European Voices II.
Cultural Listening and Local Discourse in Multipart Singing Traditions in Europe


Research Project / International Symposium / Concerts
Vienna, October 24 – 26, 2008 (University of Music and performing Arts Vienna)


Institut für Volksmusikforschung und Ethnomusikologie
Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien
Österreichisches Nationalkomitee im ICTM
Wiener Konzerthaus


Project description

The activities of European Voices II will be organised by the Institute for Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. The starting point is the project Folk Terminology and Musical Phenomena which is being supported by the Austrian Science Fund (Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung).
The previous project European Voices I, Symposium and Concerts of March 2005 – was dedicated to multipart singing in the Balkans and the Mediterranean and received an award from the City of Vienna, the Labour Chamber of Vienna (Arbeiterkammer Wien) and Vienna Convention Bureau among 366 international congresses held in 2005.
The extended network of specialists now makes it possible to investigate the musical traditions of different European regions: from Portugal to Bulgaria in the South, and from Central Europe, in which Austria and the European Alps have a particular position, to the East with Lithuania, Ukraine, the European part of Russia and Georgia and up to Iceland in the far North.
Multipart singing traditions have, as a rule, a decisive role in the musical and cultural identity of the regions where they are established. Hearing or listening is thus of crucial significance.
Their effects on how groups of people or individuals understand music will be dealt with from musical, linguistic, medical and social perspectives.
Another main focus is dedicated to discourse as the method of communication through which people examine the validity of norms or standards, and to the role of communication in the processes of legitimation and power within a community. Gender issues will also be explored in this context.
The speakers will be internationally recognised researchers from over 20 countries in Europe, the United States and Australia.
Profane and sacred music will be performed in the evening concerts, where each concert will have a specific motto. The title of the concert of the women’s groups from Lithuania and Bulgaria is It should sound like bells. This describes the ideal sound of both vocal traditions, although the music itself is very different. The concert Polyphonic Yodelling by the male groups from the Schneeberg region of Lower Austria and from a klapa group from Croatia will take place in the Konzerthaus in Vienna. The third concert is entitled Sacred Folk Songs and will be given by singers from Northern Italy and Slovakia.


Language: English

Symposium Venue: University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria.

Book presentation

24. 10. 2008, at 16:30.
Ardian Ahmedaja / Gerlinde Haid (eds.)
European Voices I. Multipart Singing in the Balkans and in the Mediterranean. With Summaries in German. CD and DVD with Audio and Video Examples Included.
Schriften zur Volksmusik. Band 22. Wien 2008. Böhlau Verlag.



  • 24. 10. 2008, at 19:30.

University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Haydn-Saal
Anton-von-Webern-Platz 1, 1030 Wien
Bulgaria: Bistritsa grannies und Mitevi Brothers
Lithuania: Trys keturiose “Three in four”
Tickets: 12 € (students 6 €)
Evening Box-Office


  • 25. 10. 2008, at 19:30:

Wiener Konzerthaus. Mozart-Saal
Lothringerstraße 20, 1030 Wien
Croatia: Klapa Nostalgija
Austria: Schneeberg-Buam


  • 26.10. 2008, at 19:00.

Minoritenplatz 1, 1010 Wien
Slovakia: Ženska spevácka skupina z Telgártu
Italy: I cantori di Vermèil
Tickets: 12 € (students 6 €)
Evening Box-Office


More information:
Mag. Evelyn Fink-Mennel (project management):
Dr. Ardian Ahmedaja (chair):