On the Borders of Genres: Situations of Communication and Crossgenres Forms in Traditional Song Culture Cover Image

Na hraniciach žánrov. Komunikačné situácie a medzižánrové formy v tradičnej piesňovej kultúre
On the Borders of Genres: Situations of Communication and Crossgenres Forms in Traditional Song Culture

Author(s): Hana Urbancová
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Ústav etnológie a sociálnej antropológie Slovenskej akadémie vied
Keywords: song; genre; poetics; music style; communication; hybrid forms; function;

Summary/Abstract: The examination of song genres carried until recently has been marked by a prevailing orientation towards the ”text”. This means that we have paid attention to internally consistent song forms and song repertoires. Within the framework for genres classification, hybrid forms appeared as ambivalent and fragmentary. However, many of these songs may be interpreted as a result of genre overlapping caused by specific communication situations. If a greater stability of these situations was achieved, also the hybrid song forms became stabilised and a new structural and semantic quality could come into existence. Due to this, our view on the traditional song genres is enriched by boundary genre forms. These enable us to study the process of how song genres exhibiting a different level of relationship and interconnection become hybridised at the level of song lyrics and music-style signs. Selected examples of the genre overlapping (trávnice – lullabies; song legends – Christmas carols; lamentations – funeral spiritual songs) attract attention to one principle of such processes: the music component is the means ensuring continuity between different genres. At the same time, it subtly reacts to changes of communication situations, which also concerns the function of singing. A detailed music analysis will reliably decipher these stable signs and state their role in the creation of new song forms. Hybrid forms testify to the inner unity of the traditional singing. They are, however, an expression of other kind of homogeneity different from that we have focused our attention on when analysing various genres. This unity existent in the deep layers of traditional folk culture is being reflected in the consciousness of singers. For this reason, we should focus on seeking inner laws that enable these forms to come into existence and become functional. Hybrids not only maintain elements of culture in circulation but also represent one of the essential mechanisms supporting the functioning of culture.

  • Issue Year: 57/2009
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 175 - 194
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Slovak