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Local FusionsFolk Music Experiments in Central Europe at the Millennium$
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Barbara Rose Lange

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190245368

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190245368.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 January 2021

Autobiography, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in the Music of Bea Palya

Autobiography, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in the Music of Bea Palya

(p.57) 3 Autobiography, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in the Music of Bea Palya
Local Fusions

Barbara Rose Lange

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 discusses how the singer and writer Bea Palya explored dimensions of women’s experience in Hungary that had been kept private before the 2000s. The chapter describes one of Palya’s first solo projects with composer Samu Gryllus, a setting of Sandor Weöres’s Psyché; Weöres’s postmodernist poetry collection explores sexuality, violence, and other facts of life for its female protagonist. The chapter describes how this project enabled Palya to connect autobiography and art, and details how Palya balanced a modern sexual image with other performances dramatizing Christian spirituality. Although Palya fused local folk sounds with Asian music, West Europeans wanted to emphasize the Romani part of Palya’s multiethnic background with a ragged Gypsy image. The chapter details how Palya was able to reject this pressure, since Hungarian audiences accepted her treatment of race as an everyday matter within a larger frame of modern feminine experience.

Keywords:   gender, musical autobiography, Romani, Gypsy, multiethnic, Catholicism, Hungary, Sándor Weöres, sexuality in music, Psyché

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