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
Serbo-Croatian songs. In his Slovak collection, the songs are first divided according to the number of melodic lines (normally two, three, or four) without counting repetitions of material. Thus a tune with the form ABBA has two different melodic lines, but the form ABCD has four. Each class is then subdivided according to the position of the final tones of the lines in their relationship to the last tone of the song. For example, a song in which all lines end on the same pitch is in one class; one in which the sequence of final tones of lines is GAAG would be in another; and so on. Beyond this, each of the categories is then divided according to rhythm—dotted rhythms are separated from even rhythms. Finally, each of these groups is subdivided according to the number of syllables per line, distinguishing the songs that have the same number of syllables in in each line from those in which the number varies from line to line. Bartok's scheme of classifying melodies differs greatly, however, from that used by most students of British folk song, such as Cecil Sharp, who classified tunes according to mode. The reason for this difference is probably related to the fact that there is in the British (and other Western European) styles less formal variety than there is in East European folk music, for the former, being based on poetry with metric feet, relies on more or less constant meter and length of line.
Epics: Yugoslavia, Finland, Russia
If we measured the intonation of genuine folk singers anywhere we would probably find that their intervals do not coincide as well with those in standard music theory as our notations indicate. Espe­cially in Eastern Europe, and perhaps more in the Balkans than else­where, would we find intervals smaller than the minor second, thirds which are neither major nor minor, and the like. The Balkans have for centuries been under the cultural influence—now strong, now weaker—of the Near East, where small intervals are common. But they have also conformed to a degree with the diatonic system found in Western folk and art music, and with the widespread pentatonic modes which use minor thirds and major seconds and can be derived from the circle of fifths. Thus we find a great deal of variety in the melodic material used in Balkan folk music. An interesting example

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