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Article

Erkki Salmenhaara

[Erik]

(b Ilmajoki, Feb 2, 1911; d Tampere, Sept 2, 1996). Finnish musicologist and folklorist. He studied at Helsinki Conservatory (1929–36) and under A.O. Väisänen at Helsinki University (MA 1942), where he took the doctorate in 1956 with a dissertation on the polska in Finland. His extended fieldwork on folk music and instruments in Finland and Sweden resulted in a collection of over 10,000 melodies (now in Tampere University library). After teaching music at Helsinki Conservatory (1951–7) and lecturing at Helsinki University (1957–62) he held a research grant from the State Humanities Committee (1962–75). He was professor of folk research at Tampere University (1975–7) and director of the university folk research institute (1977–81). He was active in many folk music research organizations. A list of his writings is included in the Festschrift Kentältä kentälle: juhlakirja Erkki Ala-Könnin 70 - vuotispäiväksi 2.2.1981...

Article

Sigurd Berg

(b Copenhagen, March 2, 1801; d Copenhagen, Nov 8, 1880). Danish folklorist, teacher and composer. He began composing and playing the flute while still in school. After his matriculation he studied law for a time, but influenced by the composer C.E.F. Weyse he soon dedicated himself to music and attracted attention in 1823 with a cantata for the 200th anniversary of Regensen, the students' college in Copenhagen. Over the next few years he composed several more cantatas as well as incidental music for the Royal Theatre. From 1838 he was organist at the Trinitatis Kirke, and from 1843 singing master at the metropolitan school. He held both posts until his death; they led him to an intensive occupation with church and school singing. He composed a notable set of hymn melodies, many of which are still used in the Danish Church, and edited many collections of partsongs for schools, containing several of his own compositions. He also made an important collection of Danish and foreign folksongs and melodies. In ...

Article

Sally K. Sommers Smith Wells

(b New York, NY, Dec 13, 1936). American Folklorist and musicologist. Trained as a physical chemist, he is one of the foremost scholars of American traditional-music history, practice, and recording. In addition to holding faculty positions in chemistry at two undergraduate institutions in Portland, Oregon, he has taught undergraduate courses in folk song, bluegrass, country, and Jewish music in Portland and at UCLA. Cohen is perhaps best known for his long association with the John Edwards Memorial Foundation (now John Edwards Memorial Forum; JEMF). He served as the editor or co-editor of the JEMF Quarterly from its inception (as the JEMF Newsletter) in 1965 through 1988. He has lectured and written extensively on American folk song and is particularly well known for his study of the railroad as a theme in American folk music, published as Long Steel Rail: the Railroad in American Folksong. He has also compiled a two-volume regional encyclopedia of American folk music as well as a collection of case studies in folk music research, ...

Article

Gerard Béhague

(b Santiago, May 16, 1932). Chilean ethnomusicologist and folklorist. At the University of Chile he studied philosophy, specializing in Romance languages and Spanish education (1958–65); he also studied ethnomusicology and folklore privately with Carlos Lavín. He has held positions as professor of folklore at the Catholic University (1957–74), professor of ethnology and folklore at the University of Chile (appointed 1971), professor of ethnomusicology at the latter institution (appointed 1963), chairman of the art department of the Catholic University (1972–4) and president of the Research Committee of the University of Chile, northern campus (appointed 1974). In 1973 he visited the University of California at Los Angeles and Berkeley as a fellow of the University of Chile. He has lectured widely in Latin America and the USA, and participated in numerous international conventions and congresses. In his research he has concentrated on the study of Chilean folklore and folk music, devoting many years to field work; his extensive publications reveal a systematic and comprehensive approach to the subject....

Article

(b Wilster, Holstein, Oct 15, 1761; d Copenhagen, Dec 30, 1825). Danish folklorist, teacher and composer of German birth. After studying in Kiel (1782–5), where he came to know C.F. Cramer, Grønland took up a post as an official of the German chancellery in Copenhagen. Though he remained a civil servant all his life, his musical activities covered a wide field: he was the teacher of C.E.F. Weyse and acted as correspondent for a number of German and Danish music periodicals. His most important work, however, was concerned with the preservation of Scandinavian folksongs. In about 1810 work on a wide scale had begun in Denmark to rescue extant traditions from the oblivion threatened by the development of communications, especially roads. A valuable outcome of this work was the recording of folksongs, both texts and tunes, and particularly their publication in five volumes (1812–14) by Abrahamson, Nyerup and Rahbek. This newly aroused interest in folksong further resulted in a number of piano arrangements of folktunes. Grønland’s contributions include two manuscript collections, in the Royal Library of Copenhagen, and his publication (...

Article

Susan Feder

(b New York, NY, Sept 22, 1899; d Plainfield, NJ, May 23, 1979). American soprano and folklorist. She studied voice in New York with Cesare Stunai, Henry Russell, and Katherine Opdycke, and made her debut in 1929, as Gounod’s Marguerite, with the Quebec Opera Company, Montreal. During the 1930s, while continuing to sing opera in New York, Philadelphia, and elsewhere (her roles included Aida, Tosca, and Carmen), she became interested in American folk music and folklore and began collecting songs, particularly from residents of the Pine Barrens of New Jersey and the Zuni Indians of New Mexico, about both of which she lectured and wrote articles. Her recital programs (from 1937) ranged from Hopkinson and Billings to MacDowell, Farwell, and Gershwin (often performed from manuscript); she also sang Native American songs in original languages and folksongs from all over North America. A frequent performer on radio, she was the soloist on ...

