Centre de Recherche en Ethnomusicologie

Between Speech and Song: Liminal utterances of sadness in Anatolia and the Caucasus

Between Speech and Song: Liminal utterances of sadness in Anatolia and the Caucasus

Amy de la Bretèque — view the presentationESTELLE AMY DE LA BRETEQUE (CREM-LESC/CNRS, France)

This presentation explores the practice of melodized speech in the Caucasus and Anatolia. Taking as a case study the Yezidi Kurds in Armenia, it explains why this practice, linked to the narration of sad events, stands at the border between speech and song in the local typology of vocal production. On a wider area, the comparison of three case studies from fieldwork conducted in Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia shows how elderly women integrate melodized speech in daily conversations. Beyond religious, national and linguistic differences, the similarity of these practices suggests a shared social-vocal nexus in Anatolia and the Caucasus.