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date: 19 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This article has been commissioned as part of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Music Revival edited by Caroline Bithell and Juniper Hill. Focusing on vocal polyphony from the Republic of Georgia, this chapter explores the multifaceted links between cycles of national revival since the mid-nineteenth century and the internationalization of Georgian polyphony in the post-Soviet period. It proposes that the proliferation of Georgian choirs outside Georgia might be viewed as a “third existence” of folklore and a natural extension of internal revival processes. Particular attention is paid to those who act as intermediaries, to methods of teaching and learning that have proved most effective in enabling non-Georgians to embody the “Georgian sound,” and to the motivations and rewards attaching to the different stakeholders in these acts of cultural exchange. The chapter also reveals the continued significance of grassroots initiatives, alongside the state-supported promotion that followed UNESCO’s proclamation of Georgian polyphony as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, as Georgian polyphony moves into a postrevival stage.

Keywords: Republic of Georgia, polyphony, revival, postrevival, post-Soviet, UNESCO, intangible heritage, cultural exchange, folklore, Georgian sound

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