Article

Walter Blankenburg

(b Schneeberg, Saxony, April 4, 1515; d Königsberg, Nov 27, 1585). German jurist and humanist. He was one of the children of a Saxon mine inspector. In 1527 he went to school and later to university in Leipzig; in 1535 he took the Master of Arts degree and remained as a teacher at the university until 1550, when he became Hofmeister (private tutor) to two noble students at Leuven University and, from 1551, at the University of Paris. On returning to Leipzig in 1556, he was appointed councillor and chancellor to the Prince of Meissen (Saxony). In 1562 he went to Bologna to study at the university, taking the degree of Doctor of Laws, and in 1563 he was called by Duke Albrecht of Prussia to the chair of law at Königsberg University, where he stayed until his retirement in 1580.

Lobwasser's great achievement was the translation of the Genevan (or Huguenot) Psalter into German, following the original verse forms exactly, in the years immediately after its completion in ...

Article

Laura Otilia Vasiliu

[ Karol ]

( b Chernivtsi, [now in Ukraine], Oct 20, 1819; d Lviv, Ukraine, May 21, 1897). Armenian-Polish-Romanian pianist, composer, folklorist, and teacher .

He studied the piano in Paris with Frédéric Chopin and composition with Anton Reicha (1844–7). He toured as a concert pianist in Austria, France, Italy, and Russia. He was a professor at and head of the Lviv Conservatory from 1858 to 1888. He then founded his own school. Among his students were the Romanians Ciprian Porumbescu, Paul Ciuntu, and Constantin Gros, but also the musician pianists of Lviv that would be his disciples—Raoul Koczalski, Moriz Rosenthal, and Aleksander Michałowski. He collected, notated, and processed Romanian and Polish folk songs (1848–54). He published a 17-volume critical edition of Chopin’s work (Leipzig, 1879). He used several verified sources, most of which were written or corrected by Chopin himself. His editions of Chopin’s works were first published in America in ...

Article

László Dobszay

(b Eger, Nov 11, 1901; d Pásztó, July 1, 1989). Hungarian musicologist and folklorist. After joining the Cistercian order (1917) he studied theology and music history with Ficker at the University of Innsbruck (1920–26), taking the doctorate in theology in 1926; concurrently he was Kapellmeister at the Collegium Canisianum (1924–6). He later studied composition under Kodály in Budapest (1932–5). While teaching in secondary schools in Budapest he also lectured in folk music at the university (1945–50); he then held posts as a research fellow in the music department of the Ethnographical Museum (1950–60) and in the folk music research group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (1960–67), of which he was director after Kodály's death until his retirement in 1971. During his years as a teacher (1926–50) he became associated with the reform in music teaching led by Kodály, in which he played a prominent part through his exceptionally successful teaching methods, textbooks and articles, and his organization and training of music teachers....

Article

Israel J. Katz

(b Oviedo, April 8, 1888; d London, Feb 17, 1955). Spanish folklorist, writer on music and literature, teacher, choral conductor and composer . He began his musical education in Oviedo, studied the piano and composition at the Madrid Conservatory (1907–10), and, after two years in Oviedo conducting research on traditional Asturian music, went to the Schola Cantorum in Paris (1912–14), where he studied composition with d’Indy; he also went to lectures by Tiersot (who had influenced him earlier) at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Sociales. He was invited by Ramón Menéndez Pidal to work at the Madrid Centro de Estudios Históricos in 1916, and was one of the remarkable group of artists living at the Residencia de Estudiantes which included Bal y Gay, Falla, Turina, Adolfo Salazar, Sainz de la Maza, Lorca, J. Ramón Jiménez, Buñuel and Dali. Later he dedicated to the institution his ...

Article

John Tyrrell

(b Brno, June 30, 1898; d Brno, Nov 30, 1979). Czech musicologist and folklorist . He studied with Helfert at Brno University (1921–6), taking the doctorate with a dissertation on Rieger. Until 1928 he worked under Helfert in the music section of the Moravian Museum; he then became head of the music division of Brno Radio (1928–45), which he helped to develop to a high standard, particularly increasing its educational role in the promotion of folk and art music. After the war he was director of the Brno University library (1945–53) and then head of the Brno Institute for Ethnography and Folklore at the Czech Academy of Sciences (1953–70); he also lectured on folk studies at the university (1954–9). Although Vetterl's writings reflect his work in libraries and the radio, where he undertook valuable cataloguing projects, his chief interest was folksong. In ...

Article

Miloš Velimirović

(b Voznesensk, Kostroma province, 5/Sept 17, 1838; d Kostroma, 8/Dec 21, 1910). Russian writer on church music . Voznesensky graduated from the Kostroma Seminary in 1860 and from the Moscow Theological Academy in 1864. He served as teacher of chant in the Kostroma Seminary until 1883, when he became an inspector of the Riga Seminary until 1894; he then served as head priest of the cathedral of the Trinity, Kostroma. In the late 1880s and in the 1890s he published several volumes of studies dealing with the different varieties of chant in Russian churches. His works are basically compilations, and eclectic in nature. He did only a minimal amount of original research on the historical evolution of Russian chant, but he was among the first in Russia to investigate the melodic traditions of south-western Russian provenance from the 17th and 18th centuries preserved in Western staff notation. He translated into Russian a treatise of the ‘method’ of the Greco-Slavonic chanting originally written in Latin by Ioan de Castro (Rome, ...