A healing song from Georgia

By Christoph Maubach
Australian Catholic University

The healing song printed below serves as an example. The song ‘Batonebo’ comes from the county Guria in the Republic of Georgia. This is a mountainous region in which villages are situated in valleys and on slopes. The healing song ‘Batonebo’ was sung when a child was ill with an infection. Villagers would gather around, decorate the child’s bedroom with red fabrics and flowers, and sing in the hope that the evil spirits, which they believed, were residing in the child’s body would disappear.

‘Batonebo’ (which literally means lords) was originally a woman’s song that gradually became part of the men’s repertoire. The close harmonies create a very interesting texture. Challenges with intervals and intonation make this an item that more experienced Secondary School vocalistss might like to tackle. Music examples of the many migrants that come to Australia lend themselves well for the study of history and styles in music. The developing interest in Georgian Folk singing here in Melbourne has been advanced by the arrival of two ethnomusicology experts from Georgia, Mrs. Nino Tsitsishvili and Dr. Joseph Jordania.
For more information about this music feel free to contact Dr. Joseph Jordania on (03) 9489 1403 or Christoph Maubach on (03) 9241 4575.

full text: World music: A healing song from Georgia (pdf)

Batonebo Songs From Georgi

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