to the world of music archive

the world of music 44, 2002-3

Traditional Music in Baltic Countries

Guest Editor:
Martin Boiko

ISSN 0043-8774
ISBN 3-86135-734-8

 

Content

Articles

Martin Boiko
Baltic and Balts: On the History of Notions and the Question of Baltic Regionalism

Valdis Muktupavels
Musical Instruments in the Baltic Region: Historiography and Traditions

Daiva Vyciniene
Lithuanian Schwebungsdiaphonie and its South and East European Parallels

Anu Vissel
Estonian Herding Songs from the Perspective of Ethnic Relations

Arnolds Klotinš
The Latvian Neo-folklore Movement and the Political Changes of the Late 20th Century

Ingrid Rüütel
Wedding Songs and Ceremonies of the Kihnu Island in Estonia


Institutions

Janika Oras and Ergo-Hart Västrik
Estonian Folklore Archives of the Estonian Literary Museum

Ingrid Rüütel
Department of Ethnomusicology at the Estonian Literary Museum

Zaiga Sneibe
The Collection of Folk Music in the Archives of Latvian Folklore

Rimantas Astrauskas and Dalia Urbanaviciene
Department of Ethnomusicology, Lithuanian Academy of Music and Section of Ethnomusicology at the Institute of Musicology, Lithuanian Academy of Music

Auste Nakiene
Ethnomusikologie am Institut der Litauischen Literatur und Folklore

Rimantas Sliužinskas
Institute of Musicology, University of Klaipeda, Lithuania

 

Book Reviews (Jonathan Stock, ed.)

Jonathan Stock, Marin Marian Balasa, Calep Okumu Chrispo, Michael Morse
Rievew Symposium: Music and the Racial Imagination, Ronald Radano and Philp. V. Bohlman, eds.

Carol Muller
Music and Gender, PirrkoMoisala and Beverly Doamond, eds.

Frank Kouwenhoven
Bluegrass Odyssey: A Documentary in Pictures and Words, Carl Fleischhauer and Neil V. Rosenberg, eds.

Briefly Mentioned

Jonathan Stock
Las culturas musicales: Lecturas de etnomusicología, Francisco Cruces, chief ed.

 

Recording Reviews (Gregory F. Barz, ed.)

Jonathan Ritter
Recording Review Essay: Afro-Hispanic Music from Western Colombia and Ecuador and Ecuador and Colombia: Marimba Masters and Sacred Songs

About the Contributors
the world of music

 

Abstracts

Baltic and Balts: On the History of Notions and the Question of Baltic Regionalism
Martin Boiko

Since their introduction in the second half of the 19th century both the term ‘Baltic’ (Germ. Baltikum) as the designation of a region and the term ‘Balts’ as designation of its population have experienced several changes of their meanings. The Baltic, a region that comprises  Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, is neither under historical and political, nor under linguistic and denominational aspects a coherent area. Since the early 1990s, indications of the geopolitical dissolution of the region have been increasing. A parallel process is the formation of a larger Baltic Sea Region comprising the countries all around the Baltic Sea. The question whether the Baltic is a coherent region in ethnomusicological terms remains open.  However, there is no lack of musical phenomena common to all three Baltic countries.
 

Musical Instruments in the Baltic Region: Historiography and Traditions
Valdis Muktupâvels

The Baltic—a term with conventional rather than rational implications—can be used as a general frame to arrange a multitude of organological facts from historically, linguistically, and denominationally different musical cultures—Estonian (EE), Latvian (LV) and Lithuanian (LT). The first part of the article deals with the documentation of instrumental music, as well as the research and significant publications of the period from the 13th century until the end of the 20th century. Arranged in chronological groups, these publications mark a synchronic regional perspective and outline some significant steps in the development of organological thought. Basic functional groups of musical instruments and music are discussed in the second part. Thus, this article describes the instruments and the music related to the Baltic people’s economic (mainly herding) activities, social events and religious practices. Further, it examines musical instruments used for contemplation and dance in their terminological, morphological, musical, symbolic, and historical contexts.
 

