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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:55462
Doc. No:TL25416
Call number:‭3317626‬
Main Entry:Joshua S. Walden
Title & Author:Sounding the soul: Jewish and Hungarian composers and performers and the transformation of folk music, 1900–1946Joshua S. Walden
College:Columbia University
Date:2008
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2008
Page No:356
Abstract:This dissertation addresses the ways nationalism intersected with aesthetic movements of realism and modernism and developments in recording technologies, to shape the portrayal of rural musical practices by urban musicians in Central and Eastern Europe during the early twentieth century. The dissertation focuses on a genre of music I call the "rural miniature," which consists of brief arrangements of folksongs and dances. The genre was particularly popular among Jewish and Hungarian composers who conducted ethnographic fieldwork or studied contemporary ethnomusicological research. Examples of rural miniatures include Béla Bartók's Romanian Folk Dances, Joseph Achron's "Hebrew Melody," and Ernest Bloch's Baal Shem. Violinists such as Joseph Szigeti and Jascha Heifetz performed rural miniatures by Jewish and Hungarian composers interchangeably, contributing to a cross-cultural genre. The genre is realist, because it engaged listeners to believe in the authenticity of the mode in which musical artifacts were represented, despite the modification undergone by folksongs between their discovery during fieldwork and their arrangement for urban listeners as rural miniatures. The introduction surveys the principal members of the art world who created rural miniatures, and describes elements common to the genre's musical construction. Chapter one discusses the genre's aesthetic realism, its quasi-objective representation of ethnographic artifacts, and its relation to the history of recording technology. Chapters two and three address rural miniatures in Jewish Diaspora culture, exploring the genre's development by members of the St. Petersburg Society for Jewish Folk Music, and the ways the violin served as an icon signifying "authentic" Yiddish culture. Chapter four discusses Bartók's essays on race and his theory of realism, developed in interaction with literary critic György Lukács. Chapter five examines Romanian Folk Dances, and the aesthetic quality of simplicity that Bartók aimed to achieve in his rural miniatures. Chapter six investigates Szigeti and Heifetz's recordings of rural miniatures, to examine the genre's performance tradition, in which violinists employed semiotic gestures such as slides and heavy articulation that were often interpreted as representing stereotyped notions of rural performance.
Subject:Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Achron, Joseph; Bartok, Bela; Bloch, Ernest; Diaspora; Folk music; Heifetz, Jascha; Hungary; Jewish; Nationalism; Society for Jewish Folk Music; Szigeti, Joseph; Violin; Music; Judaic studies; 0413:Music; 0751:Judaic studies
Added Entry:W. Frisch
Added Entry:Columbia University