Journal of Ethnology 1/2017 deals with the theme Musical Folklore in Contemporary Research. In his contribution, Peter Obuch speaks about brass music bands in the Moravian-Slovak borderland and about tasks of individual brass instruments in such groups (Aerophones in Traditional Ensemble Music in White Carpathians). Tomáš Spurný pays his attention to bagpipe music in southern and south-western Bohemia (Several Comments on Folk Music Culture in the Regions of Chodsko and the Cheb Area and its Interpretation), while Marian Friedl concentrates on folk flutes in north-western Carpathians (What is the Origin of Long Flutes Ordered as 3+0 and 3+0+2 in Depositories of Moravian Museums?). Marta Toncrová a Lucie Uhlíková explain the importance and context of the collection Moravské písně milostné [Moravian Love Songs] by editors Leoš Janáček and Pavel Váša (Moravian Love Songs – an Unappreciated Milestone in Moravian Musical Folkloristics). Andrej Sulitka in his non-thematic study deals with the theme of ethnicity based on the research into Ruthenian minority (Ruthenians in the Czech Republic: the “revitalization” of a minority’s national identity).
The Transforming Tradition column publishes the essay It would be sad if we weren’t cheery… (by Josef Holcman). Review Section submits a view of the history of woman’s travelling – Beginnings of Woman’s Travelling in the World and in Our Country: from Ida Pfeifferová to Barbora Markéta Eliášová (by Oldřich Kašpar) and remembers the 100th birthday of the ethnographer Josef Beneš (by Josef Jančář). Social Chronicle is devoted to the anniversary of the theologian, ethnologist and historian Eva Melmuková Šašecí (born 1932); furthermore, obituaries for the ethnomusicologist Olga Hrabalová (1930–2017), ethnologist Ján Podolák (1926–2017) and the cultural worker and dancer Jiří Parduba (1923–2017). Other regular columns include reports from exhibitions, conferences and festivals as well as reviews of new books.
Aerophones in Traditional Ensemble Music in White Carpathians.
Modern aerophones permeated the rural musical traditions in the Slovakian-Moravian borderland in the last quarter of the 19th century. At that time, the boom of rural brass music bands began and clarinet and trumpet (as well as other brass instruments later-on) became stable parts of string and cimbalom music bands. After the World War I., the brass instruments formed music bands with 2 – 4 members and an accordion. This happened mainly on the Slovakian side of the borders; the music bands became part of “jazzes” – groups representing the rural form of town dance orchestras; the rural bands also included saxophone. From the perspective of the style of play, common regional earmarks can be found – despite individual peculiarities – in variations and mutual coordination of melodic voices. The clarinet players featured figurations that seemed to be deciding to create an own style; the trumpet players rather used time-proven melodic patterns for their variable heterophony. The play of melodic musical instruments in brass music bands is typical for its moderation in variants; peculiar is the deformation of several rhythmic patterns (the Trenčín area). From the perspective of polyphony, heterophony and tierce-parallelism dominate; the advanced style of playing the clarinets (the ethnographic area of Horňácko) features figurative contra-voice.
Several notes to folk music culture in the regions of Chodsko and Chebsko, and its interpretation
The contribution submits a thought about some phenomena which are connected with bagpipe music in southern and western Bohemia. In terms of methodology, it is based on an analysis of period sources as well as author’s own musical practice, and it tries to apply these on another analysis and the interpretation of bagpipe folk music in the regions of Chebsko and Chodsko. Based on catalogued hand-written records of German songs from Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, which are stored at the Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, as well as printed Czech and German collections of songs from Bohemia, and the oldest voice records of Bohemian folk music, it is possible to map the continual development of bagpipe folk music in southern and western Bohemia since the beginning of the 19th century to date. The analysis of all the sources shows that the bagpipe folk music from the regions of Chodsko and Chebsko formed a compact culture despite all the language differences between both regions. Due to musical notations in the oldest collections of folk music and due to the oldest voice records, it is possible to interpret the bagpipe folk music from the aforementioned regions reliably and in an informed form even today.
What is the Origin of Long Flutes Ordered as 3+0 and 3+0+2 in Depositories of Moravian Museums?
The usage of long flutes with three to five holes ordered as 3+0, 3+0+2 or 5+0 is evidenced in an area going from Moravia, through northern and eastern Slovakia, southern Poland and Hungary to Romania and Moldova. Other similar instruments can also be found in Arabian, Persian and Turkish traditional music and in the Uralo-Altaic region. In north-western Carpathians the tradition of playing and making these instruments has completely disappeared, or it has been replaced by a possible successor of these instruments – the Central-Slovakian fujara. A research recently executed in museum depositories and private collections in the Moravian-Slovakian borderland caused several questions. Based on the analogy, the common origin of long flutes with three finger holes (3+0) is assumed to be in bass versions of so called tabor pipes (Trommelpfeife). Together with a one handed drum, these instruments created a typical entertainment instrumental group in the late Middle Ages. However, very similar instruments with five finger holes of the 5+0 type can be found in Romania under the name caval, and in Hungary under the name hosszú furulya. If these instruments are related to the Eastern-Moravian variants, the so called tuning holes can be rudiments of the earlier finger holes, and such long flutes an unknown evolutional step of the Central-Slovakian fujara.
Moravian Love Songs – an Unappreciated Milestone in Moravian Musical Folkloristics
The study sets out the first scientifically treated Czech edition of songs – Moravské písně milostné [Moravian Love Songs] prepared by the composer Leoš Janáček and the philologist Pavel Váša, and published in parts between 1930 and 1937. The authors assess the collection´s importance, explain the reasons why its publishing lasted for more than twenty years (and Janáček did not live to see it), set out an unusual structure of the edition as well as possible causes for the insufficient appreciation of the work. They state that within the Czech context, the publication is a unique event in publishing for more reasons: 1. it can justly be described as the first scientifically treated edition of one sort of songs in the Czech folkloristic research; 2. based on a peculiar conception, mainly by Leoš Janáček, the material is divided into groups of songs based on the relationship between the musical and the literary component as well as the psychic and the emotional effect; 3. it is the first scientific edition supplemented with a lot of registers, although that part of the work has not overcome initial difficulties yet and it has introduced many inaccuracies into the collection; as a collection of love songs from Moravia and Silesia, it represents an important stage of development on the way to a model edition of scientific type.
Ruthenians in the Czech Republic: the “revitalization” of a minority’s national identity
The contribution points to selected activities and their role that they play in constructing the national self-identity of Ruthenian minority. It is the Rusíni.cz – rusínská iniciativa v ČR (Ruthenians.cz – a Ruthenian initiative in the Czech Republic) association, founded in 2011, that initiates the regeneration of club life. In contrast to the members of the Společnost přátel Podkarpatské Rusi (Society of Carpathian Ruthenia Friends), who come from older generations, the members of the new association come from young generations of Ruthenians, immigrants from Eastern Slovakia. The Rusíni.cz association set themselves a target to develop the activity in the field of the community life of Ruthenians in Prague, to maintain and promote cultural traditions of Ruthenians and to inform the Czech public about Ruthenians. As resulting from the attitudes of the Rusíni.cz representatives, the revitalisation of “ruthenianism” is based on the safeguarding of customary traditions, calendar cycle and language in the form of Ruthenian dialects spoken in Eastern Slovakia. From the Rusíni.cz perspective, the national identity of Ruthenians is declared as a culturally and ethically determined matter-of-fact.