The Audibility of Rebellion versus Nationalism 

The Sound of Political Chant 
Af
15. november 2017

Abstract

In this paper I demonstrate how, using sounds of political chanting from Turkey in the last four years, political orientation significantly changes the inflection of chant, reflecting its societal positioning and purpose. Despite the fact that political chant in public space seems to be a generic and polyvalent means to an end, the make-up of the sound itself bares telltale signs of the chanter's intentions, affect, their vocal habits, and their knowledge of their intended listening audience, all of which make the sound particularly well adapted for their own political purposes. Although they have many shared characteristics, the difference between the vocal sounds of rebellion in political chants, as opposed to the vocal sounds of pure nationalist fervour, is therefore audible, as the examples in this paper attest, and the affects that pertain to the characteristics of these differing tones have specific political potentials. A comparison of the sound of chants from the Gezi Park protests of May-June 2013 with those of pro-government rallies in reaction to the coup attempt of July 15th, 2016 inform the argument. A short addendum with sound recorded the day after the referendum of April 16th, 2017, on the adoption of the new "presidential system" under Erdoğan, completes the paper. 

Audio Paper

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