Folk Camp

Georgian Polophony


Georgian Polyphony

with Andrea Kuzmich

Declared by UNESCO as one of humanity’s “masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage,” Georgia’s unique and ancient “polyphonic” music is known around the world for its combination of haunting beauty and dazzling harmonies. Its unique tonal system is thought to predate that of ancient Greece by more than 1000 years, and its church music tradition can be traced back to at least the 10th century.

In this workshop, songs from the millennia-old tradition, which vary in complexity and range from drinking and horse riding songs to meditative chants, will be chosen depending on skills of the workshop participants and the duration of the workshop. Songs will either be taught by rote and/or by lead-sheet. We will also explore and develop the specific vocal techniques used in Georgian songs. If time and willingness permit, some round dance movements may be incorporated into the songs. All songs taught will be contextualized with respect to Georgia’s regional styles, genres, and historical narratives.

NOTE: Voice range is different than typical SATB choral practices. Participants in this workshop have to have some degree of melodic/vocal independence to be able to fully appreciate the workshop (i.e. can hold their own vocal line if harmonized with someone else).