Folklig koralsång. En musiketnologisk undersökning av bakgrunden, bruket och musiken
(Traditional Hymn-singing. An Ethnomusicological Study of the Background, Practice and Tunes)
By Margareta Jersild and Ingrid Åkesson (2000)
Hymn singing is one the few song genres that has been practiced by virtually all Swedes over several hundred years, since the Reformation. The hymn book was one of the few books found in nearly everybody’s home up until the turn of the twentieth century, and hymns have been sung in many everyday situations, such as during work, besides in connection with religious services. In different regions, parishes, and villages, many of the common hymns were sung to different melodies, or to different variants of the same basic melody. Several of these so-called folk hymns or traditional hymns are far removed from the simple and syllabic tunes of the hymnal which was established by the Church. Occasionally, they are richly decorated with melodic ornamentation.
Folklig koralsång. En musiketnologisk undersökning av bakgrunden, bruket och musiken is written by Assistant Professor, Margareta Jersild, formerly at Svenskt visarkiv, and ethnomusicologist, Ingrid Åkesson, research archivist at Svenskt visarkiv. It is a standard work about hymn singing in the folk tradition, generally speaking a tradition with its own musical characteristics, parallel to and only partly overlapping the church music tradition. The book is based on the extensive documentation of traditional hymn variants that different collectors have assembled from various parts of Sweden, as well as from the Swedish-speaking regions of Estonia, and Gammalsvenskby (in the Ukraine).
The book also thoroughly treats phenomena such as variation in traditional singing, song styles and style elements, and tunes with a modal character. These aspects are characteristic for the whole older layer of vocal, as well as instrumental, traditional music; therefore the book is useful for anyone seeking information about older traditional music in general. The book includes a CD with a selection of archival recordings and a number of transcribed hymn variants that are not published anywhere else.
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