Shaping Sounds and Values

The new book Shaping Sounds and Values: Multipart Music as a Means of Social and Cultural Interaction and the included CD-ROM with 27 audiovisual examples, edited by Ardian Ahmedaja, a senior researcher at the Department for Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology (Institut für Volksmusikforschung und Ethnomusikologie, IVE) of the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien, MDW) and a visiting professor at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music (JVLMA), are published by the JVLMA in collaboration with Musica Baltica and the Latvian National Centre for Culture.

This newest publication of the Study Group on Multipart Music within the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM) is the result of presentations and discussions during two symposia, which took place at library@esplanade in Singapore in 2016 and at Guangxi Arts University in Nanning, China, in 2017, and the following double-blind peer-review process. 

A significant feature in the processes of shaping sounds and values in multipart music practices are the contradictions between individual and cultural perspectives. “[W]hat appear superficially as incompatibilities are seen on closer examination to be functions of different frames of reference” (Kluckhohn). In addition: “Because prevailing cultural value orientations represent ideals, aspects of culture that are incompatible with them are likely to generate tension and to elicit criticism and pressure to change” (Schwartz). In regard to music making, the “latent subversive potential” of music (Beaster-Jones) should also be considered in this context.

On the other hand, “value designates something different from being” (Dumont). Hence, the contributions by Ardian Ahmedaja, Anda Beitāne, Enrique Cámara De Landa, Chong Pek Lin, Gertrud Maria Huber, Tony Lewis, Lu Yu-hsiu, Ignazio Macchiarella and Žanna Pärtlas employ epistemological approaches to elucidate particular ways of music making in an ontological context of multiple realities that are constantly interpreted and shaped anew during each performance act.

The included audio and video recordings from Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia and Morocco stem from a variety of situations in daily life. They are indispensable parts of the analysis in the corresponding contributions and vivid expressions of vibrant musical practices.

Table of Contents - here.

The book can be ordered at

Ardian Ahmedaja, ed. Shaping Sounds and Values: Multipart Music as a Means of Social and Cultural Interaction. CD-ROM with 27 audiovisual examples included. A publication of the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music. Riga: Musica Baltica, 2021. 224 pp., 51 colour figures, list of audiovisual examples, notes on contributors, index. ISBN 978-9984-588-67-4 (hardcover).

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