European Voices I


Multipart singing
in the Balkans and in the Mediterranean

Multipart music represents one of the most fascinating phenomena in European folk music. Therefore it has been a favoured object of research particularly in the national framework for a long time. Regional studies, which extend outside of the political boundaries, are, however, rare and sporadic. Since, as a rule, the regional and the political boundaries in Europe do not coincide, there exists an almost untouched area for research in European folk music. Therefore due to the search for specific characteristics of European identity at this time, the establishment of a “Research centre of European multipart music” as an international network of specialists seems to have become more than necessary.

Because of the great diversity of the various characteristics of European multipart music, a thorough examination can only be made through a concentration on specific topics and areas. The first step will consequently be devoted to the remarkable features of multipart singing on the Balkans and in the Mediterranean. The examination of the singers’ association with time, space, improvisation, sound, voice (both in the physical and the musical sense) etc. as well as the comparison with the sacred music and with the secular classical music in Europe in a historical perspective and in the present context will be given special importance. The expected new results and new information could lead to the reassessment of many aspects of the history of European multipart music.