4. Conclusion

In this paper, I tried to show how in a spirtu pront session the type of audience and pre-existing social ties could develop a number of socio-musical processes which may affect the course of performance. In the session at Buskett the resulting socio-musical processes were the consequence of an unfamiliar audience different to the one the performers were used to in bars. The protection offered by the environment of the bar was missing from the evening at Buskett. The whole situation had to be in some way normalized by creating, even if superficially, some kind of socialization which in itself was uncommon to the context of the bar. All this was encapsulated in a momentary musical span characterized by an interrupted melodic movement and lack of rhythmical density when compared to similar musical endeavours within the same session. On the other hand, the closeness of the audience to the performers in the bar at Zejtun has generated a series of socio-musical processes which resulted in a somewhat more elaborate musical product. In the context of the present study the extended qalba and kadenzi signified both a strong and well-knit pre-existent social setup as well as a context in which the audience has much more direct access to the development of the session. The socio-musical processes discussed in this essay took place in the context of a musical form that has remained alive due to its capacity to satisfy the various social and cultural exigencies of all those involved in the practice of such singing. The socio-musical processes in action during the above performances functioned within a musical form that in itself offered all the necessary 'liberties' for these same processes to evolve and give rise to something unique. Socio-musical processes generated from one session to another not only make of each session a unique experience but can also urge change. Like any other living music, the spirtu pront is in a constant state of flux. Change is not necessarily reflected in what the ghannejja and guitarists sing and play, although changes in that direction are not lacking. In this sense, the term 'change' can be expanded to include aspects of stage and media presentation confronting performers today, as mediated by the world of spectacle, the recording industry and various social and cultural pressures. These are challenges and pressures that all those involved in the performance and presentation of the spirtu pront should find the ways and means to deal with in order to safeguard its survival.

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