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Fellow Seminar

08 June 2017

Dr. Alex Rodriguez Suarez will present his research proposal on the topic: "Bell Ringing in the Balkans: A Forgotten Soundscape from the Middle Ages" on 8 June 2017 (Thursday) at 16:30h at CAS Conference Hall.

Abstract:

In this paper I am going to present the main results from my ongoing research on the use of bells in the Balkans during the Middle Ages. Because written sources do not provide much information about bell ringing and very few bells from the period have survived until our days, this is a topic that has not received much scholarly attention. The goal of this presentation is twofold: First, I will address the issue that has been at the centre of the discussion concerning the use of bells in the Balkans: When and in which circumstances the practice of bell ringing was adopted. Scholars have taken different positions and a fresh assessment of the evidence will hopefully provide a new resolution to this problem. In the second part of the presentation I will focus on the actual bells. The instruments themselves are the most important source of information for the study of bell ringing in the Balkans. By looking at some examples today preserved in Bulgaria, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia I am hoping to fill in the silence of the written sources. Bells are not usually considered artistic objects and so they still remain rather unknown. More importantly, they have been published independently and so no general study has ever been attempted. A comparative analysis of their main features, for instance inscriptions and decoration, will offer a comprehensive picture of the development of these instruments in the Balkans. 

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