Recently in Britain a proposal to ban hunting with dogs has caused a political furore. A fever pitch has been reached with the impending prospect of legislation under the new Labour Government. (Twice previously legislation has been brought before Parliament, but has failed to become law.) Among communities, the polarisation of popular opinion into pro- and anti-hunting pressure groups, led, in June 1998, to the formation of the Countryside Alliance, arguably the largest protest body with a 'status quo' agenda that Britain has ever known. Out of these tensions and perceived threats to rural lifestyles there has grown a renewed sense of community, in which such cherished institutions as the hunt supper together with the singing of traditional hunting songs have come to the fore. The assertion of identity 'in song' of those who value these cultural traditions has, during the last six years, crossed the boundary from the closed gatherings of hunting groups and rural communities into the public arena of political controversy. Based on fieldwork in the west Yorkshire Pennine hills, this paper will consider the changing perceptions of the function and meaning of such songs and the political implications of their performance.
One of the most controversial areas of folkloristic studies are those concerning the theories on the genesis of genres, on the mobility and variability of the folkloric “text”, on the process of its transition from one genre to another. There are still a lot of unanswered questions and unproved hypotheses concerning these intimate mechanisms of a mentality system of a certain social group, a mechanism that generates the re-functionaliztion of a folkloric “text” according to specific needs and specific contexts. For beyond the simultaneous presence of the same motifs and themes in genres with different functionality we have to take into consideration the case of those “texts” that due to the change of the register, in Hyme's sense, in which the transaction of meaning takes place, of their mode of performance and even of the arena of their performance, are being re-functionalised into another folkloric genre. Starting from the special case of the Romanian narrative song Letin bogat (The Rich Latin) also known as Cacircntecul Nasului (The Godfather's Song) we shall try to analyse the ways a narrative song has been ritualised by means of its performance as a distinct sequence of the wedding ritual, developing in time into a sort of ritual song. More than that we shall also focus on the reverse process nowadays that of another semantic readaptation of the song due to the de-sacralisation of the wedding ritual and its transformation into a spectacular ceremony.
It is widely known that Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály conducted fundamental research in the field of Hungarian rural folk music. During their fieldwork, they focused almost exclusively on monophonic songs. Their preference had at least two main
. Gray , A . 1996 : The liberation song, with special reference to those used by the African National Congress, the Inkatha Freedom Party and the Pan Africanist Congress . MMus Dissertation . University of the Free State , Bloemfontein . Groenewald
In the 15th and 16th centuries secular medieval Latin songs attracted the attention of musicians. Two examples (Vinum bonum et suave, and Potatores exquisiti), in their medieval and renaissance manifestations, highlight the differences of approach to music in the two period. Both are drinking songs but have associations with sacred repertoire; and seem to be connected to monastic culture; and the two seem to have migrated to disparate regions of Europe.
The article analyses two Russian ballads in which the hero and plot are close to those of epic songs. Human destiny is a central notion of the ballads; its portrayal is compared to the way destiny is shown in rites and epic songs. The portrayal of time characteristic of the epic song (historic present) acquires new function in the ballad where circular time is replaced by the portrayal of linear, irreversible human fate.