Why do Gypsies weep when they play music? What happens during funerals, when music and the women’s laments overlap? What are the strategies used by musicians to move their audience? Having shared the musical life of a Transylvanian Gypsy community for several years, Filippo Bonini Baraldi tries to answer these questions in his book. Bonini Baraldi shows that music and weeping go hand in hand, revealing the tensions between unity and division, life and death, the self and the others and making use of fundamental human faculties: sympathy, emotional contagion, empathy. These are the very faculties that the Gypsies praise, overemphasize and perceive as central to their identity. Drawing on an ethnography deeply rooted in the sensory domain of musical practice, this work is a theoretical and interdisciplinary reflection on the links between music, emotion and empathy.
Bonini Baraldi, Filippo. 2017. Romi, muzică şi empatie (translation by Ioana Miruna Voiculescu, foreword by Speranţa Rădulescu). Cluj-Napoca: The Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities. URL: http://www.ispmn.gov.ro/page/