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Handbook of Musical Identities$
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Raymond MacDonald, David J. Hargreaves, and Dorothy Miell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199679485

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679485.001.0001

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The Identities of SevdaFrom Graeco-Arabic Medicine to Music Therapy

The Identities of SevdaFrom Graeco-Arabic Medicine to Music Therapy

Chapter:
(p.722) Chapter 39 The Identities of SevdaFrom Graeco-Arabic Medicine to Music Therapy
Source:
Handbook of Musical Identities
Author(s):

Nigel Osborne

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679485.003.0039

Sevda, Sevdafinka, or Sevdah is one of the most intercultural musical forms of Europe. It also plays an important role in the defining of Bosnian cultural identity. The first part of the chapter describes the complex “nesting” of the various identities of Sevda. It discusses the philosophical origins of the form in Graeco-Arabic medicine, and traces its musical evolution from the makams of the early Ottoman period in Bosnia, through influences of Adriatic and Sephardic music, to the effects of romanticism, nationalism, exoticism, and the impact of Austro-Hungarian musical traditions. The influence of the cultural life of former Yugoslavia is discussed, as well as effects of the regional conflicts of the 1990s, which were to have profound implications for the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina in terms of both personal and cultural/musical identity. The second half of the chapter is an account of work in Bosnia using Sevda and other musical forms to support children and young people who were victims of the conflicts in the 1990s. This is followed by a discussion of role of Sevda in educational and therapeutic work, and in the reinforcing of personal identity and sell-respect for those who have suffered war, and an attack on their collective identity.

Keywords:   Sevda, Sevdafinka, Sevdah, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, conflict identity, common tile, education, therapy

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