Folk & Traditional Music of the Western Continents

The folk & traditional music of Europe, Africa & the Americas explored.

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes



Share page  Visit Us On FB



Previous Contents Next
THE GENERAL CHARACTER OF EUROPEAN FOLK MUSIC 45
example 3-8. Tunes from Spain, Rumania, and England with similar structure and possibly genetically related, from Walter Wiora, Euro­paischer Volksgesang (Koln: Arno Volk Verlag, ca. 1950), p. 50-51.
total singing style of that area. He seems to feel, accordingly, that each culture can sing in only one way (which is a theory that has been proved incorrect in various cultures, as for instance among the North American Indians). But Lomax's observations do lead us to conclude that Europe is not a unit as far as singing style is concerned, but that two or three styles of singing and voice production are found, and that each of these is supranational in character and cuts across the boundaries of politics, culture, and language. Also he shows that the two main European singing styles are not found to a great extent on other continents (except among descendants of Eu­ropeans) .
Wandering melodies
Quite aside from the characteristics of the elements of music, the content of the tunes found in Europe indicates that Europe is a historical unit. In the nineteenth century, some scholars began to be intrigued by what they came to call "wandering melodies," that is, by tunes whose variants were found in the folk traditions of widely separated countries. The existence of such tunes is generally recog­nized. Example 3-8 illustrates this phenomenon, but great num­bers of related tunes found in a larger number of countries can be seen in several publications, particularly in Wiora's Europaischer Volksgesang.3 In a good many cases it is quite likely that the similar
3 Wiora, Europaischer Volksgesang, p. 5f.







E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III