Jyväskylä 1997

Jyväskylä (Finland)

XIIIth ESEM 1997 takes place from 15-19 October, 1997

Welcome to the ESEM Seminar which will be held at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland from October 15 to 19, 1997. The Organizer of this Seminar is the Department of Music, University of Jyväskylä in cooperation with the Finnish Society of Ethnomusicology and ESEM (European Seminar in Ethnomusicology). Jyväskylä Congresses of the University of Jyväskylä is responsible for the practical arrangements of the Seminar. VENUE The venue of the Seminar is Jyväskylä, the capital of Central Finland, a lively university town with 75 000 inhabitants. The city is located in the heart of one of the beautiful Finnish lake districts, on Lake Paijanne, about 300 km north of the capital, Helsinki. The seminar will take place on the University Campus.


  • Ethnicities, minorities and music
  • Shamanism
  • New technology and ethnomusicology
  • Regional and free papers
  • Ethnicities, minorities and music

Ethnicities form musical groups, draw boundaries and define cultural identities. Study of minority music has always been at the core of ethnomusicological research, and this subject has often led to important methodological development and discoveries in ethnomusicological theory. There is wide range of music that may be viewed within this theme: traditional music, contemporary popular music and classical. Both moving ethnicities (emigration and Diaspora) as well as old high cultures and tribal music can be presented. In the study of minority music ethnography and musical analysis have been the main methods for decades, but are these applied to the strategies of ethnic cultures in multi-cultural urban settings? Definitions of music and different genres have to be questioned, since several styles and viewpoints can be included in the analysis of music such as enculturation and education. Distribution, reproduction, and institutionalisation of music brings factors of musical change and cultural processes in general into analysis: media, financial matters, ideology, and technology in respect to the minority music. One of the key terms may be cultural identity, which is constructed with powerful help of music making within ethnic occasions.

Are there similarities in the studies of minority culture in the different parts of the world, in spite of regional, cultural, and chronological leaps (between “traditional” and “postmodern” times) as well as those factors mentioned above? 1. Methodology: ethnography, musical analysis 2. Strategies in the process of constructing identities 3. Multicultural (& urban) settings 4. Media, financial matters, ideology, technology & ethnicities 5. Definitions of Music 6. Wide range of music studied: popular music – traditional – classical 7. Continuity & change (dynamic matters) 8. Enculturation & education 9. Moving ethnicities, old nations 10. Modern / post-modern times, contemporary culture.


Shamanism in all its various forms has attracted growing interest from ethnomusicologists from all over Europe. The opening of post-communist societies has given new possibilities for researchers to become familiar with cultures, where shamanism is still a living part of everyday life. Shamanism has had a central role especially among Saami people in some of Scandinavian countries (Finland, Sweden and Norway). A Shaman was a person who stored and transferred values and beliefs of the society for the next generation, a healer, seer, and the person who took out social pressures of the society. Shamanism is not only a phenomenon of Northern and Eastern countries – Western cultures have included many shamanistic features as well, especially within the Celtic tradition.
Shamanism offers an excellent possibility for ethnomusicologists studying music as culture, to get to know better a phenomenon which is on the extreme border of human behaviour.

New technology and ethnomusicology

What will be the role of traditional ethnomusicological methods, for example field work, in the future? In what way will modern technology change research topics of ethnomusicologists? Do we choose topics which we are able to study with the aid of modern technology and neglect other topics as “out of date”? New methods for cultural communication and new platforms of musical activities have emerged in new media. Ethnomusicologists among others might be interested in the future role of Internet? Would it be possible and would it make sense to do “field work” on the Internet, where several new types of music subcultures exist.

Applying modern technology opens new and fascinating possibilities for fieldwork using discursive methods, as well as for publishing results in multimedia format. Researchers are able to analyze material during field work and to get immediate feed back during discussions about the results with “informants”. What is the safest way to preserve the huge amount of music, text and other ethnomusicological data for next generations? Storing technology is developing rapidly, but are new formats safer than the older ones, such as tapes and records.

Besides of new research questions and problems new technology offers methods which allure us to go back to old topics discussed by Ilmari Krohn, Oswald Koller, Bela Bartok and Zoltan Kodaly among others: What is the best method for systematization of melodies?

Regional and free papers

Participants who do not find themselves familiar with the main themes of the Seminar may submit papers about other topics. The organizers are especially interested in papers about regional – Finnish and Scandinavian – topics.
SEMINAR FORMAT The themes will be rewoven in keynote lectures, paper sessions and poster sessions.
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE The official languages of the Seminar are English, German and French. All pointed material will be in English. However, the abstracts will be pointed in the submitted language. Please note that no interpretation will be provided.

Proceedings ESEM97
Papers from the ESEM meeting in Jyväskylä have been published – with support from the Finnish Society for Ethnomusicology, Helsinki – in two volumes of the Finnish Yearbook of Ethnomusicology, Vol.10 (1998) and Vol.11 (1999).

Vol.10 (1998)

  • U.Will: An ethnomusicologist`s dilemma: Technology and the analysis of music.
  • Dan Lundberg: Welcome to Assyria – our land on the Cyber Space. Music and the Internet in the the establishment of a transnational Assyrian identity.
  • Chris Kemp: The development of the Moravian folk ethic, through the transplantaion of its cultural roots into the arena of contemporary western recording technology.
  • Irén Kertész-Wilkinson: Nurture the Nature: A preliminary study of the musical practices of two European peripatic communities.
  • Marko Jouste: Change and metrics in Guhtura-Niillas’ luohti.
  • Timo Leisiö: On Euro-Siberian byrgy, or the sucked concussion reed.
  • Jarkko Niemi: The genres of the Nenets songs.
  • Vaike Sarv: Historical changes in the melodic structure of Setu laments.
  • Martin Boikoi: Relics of burial laments in Latvia.

Vol.11 (1999)

  • André-Marie Despringre: Meaning of the old and new cultural variations of a French song from Brittany
  • Ingrid Rüütel: Some results of a computerized comparative analysis of the Balto-Finnic runotunes.
  • Kataliun Lázár: Shamanism and folk music as ethnosurvival factors.
  • Elena Pushkareva: The experience of ethnological reconstruction of Nenets shamanistic ritual on the topic “prediction of the future”.

Volume copies can be ordered directly from the Finnish Society for Ethnomusicology.
ISSN 0783-6821