Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Georgian Renaissance Chakrulo Polyphonic Singing To Be Supported By UNESCO World Oral And Intangible Heritage Project


'Chakrulo is a polyphonic song using metaphors and complex musical ornamentation. Popular at festivals, it requires great mastery from its two male soloists and male chorus. The origin of Chakrulo is linked to the cult of wine and the culture of grapes, which developed as early as the 8th century A.D. in the region. The polyphonic singing probably originated in the 12th through 14th centuries, at the time of the Georgian Renaissance.

Threats: The practice of Chakrulo is jeopardized by rural exodus, industrialization and the influence of Western-style music.

Action plan: Old recordings will be remastered and video recordings will be produced. Storage and preservation of the materials will be organized. Recording the techniques of ageing singers and rituals linked with wine are also proposed. The International Centre of Georgian Folk Songs is planning a festival and concerts of folk music.'

Georgian Polyphonic Singing Web-site, prepared by musicologist Ted Levin [with links to audio samples]. Also see Georgian Sacred and Ritual Music.

UNESCO Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity [2001]

Juan Goytisolo "Defending Threatened Cultures" UNESCO Speech May 2001

Photo credit: UNESCO Web site, in Korea. With thanks.


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