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Bulgarian Musicology - online
1. Table of Contents (Bulgarian Version)
“A Hundred Years Raina Katsarova” – Elena Stoin
Raina Katsarova was born on the 7th of May 1901. She was a daughter of General Dimitar Katsarov, an amateur naturalist and scholar, a son of priest Ilia Katsarov from Koprivshtitsa, a participant in the April Uprising. Her mother, Stefania Konstantinova, was a housewife, but by self-education she reached a high level of learning and erudition. The enlightened family background and the childhood spent in Berkovitsa, Vratsa and Koprivshtitsa cultivated in her love and respect for the hard-working Bulgarian people, for its holidays and workdays, its customs and songs.
She graduated from the Theoretical Department of the State Music Academy (1922-25). Her interest in the musical folklore made Prof. Dobri Hristov and the commission present at her state examination, particularly Prof. Vassil Stoin, direct her to work in the sphere of folk music. By that time she had already taken down on her own initiative several scores of songs. After successful trial work on location (sent by the Ethnographical Museum) to collect folk songs in the region of Teteven and the Rhodopes, at the end of 1928 Raina Katsarova was appointed assistant and later curator in the section for folk music at the National Ethnographical Museum. Here under the guidance of Vassil Stoin and with the friendly assistance of the museum workers, especially the ethnographer Hristo Vakarelski and the museum director Stefan L. Kostov, Katsarova developed as an excellent musical student of folklore and museum worker. Trips for collecting musical folklore materials all over Bulgaria followed. During the period of printing the collections of folk songs she actively collaborated with V.Stoin.
At the end of 1930 Katsarova travelled at her own expense to Czechoslovakia and Germany. In Berlin she got acquainted with the best specialists in the area of folk music – the professors Hornbostel, Kurt Sachs, Wolf, Schunemann and Dr. Lachmann. In Prague, in Berlin and in Dresden she won a lot of friends for the Bulgarian musical folklore.
Following V. Stoin Raina Katsarova became curator of the section for folk music at the Ethnographical Museum. Thanks to her initiative and personal relations abroad she managed to supply the section with a phonograph apparatus “Presto” together with metalophone records for it. Hers was the initiative a collection of folk musical instruments to be created as well as the instruments from the first Plovdiv Fair in 1898 housed in the museum to be arranged and included in an inventory. Simultaneously she collected new instruments and studied some of them. Taking the risk of getting in conflict with the management of the museum, in 1944 Katsarova evacuated the property of the section for folk music to Koprivshtitsa and thus she rescued it from the fire in Sofia on the 30th of March 1944.
In 1950 the section for folk music was transferred from the Ethnographical Museum to the Institute of Music (established in 1948) at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (today Department “Music” at the Institute for Art Studies – BAS). As a senior research associate she headed the folklore section to the end of 1964 when she retired.
As a musical folklore specialist R. Katsarova manifested all-round interests. During all her creative activity her interest in work on location did not diminish. She was the author of a great number of monographs, studies and papers, devoted to various aspects of the musical folklore practice. Among them are: “Three Generations of Folk Women Singers”, “Today’s State of the Epic Recitative in Bulgaria”, “Two Distinctive Features of the Pomak Tunes in the Rhodopes”, “Ugarchin Pentatonic” and “Mourning of the Dead”, “The Bagpipes of a Master from Shumen” and “Koprivshtitsa’s Bagpipes and Bagpipe-Players”; “Lazaritsa” (London, 1935), “Folk Dances and Games from the Village of Hlevene, Lovetch District”, “Bulgarian Dance Folklore” (translated into Russian and English with an attachment of 12 folk dances, arranged for the stage by choreographer Kiril Djenev) and “Distribution and Variants of one Bulgarian Dance”; “Padarevski Kukeri “ (Mummers from Padarevo), “Sourvakari”, “Winter Carnival Games From the Regions of Pernik, Breznik and Radomir”, “Dervishes From the Village of Lesichevo, the Region of Pazardjik” and “Mummers From the Village of Vresovo, the Region of Aitos and the Village of Asparouhovo, the Region of Provadia”; “Folk Puppet Theatre. Puppets Made of Napkins” and “Puppets Made of Plants”; “Variations and Permutations of a Spring Melody”, “Balkan Variants of Two Turkish Songs”, “Distribution and Variants of One Bulgarian Dance”, “Hadji Dambo Is Building a Tower” etc.
R. Katsarova was the first to broadcast lectures and folk songs live on Radio Sofia. She dedicated a lot of time to amateur folklore activities. She popularized Bulgarian musical and dance folklore and Bulgarian folkloristic musical science abroad.
