Songs in the Aboriginal languages of Victoria: linguistic and musicological analysis


Traditional songs in Victorian Aboriginal Languages were recorded from 1840 to 1965. Some of these are accompanied by rich and detailed information about their social and ritual context, particularly those noted by R.H. Mathews, A.W. Howitt, Rev. William Thomas and Dr Luise Hercus.

Most of these songs are in manuscripts but many of these sources are not yet comprehensively searched. Our proposal will further explore the manuscripts, identify songs and contextual information and carefully transcribe them, leading to a substantial monograph with linguistic and, where possible, musicological analysis of these songs, grounded in their contextual background.

This collaborative research project is led by Dr Stephen Morey (La Trobe University), working with Dr Luise Hercus (Australian National University), Dr Grace Koch (Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies) and Edward Ryan. This project has been funded by the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language, and by the La Trobe University Linguistics Disciplinary Research Program.