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Products for grant FA-252317-17

FA-252317-17
Documenting Vaihoho, a Form of Sung Poetry in Southeast Asia
Philip Yampolsky,

Grant details: https://securegrants.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=FA-252317-17

Vaihoho and kananuk: the metrical structure of two forms of sung poetry from the island of Timor [unpublished report submitted to the PARADISEC Archive of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Report)
Title: Vaihoho and kananuk: the metrical structure of two forms of sung poetry from the island of Timor [unpublished report submitted to the PARADISEC Archive of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Author: Philip Yampolsky
Abstract: Since 2011 I have been documenting and researching rural singing in oral trad ition in the bi-national island of Timor.1 I have worked mainly with two ethnolinguistic groups: the Southern Tetun,2 who live (a) in the southern mountains (foho) and south coastal plain (fehan) in Kabupaten Malaka on the Indonesian side of the international border, and (b) and in the adjacent Munisipiu Covalima on the Timor-Leste side; and the Fataluku, who live at the far eastern tip of the island, in Munisipiu Lautem. In their singing, both groups use complex, unwritten systems for incorporating pre-existing poems into a repertoire of melodies that are independent of the poems. (That is, the poems are not fixed to specific melodies.) The Fataluku poems are called vaihoho, while a common term for the Tetun poems is kananuk (also knananuk and aiknanuk). Vaihoho and kananuk have different metrical structures, and the systems for setting them to melodies are different in detail, though similar in principle. These singing traditions are practiced now only by the elderly, and they are likely to die out in the next decades. My ethnomusicological aim is first of all to document them in recordings while documentation is still possible. But beyond that it is to comprehend the traditions as formal structures and as systems of knowledge and practice.
Date: 03/20/2019


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