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 Study Group on Folk Musical Instruments



18th Meeting: StubickeToplice 2011

The 18th Meeting of the ICTM Study Group on Folk Musical Instruments took place in StubickeToplice, a small spa town 30 km north of Zagreb. About 60 participants from 15 countries gathered in the hotel Matija Gubec for the 2011 meeting, held from 13th -17th April. Main organiser was our Study Group member Irena Miholić supported by the Institut za etnologiju I folkloristiku and other local institutions. The programme consisted of 35 paper presentations, an exhibition of musical instruments for educational purposes, a film screening session, two workshops, an excursion that included the opening of the exhibition ‘The Skill of Making Traditional Instruments Today’ in the Ethnological Museum Staro Selo (Old Village) Kumrovec and a detailed visit to the Krapina Neandertal Museum as well as performances in the castle Orsic (Gornja Stubica) and during dinner time. The meeting was professionally prepared. There were neither technical nor administrative problems so that all participants were able to enjoy the excellent facilities and the relaxed atmosphere of the spa hotel. Many thanks go to Irena Miholić, her colleagues and her friends.

Papers submitted fell into the two main topics announced in the foregoing call for papers:‘Instrumental Melodies and Voice Construction’, and ‘Rural Musical Instruments in the 21st Century’. Additionally, new researches were presented.

Topic I: ‘Instrumental Melodies and Voice Construction’

Lujza Tari opened the first session with a historical overview on this topic in her paper entitled ‘Some effects of vocal and instrumental music on each other: identities and differences’. She was followed by Miroslav Stojislavjevic referring to ‘Gusle – the sound of Serbian epic poetry – perspectives of the tradition in modern Serbian society’. Nana Zehtalked about the Cuica, whereas Gisa Jähnichen’s paper focused on Khmu flute songs and Rewadee Ungpho on ‘Pi Nai and Saw Sam Sai: the Special Instruments Imitating the Vocal Solo’. The paper of Margaret Kartomi ‘Interaction between Violin (Biola) and Vocal Melody in Malay Sea Songs along Sumatra’s Coast’ could not be held at the meeting’ due to personal reasons, but it will be published in the next issue of Studia Instrumentorum Musicae Popularis II (New Series). Naoko Nagai contributed to the topic a paper entitled ‘A song not for singing? Historical scores for the qin (Chinese zither)’. Rinko Fujita gave some insights on the adaptation of reed aerophones in Japan. Vesna Ivkov spoke about melody relation between vocal and instrumental performances by accordionists from the the Vojvodina region, Timkehet Teffera examined melodic dialects of Ethiopian folk musical instruments taking the lyre ‘krar‘ as an example. Special perspectives on the main topic were presented by Jürgen Elsner in his paper referring to Dan-singing in Yemen and by Jasmina Talam who spoke about the ‘Singing by the pan’.

All these well discussed papers offer an overview about the current state of research and put forward further questions on the balance between musically detailed investigations and the discursive analysis of the role of musical instruments in societies, communities, ethnic, age and gender groups.

Topic II: ‘Rural Musical Instruments in the 21st Century’

This topic covers a wide range of studies on musical instruments that are labelled as “rural” in their current social, ethnic, and technological setting. Furthermore, papers were especially dedicated to local studies of the cultural region, where the meeting took place (Croatia, Balkan, Mediterranean cultures).

Zlata Marjanović opened the series of contributions to the topic with her paper ‘Ljubo Duletic’s gusle and diple modulations’ followed by Ulrich Morgenstern who presented a recent study on Mikhail Srochinsky from the Smolensk region. A more general view on the topic offered papers by Irena Miholić ‘Looking for “rural” instruments in the 21st Century –Case Studies from Northern Croatia’, the panel by Mirjana Zakić, Rastko Jakovljević, and Danka Lajić-Mihajlović under the title ‘The Presence of Rural Instruments in Serbia Today’ as well as Urša Šivic’s paper ‘Revival of traditional instruments under the label of authenticity’.

A series of papers were dedicated to bagpipes such as Nice Fracile’s paper ‘Bagpipes “of the Banat” in Vojvodina, between past and present’, Vilena Vrbanić’s paper ‘Bagpipes in modern musical practice in Croatia’, Bernard Garaj’s paper ‘Rural musical instruments at the turn of two centuries: the case of bagpipes in Slovakia’, and the panel organised by Naila Ceribašić, Katarina Duplančić, Nina Šala, Andor Vegh about ‘Pavo Gadanyi and Croatian bagpiping’.Other detailed studies on the topic were presented by Mojca Kovačič in her paper ‘No laughter without bellows (Brez meha ni smeha) or accordion in Slovenia today’ and in the panel by Marina Kovač, Amila Čengić, and AmraToska under the title ’Bosnian instrumental rural practice: Soundscape of Rama’.

New Research:

Under ‘new research’ we enjoyed Giuseppe Massimo Rizzo’s paper ‘Networked construction of Krk's island musical identities’, Svanibor Pettan’s and Ljuben Dimkaroski’s paper on the Paleolithic bone flute from Divje Babe, especially their interesting demonstrations, Joško Ćaleta’s paper on the Licitarsko srce tamburica collection, and Marco Lutzu’s paper entitled ‘A New Device for the Analysis of Relations between Music and Gesture in Launeddas (Sardinia)’.

Additionally, Rudolf Pietsch gave a lecture with many Austrian folk music examples on vocal and instrumental musicianship in personal union. Finally, Hannes Heyne introduced some of his educational experiments with self-made musical instruments.

All papers, workshops and demonstrations were well prepared and presented. The meeting imposes high standards in terms of methodology and discussion culture. 28 papers out of 32 were submitted for the next issue of Studia Instrumentorum Musicae Popularis II (New Series), which is on the way to be published at the end of the year 2011. The publication procedure was then discussed in the final business meeting. Furthermore, a proposal of Marianne Bröcker was accepted, who suggested the meeting in 2013 to be held in Bamberg following an invitation of a famous instrument maker in this long-standing Franconian city.

18th Meeting: Papers

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