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SEM Ethnomusicology Translations Issue No. 5 Now Online

Thursday, January 19, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Stephen Stuempfle
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The Society for Ethnomusicology is pleased to announce the publication of Ethnomusicology Translations Issue No. 5:

Bonanzinga, Sergio. Musical Mourning Rituals in Sicily. Translated by Giacomo Valentini. Ethnomusicology Translations, no. 5. Bloomington, IN: Society for Ethnomusicology, 2017.


This article surveys various vocal and instrumental performances (chants, laments, calls, sounds of church bells and drums, band music) connected to the ritual celebration and commemoration of the dead that are still characterized in Sicily by a manifest syncretism between Christian Church rules and folk customs and beliefs. These “sounds of mourning” are examined in terms of both their musical aspects and their social and symbolic functions, with special attention given to the changing dynamics between the present day and the recent past. The focus also extends to include celebrations in which “fictitious funerals” are performed, such as those for Christ during the Easter procession and for Nannu (“Grandpa”) in Carnival ceremonies.

Originally published in Italian as “Riti musicali del cordoglio in Sicilia,” Archivio Antropologico Mediterraneo 17, no. 16, 1 (2014): 113-156.

To download Issue No.5, please visit the Ethnomusicology Translations website at https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/emt. Note that this PDF file includes texts, photographs, musical transcriptions, and embedded audio tracks.

SEM thanks Sergio Bonanzinga (Author), Giacomo Valentini (Translator), Rob Schultz (Manuscript Editor), Giovanni Giuriati (Manuscript Editor), and Richard Wolf (Manuscript Editor/General Editor) for the preparation of this translation. Special thanks also to contributors to SEM’s Sound Future Campaign, which is supporting this publication series.

Ethnomusicology Translations is a peer-reviewed, open-access online series for the publication of ethnomusicological literature translated into English. Articles and other literature in any language other than English will be considered for editorial review, translation, and publication. Preference will be given to individual articles published in scholarly journals or books during the past 20 years. As a central online resource, Ethnomusicology Translations aims to increase access to the global scope of recent music scholarship and advance ethnomusicology as an international field of research and communication.

For information on nominating articles for translation, please see http://www.ethnomusicology.org/?Pub_EthnoTrans

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