Esem 2016

Giu 012017


Ignazio Macchiarella, Marco Lutzu, eds., Sardinian Masters’ Talks.

prod. Labimus/Department of Cultural History and Territorial Heritage  of  Cagliari University, 2016 (23’).

Shown during the ESEM 2016 – Sardinia

with subtitles (English or Italian)

Whatever the approach, every investigation on human music making does, of course, imply relationships –in terms of a contact/exchange– between researcher and a group of people. In other words, doing ethnomusicology means, whatever the case, having to do with persons. Ultimately, ethnomusicology is a matter of inter-individual relations, so that, in a sense, the quality of these relations gives the measure of the quality of a research project.

As we all know, the crucial relevance of the “music makers’ point of view” and of the relationship “scholar/music makers” comes up several times in the writings of John Blacking:

«some answer to these questions (cognitive musical abilities) will emerge when we know better how people think about different sets of musical symbols, and relate them to other symbols. The analysis of meaning can be achieved only by dialectic between informants and analysts, in which there is a confrontation of two kinds of technical knowledge and experience, and informants share in the intellectual process of analysis. This has to be done as far as possible in the field, and the process will be rather different from that usually associated with interview» (Blacking 1995: 233).

In order to foster the emergence of the local actors’ point of view, extremely significant contributions can come from approaches based on the strategies of dialogue as a strategy for interpretative studies. Roughly, it means aiming to build up systematic collaborations oriented towards achieving negotiated dialogues (beyond the simple juxtapositions of different opinions) between the scholar’s perspective and the local music-makers’ awareness, which might lead to a closer mutual comprehension. This aim has inspired the (ethno)musicological work carried out by Cagliari University over the last ten years or so (Macchiarella 2014). Inter alia, it has resulted in close friendships with some music makers who have collaborated in different initiatives throughout the years. In actual fact, a very peculiar amities have arisen between scholars and different music makers, that imply complete and mutual trust, a great willingness for cooperation, and yet a kind of complicity.

This is the background of the video Sardinia Masters’ Talks. The video is a montage containing talks by five of our long-standing best music-friends (since 1982) who are, at the same time, among the most celebrated performers (all over Sardinia and beyond) of the most representative traditional practices: a tenore and a cuncurdu multipart singing, guitar accompanied singing, and launeddas playing. They are: Giuseppe Brotzu, from Castelsardo (SS), singer and ex-prior of the confraternity of Santa Croce (see Lortat-Jacob 1996); Franco Davoli, from Orgosolo (NU), boghe and leader of the Tenore quartet Supramonte (who is also one of the editors of Pilosu-Tenore Supramonte 2017); Daniele Giallara, from Cuglieri (OR), not only one of the most celebrated Sardinian singers of the boghe a chiterra (guitar accompanied singing) but also  a cuncordu singer of his village; Tonino Leoni, from Samatzai (Ca), launeddas player and music disciple of the great maestro Dionigi Burranca (he is one of the authors in Lutzu 2012); Bachisio Masia, from Bonnanaro (SS), both guitar player within the cantu a chiterra music practice and singer of the confraternity’s a cuncordu quartet.

We explained to them that our project was aimed at providing a contribution on their ideas about ethnomusicology and about what ethnomusicologists do (and do not do) and/or what eventually they should do (or should not do) with particular regard to the contemporary situation of the music practice in which they are specialized. We stressed that their opinions would be presented in a video addressed to the participants at the ESEM 2016 seminar or rather to an assembly of ethnomusicologists coming from around the world who were meeting in Cagliari and Santu Lussurgiu.

They all agreed immediately. To shoot the video we met Bachisio, Daniele, and Giuseppe in Bonnanaro at Bachisio’s home (Bernard Lortat-Jacob was with us); Tonino, at my University office in Cagliari, and Franco in Abbasanta, during a village feast. The first four men spoke in Italian, the last one using sardu, the Sardinian native language.

Of course, Marco and I did not ask them to answer a questionnaire or anything like that. We simply told them a few words about the ESEM society and its founder John Blacking (also providing a few short quotations taken from Blacking’s works, translated into Italian, and related to  the topic of music as social action) and about the themes of the Sardinian meeting.

For each talk, we shot about 20-23 minutes of discussion – not more. Marco and I edited the video, trying to highlight the main themes according to our opinions (to save time, we eliminated our voices). Of course, the video is not exactly a dialogical outcome; dialogues need time! One can say it is the first step of a dialogical path. Nevertheless, I hope the materials will result interesting and they might provide points for reflection. [I.M.]



John Blacking, 1995 Music, Culture and Experience, Selected Papers of John Blacking, Reginald Byron ed.,  University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Bernard Lortat-Jacob, 1996, Canti di Passione, Lim, Lucca.

Marco Lutzu, 2012, Launeddas, in Enciclopedia della Musica Sarda, L’Unione Sarda, Cagliari, vol. 11.

Ignazio Macchiarella, 2014, Exploring micro-worlds of music meanings, «El oìdo pensante», anno 2, n. 1, pp. 1-16.

Sebastiano Pilosu- Tenore Supramonte, eds., 2017, Il canto a tenore di Orgosolo nelle raccolte del CNSMP (1955-1961), Squilibri, Roma.


