Modern music and cultural identity in Corsica Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/3r074z09j

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  • Music is one of the most important aspects of cultural identity in Corsica. Rooted in ancient history and revitalized in the revolutionary political climate of the 1960s and 70s, its popular choral form--the paghjella--has come to define modern music upon the island. Music, like language, has the ability to communicate certain feelings and values beyond its structural form and can also serve as a marker for individual as well as collective identity. In a minority regional context such as that of Corsica, many view cultural expressions such as language and music as 'guardians' of a local tradition that is weakened in a globalizing world. Thus, according to them, these expressions should remain pure and 'faithful' to their heritage. Yet, and likely in part because of globalization, music in Corsica has largely changed in recent decades. Musicians there today are combining ancient and modern forms, adopting instruments and styles not native to the island, and, in some cases, rejecting altogether 'traditional' Corsican music. Yet many of these, in as much as they represent a growing norm, often come under close scrutiny by those who regard their music as either inauthentic or betraying of tradition. Although some balance or hybridity of both 'new' and 'old' appears to be the preferred form of modem musical expression, the very notions of traditional and non-traditional are still debated and are at present widely discussed in Corsica, in a larger, more general sense of identity. The island's music provides a valuable perspective of the ongoing processes of cultural awareness and change.
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