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eniko.basa at verizon dot net
Mon, 15 Feb 2010 13:11:51 EST by admin, 99573 views
Music/Folklore paper by Bozzay, Zina (all papers)
Capturing an Oral Tradition on the Page: Notations of Ornamentation, Variation, and Individuality in Hungarian Folk Singing
Creating transcriptions of source recordings is both a science and an art - and the detailed transcriptions of Hungarian folk songs created by Hungarian ethnomusicologists provide invaluable material for historical understanding, theoretical analysis, and vocal study of these songs. What other styles of notation could serve different functions: capture new elements of the songs, demonstrate the variation and improvisation, or provide a more visually representative or easier-to-follow guide for today’s many folk singing students? With complex but stylistic ornamentation, rubato and ‘uneven’ timing, differing vocal timbres, and other fluctuating and flexible elements specific to regions and song types, this diverse oral tradition can be represented on the page in many ways. I will present a few examples of notational strategies developed through experience with folk singers’ rehearsal techniques without sheet music or with limited music-reading skills, contemporary composers’ use of modern notation and graphic scoring, and Hungarian folk music scholars’ knowledge of transcription methods appropriate to this music. As folk singers often must know to embellish skeletal notations or are daunted by transcriptions that are unnecessarily complicated and counterintuitive (and in fact create their own alternatives), these tools may aid in practical daily ways. But as I bring out important elements intrinsic to Hungarian folk singing they may also shed light on conceptual changes in our approach to folk music and its notation. As it bonds Hungarians and folk music enthusiasts around the world, how we conceptualize, visualize, and notate this music is a pressing issue in the ongoing continuation and development of this special heritage.
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