Lithuanian Schwebungsdiaphonie and its South and East European Parallels
Daiva Vyciniene

Polyphonic singing with the parts lying very close to each other is a universal feature of early polyphony. Such “close” singing is widespread in diverse parts of  the world: the Mediterranean basin, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Nepal, Afghanistan (Nuristan), on some Melanesian, Micronesian and Indonesian islands, Ethiopia, southern Russia, etc. Lithuanian sutartin?s also belong to this category of polyphony. While not rejecting the existence of universals in musical perception, comprehension and performance, and thus accepting the idea of convergence, this article attempts to find a common ethnohistorical explanation of this phenomenon. It is restricted to Baltic and South and East Slavic material, but also considers instrumental polyphony.
 
 

Estonian Herding Songs from the Perspective of Ethnic Relations
Anu Vissel

For the peoples living around the Baltic Sea (the Baltic Finns and the Balts) agriculture and cattle breeding have been important already for ages. The Estonian traditional songlore has two prominent groups of working songs: herding songs and harvest songs. The article begins with a short overview of the history of cattlebreeding and herding in Estonia. More attention is paid to the structure of herding songs (in a wider sense) and common features in the texts and melodies of Estonians and neighbouring peoples. The relations between vocal and instrumental herding music and subtypes of the herding song repertoire of different ethnic groups is determined by the local structure and type of herding, the social position of herders (sex, age, status in the community), the local life style, and cultural traditions.
 

The Latvian Neo-folklore Movement and the Political Changes of the Late 20th Century
Arnolds Klotinš

“Neo-folklore movement” is a term used in Latvia and other Baltic countries—specifically, Estonia and Lithuania—to denote the sharp and extensive rise of interest in folklore traditions during the 1970s and 80s. The term also describes practical forms of actualizing folklore in daily life and in the expressions of amateur art that have accompanied the spiritual awakening of the people and their fight for the restoration of independence at beginning of the 1990s. The expressions “folklore” and “folklorism” in the neo-folklore movement, attitudes towards the official Soviet ideologized folklorism, as well as social and political motivations and political contexts are reviewed in the article. The international folklore festival Baltica, organized annually in turn in each of the three Baltic States since 1987, is used as an example. The introduction to this article offers a review of the history of collection, research and dissemination of folklore in Latvia.
 

Wedding Songs and Ceremonies of the Kihnu Island in Estonia
Ingrid Rüütel

This article concerns wedding traditions and music of the Estonian island, Kihnu, where ancient customs and songs are still living in unbroken tradition. Weddings songs belong to the Baltic-Finnic runo-song tradition. All wedding songs in Kihnu are of the same one-line tune-type with a narrow ambit. Their different versions and variants represent the oldest layer of runo-tunes. Weddings songs are treated in a wider ethnocultural context. Focus of attention is performing practices, spells, shouts and instrumental dance music that belong to the wedding ceremony, also spiritual and secular songs of more recent origin and current changes in the wedding tradition. The old Kihnu wedding customs are of pre-Christian origin. Although people have not followed such ancient beliefs for a long time, the symbolic meaning of these customs has been preserved. New songs and customs connected with the Kihnu weddings can be regarded as a compromise between the traditional and the contemporary. The whole wonder of the survival of the Kihnu culture actually lies in the fact that in the course of time, it has assimilated different elements that it changed, while maintaining itself. New phenomena and different historical strata have lived side by side, without ousting the old. Today, as traditional folk song and music together with old customs, ethnographic milieu and the traditional way of life are on the verge of disappearing, folklore ensembles have become the principal mediators between traditional and contemporary culture. One such group is Kihnumua, which has been active for more than thirty years representing different generations - the old and the young as well as children. Members of the group were invited to sing at wedding ceremonies, where they usually functioned as ceremonial singers. The last traditional Kihnu wedding was held in 1995 and only time will tell whether the unique Kihnu wedding with its ancient customs and songs will live on or if it will be practised only as entertainment for tourists.

 

 

 

RSS Feed