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Description

Title:Nostalgia, emotionality, and ethno-regionalsim in Pontic parakathi singing
Author(s):Tsekouras, Ioannis
Director of Research:Buchanan, Donna A
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Buchanan, Donna A
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Turino, Thomas; Solis, Gabriel; Todorova, Maria
Department / Program:Music
Discipline:Musicology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):musical performance
Identity discourse
Ethnicity
Nationalism
Regionalism
Collective memory
Tradition
Nostalgia
Emotionality
Feeling
Emotion
Affect
Lyra/kemence
Poetry
Metaphor
Allegory
Semiotics
Phenomenology
Abstract:This dissertation explores the multilayered connections between music, emotionality, social and cultural belonging, collective memory, and identity discourse. The ethnographic case study for the examination of all these relations and aspects is the Pontic muhabeti or parakathi. Parakathi refers to a practice of socialization and music making that is designated insider Pontic Greek. It concerns primarily Pontic Greeks or Pontians, the descendants of the 1922 refugees from Black Sea Turkey (Gr. Pontos), and their identity discourse of ethno-regionalism. Parakathi references nightlong sessions of friendly socialization, social drinking, and dialogical participatory singing that take place informally in coffee houses, taverns, and households. Parakathi performances are reputed for their strong Pontic aesthetics, traditional character, rich and aesthetically refined repertoire, and intense emotionality. Singing in parakathi performances emerges spontaneously from verbal socialization and emotional saturation. Singing is described as a confessional expression of deeply personal feelings and memories that ideally entails the sharing of pain. Sharing and expression of memories, personal feelings, and pain take place through the dialogical performance of short poetic forms, distichs, sung to riff-like tunes played by the Pontic fiddle, the lyra. This dissertation documents the poetics, aesthetics, rhetorics, and pragmatics of the intimate emotional socialization, nostalgic remembering, and participatory dialogical singing that characterize parakathi and illustrates how these processes negotiate the broader discourses of ethnicity, nationalism, and regionalism that contextualize Pontic Greek senses of belonging. This analysis demonstrates the musical limits of discursivity, the special connection between music and emotion, the significance of music for imagined communities of sentiment, and the importance of musical performance in the cultural negotiations of collective memory, subjectivity, and emotionality. It also provides important information about the aesthetics, styles, structures, and genres of Pontic music, which remain rather understudied, contributing to the expansion of the ethnomusicological field.
Issue Date:2016-07-05
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/92889
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Ioannis Tsekouras
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08


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