An assembly in which members of a village community discuss issues together to find
consensus and settle disputes between individuals and the community.
Panchayat is a Hindi/Bengali word that means village council. The prefix Panch
means five or many, and Ayat means assembly – joining them together suggests a
gathering of all, irrespective of class, creed, color, religion, or caste. Traditionally, a
Panchayat in South Asia consists of gathering at the chawl or village center, to
discuss pertinent issues in the village and local community, led and moderated by
the elderly and wise by the local community. Generally, the elder-most or most
senior, experienced, and knowledgeable persons are elected to moderate and
provide keynotes on issues, while listening to divergent views and positions with
patience and care to reach understanding and mobilize collective action.
A gathering held to celebrate a festival, market, religious event, often accompanied
by music, dance, theater and other cultural activities.
Melā is a Sanskrit/Hindi/Bengali word that refers to a festival or fair in South Asia. It
is a celebratory gathering for all members of a community, village or a locality, to
meet and experience joyful events as a mode of celebration of a social, commercial,
cultural or sport-related occasion. Talking, singing, dancing, eating, drinking, and
making merry in smaller or larger groups are all part of a Melā. Traditionally, Melās
are organized by village councils or local governments during auspicious and
religious occasions, and serve as gatherings for fun and games, cultural
performances and a marketplace where local products are traded.
Thanh is a Vietnamese word that, when read without context, could imply several
meanings such as sound and tone. In Vietnamese, it is used to describe something
that is long thin/light/transparent/clear/young/tranquil.
Thảo luận is a Vietnamese word meaning to discuss issues with an emphasis on
Hội Họp is a Vietnamese word that refers to a social gathering. It combines two
single words: Hội (which means festival; group) and Họp (meaning meeting to
A method of transferring knowledge within the master-apprentice relationship in
traditional Turkish music.
It is a method of transferring/teaching music within the master-apprentice
relationship in traditional Turkish music-the transmission of Turkish music from
generation to generation through Meşk from tradition to the present. Meşk has
been used since the 16th century. In the Meşk method, the masters must teach their
apprentices what they know. This is essential for the method to reproduce itself. In
Meşk, a piece is played/sung by being divided into parts and taught to the
student/apprentice by a repetition-imitation method. Before the 18th century,
music notes were not used in Meşk. With the westernization movements, the Meşk
was initially applied with the note, and then the note was deactivated after the piece
was memorized. The apprentice and the master come face to face and learn all the
work features such as attitude, technique and style from the master.
Memory and musical ear represent essential elements of the Meşk method. In the
Meşk method, the number of memorized compositions is used as a criterion that
reveals the value and level of an artist. With the Meşk method, the student does not
learn only the theory of music or an instrument or a technique or the style,
performance or interpretation of their master. The student understands the work
itself, that is, the existing musical repertoire and repertoire; thus, the repertoire of
the period is transferred to the next generations through Meşk.
In the Meşk method, one of the masters is not considered superior to the other.
These masters do this without expecting anything in return (without any
material/money expectation) and lovingly. In the master-apprentice relationship, the
respect, loyalty and submission showed to the master turn into practical exercises
that teach the student to be humble by breaking the artist’s ego. In the master-
apprentice relationship, the apprentice cooks themselves and beautifies morals by
taking the morals and behaviors of the master as an example. Meşk carries specific
moral values and a musical technique or repertoire. We can only get the natural
feeling of Turkish music by listening, practicing and memorizing pieces.
A lament in which women go from crying to singing.
The Kaluli of Papua New Guinea have no common word for music. They speak of
yelab and gisalo. Yelab is a lament in which women go from crying to singing,
becoming “like a bird”.
Describes a physical form of singing and dancing.
Gisalo describes a physical form of singing and dancing. During the nightly séances,
men feel like birds, adorning themselves with feathers and celebrating in front of
other men. Steven Feld has researched and written about this.
– To collect, to assemble (събор, from Sabiram)
In Bulgaria, larger gatherings are designated under the term Sabor. Each village has
its own Sabor. This is usually a religious celebration, celebrated every year, where
people meet, and many emigrants come back home to their villages. The whole
family gathers together and people usually talk, sing, and dance on the village
square. To this very day, Sabori still exists. However, in the modern context, Sabor is
translated as “festival” or “event”. There are also regional and national Sabori, for
example for folk art (folklore), which attract many visitors. Professional experts also
meet there as a jury of musical performances and their authenticity. The encounters
and musical events that take place next to the stages are also of great importance
for the experience of the Sabor.
There are also other nice terms for meetings in the Bulgarian tradition: Sedjanka,
from sedja = to sit; Poprelka (in the Rhodope Mountains) or medzija: This is how the
gatherings in which people are invited to come inside the house are called. The
women and girls work on their individual handicrafts, or help the hostess with the
tasks while talking, singing and dancing. Young men are invited to the entertainment
with the main purpose of finding a bride, all under the supervision of at least one
elder woman. The men meet in pubs, “na muchabet” – to talk. And, of course, there
is also a lot of singing. There are many folk songs specific for the occasion of na
A tradition of expression through forms such as music, drumming, dance and
The concept of Ngoma is found in Eastern and Southern Africa and refers to the
tradition of expression through forms such as music, drumming, dance and
storytelling. For the Venda is a large, single-headed drum used particularly in certain
religious ceremonies. It can also be an active space where history, values, education,
and identity are transmitted intergenerationally.
The term “Global South” is quite a recent formation (1970s) and is largely a Western
construction while responding to the emerging post-colonial conditions such as the
non-alignment movements across South Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America –
regions outside the West sharing a fraught colonial history and decolonial struggle.
The term Global South was thought to be a better term in relation to the other
condescending terms used earlier, such as “Third World”.
“Eurological” is a provocative term first used by Afro-American composer George
Lewis. In his article “Improvised Music after 1950: Afrological and Eurological
Perspectives” he elaborated on what he meant with this term: music theorized as
emanating almost exclusively from a generally venerated stream of European
cultural, social, and intellectual history. In other words, the music and sonic practices
in the “Western tradition”, that hegemonize the field and take a condescending
position towards Afro-American (and other non-Western) music/sonic traditions.
The term “Eurological” helps to argue against the universalising of a provincial
European system without giving equitable attention to the other systems in the field.
With this term, the epistemologies of music and sonic practices open up to recognise
the plurivocality or multiplicity of voices, only one of which is Eurological.