs of the Vienna Gypsy Music School.
Workshop on Roma Song and Dance by Ivana Ferencova:
With improvisation as the basis of her work, the singer, actress and dancer Ivana Ferencova knows how to employ minimal means—just her voice and her body—to captivate her audience in a very immediate way. The joy she takes in making and communicating music is palpable and infectious.
It doesn’t last long before Ivana Ferencova’s participants find themselves in the midst of improvised or traditional Romani songs and dances, using no notation whatsoever; the experience is spontaneous, full of temperament, and simply engaging.
Ivana Ferencova is a seasoned educator (working with the women’s choir “Frauen in Weiß”), participates in Romani theatre projects, and is an accomplished a singer, having appeared with figures including Harri Stojka.