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Librarian's New Book Demystifies Albanian Traditional Music

Quick Facts

 Authority control librarian Spiro Shetuni's new book, "Albanian Traditional Music: An Introduction," will be published this summer.
 Shetuni, a native of Albania, came to Winthrop in 2007.

Spiro Shetuni

ROCK HILL, S.C. - Albania may be small, but the country has a rich cultural and musical heritage. Authority control librarian Spiro Shetuni, Dacus Library, is on a mission to introduce this heritage to English-speaking readers.

The associate professor's book "Albanian Traditional Music: An Introduction, with Sheet Music and Lyrics for 48 Songs" is slated for publication this summer. The work offers a historical, ethnic and demographic synopsis of Albania; a history of Albanian ethnomusicology; the classification of Albanian traditional music; an examination of Albanian music’s four fundamental musical dialects; and more.

Since his undergraduate studies at Tirana State University in Tiranë, Albania, Shetuni has been fascinated with ethnomusicology and Albanian traditional music.

"They did not teach much about ethnomusicology, and I wanted to explore the subject,” said Shetuni. "Albania has a very distinct musical culture. There is an ocean of music."

Shetuni has devoted much of his academic career to the study of ethnomusicology as well as library science, which he studied at Kent State University. He spent years doing field research on traditional music in Albania. Shetuni wanted to "give a good overview of the music of my home country" in the book. 

He has written many juried or refereed journal articles in Albanian, English, German and French. Shetuni also has given a number of presentations at local, national and international conferences; served as a visiting scholar for three major research institutions in the U.S. and Europe; authored several music anthologies; and appeared on national TV and radio shows. Though Shetuni has published many works, he said he is especially proud of "Albanian Traditional Music: An Introduction" because it is an English-language work.

"I wanted the English reader to have a book about this musical culture," he said. At present Shetuni is working on a series of scholarly monographs about Albanian traditional music. In the future he plans to translate his previously published works so they will be accessible to English-speaking readers.

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