Sustainability, Agency, and the Ecologies of Music Heritage in Alentejo, Portugal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter contributes to the debate on music heritage and sustainability. Using an ecological perspective, it addresses the impact of state and international heritage regimes and the practices, powers, processes, agents, and interests at play. Focusing on the heritagization of cante (a genre of vocal polyphony practiced by amateur choirs in Alentejo, Portugal), and the revival of the local guitar (viola campaniça) and its articulation with the practice of cante, the chapter addresses central issues in the study of contemporary heritage practices and music revival, and their impact on sustainability. It examines the processes and legacies of the heritagization of cante institutionalized by Portugal’s authoritarian regime (1933-1974), their resignification in democracy, the impact of UNESCO’s ICH paradigm institutionalized by the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the agency of individuals and associations, and the impact of tourism.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMusic, Communities, Sustainability
Subtitle of host publicationDeveloping Policies and Practices
EditorsHuib Schippers, Anthony Seeger
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780197609101
ISBN (Print)9780197609118
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Alentejo
  • Choir
  • Heritage regime
  • Intangible cultural heritage
  • Music heritage
  • Music revival
  • Music sustainability
  • Portugal
  • Tourism
  • Vocal polyphony


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