HMVA0431HU Musicology: KA subject: Oral and written musical traditions: methodologies, composition, cases

Volume 2015/2016

The course will explore issues related to the ethno-musicological research, by pointing out the relationship between oral and written transmission of musical cultures, as well as their development.

Starting with the study of some musical traditions of the Mediterranean area (e.g. Spain, Sardinia, Sicily and Southern Italy) and the Balkans (e.g. Albania, Croatia, Greece, Serbia, etc.), the lectures will focus on specific examples of performance, taking into consideration the history but most importantly the ‘geography’ of a chant/song.

The analysis of compositions (by listening to audio-video recordings) and the discussion about some particular topics (such as ‘music and rite’,  ‘improvisation’ or ‘sound and sign’), by working in study groups,  will make students able to reflect on the effects/influence of the oral transmission of musical traditions over the written one and vice versa.

It also includes:

  • Presentation on a medieval chant tradition (by an invited lecturer)

  • Discussion on the processes of musical production(methodologies) and perfomance practice

  • Discussion on the use of modern technology in oral traditional music

  • Discussion and general overview on the development of the musical ‘sign’

  • Exercises of transcription


Context of performance

Functions of music


Music and dance

Music and rite

Music as symbolic behaviour

Oral-formulaic composition

Poetic duelling

Theory of literary composition

Word and music: from the sound to the written sign

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Course Preparation
  • 143
  • Exam Preparation
  • 42
  • Guidance
  • 1
  • Lectures
  • 24
  • Total
  • 210
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
See own study programme. The course can be used for several different exams of various ECTS points.
Marking scale
7-point grading scale