From the Living Tradition to Presenting the Tradition. Performing Music, Performing Gender. A Greek CaseSonia Kozıou
This article discusses the interaction between the dominant ideology of a society about gender and its musical and dancing practices. More precisely, the article relies on material compiled in the process of pursuing my doctoral dissertation. The research focused on the area of my hometown, Karditsa, a small town in central Greece, and a number of neighbouring villages. It is worth noting, however, that the interchange of expressive and cultural codes between the rural and urban culture of Greece, between the country and the city, between the traditional and more modern or professionally skilled performances has been continuous and indisputable. The analysis concerns certain female activities related to music and dance in the context of traditional community life but also the professional presence of women in the local music scene. Thus, although the transition from the analytic category women to this of gender has theoretically been accomplished long ago, Greek folklore and ethnomusicology have silenced female voices and have been indifferent to or deliberately ignored the manner in which women confirm and reproduce or question and subvert social gender stereotypes through their song and dance. Consequently, this text begins with women, not of course as a general, abstract and undifferentiated category, to approach the performance of gender and music.