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the world of music 41, 1999-2

Traditional Music in Bavaria —
Regional Identity, History and Culture

 

Content

 

Articles

From the Editor
Preface: Mental Constructs of Identification and Authenticity in the Discourse of Folk Music Preservation and Cultivation in Bavaria

Manfred Seifert
Functionality and Aesthetic: On the Structural Principles of Traditional Folk Music and Their Transformation in the Bavarian "Cultivation" Movement

Franz Schötz
"Cultivated" and "Non-cultivated" Folk Music: On Music-making Among Traditional Dance Musicians in Bavaria

Carsten Lenk
"Cultivated" Folk Music—More Invention Than Discovery? Appropriation and Mediation of Songs in East Bavaria

Heike Frey
Traditional Urban Entertainment in Bavaria: The Volkssänger as Exemplified by Bally Prell

Josef Focht
Denominational Roots of Swabian Amateur Music-making 

Johann Wax
On Current Urban Dance Life In and Around Regensburg

Armin Griebel
The Discovery of Franconian Folk Song


Book Reviews (Jonathan Stock, ed.)

Philip V. Bohlmann
Nicholas Cook. Music: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford and New York 

Martin Stokes
Jane C. Sugarman. Engendering Song: Singing and Subjectivity at Prespa Albanian Singing. Chicago and London

Joanna Lee
Antoinet Schimmelpenninck. Chinese Folk Songs and Folk Singers: Shan'ge Traditions in Southern Jiangsu. CHIME Studies, Leiden

Karl Neuenfeldt
Timothy Taylor. Global Pop: World Music, World Markets. London and New York

Wim van Zanten
Terry E. Miller and Sean Williams, eds. The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music 4: Southeast Asia. New York and London

Timothy Taylor
Simon Broughton, ed. Songlines: Journeys in World Music [magazine]

Books Briefly Mentioned


CD Reviews (Janet Sturman, ed.)

Rainer Polak
Guinée. Musique des Malinké. Recordings and annotations by Gilbert Rouget. Le Chant du Monde

Max Peter Baumann
Yagua Tairari. Música y cantores de los Guaraní (Bolivia). Fundación Simon I. Patino, and El tambor mayor. Música y cantores de las comunidades negras de Bolivia. Fundación Simon I. Patino

CDs Briefly Mentioned

Institutions

Research and Consultation Offices for Folk Music in Bavaria

Erich Sepp
Der Bayerische Landesverein für Heimatpflege, e.V. / Bavarian State Association for the Preservation of Local Traditions, Munich

Armin Griebel
Forschungsstelle für fränkische Volksmusik / Research Center for Franconian Folk Music, Simmershofen


About the Authors

 

Abstracts

Preface — Mental Constructs of Identification and Authenticity in the Discourse of Folk Music Preservation and Cultivation in Bavaria
Max Peter Baumann

Since the rediscovery of traditional customs around 1900, “folk music” can be understood in the context of a preservation ideology as a reaction to the alleged weakening and dying out of old folk traditions. This was the period when the idea of Heimatschutz (protection of homeland) was born throughout Europe. Since the dawning of the modern period, with all its technical changes, many people have experienced a certain disorientation. This confusion has also often been combined with the fear of losing regional identity. About one hundred years ago, it became clear that as a result of the increasing urbanization of the rural ways of life, traditional folk clothing was disappearing, all kinds of work done by hand were dying out, and “old” folk music was receiving little or no attention. A countermovement began that became particularly strong and longlasting in Bavaria. In a “restorative” manner, interest groups began to develop the idea of maintaining the “old” and the “good old times” with the intent of taking care of them, of cultivating them and of resurrecting them; the “old and beautiful values” would be preserved through associations and organizations.

Functionality and Aesthetic: On the Structural Principles of Traditional Folk Music and Their Transformation in the Bavarian "Cultivation" Movement
Manfred Seifert

Today in Bavaria, what is understood to be "traditional folk music" no longer has much in common with the popular music-making practices that prevailed among large segments of the population until the beginning of the 20th century. Since that time, earlier music-making styles have fallen to a large extent under the influence of the "cultivation" movement (Pflege). The current strict orientation toward Kunstmusik (art music) in folk music practice can be traced to the influence of this movement. In addition, the general social conditions of amateur music-making have been completely transformed. Examination of earlier times reveals a quite different logic of musical performance practice, which was consistently expressed in the repertoire, in the production of music and in the own forms of transmission. Using a broad cultural-sociological approach, this article investigates these differences by describing popular music practice mainly in the 18th and 19th centuries, with the intention of confronting Volksmusikpflege practices in the 20th century.

