The gusle - the sound of Serbian epic poetry: an examination of contemporary gusle performance practices and gusle instrument-making in Serbia and the Serbian-Australian diaspora community

Stojisavljevic, M 2013, The gusle - the sound of Serbian epic poetry: an examination of contemporary gusle performance practices and gusle instrument-making in Serbia and the Serbian-Australian diaspora community, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Education, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title The gusle - the sound of Serbian epic poetry: an examination of contemporary gusle performance practices and gusle instrument-making in Serbia and the Serbian-Australian diaspora community
Author(s) Stojisavljevic, M
Year 2013
Abstract The project film, The Gusle: The Sound of Serbian Epic Poetry, focuses on the significance of contemporary gusle music performance practices in Serbia and the Serbian-Australian community, especially that part of the community comprising the Serbian Diaspora of the 1990s. The study takes into account the narrative component of gusle performance in the texts of epic poetry which embody Serbian historical events. The complexity and variety of themes in Serbian epic and lyric poetry make the gusle genre a rich source for the examination of issues related to perceptions of Serbian and Serbian-Australian identity.

The exegesis includes an historical context, references to related literature, phenomenographic interview analyses, and an organological overview of the gusle tradition as an aspect of Serbian culture in Serbia and Australia. The aim of the research is to contribute to the longer term cultural preservation of gusle performance and to examine different meanings the music, instrument and poetry have for contemporary Serbian musicians and musicians in the Serbian-Australian community. Studying the instrument manufacturing processes of the gusle and exploring detailed descriptions of the instrument (an organological approach) illuminate diverse aspects of Serbian cultural traditions. The research confirms that the gusle tradition is an ancient cultural and artistic entity almost certainly original to the peoples of the Dinaric region. This study verifies that the Dinaric region is the only place where the gusle tradition has existed continuously. The essentially tribal communities of the Dinaric region managed to protect, perhaps indeed save, the tradition despite an array of significant impediments both external and, more recently, internal. Crucial to the spread of the gusle tradition beyond the Dinaric region of the Balkans was the use of the instrument to accompany the performance of Serbian epic and lyric poetry. Indeed, the use of the instrument became so significant to the customary presentation of pesme that the genre itself ultimately incorporated the name of the instrument. The art form – with its philosophical, spiritual, historical and educative content – became known as the gusle tradition, and presenters of pesme, with or without the gusle instrument in accompaniment, have for centuries been referred to as guslari.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Education
Keyword(s) gusle
music performance practices
Serbia
epic and lyric poetry
instrument making
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Created: Tue, 10 Dec 2013, 13:59:48 EST by Brett Fenton
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