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Engendering Song

Singing and Subjectivity at Prespa Albanian Weddings

For Prespa Albanians, both at home in Macedonia and in the diaspora, the most opulent, extravagant, and socially significant events of any year are wedding ceremonies. During days and weeks of festivities, wedding celebrants interact largely through singing, defining and renegotiating as they do so the very structure of their social world and establishing a profound cultural touchstone for Prespa communities around the world.

Combining photographs, song texts, and vibrant recordings of the music with her own evocative descriptions, ethnomusicologist Jane C. Sugarman focuses her account of Prespa weddings on notions of gendered identity, demonstrating the capacity of singing to generate and transform relations of power within Prespa society. Engendering Song is an innovative theoretical work, with a scholarly importance extending far beyond southeast European studies. It offers unique and timely contributions to the analysis of music and gender, music in diaspora cultures, and the social constitution of self and subjectivity.

416 pages | 20 halftones, 9 line drawings, 23 musical examples, 1 compact disc with 25 track | 6 x 9 | © 1997

Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Music: Ethnomusicology

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Musical Excerpts on Compact Disc
Note on Textual and Musical Transcriptions
Pronunciation Guide
1: Approaching Prespa Singing
2: Singing as a Social Activity
3: Singing as a Gendered Activity
4: The "Order" of Weddings
5: The Prespa "System"
6: Singing and the Discourse of Honor
7: Singing as the Practice of Patriarchy
8: Emergent Subjectivities


American Folklore Society / University of Chicago: Chicago Folklore Prize

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