Small Musical Worlds in the Mediterranean is a pioneering book-length study of the complex topics of identity, ethnicity and global processes in children’s musical lives in the Republic of Cyprus - a Mediterranean country during its post-colonial era. What is it about this country’s musical enculturation that made musical identity such a potent element in Greek Cypriot children’s worlds? How is history, tradition, modernity, ethnic fluidity, syncretism and diversification in the Mediterranean negotiated in the construction of musical ’self’ and ’other’ in children’s daily lives? This book, through a journey of ’fieldwork at home’, discusses how children select, reject, reproduce and transform meanings and create new ones at the micro-level of their lives through which individuals and groups define themselves and others. Towards this exploration, musical identity in childhood is discussed in terms of cultural production and reproduction, human expression, inter-relating and learning. Ethnographic vignettes of children’s musical practices and direct words add depth and humour to the flow of the book. This study is a synthesis of ethnomusicology, musical anthropology, education and folklore in which the author effectively weaves together theories of musical enculturation and identity, sociocultural learning and human agency. The book will be invaluable to scholars interested in musical enculturation, musical identities, children’s contextual musical practices, ethnicity, globalization studies, music education and Mediterranean studies.
’In this rich account Avra Pieridou Skoutella taps into the musical worlds of children in ways that add new dimensions to the nascent field of research on children’s socio-musical development. The many tales she tells bring to life children’s musical understanding and experiences, their musical tastes, values and practices, the distinctions and boundaries children draw between fine gradients of musical style, genre and connotation: and all told through the children’s own words ... But this book’s contribution doesn’t stop there, for the author adds an interpretive layer to all this ... Here is a book set, as the title suggests, in the "small worlds" of what is a "small country". But the issues it raises are big, transcending any one geographical or historical setting. May adults long continue to learn from children in the way that this book makes possible. We have so much to learn’. From the Foreword by Lucy Green, Institute of Education, University of London, UK