Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Music and Ethnic Minorities: (Trans)cultural Dynamics in Slovenia After the Year 1991

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.08.00  Humanities  Musicology   

Code Science Field
H320  Humanities  Musicology 

Code Science Field
6.04  Humanities  Arts (arts, history of arts, performing arts, music) 
migrations; musical practices; ethnic minorities; musical identities; musical repertoire; topology of musical practices
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (8)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  26523  PhD Alenka Bartulović  Ethnology  Researcher  2018 - 2020  282 
2.  29339  PhD Ana Hofman  Musicology  Researcher  2017 - 2020  427 
3.  26012  PhD Mojca Kovačič  Ethnology  Researcher  2017 - 2020  304 
4.  14493  PhD Drago Kunej  Ethnology  Researcher  2017 - 2020  394 
5.  19622  PhD Svanibor Pettan  Musicology  Head  2017 - 2020  791 
6.  15699  PhD Leon Stefanija  Musicology  Researcher  2017 - 2020  483 
7.  19466  PhD Urša Šivic  Ethnology  Researcher  2017 - 2020  413 
8.  25584  PhD Jernej Weiss  Musicology  Researcher  2017 - 2019  447 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  98,514 
2.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  63,281 
The proposed project focuses on the structure and processes of transcultural dynamics of minority musical practices in Slovenia after 1991. Slovenia’s independence, the wars in former Yugoslavia, the membership in the European Union, and the current refugee crises left a lasting impact on identity structures and on the multicultural image of Slovenian society. The project focuses on the musical practices of minorities precisely because they provide an essential frame for creation, experience, and negotiation of identity discourses. We will observe structures of identities of minority musical practices and processes that are involved in these dynamics. The research team will focus on different minority categories, comparing their musical structures and identity expressions, spaces of performances, the impact of institutional cultural politics on their performances and interactional aspects of their musical activities. After a thorough general overview of musical practices of minority groups and individuals in Slovenia, which will be presented online, research will be upgraded by selected in-depth case studies.     Our approach will be based on the well-established notion in the field of migration studies that migrant communities should not be seen exclusively as bearers of national identities, as well as on key theoretical and methodological approaches developed within the field of applied ethnomusicology (collaboration as an epistemological and methodological tool and social intervention). On the one hand, the project’s team identifies the need for ethno/musicological research that would provide answers to fundamental questions about the structure and dynamics of musical practices of ethnic minorities, which so far has received no scholarly attention in Slovenia. On the other hand, the results of the proposed research will contribute new knowledge to other disciplines involved with migration issues; by critical re-evaluation of the dominant concepts of minority identities they will contribute to better understanding of socio-political dynamics and expectedly improve intercultural communication in the contexts of society and politics. At the forefront is music as an identity marker and communicational device, used by carriers of minority identities in situations when they act either as individuals or as representatives of ethnic minority identities in Slovenia.
Significance for science
This project is exceptionally important for Slovenia, since it addresses a timely topic which has received far less scholarly attention than it deserves. Besides the basic purpose to broaden and deepen knowledge and understanding of the subject with transnational implications, the project has considerable potential in applying the findings in the realm of cultural policies. The project brings together established researchers from the two main research institutions. In doing this, it bridges the separation that has hindered research and researchers in the past and focusses on the common research of musical practices. By connecting and upgrading pre-existing research models, it has strong potential in setting new standards for music research in Slovenia.      The project brings together the otherwise separated study fields of ethnomusicology, systematic musicology, and historical musicology. The core of the project is envisioned and prepared by ethnomusicologists, but the involvement of two prominent representatives of the other two fields should be seen as a clear advantage, a bonus for the project. The systematic musicologist, himself an expert in the domains of sociology of music and music analysis, will significantly contribute to the scope and quality of research thanks to his in-depth knowledge of the current processes in Slovenian art and also popular music. Historical musicologist, himself an expert in musical migrations in the course of the 19th and 20th centuries Slovenia, with obvious extensions to the territories of what were the Habsburg Empire and Yugoslavia, will support and enrich the project with the necessary historical contextualization and the notion of continuity. The fact is that immigrant musicians in the past considerably enriched Slovenian space in their capacities of composers, performers, pedagogues, writers, and organizers of musical life, and two selected musicologists are the key scholars in Slovenia, whose well-grounded works challenge the until recently unquestioned predominant concept of exclusive national musical cultures.     The project results, presented in the monograph publication, will give methodological, theoretical, and content directives for the discipline in particular and scholarship in general, both at Slovenian and international levels. The research project will redefine some pre-existing phenomena and terms; on the phenomenological level the research will pay attention to the latest social and musical responses, that are brought in with the migration of individuals and communities. The research team would like to stress that the project does not offer only opportunities for understanding the minority issues through the analysis of music practices in Slovenia after 1991, but it opens up the potential for further comparative analysis of music practices in the rapidly-changing European space.
Significance for the country
In the dynamic contemporary world, which is marked by fast cultural transformations, the identity structures and the processes bear high significance for institutional cultural politics and everyday life. By revealing detailed insights into contemporary minority issues, the project will help in forming strategies for working in minority communities and for the perception of multiculturalism in general. This will serve as a basis for creating principles for cultural policies. The project will not end up with the acquired new knowledge from collected, analyzed, and published data, but it will provide recommendations for socially beneficial strategies for the understanding and promotion of the researched music practices in institutions dealing with cultural policies and education, such as the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Public Fund for Cultural Activities, and the Office for Slovenians Abroad. In other words, the project will ensure not only a more thorough understanding of minorities based on the study of their music practices, but also will offer assistance to the responsible institutions of the Republic of Slovenia in forming appropriate cultural policies.    The project aims to raise awareness about the meaning of minority cultural activities, their communication with and integration into the majority community culture and the roles of music in in detecting covert discrimination and promoting multiculturalism. The project will reach Slovenian media and consequently get a chance to affect public opinion. The public sphere is often dominated by the perception of minorities and immigrants either as victims or intruders into an ethnically compact society.    The project will:  1) Contribute applicable insights into how minority musical practices as a form of collective representation negotiate individual and collective identities. 2) Explain the renewed social and economic importance of culture in European society and examine potentials for the strengthened participation of citizens in the European political process.  3) Involve decision makers, cultural practitioners, and the general public in dialogue initiatives about the role of minority communities' music and cultural production in the shaping of a more inclusive society.  4) Demonstrate the meaning of minority communities and individuals in the preservation of the cultural heritage of various nations. Refugee waves are linked to the outbursts of war, aimed at occupation and destruction, sometimes even linked to the erasure of the attacked culture. While tangible cultural heritage succumbs to destruction, the intangible culture remains a segment that refugees carry to another territory and protect it in the process. Migrant waves are thus carriers of cultural preservation, and the proposed project aims to demonstrate the aspects of sustainability of minority cultures in Slovenia.
Most important scientific results Interim report, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Interim report, final report
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