The Role of Music in Epic Performance
The epic is situated at the confluence of history and fiction, genealogy and uchrony, myth of origins and heroic stories, the profane and the sacred. It calls upon numerous media and modes of expression, associating or juxtaposing a multitude of genres and forms as well as performance contexts. Intimately linked to orality, even when it has been written down, it lives and acts essentially through those who carry it. In this process, poetry and its various modes of recitation, as well as music and dance, come into play to varying degrees.
If it seems relevant to apprehend this diversity during the present colloquium - even if it means considering related genres such as the chanson de geste or the saga - it will be appropriate to focus on the specificities of music and dance (or other forms of expression integrated into the performance) as tools and vectors of the epic tradition, and thus on their participation in its conservation, transmission and perpetuation. It is then also a question of understanding the epic as a form of speech - fundamentally poetic - musicalised, whether or not it involves theatricalization.
Among other lines of thought, certain issues will be particularly worthy of consideration:
- The status, place and function of music and the musician, and more broadly of the "truchement" (performer or "spokesperson") of the epic.
- The contexts, forms of performance and specific interpretation techniques, from recitation to stage representation, from pantomime to shadow theatre or puppetry.
- The game and the issues of memory and its supports, considering the dialectic of orality and writing, more broadly of mobility and fixity.
Wednesday 2.11 | 14H–18H
Thursday 3.11 | 10H–17H
Friday 4.11 | 10h–13h
HEM Dufour : Rue du Général Dufour 2, 1204 Genève
In partnership with HEM Genève and Geneva University