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Greek Cypriot Wedding Music and Customs: Revival and Identity

Ioannidou, Andrea (2017) Greek Cypriot Wedding Music and Customs: Revival and Identity. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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In many cultures, weddings are the most important event in people’s lives. Greek Cypriots use weddings as a means of expressing their identity and linking themselves to their roots, with the conscious aim of preservation of their musical tradition and customs. As a result, weddings are especially important in their musical culture because of the threats to their identity posed by the island’s long history of foreign rule and colonisation. However, an upheaval has occurred in the folk music and customs of Greek Cypriot wedding ceremonies over the last ten years, creating an urgent need for a study of these customs in relation to social, historical and cultural developments in Cyprus. This study has revealed a movement towards music revival that links contemporary practice with the ‘living memory’ of the mid-twentieth century. The thesis is structured in two parts, progressing from the directly observable wedding practices of contemporary Greek Cypriots to the remembered and reconstructed forms of the Greek Cypriot wedding that is now regarded as ‘traditional’. Part One analyses contemporary wedding ceremonies and the choices that newlyweds make in the customs and music of their weddings. Part Two attempts to reconstruct in detail the music and customs of Greek Cypriot wedding ceremonies of the mid-twentieth century from the testimonies of veteran folk musicians and from documentary sources. Besides documenting a tradition that is little known and fast transforming, the study contributes to current discussions in ethnomusicology on themes such as ‘music revivals’ and ‘tradition and identity’.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Music (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.707134
Depositing User: Efi Ioannidou
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2017 13:33
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:37
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/16811

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