A new life for endangered languages

April 5, 2016 2:26 pm

Bringing disappearing languages back to life through music: this fascinating (and relatively new) tendency among composers could represent an opportunity to promote endangered languages – or to commemorate the recently dead ones.

In this engaging feature article for the New York Times, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim talks about various musicians who used vanishing languages for their works, and the different reasons behind their choice.


Béla Bartók recording folk music


From the first ethnomusicologist Béla Bartók, who travelled to Hungary’s countryside to record regional folk songs, to the Australian composer Liza Lim whose new opera, “Tree of Codes”, contains fragments of a whistling Turkish language from a mountain village: the engaging article lists several significant musical works that gave a new hope to the apparently hopeless “fading tongues”.


Written by Silvia Morani
Communication Trainee at TermCoord

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