Musical-Incantational Values of “Meaningless Speech” While Shoeing: A Case Study

Teodoreanu, Nicolae (Articol)

“During a fieldwork campaign conducted in Roşia Montana, as part part of a research team, I had the opportunity to witness the ox shoeing process which allowed us to observe some surprising aspects of this technique. The blacksmith – helped by the ox owners – uses apart from the direct commands meant to fulfill the concrete operations of the shoeing process, another type of language, seemingly meaningless, consisting in several onomatopoeic formulae, affectionate names addressed to those attending the work, and also a set of nonsensical words. The reason for these formulae could be the intention to release the tension of hard work, to spend the time and, last but not least, to calm down the animal. Listening to these consecutively uttered phrases that make use of numerous repetitions and unpredictable shifts one can hear a kind of unintentional hypnotic “music” as if belonging to an incantational primitive dance. The musicological analysis of the relationship between these different types of verbal structures allows us to grasp several mechanisms of this type of secondary language.”

Cuvinte cheie: musical articulation, ox shoeing, phatic communication, soothing function, and unintentional music

Revista de etnografie și folclor / Journal of Ethnography and Folklore

2013, nr. 1-2