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date: 12 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Caroline Bithell’s essay offers a history of a local religious institution—the Corsican confraternity—which constructs itself as a local alternative to a global religious bureaucracy—the Catholic hierarchy. She traces the musical life of the confraternities between the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and comments on the contemporary role played by the confraternities in both church and society. The distinctive polyphonic song repertoires of the confraternities are central to their identities, negotiated with contemporary church and Corsican institutions. In sum, in Corsica, the confraternities provide an alternate institutional space for (conservative) local musical and expressive traditions to continue, despite the shifts in musical and liturgical practices stemming from Vatican II.

Keywords: Christianity, music, Europe, Corsica, Catholic, confraternity, institutions, polyphony, song, globalization

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