Theodora Gourani is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of BSOS, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece. As part of her undergraduate studies (Department of Music Studies, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), she has carried out ethnographic fieldwork in Central-Western Greek Macedonia studying musical performances mainly in the areas of Edessa and Almopia. Later, in the framework of her doctoral research, which was completed in 2014 (Department of Music Studies, Ionian University), her research focused on the performance of Slavic songs in Greek regions, its association with the instrumental repertoire and its relation with music developments during the second half of the 20th and the beginning of the 21stc. in the Balkans.
She works as a music teacher in primary schools, while at the same time she teaches in Conservatories (classic percussion, theory of music) and conducts children’s choirs.
Title of post-doctoral research
“Songs with words”. Multi lingual performative practices in Greece and the Balkans in the contemporary globalized world.
In the 21st century, the singing of Slavic songs, once banned and excluded from official performances in Greece, has begun to be performed in public, both in the countryside and in large urban centers. At the same time, brass bands that were regarded as main representatives of local music and dance practices in specific areas of northern Greece seem to expand their repertoire, influenced by the current music production of neighboring countries, as well as world-class contemporary music. In addition, young musicians influenced by the above practices introduce new hybrid music productions.
These developments indicate changes not only in music production itself, but mainly in the way it generates subjects and forms of social action within specific socio-political, cultural and economic contexts. The study of various performative practices, highlights a diversity of multi-sensory ways of experiencing music by both the musicians themselves and their audiences, which include subaltern and culturally marginalized populations as well as urban residents who resist and undermine the hegemonic discourse of national homogeneity.
Seen in the context of a modern globalized music field, these processes lead to reconsiderations of borders and boundaries as well as notions of similarity and difference.
Balkans, borders, boundaries, music / dance performance, Macedonian music, locality, multilingualism, language bans, ethnomusicology, music anthropology, brass bands, otherness, distinctness.