Report on the 17th Meeting of the ICTM Study Group for Historical Sources of Traditional Music

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Stockholm (Sweden) 21 - 25 May 2008

The Study Group on Historical Sources in the International Council of Traditional Music was established in 1967 in order to search for historical sources in Ethnomusicology and to provide a working forum for interested colleagues. Thus far 16 meetings have already been held in different European countries; the 17th Meeting of the ICTM Study Group on Historical Sources of Traditional Music was held in Stockholm from May 21 - 25, 2008, thanks to an invitation by the Svenskt visarkiv, Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research. The conference was made possible through the efforts of Ingrid Akesson and her colleagues in the Svenskt visarkiv and financially supported by the Swedish National Committee of the ICTM.

Twenty-six scholars from Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, the Russian Federation, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States presented papers and discussed various historical aspects of ethnomusicology.

The chosen topic "Historical sources and source criticism" presented the opportunity to discuss different approaches related to historical sources, written as well as sound recordings. The quality of the papers and lively discussions resulted in a compact program on an outstandingly high level.

A critical view of the history of ethnomusicology and historical sources was the subject of papers given by Susanne Ziegler (Berlin): "Historical sources in the history of ethnomusicology - a critical review", Gerda Lechleitner (Vienna): "Prerequisites for the value of sound recordings - summing up 100 years of source criticism", and Ingrid Bertleff (Freiburg im Breisgau): "Writing the history/ies of ethnomusicology - or how to construct armchairs". Special local aspects were discussed by Vit Zdrálek (Prague): "Mieczyslaw Kolinski and German musicology in Prague between 1930 and 1945" and by Risto Blomster (Helsinki): "Some aspects of the Finnish Literature Society's wax cylinder collection and its origin". The search for historical sources of traditional music in music history was pursued by Ewa Dahlig-Turek (Warsaw): "Between ethnomusicology and history of music: Tracing Polish musical idiom in the sources of the 16th-19th century", with an overwhelming citation of Mazurka examples, by Vesa Kurkela (Tampere/Helsinki): "Printed folk song -

Canonizing national music in 19th century Finland", and Maurice Mengel (Berlin): "Ethnomusicological research in the service of the working class: Folclor Nou in Romanian ethnomusicology from the 1950s to the 1970s." Musical Change was the dominating topic in papers given by Birgit Abels (Leiden): "Who wants yesterday's music? The aesthetics of sound and musical change on an island in the Western Pacific", and Sydney Hutchinson (Univ. of Arizona): "El furioso merengue que ha sido nuestra historia. A critical look at historical sources for the study of Dominican merengue tipico". Research on historical layers of folk music was presented by Per Åsmund Omholt (Rauland): "How old is a "Slått"? On historical layers in Norwegian fiddle music"; Hans-Hinrich Thedens (Oslo): "A desire for the genuine and ancient. Dealing with historical sources in Norwegian music", and Ruta Zarskienè (Vilnius): "Historical sound sources. …