"Cultivated" and "Non-cultivated" Folk Music: On Music-making Among Traditional Dance Musicians in Bavaria
Franz Schötz

By orienting itself towards an academic-aesthetic sound ideal and thereby almost fully ignoring the music’s original functions, the Bavarian folk music cultivation movement (Volksmusikpflege) has created, over the course of decades, a totally transformed sound in contrast to the original models. In the mid-1980s the own "Wilden im eigenen Land" (savages in one’s own country) were discovered in the form of traditional village music ensembles. Such bands were based on strong family traditions which, until recent decades, dominated in Bavarian music-making. Using the example of a meter-shifting dance, the author investigates, with the help of detailed transcriptions, what distinguishes such traditional groups from the newer folk music (in this case, particularly brass music) cultivation groups. The traditional form of music-making, with its almost forgotten vitality, must simply be judged by its own standards. This does not mean uniform ensemble playing but rather it is the result of a unique musicality acquired over many years that each individual musician brings to the ensemble.

"Cultivated" Folk Music: More Invention Than Discovery? Appropriation and Mediation of Songs in East Bavaria
Carsten Lenk

Folk music cultivation was long excluded as a field of study for music and song research because, as "simply folklorism," it did not seem worthy of special attention. In this article, I examine Volksmusikpfelge in its working procedures and self-understanding, using a concrete case from East Bavaria. In doing so, it becomes clear that both written sources and the Bavarian Broadcasting Station have played an important role in Oberpfalz (East Bavaria) folk music cultivation since the end of Second World War. The concept of "folk song" that underlies this movement can be traced to Josef Pommer. Those active in folk music cultivation place singing and music-making against a larger social-critical background. In spite of all their emphasis on tradition, changes in stylistic elements and forms of interactions can also be recognized from about 1970 in the cultivation movement.

Traditional Urban Entertainment in Bavaria: The Volkssänger as Exemplified by Bally Prell
Heike Frey

This article outlines the development of Munich Volkssänger from the middle of the 19th century to the late 1970s, portraying in the second section a particular artist of the post-war period. Volkssänger as entertainers in Munich experienced their heyday from approximately 1880 to the 1920s. This form of entertainment was not unsimilar to Varieté (variety shows) but was strongly marked by regional characteristics; thematically, it took its topics from everyday life. One program typically included couplet songs, ensemble numbers, humoristic solo performances, one-act sketches and parodies. After the First World War, the mass media of movies, radio and later television changed the habits of audience reception, leading to the decline or else transformation of these forms of entertainment. Bally Prell (1922–1982), who had a beautiful tenor voice, was sensationally successful in 1953 as the "Beauty Queen of Schneizlreuth." Until her death, she was mainly identified with this song and this role and she was considered the inheritor of the Munich Volkssänger tradition. Her repertoire consisted, however, also of opera and operetta music, chansons and lieder. To the present no monographic work on this singer has appeared; the biographical sketch laid out here is based upon interviews with her colleagues, friends, relatives and other witnesses of the time.

Denominational Roots of Swabian Amateur Music-making
Josef Focht

Music composed and performed in Bavarian Swabia is strongly marked by its various denominational roots. This article reveals the underlying divergent developments between the time of the Reformation until around 1800, using the examples of the Protestant Imperial cities of Memmingen and Kempten as well as the Catholic Ottobeuren and Kempten Abbeys. From 1800 the Catholic and Protestant traditions begin to become more similar, and yet since then the Catholic components of the musical practice have been more strongly promoted both by state cultural policies as well as by the folk music cultivation movement (Volksmusikpflege) of the 20th century.
 
On Current Urban Dance Life In and Around Regensburg
Johann Wax

Folk culture was first discovered and thematicized in central Europe from the beginning of the 19th century. This resulted in folk culture being idealized, stylized as a counterculture but above all, folk culture was isolated. Folk dance for example was no longer regarded as a part of everyday life but rather rose to the level of Kulturgut (cultural asset). This has been the case to the present. Reading the relevant literature on folk dance, one easily gains the impression that the described dance forms are still at their height of popularity because, other than folk dance, no other dance styles are mentioned. But actually, folk dance plays only a marginal role in German modern society. The constantly heard fear that it could completely disappear is not justified at the moment; this fear is perhaps explainable through the special history of Heimatpflege (cultivation of local traditions) and its mentality.

The Discovery of Franconian Folk Song
Armin Griebel

During the 20th century, a pan-Franconian consciousness has formed within its three Bavarian districts (Upper, Middle and Lower Franconia), a consciousness that also includes the idea of a common folk music and an own Franconian folk song. Above all, Ditfurth’s publication Fränkische Volkslieder from 1855 marked the conception of the Franconian folk song. The ideal image that he outlined through his selection of songs is corrected by the original song transcriptions of the same song collector. Since Volksliedpflege (folk song   cultivation) cannot accept the present situation, with its living song tradition, as being worthy of "cultivation," two contrary alternatives emerge: the use of the Ditfurth songs as timeless, valid expressions of the Franconian folk song and/or the new creation of songs that, through choice of topic and use of dialect, can become bearers of identificatory values regarding Heimat (home, or local region).

 

 

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