Review of Caroline Bithell. 2007. Transported by Song: Corsican Voices from Oral Tradition to World Stage, Europea: Ethnomusicologies and Modernities, no. 5.
This is the fifth book in an excellent series from Scarecrow Press entitled Europea: Ethnomusicologies and Modernities. The Mediterranean island of Corsica yields a particularly rich case study for this series, which seeks in part to investigate the trajectories of traditional musics in a "postnational" Europe. Caroline Bithell's sophisticated and sensitive study of Corsican musical life since the late twentieth century tells a story about a culture continually renegotiating its relationship to modernity, to the rest of Europe, and to the world. Bithell draws on over a decade of fieldwork to produce a book of historical depth and ethnographic rigor. Her analyses of ever-loving musical practices offer insights into the contested site of "the traditional" not just in Corsica but all over the globe.
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- October 14, 2014