Accepted Paper:

The paradox of gypsy music revised: properties and improprieties of gypsyness at world music scene  

Author:

Aspasia Theodosiou (Epirus Institute of Technology)

Paper short abstract:

The paper considers a series of CD productions of Gypsy/Roma music in the Balkans and explores the complex inter-connections between identity politics, aesthetics, and claims to the ownership of resources, such as music.

Paper long abstract:

The aim of this paper is to critically reassess the 19th c debate between Liszt and Bartok over the value of gypsy music in the light of the significant presence of gypsy music in today's music industry. More specifically, the paper considers a series of CD productions of Gypsy/Roma music in the Balkans and explores the complex inter-connections between identity politics, aesthetics, and claims to the ownership of resources, such as music. On yet another level in trying to shed some light at the discursive realm of "Gypsy/Roma musical work" concept the paper employs two distinct but overlapping tropes: the "identity based" and the "aesthetic" one. The latter facilitates a certain kind of musical appreciation and certain kinds of listening practice by highlighting expressive form; the first facilitates the drawing of proprietary, identity-based, boundaries around complex music practices. Yet, in providing the public with a "new" musical object that will figure in commercial transactions and be the focus of specific "aesthetic" and "identity" expectations, both tropes fix the identity of the Roma/Gypsies around specific signifiers, while underplaying the significance of others.

Panel W085
Performing copyright: the politics of creative practice and the poetics of technology