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The crying clarinet: Emotion and music in Parakalamos

Maher, Nicola 2019. The crying clarinet: Emotion and music in Parakalamos. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

Social narratives in Pogoni, Greece are dominated by a sense of pain that is associated with local history. This emotional trope relates directly to cultural expression, especially in terms of music. Traditional music in the village of Parakalamos is recognised locally as music that is full of pain and sorrow and is epitomised by the sound of a ‘crying clarinet’. An instrumental form of lament is central to this tradition. Yet, the pain that this music expresses is experienced as bittersweet. Rather than articulating the raw grief associated with lament in the event of a death, this form of lament is associated with a reflective bittersweet nostalgia. The same musical phrases that characterise lament accompany the dance music of the area. In this context, the sound of the crying clarinet provokes emphatic displays of joy. In the music and dance of Parakalamos, there is no conflict between pain and joy; instead they are recognised as complementary emotions. This thesis considers how emotion is conveyed through music in Parakalamos. It also looks at the relationship between musical ‘style’ and social space. The ‘Parakalamos style’ (Parakalamiótika gr. Παρακαλαμιώτικα) is created and remade in every moment of performance. In Parakalamos, style is a fluid social process. The notion of musical spontaneity or ‘inspiration’ is linked to emotional expression, and in this way improvisation is highly valued. Despite this, phrases that represent ‘crying motifs’ are frequently repeated in performance. These crying motifs embody meaning as they are connected to experiences and memories of place. This thesis considers how emotion is conveyed through music in Parakalamos. It also looks at the relationship between musical ‘style’ and social space. The ‘Parakalamos style’ (Parakalamiótika gr. Παρακαλαμιώτικα) is created and remade in every moment of performance. In Parakalamos, style is a fluid social process. The notion of musical spontaneity or ‘inspiration’ is linked to emotional expression, and in this way improvisation is highly valued. Despite this, phrases that represent ‘crying motifs’ are frequently repeated in performance. These crying motifs embody meaning as they are connected to experiences and memories of place.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 November 2019
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2019 10:46
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/126733

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