You are here

Bakhtin and Genre

Title: Bakhtin and Genre: Musical-Social Interaction at the Cape Breton Milling Frolic.
Name(s): Woods, Bret D., author
Gunderson, Frank, professor directing dissertation
Galeano, Juan Carlos, university representative
Bakan, Michael B., committee member
Brewer, Charles E., committee member
College of Music, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2011
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This dissertation explores a Bakhtinian approach to genre and musical-social interaction, and the ways in which they serve the invention of various categories of identity, as evident in the milling frolic. The milling frolic is a social musical gathering where people celebrate their cultural heritage through the singing of a body of Scottish Gaelic songs, while reenacting a labor tradition. The genres consist of an ever-growing and ever-changing repertoire of songs that ebb and flow in a continuum of music that perpetually reinvents and rediscovers concepts of tradition. In music, genres provide a tangible connection among people and place through communication and interpretation. The cultural traditions, real and invented, emerge and are made evident through dialogic performance. Bakhtin observed that people communicate through genres—contextually defined and articulated expressions that negotiate perception and interaction. I further this notion in that, beyond a simple taxonomic classification of varying styles of music, genres constitute the communicative framework through which all musical-social distinction is made relevant. If language is one type of communicative social interaction, then Bakhtin's literary genre model can be applied to other social interactions in the same theoretical sense; specifically with music and other performative social situations, genre is a pragmatic link that brings together text and context, form and function, performer and audience—genre networks—in varying hierarchical dimensions of both communication through music and speech utterances about musical experience and reception. Essentially, genre makes all communication possible in the social dimension. In understanding the various ways in which Gaelic song genres are important for Cape Bretoners, a more fundamental understanding of Cape Breton Gaelic identity can be achieved. I use genre theory to articulate the social distinctions regarding the traditional music of Cape Breton as performed at the milling frolic, and within these hierarchies articulate the way in which genres allow people to identify with themselves, their environment, and each other. Such a framework will provide a fitting metaphor for the negotiation of Gaelic and Celtic identity in Cape Breton, through varying dimensions. Indeed, genre theory and social anthropology can be applied to many popular interdisciplinary concepts in the field of ethnomusicology, such as invented tradition, imagined communities, and the link between changing contexts and changing ideas about textual meaning.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-0775 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2011.
Date of Defense: Date of Defense: April 4, 2011.
Keywords: Musical-social interaction, Dialogism, Genre, Chronotope, Milling frolic, Cape Breton, Bret's Dissertation, Social reality, Social research, Ethnomusicology, Dialogue, Bakhtin, Bret D. Woods, Identity, Marxism, Bakhtinian Circle, Holquist, Subjectivity, Dialog
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory committee: Frank Gunderson, Professor Directing Dissertation; Juan Carlos Galeano, University Representative; Michael B. Bakan, Committee Member; Charles E. Brewer, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Music
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Woods, B. D. (2011). Bakhtin and Genre: Musical-Social Interaction at the Cape Breton Milling Frolic. Retrieved from