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Folkloristic musical works played an essential role in the creation of a ‘Slovak idiom’ in classical music of the post-war period. From the simple arrangement of folk songs to a more autonomous art music (which may have been only partly influenced by folk traditions) there existed a broad spectrum of musical practices, including also film music and music for the professional ‘folk music ensembles’ that appeared after 1948. By referring to specific examples from this large body of music, I will show how composers worked with harmonic and poetic elements that were particular to folk music: my discussion of examples from the breadth of this music — including music for the film Zem spieva ([The land sings], music by F. Škvor), the ‘model’ compositions for the ensemble SĽUK (A. Moyzes) and, finally, the subjective folklorism of the avantgarde in the 1960s and 1970s — shows how Slovak composers worked under changing ideological influences to bring about an ‘ennobling’ of folk music.

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