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Copy of Copy of Russian Folk Music

Academic Decathlon 2012-2013

Sarah Walter

on 8 January 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Copy of Russian Folk Music

Russian Folk Music The Invention of Folk Music Romantic Nationalism and Folk Song Part of pre-literature culture; passed on by generation
Can change over time until the original form is effaced
Some songs speak of identifiable characters or events from centuries ago
Some languages in songs archaic; loss of understanding
Migrations cause changes/dying of traditions
Songs sung differently in different villages Origins Effects On Nation Song words written to preserve, but also notated; late 18th century
Music entered Literature world
Now local cultures took status of National Heritage
Song collecting during late 18th century
Des Knaben Wunderhorn (1805-08) by Achim von Arnim (1781-1831) and Clemens Brentano (1778-1842)
Texts only collection of songs; future songs had melodies
Johan Gottfried Herder (1744-1803); German thinker; thought language mainly grouped people into nations
Thought Folk song was national culture; vessel for national spirit Transcription And Arrangement Things were a bit shaky.. No recording tech, transcribers relied on memory and hoped to hear the song more than once
Singers might not sing consistently same notes
Multiple singers and songs at noisy events(weddings and such) greatly reduced accuracy
Songs were sung at events, not necessarilly for any time Some songs were long in verses; songs may seem incomplete/trivial/incomprehensible
Some songs were just preambles to plays
Song collections in 19th century don't really tell the reader of this When notating, transcribers may not have chosen right meter, there might have been mistakes in the song, or the transcriber may not know how to judge mistakes
Heterophony (multiple voices same melody) and polyphony (multiple voices multiple melodies; harmonized) were challenges to transcribe
This change made somewhat different songs that aren't the original
Folk music is a purely oral tradition
Arrangers added harmony to songs
Maybe not accurate national spirit, but they sold
Russian Folk music distant from worldly progressions in 19th century
songs were altered/omitted to sound "Russian" and be sellable results Track 1 "The Day was Breaking," from the CD The Music Burst Out: Songs and Folk-tunes of the Smolensk Region, Boheme Music SONG HERE Many people at least know of or heard one Russian folk song ("Dark Eyes," "Coachman, Spare Your Horses," "Those Were the Days, My Friend," etc.)
Songs usually passed through hands of 19th century musicians; Gypsy singers and choirs
Songs born within local traditions were connected to rituals of village life. Des Knaben Wunderhorn
Johan Gottfried
Achim von Arnim
Clemens Brentano
Pre-literature innacurate
alteration Track 2 "Akh ty step," Russian folk song, arr. V. Sokolov Song Here Protyazhnaya: "Prolonged", syllables can be phrases; as shown. To non russian-knowers, sounds like a sad melody
Lyrical songs: Don't belong to any ritual, can e sung by one person; usually about sad love..
Nikolai Gogol (1805-52): used protyazhnaya; it was a symbol of russia for 19th century
Servants of wealthy sung solo songs (mostly protyazhnayas) and were overheard and passed on to wealthy masters. Ritual songs(like wedding ones) stayed in respective villages Protyazhnaya Calendar songs Songs for various season rituals
Included Christmas, Shrovetide, and summer solstice songs
Shorter melodic phrases and more syllables
Christian festivals replaced ones previously for pagan gods Other genres of folk songs Many genres; included
Lament of the bride (required to sing plaintive song about leaving home),
Funeral laments (incorporated sobs),
Epics or Byliny (stories of old legends),
labor songs (rhythm keeps tempo,
children's game songs,
dance songs (plyasovye),
and military songs(marching. Genres of Russian Folk Song Collections and Arrangements Protyazhnaya
Calendar Songs
Nikolai Gogol
Akh ty step The Lvov-Pratsch Collection 1790 Most influential collection
Named for Nikolai Lvov (transcriber) and Johann (Ivan) Pratsch (arranger)
Lost prestige and considered insensitive as Pratsch (allegedly) placed accents on wrong syllable words
turned folk into urban song artificially (although harmonizations were okay at the time)
Pratsch accused of Westernizing folk music, but the music may have been altered when it was transcribed
Good collection for the standards of its time Gogol Mily Balakirev's 1866 Collection Tried to make collection sound distinctive of other popular song type
Preference to flattened 7th degrees
Harmonies not just diatonic, but modal
restricted to triads
Thought his music should sound more ancient
Still, he didn't represent true folk-ness
transcribers ignorant of heterophony & polyphony
all transcribers understood was single voice joined by rest of choir, varied texture, and ended unison; nothing more
Balakirev Yuli Melgunov's 1879 Collection Before audio recording tech he tried recording heterophony
Yuli Melgonuv would record several singers for one song, individually
he'd then arbitrarily aligned the variants as if they were scores
Not true transcriptions, but was a huge step ahead of previous recording attempts
Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov deemed it "barbaric"
thought ensemble folk singing bore no resemblance to his own manner of harmonizing folk songs The work of Nikolai Palchikov Much better transcriber
lived in a village
was able to here songs multiple times at many occasions
Superior to Melgunov
lived in village, so music didn't get out until songs superseded by others Yevgeniya Linyova's 1904 Collection Yeveniya Linyova pioneered audio recording in folk song research
Accurate since she had a recording to reference
Igor Stravinsky embraced this new song scholarship
Turn of 20th century was good for change
If folk music was "barbaric", modernist composers like Stravinsky embraced such barbarity.
Korsikov Sweet beard.. Appropriations of Russian Folk Song Why composers take interest to folk music Accompanies peasant/servant characters in, say, comic opera
Gain sympathy from audience
To make their music sound "national"
Some used it for new technical devices, unusual rhythm, or challenging vertical combinations (Glinka's 'A Life For The Tsar' uses this as all his characters are peasants)
Glinka wanted to sound Russian Arrangers are fudgers Wealthy transcribers expressed themselves as familiar to folk tradition
They'd make unwarranted statements of how "national" they were
was not the case; they were upper class; folk music was exotic to them
Rimsky-Korsikov is an example of this Music Adapted Folk songs existed, were changed from transcribers, further altered; unavoidable
Folk songs may show more of composer than of peasants
Rimsky-Korsikov presented songs plainly; solo woodwinds with gentle pizzicatos, minimal harmony "Russiannosity" Mysteriously imparts nationality
songs from one village may represent millions of people
"Russianness" is in minds of audience, not the music
if played to foreign audience, they could completely fail to perceive it as russian
Nicolai Rimsky Korsikov
"Russianness" Nikolai Lvov
Johann Ivan Pratsch
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