Folklore | Tradition & Innovation in European Folk Music Scholarship
F635 | 25650 | L. Hooker


Fulfills: Area

Ethnomusicology has its roots in the study of folk music, or more
specifically “folksong” – a term coined by Johann Gottfried Herder
in the late 18th century. In the centuries since Herder’s efforts to
map Europe through music, scholars and musicians have grappled with
how to study this repertoire and in fact how to define what it is,
even as it has been invested with ideological importance as
the “voice of the people” and treated as raw material by composers
and songwriters.

In this course we will explore the history of scholarship on the
traditional musics of rural Europe, particularly from Hungary,
Finland, Russia, Germany, the Balkans, and the British Isles, and
how that music has been used in the development of national culture,
both high and low. We will also examine musics of two important
transnational communities, Jews and Roma (Gypsies) and the
challenges their cases bring to the idea of the culture nation.
Finally, we will look at how folk music has been transformed and
revived in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries,
particularly by examining the impact of revival and
commercialization.