John Miles Foley, Founding Editor

Oral/Aural Culture in Late Modern Society? Traditional Singing as Professionalized Genre and Oral-Derived Expression


In late modern societies traditional arts tend to become disembedded from a functioning vernacular milieu and become partly absorbed into institutionalized structures such as education. This article focuses on traditional singing in present-day Sweden as one evident example where oral tradition as a comprehensive concept is being transformed and renegotiated into a selection of oral techniques, style markers, and aesthetic ideals. A related issue also presented here is the balance between verbal and music-related sides of orality.


Three intermingling trends in late modern folk music.

Illustration: Ingrid Åkesson

Ideals in different but overlapping contemporary folk song milieus.

Illustration: Ingrid Åkesson

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