 Scritto da in 1 Giugno 2017  Esem 2016  Commenti disabilitati su Sardinian Masters’ Talks
Set 192016


Cagliari and Santu Lussurgiu, 20-25 September 2016 

Musics / Music Makers / Musicologists’ Transhumance 



edited by Marco Lutzu 

(vedi allegato/ see the attached file)


 Scritto da in 19 Settembre 2016  Esem 2016  Commenti disabilitati su ESEM 2016 Programme and Abstract Book
Mag 152016


Cagliari and Santu Lussurgiu, 20-25 September 2016

Musics/Music Makers/Musicologists’ Transhumance

Programme committee

Ignazio Macchiarella (Chair) (

Ardian Ahmedaja, (

Giovanni Giuriati (

Ursula Hemetek, (

Marco Lutzu (



University of Cagliari

Department of History, Cultural and Territorial Heritage


Municipality of Santu Lussurgiu

Santu Lussurgiu comunità ospitale

Pro-Loco Santu Lussurgiu



 Scritto da in 15 Maggio 2016  Esem 2016  Commenti disabilitati su XXXII ESEM- Sardinia 2016
Mar 122016

XXXII ESEM – Sardinia 2016 – Call for Papers

Cagliari and Santu Lussurgiu, 20-25 September 2016

Musics/Music Makers/Musicologists’ Transhumance

The 32nd European Seminar in Ethnomusicology (ESEM) will take place from Tuesday 20 September to Sunday 25 September 2016, in Cagliari and Santu Lussurgiu (Sardinia) hosted by the Department of History, Cultural and Territorial Heritage of the University of Cagliari and by the Community of Santu Lussurgiu.

This year’s theme is inspired by an element of sheep-farming culture of the hosting island: transhumanceAlthough today it is less practiced than in the past (due to the recent changes of in pastoralism), in Sardinia transhumance has still a crucial relevance for the lives of many people. Every year, following the course of the seasons, men and flocks run through tread long established paths, from the mountains to the plains and then back from the plains to the mountains.

The concept of transhumance also has a strong symbolic significance in the Island of Sardinia’s traditional culture. It means leaving and returning. It cyclically entails human experiences both for travelling shepherds and for the communities of departure and arrival. It involves meeting with other people that determines mutual enrichments, through dialogue and (inter)action, through the circulation of knowledge, experiences, thoughts, and awareness, through taking over and drawing back, borrowing and ownership, etc.

We believe that this special idea of periodic people leaving and returning along known paths may be stimulating for our works. In particular, authors are invited to address their papers to the following topics:

  1. Musics back home. Musics have always travelled along unpredictable paths in unforeseeable ways. Indeed, until quite recently and prior to the invention of the phonograph, musics were the men and women who travelled and anything but de-personalized experiences. Music makers of all kinds (i.e., merchants, soldiers, pilgrims, seasonal workers, migrants, but also musicians, storytellers, buskers, specialists in the performing arts, and so on) went and came back, spreading something of their own music knowledge and bringing home something musically new. Recordings have dramatically changed everything: immaterial musics travel around the world via the media, often going on a quick round-trip, losing and acquiring something on the way.
  1. Musicologists back home According to Bernard Lortat-Jacob, the ethnomusicologist is not someone who goes out into the field, but rather, someone who goes back to it. Our work includes a continuous leaving and returning from home to the field and back again, which implies peculiar experiential situations. Moreover, also when “our field” is not so far away (as in the so-called “ethnomusicology at home”), our idea of a musical journey embodies a shift to other conceptualizations of music (and of the surrounding world). Inevitably, this coming and going involves a mutual enrichment for ourselves and our interlocutors, beyond the results of our music analysis and interpretations.
  1. Seasonal music paths. The passing of the seasons suggests the idea of a “cyclical time” during which things double back. But – as we know – that is not really how things work, since, ultimately, we are dealing with only apparent repetitions. Of course, this is noticeable about music performances, which cannot be faithfully repeated. However, seasonal musics or cyclical events that involve music acquire a special significance due to their cadenced flowing in time. This sort of leaving and returning, which is implicit in the cadenced recurring of seasonal music-making, concerns a special dimension of travelling, namely, the one of time travel.
  1. Transhumance of musical genres. Musical practice often implies a transmigration of genres and repertories. What is performed in one context is taken up and used in other settings with the transformation of performing practices, musical instruments, functions, and, occasionally, after undergoing further changes, it may even return to the original context. This has been the fate of several music repertories in these contemporary times of migration, globalization and the pervasive presence of popular music in fast changing societies.

Apart from the previous suggestions, the committee will also consider including a restricted number of free papers in order to allow the dissemination of important recent research, analysis and interpretations of specific music practices.

Proposals for individual papers (20 minutes + 10-minute discussion), or panels (90-minute presentations including discussion) are welcome. Due to the limited number of papers that can be accepted (willing to avoid parallel sessions), the programme committee welcomes presentation of research in the form of both poster and power-point-loop (where a limited number of slides is automatically repeated – only .ppt format) which will be accessible throughout the entire conference in suitable media stations. Furthermore, a special session of the Seminar will be devoted to this form of presentation in which each panellist will have 10 minutes for his/her presentation.

Proposals including a 300-word abstract, your full name and contact details to: or

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 28 February 2016. 

A draft program will be announced in April 2016.


Programme committee

Ignazio Macchiarella (Chair) (

Ardian Ahmedaja, (

Giovanni Giuriati (

Ursula Hemetek, (

Marco Lutzu (


 Scritto da in 12 Marzo 2016  Esem 2016  Commenti disabilitati su Esem 2016 call for paper (Now closed)
contatti | accessibilità Università degli Studi di Cagliari
C.F.: 80019600925 - P.I.: 00443370929
note legali | privacy