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Music in Bulgaria

Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture

Timothy Rice

Publication Date - October 2003

ISBN: 9780195141481

144 pages
Book with CD/DVD
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock


Music in Bulgaria is one of several case-study volumes that can be used along with Thinking Musically, the core book in the Global Music Series. Thinking Musically incorporates music from many diverse cultures and establishes the framework for exploring the practice of music around the world. It sets the stage for an array of case-study volumes, each of which focuses on a single area of the world. Each case study uses the contemporary musical situation as a point of departure, covering historical information and traditions as they relate to the present. Visit www.oup.com/us/globalmusic for a list of case studies in the Global Music Series. The website also includes instructional materials to accompany each study.
Music in Bulgaria presents a focused introduction to the rich and varied tradition of Bulgarian music. Taking readers on a tour of the country's musical landscape, it explores ways in which Bulgaria's rural traditions affect the expression and interpretation of its music and examines how Bulgaria's history has influenced its music over many decades. The book also shows how musical traditions have been preserved and have flourished despite the social changes brought about by the post-WWII era of industrialization, modernization, and urbanization. Timothy Rice demonstrates how Bulgarian music--in addition to being an art and an entertainment--is deeply embedded in the cultural, social, economic, and political life of the country. He analyzes how this music has spread to other cultures and how it has made its mark on new forms of popular music. Brief lessons on how ethnomusicologists conduct their research are also included.
Written in a lively style accessible to both students and general readers, Music in Bulgaria features vivid eyewitness accounts of performances, interviews with performers, and glossaries of Bulgarian and musical terms. Incorporating numerous listening examples and other activities that help readers learn to listen, sing, and dance to Bulgarian music, this volume is packaged with a 70-minute CD containing examples of the music discussed.


"Music in Bulgaria is a valuable addition to ethnomusicology's instructional literature. It should facilitate the addition of a European tradition to university survey courses that are generally dominated by African, Asian, and American musics, while at the same time giving students an opportunity to benefit from the experience and insight of one of the important theorists of our fieldRice is an engaging writer who should be able to connect with and make a lasting impression upon students."--Enthnomusicology

Table of Contents

    CD Track List
    1. Two Weddings in One Day
    An Urban Wedding
    A Village Wedding
    Explaining Music
    The Culture of Music at Bulgarian Weddings
    The Interpretation of Music at Bulgarian Weddings
    More Questions
    2. The Past in Present-day Music
    3. A Musical Tour
    The Shop Region Near Sofia
    Thrace in the Southeast
    The Rhodope Mountains in the South
    The Pirin Region in the Southwest
    After the Tour
    4. Making Music Yesterday and Today
    Easter Dances
    Harvest Songs
    Dances at Village Fairs
    Autumn Housework
    Why Are These Traditions still Performed at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century?
    5. Music and Politics
    A Performance by a Professional Ensemble
    Arranged Choral Music
    Arranged Instrumental Music
    Choreographed Dancing
    Modernization and a New Ideology Come to Bulgaria
    New Institutions for the New Folk Music
    Cultivated Folk Music
    New Meaning for Wedding Music
    Changes in the Sound of Wedding Music
    The Politics of Wedding Music
    From Behavior to Symbol to Commodity
    6. Bulgarian Music as World Music
    Bulgarian Music Hits the Charts
    Appropriating Bulgarian Music
    7. A New Music for a New Era
    A New Fusion of Folk and Popular Music
    The Roots of Popfolk
    The Lyrics of Popfolk Music
    Performances of Popfolk Songs
    Popfolk as Art, Symbol, Commodity, and Behavior
    Musical Change and Musical Significance
    Glossary of Bulgarian Terms
    Glossary of Musical Terms

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