Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Yonit Kosovske
International Conference of Traditional Music: Voicing Cultures, Cultural Voices
"Stylistic Ownership"
University of Limerick
Invited Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
Stylistic Ownership Stylistic Ownership: the territoriality expressed by artists when performers of “other styles” play their main repertoire. Musicians from all disciplines claim an imaginary copyright on "authenticity," on knowing the best performance practice, leaving little room for multiple narratives or diversity of expression. Whether it is the merits of Sting singing Dowland, an opera diva singing an American spiritual, a female singing the male role in Schubert's Winterreise, or a Classically trained violinist attempting Irish traditional music, there are performers who feel irked by such crossovers and others who revel in it. Conservatism exists across and within disciplines: take, for instance, the cultural rift between Classical musicians who perform Early Music on modern (Romantic) versus period instruments, or traditional music artists who train classically and are then rebuked by purists. Many musicians are zealously protective of their respective aural/oral and written traditions, seeing them as sacred lineages to be preserved and celebrated. The great British tenor Ian Bostridge said that "seepage across the boundaries, respectful borrowings, and outrageous thefts do essential work in keeping any art form alive." But at what point does the performance cross a healthy boundary, rendering stylistic identity unrecognizable, culturally lost, or something entirely new?