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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Musikwissenschaft

Vortrag von Saida Daukeyeva (Visiting Scholar, HU Berlin)

Throat-Singing and the Turkic Revival in Central Asia

In recent decades, the resonant vocal style of guttural or throat-singing has emerged as a widely popular expressive idiom across Central Asia claiming ancient roots in the cultures of indigenous Turkic-speaking peoples, while engendering modern world music creativity. This lecture situates the current rediscovery of throat-singing in post-Soviet Central Asian republics in the context of ethnonational revival and globalization to interrogate the social meanings and spiritual dimensions of this vocal practice for insiders. A range of case studies from Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia's Altai region is discussed in relation to the rise of a new racial imagination in the wake of modern nation-building informed by ideas of Eurasianism and narratives of Turkic ethnogenesis. Musicological theories linking drone-overtone music-making to local sacred beliefs centered on nature are juxtaposed against discourses current in performance practice. Through an examination of historical and ethnographic material the lecture unravels the cultural symbolism of throat-singing and offers insights into how this unique vocal technique serves to mediate between local traditions and global modernity and construct senses of belonging and identity.