Joseph Jordania

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Joseph Jordania
Joseph Jordania in 2011.jpg
Joseph Jordania in 2011
Born (1954-02-12) February 12, 1954 (age 62)
Tbilisi, Georgian SSR, Soviet Union (now Georgia)
Residence Melbourne
Fields ethnomusicology, evolutionary musicology, evolutionary psychology, speech pathology
Institutions University of Melbourne
Alma mater Tbilisi State Conservatory, Tbilisi State University
Doctoral advisor Grigol Chkhikvadze
Doctoral students Tamaz Gabisonia, Natalia Zumbadze, David Shugliashvili
Known for The original model of the origins of choral singing in the context of human evolution; Notion of the "Battle trance"; Aposematic model of human evolution
Notable awards Fumio Koizumi Prize for ethnomusicology (2009), Centenary Medal of Australia (2003)

Joseph Jordania (born February 12, 1954 and also known under the misspelling of Joseph Zhordania) is an AustralianGeorgian ethnomusicologist and evolutionary musicologist and professor.[1][2] He is a Honorary Fellow of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music at the University of Melbourne and the Head of the Foreign Department of the International Research Centre for Traditional Polyphony at Tbilisi State Conservatory. Jordania is known for his model of the origins of human choral singing in the wide context of human evolution and was one of founders of the International Research Centre for Traditional Polyphony in Georgia.

Jordania’s academic interests include study of worldwide distribution of choral polyphonic traditions, origins of choral singing, origins of rhythm, origins of human morphology and behaviour, cross-cultural prevalence of stuttering, dyslexia and acquisition of phonological system in children, study of the cognitive threshold between animal and human cognitive abilities. His primary expertise is Georgian and Caucasian traditional music and vocal polyphony.


Jordania was born in Georgia (former Soviet Union). He received a BA degree in ethnomusicology from Tbilisi State Conservatory in 1978. During 1979–1983 he was elected as the President of the Board of Creative Youth of Tbilisi. In 1982 he received his PhD degree in musicologyethnomusicology from Tbilisi Theatrical Institute, and served as lecturer, senior lecturer, assistant professor, and professor at the Department of Georgian Traditional Music at Tbilisi State Conservatory. For one year (in 1984) he served as a dean of the Faculty of Musicology. In 1991 he received the title D.Mus from Kiev Conservatory. From 1988 until 1995 Jordania was the head of the Musical Sector of the Centre of the Mediterranean Studies at the Tbilisi State University. He published his first monograph on choral polyphony in 1989. In 1984 he was instrumental in organizing the conference "Problems of Folk Polyphony". This conference became the beginning of the series of biannual international conferences (1984, 1986, 1988, 1998, 2000) and symposia (2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2012) on traditional polyphony, and led to establishing the International Research Centre for Traditional Polyphony at Tbilisi State Conservatory in 2003.[3]

In 2009, in recognition of "his contribution to systematic analysis of folk polyphonies of the world, proposing a new model for the origins of traditional choral singing in a broad context of human evolution" Jordania was awarded the Fumio Koizumi Prize for ethnomusicology.[4]



  • Georgian Traditional Polyphony in the International Context of Polyphonic Culture (the Problem of Origins of Polyphony) Tbilisi State University Press (in Russian with English Summary. 1989)
  • Who Asked the First Question? The Origins of Human Choral Singing, Intelligence, Language and Speech (Logos, 2006)
  • Why do People Sing? Music in Human Evolution (Logos, 2011)
  • Tigers, Lions and Humans: History of Rivalry, Conflict, Reverence and Love (Logos, 2014)
  • Choral Singing in Human Culture and Evolution (Lambert Academic Publishers, 2015)
  • Behind Jim Corbett's Stories: An Analytical Journey to 'Corbett's Places' and Unanswered Questions Together with Priyvrat Gadhvi, Preetum Gheegawo, Manfred Waltl, and Fernando Quevedo de Oliveira (Logos, 2016).

Articles and essays[edit]



  1. ^ "Gelzer: Local Teacher Makes Mark On Georgian Folk Music". The Free Lance-Star. Nov 8, 2002. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Journal of the Institute of Musicology of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Issue 5. Muzikološki institut SANU. 2005. pp. 197, 198. 
  3. ^ Doijašvili, Manana (2008). The Vano Saradjishvili Tbilisi State Conservatoire, 1917-2007. Nova Science Publishers, Inc. p. 75. ISBN 1600219101. 
  4. ^ Annual (2009) Koizumi Fumio Prize "21st Annual (2009) Koizumi Fumio Prize" Check |url= value (help). Koizumi Fumio Prize. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 

External links[edit]