Between Concepts and Behaviours: The Eurovision Song Contest and Ethnomusicology

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The Eurovision Song Contest is an underestimated subject in the field of ethnomusicology studies. The first approach was Bohlman’s book (2004) on music and nationalism which devoted a chapter to this topic. In 2013, Tragaki gathered the contributions of several scholars and edited the first book that adopts the theoretical and epistemological orientations of ethnomusicology, popular music studies and musicology to study the ESC. Since then, no other reference works have been published in this area. However, the ESC is a privileged field to understand the basic assumptions of ethnomusicology: 1) the relationship between musical practices and behaviours, their contexts and the concepts created around them; 2) the musical changes in the last 64 years; 3) the role of television as a musical medium; 4) the phenomenon of musical reception and its role in the construction of individual and collective identities. Analysing the example of the Portuguese participation in ESC, and looking to these four ethnomusicological milestones, this chapter demonstrates how music in television, and the ESC in particular, is able to mediate values and challenge concepts about an imagined Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Eurovision Song Contest as a Cultural Phenomenon
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Concert Halls to the Halls of Academia
EditorsSofia Vieira Lopes, João Soeiro de Carvalho
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge | Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781000614961
ISBN (Print)9781032037745
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


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