Music, Memory, and Affect Attunement: Connecting Kurdish Diaspora in Stockholm


  • Ulrik Volgsten Örebro University
  • Oscar Pripp Uppsala University



Affect Attunement, Collective Memory, Diaspora, Identity, Kurdish, Music


This article takes its point of departure in Maurice Halbwachs’ notion of collective memory, adding the distinction made by Jan Assmann between communicative and cultural memory, and Alfred Schütz’s notion of communication, understood here as the sonorous communication of bodily affect. By combining and cross-fertilizing the concept of memory with that of affective experience, our aim is to take a new and productive perspective on music’s role as and in cultural memory as well as the crucial role played by affect attunement. As examples, we use interviews and observations from an on-going research project on the role of music in ethnically-based associations in Sweden. In addition, we show how music often transgresses the categorical distinctions of collective memory. The main questions we ask are a) to the extent that there is a difference between music serving as a means for and as content of collective memory (what the memory is “about”), how can we account for and explain this difference? and b) how does verbally-narrated content relate to the sound of music when it comes to collective memory?

Author Biography

Oscar Pripp, Uppsala University

Dept. of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology


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How to Cite

Volgsten, U. and Pripp, O. (2016) “Music, Memory, and Affect Attunement: Connecting Kurdish Diaspora in Stockholm”, Culture Unbound, 8(2), pp. 144–164. doi: 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.1608144.