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MODERN GEORGIAN SOCIETY AND MUSICAL IDENTITY

RUSUDAN TSURTSUMIA
V. Sarajishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire

This paper is aimed at finding out what/which music helps modern Georgian society in self-identification and what is the social psychological basis of this phenomenon.
If we agree with the opinion that “in human and historical reality, the external reflects the internal and the internal reflects the external” (Merab Mamardashvili), we can say that external forms of life of modern Georgian society reflect its inner state. Therefore, the state of things in Georgia in the late 20th early 21st century (including musical life), represents the reflection of the spirit of this society and shows the diversity of Georgians’ dialogue with music. Common opinion is that the dialogue is a universal form of relations and everything has a dialogue structure. We can say that not only a certain segment of society but also each individual has his/her own dialogue with musical culture. The result of this very different dialogue based relationship (i.e. different vision) is what characterizes musical life of Georgia. The idea of historical, epochal, transnational or national musical styles and languages is widely spread in the science about music. Besides, musicians are discussing the melosphere, which can be understood as an analogy of biosphere, as “musical cover” created by human consciousness, which human being has to live in. The author will try to analyze the melosphere of modern Georgia and structure of the society, based on its reaction on musical culture and, applying the terminology established in sociology of music, conventionally divide it into three large groups:
I. Creators of music
This group is conventionally divided into four subgroups: a) Carriers of traditional musical folklore; b) Creators of art music (i.e. professional composers’ music, who have academic musical education); c) Creators of modern ethnic music; d) Creators of modern popular music.
II. Music Users
Among the users (however sacrilegiously it may sound), we can distinguish active and passive users. The first group comprises performers of music, created by abovementioned four subgroups. The second group unites a huge army of audience, which enthusiastically fill the halls at different type and quality concerts, music festivals and shows and orders respective products, which correspond to their system of values. This social group consisting of various sections of the society is, actually, the commissioner whose demands are fulfilled by the active users.
III. The individuals, neutral/indifferent to the music
This social group unites those people, who in general, are neutral towards music, i.e., those, who are not even passive users of music, those, whose national cultural identity is not participated by music, due to various motivations. It includes those, who admit that Georgian traditional music is the symbol of originality of Georgian culture and those, who, in general, consider music as important cultural value, although they are not its users and therefore, music does not determine their identity. The paper will present the “anatomy” of reaction of Georgian society on melosphere of modern Georgia, i.e. the attitude of different social cultural groups of our society towards various types of music, its function and importance, historical and psychological determiners. It will try to find out, why these people identify themselves with this or that type of music; in addition, widespread types of music are classified, taking into consideration specifics of genre, function and musical characteristics. The author thinks that mentioned analysis points out the tendencies, widespread in modern Georgian society and may become a precondition for research of orientation of this society’s musical values. The presentation will be illustrated by musical example.

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