Expression Means in Georgian Traditional Music as Signs of Relation with the "Other World"

Tamaz Gabisonia


Relevance of the study. Musical folklore and church chanting being the most transparent system in the field of music, in the Georgian ethnic environment uses rather diverse symbols of human communication with another world. Studies have not yet reached any significant results in Georgian musicology, in this regard.

Main objective of the study. The paper aims to provide interpretation of the communication between the language of Georgian traditional music and modalities of Christianity, paganism and general aesthetic of the other world.

Methodology. By using the semiotic method, in this article we focus on abstraction-definition, syntactics and pragmatics of individual components of the musical language. With regard to semantic meaning, we mainly refer to hypothetical considerations. We use the comparative method for matching parallel phenomena in music and the emic-etical understanding of the universe, songs and church hymns.

How the study was done. The research has identified the channels in which the components of Georgian traditional music are associated with the concepts of the transcendental world. These are forms of polyphony; three-part singing as an image of the three-dimensional world and the symbol of the Holy Trinity; “strange voice”, descending melody, glossolalia, voice - Initiator-medium; modalities of "order" and "chaos" in monophony and polyphony, priority of string instruments.

Results and conclusions. Basically, musical-expressive means are not marked by high regulation in Georgian ethnographic ritual, but are characterized in polysemy and domination of aesthetic motivation in them today.

Significance of Results. Our hypotheses and factual material will help Georgian ethnomusicologists to master new directions of research, and foreign colleagues to include Georgian material in their work.


Georgian traditional music; forms of polyphony;Medium; Other world; Strange voice; glossolalia; Krimanchuli


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