SBL/AAR 2012 - Chicago, IL

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S18-107 Bible in Ancient and Modern Media

9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: S404bc - McCormick Place

Theme: Research Methods and Critical Issues in the Recovery of Oral Traditions

Rose Ensemble 2011 outdooradjOral vs. Written: In modern chamber music circles, the dividing lines between folk and classical genres run deep. That which can be definitively attributed to a composer or written source is embraced as historically legitimate while material procured from oral sources is often discounted and placed in the seemingly lesser categories of "folk" or "world" music. The result is a largely unbalanced representation of the whole of the repertoire (particularly vocal music). Is it the daunting task of conducting research that prevents equal representation, or is there an underlying belief that orally-transmitted is, by definition, less authentic? How do we challenge those who exclude oral traditions? In this session we will examine the assumptions that govern research into religious musical oral traditions and explore how can we both encourage and develop research skills for preserving oral traditions. In addition, we will consider how orally transmitted music differs from that which is preserved in manuscript and the particular issues this raises for those doing research into oral traditions. This is one of five presentations being made in connection with the artistic residency of The Rose Ensemble ( This residency is being supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the NIDA Institute.

Holly Hearon, Christian Theological Seminary, Presiding
Jordan Sramek and members of The Rose Ensemble will be presenting
Joanna Dewey, Episcopal Divinity School, Respondent
Ruth Stone, Indiana University (Bloomington), Respondent