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Speranța Rădulescu

(b Romania, 1930; d Copenhagen, 4 April 2015). Romanian-Danish ethnochoreologist. She worked as a researcher at the Institute of Ethnography and Folklore in Bucharest from 1953 to 1979. She contributed to the foundation and development of scientific research on traditional dance in Romania, where she conducted extensive fieldwork, filming dances and rituals in over 200 villages. Her main interests concerned the contextual study of dance, the analysis of dance structure, the processes of dance improvisation, and dance as an identity marker for the Roma minority group. She also investigated the way traditional symbols were manipulated in Romania for national and political power legitimation.

After 1980 she lived in Denmark, where she conducted research on topics such as continuity and change in the traditional culture of the Vlachs (a Romanian speaking ethnic minority of Serbia) living in Denmark, the Romanian healing ritual căluş, and on the theory and methods of field research in contemporary society. She was the Honorary Chairperson of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology and the leader of the Sub-Study Group on Fieldwork Theory and Methods, a Board member of Danish National Committee for ICTM, and Doctor Honoris Causa of Roehampton University, London. She had a great number of publications and a fruitful activity as a lecturer on an international level. In her last years, she worked with Margaret Beissinger and Speranța Rădulescu on the volume ...

Article

Nalini Ghuman

[Maud Mann, Maud Foulds, Tandra Devi, Swami Omananda Puri, Maud Coote]

(b Cluain Meala (Eng. Clonmel), Tipperary, 4 July 1882; d Douglas, Isle of Man, 6 June 1967). Irish violinist, ethnomusicologist, authority on Indian music, writer, music therapist, and polymath. In 1884 the MacCarthys emigrated to Australia: in 1892 mother and daughter returned to Britain where Maud made her solo violin debut, playing to critical acclaim in Britain, Ireland, and the United States. Over-playing caused painful neuritis and led to a change in direction: she became deeply interested in Indian music. In 1907 she sailed alone to India, beginning her sojourn in Adyar, Chennai where she studied Karnatic classical singing. During journeys of 8,500 km north from Thanjāvūr to Vārānasī and Lahore she learned a variety of music and became proficient in Hindi and Urdu. Meticulous field notes document her pioneering ethnomusicological work.

Late in 1909 MacCarthy returned to London where, for two decades, driven by a commitment to bridging the colonial divide, she presented erudite lecture-recitals of Indian music across Britain and in Paris, singing in several languages and accompanying herself on ...

Article

Nicola Scaldaferri

(b Shkodër, Albania, 14 June 1920; d Tirana, 12 March 2008). Albanian ethnomusicologist, musician, composer, and writer. He began his musical studies as a boy in Shkodër. In the years between 1940 and 1944 he studied the flute and composition at the Conservatory of Florence, Italy. Back in Albania in the early years of the Hoxha regime, Sokoli was imprisoned, as were other scholars who had studied abroad, and he spent five years in incarceration.

In 1952 he moved to Tirana, where he taught the flute and folklore in the high school. Although he was not qualified to teach at the higher academic level, he played a key role in musical research in Albania. He collaborated on ethnomusicological expeditions carried out in 1957 with East German scholars and in 1958 with Romanian scholars.

He was the author of numerous pioneering books and articles on Albanian musical folklore, employing both descriptive and analytical approaches, as well as surveying important figures of the musical, and wider cultural, Albanian tradition. His writings and ideas shaped the discipline and educated two generations of Albanians ethnomusicologists, including scholars in Kosovo. His many publications include the books ...

Article

Jonathan Pieslak

Music has always been a part of war. While much of music’s role throughout history has been to signal commands and maneuver troops, it also appears as a powerful way to inspire troops for combat, to boost morale, or even to intimidate an adversary. Plato believed that the Phrygian mode could incite aggressive behavior. In American history, George Washington felt that music was so important to the morale of his troops that he ordered drum and fife majors to improve the quality of music or suffer a deduction in wages....