It cannot be said that R. Katsarova is a representative of a definite generation of musical folklorists. She made her first steps together with her teachers Dobri Hrisov and Vassil Stoin and walked along the long and uneven road of the musical folklore together with the next generations. Everything accomplished by Raina Katsarova in the sphere of Bulgarian musical and dance folklore is worthy of respect and appreciation.
Raina Katsarova had a nice family – a husband and two sons, but in her personal life she survived several serious ordeals. In 1944 an American bomb hit her house at 12 Veliko Tirnovo Street. With a lot of effort and privation the house was partly restored. The governing red aristocrats forced her to leave her native house in the centre of Sofia, and to move to the suburban housing estate “Droujba” where she lived to the end of her life. Unfortunately she lost her elder son. All this affected her health, she suffered a stroke and after a while she passed away on 14th of August 1984.
Raina Katsarova left a deep track in Bulgarian music folklore science and unforgettable memories in those who had the opportunity to work and communicate with her.
“Oration about Raina Katsarova”
– Nickolai Kauffmann
With deep conviction and clear conscience I rank Raina Katsarova among the emanation of the Bulgarian people, among those great Bulgarians whose names will remain forever. When the Institute of Music at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences was established (1948), Raina Katsarova was put in charge of the music folklore section. Having been a collaborator of Vassil Stoin, she took from him and introduced into all of us the flame of the collectors of the great golden treasure. This eminent trio – Raina Katsarova, Ivan Kachulev, Elena Stoin – brought with themselves a great tradition from the Ethnographical Institute, where they worked before coming to the Institute of Music. That was the great science of Ivan Sishmanov, Mihail Arnaudov, Hristo Vakarelski. She worked hard to create a centre for collecting and studying Bulgarian folk music, which can be compared with the most prestigious ones. She headed the passionate work of collecting and studying the music folklore from all regions of Bulgaria, she gathered a nucleus of folklorists, who shared her love for and devotion to the national music folk art.
I will not enumerate the merits of the collective and research activities of our teacher in everything connected with ethnomusicology – the first solid stones of paving the way in ethnochoreology, in studying folk rituals and customs accompanied with music, in studying folk songs from all over the country, in comparative studies, folk polyphony, town folklore etc. During the years when relations with the Western world were undesirable, Raina Katsarova was the only ethnomusicologist who was not afraid. She was the restless courier of our folklore musical art who connected us with Bela Bartok, Zoltan Kodai, Mod Karpeles, Barbara Crader, Albert Lloyd.
“The Place of Raina Katsarova in Bulgarian Music Folklore Science” – Lidia Littova – Nickolova
Raina Katsarova – Kukudova was a real phenomenon in the sphere of Bulgarian music folklore science. She started her research activity in the initial period of Bulgarian musical folklore studies. In the 20s of XX century, as a collaborator of Vassil Stoin, Raina Katsarova got interested in work on location as a necessary prerequisite for getting to know in detail the musical folklore values and an opportunity of creating a rich music folklore archive, which became the foundation of developing our musical folklore science. Her participation in collecting melodies and publishing the first capital collections with folk songs – “Folk Songs From Timok to Vita” and “Folk Songs From Middle North Bulgaria” excited her interest in the problem of classification of musical folklore materials, a problem in which she evinced her interest during her specialization in Czechoslovakia and Germany and which was subject to her publications. In reply to Zoltan Kodai’s interest in Raina Katsarova’s opinion, she published her paper “Classification of Folk Melodies in Bulgaria”. Taking the systematization of the songs in the collections of Vassil Stoin as a basis, she emphasized upon her preference for classification according to function and offered analytical methods of presenting the folk melodies depending on metrum, rhythm, form, ambitus, mode as necessary components of the synchratic complex.
Raina Katsarova was a folklorist of variegated interests, who managed to draw out basic laws in Bulgarian music folklore culture, thus initiating their study.
“Contribution of Raina Katsarova to Studying the Music Folklore of Bulgarians in Macedonia” – Ilia Manolov
In 1939 Raina Katsarova recorded 21 songs, different in theme and function, and one mourning, dedicated to a revolutionary, killed by the Turks, which is most likely unique in Bulgarian folklore as well as 33 songs and a description of folk musical instruments from settlers from the region of Skopie /18 records in all/. In 1940 she recorded 16 songs from the village of Belitsa – the region of Razlog and started her first tour in the region of Pirin, where she recorded 56 songs and dances from the region of Razlog: Yakoruda, Bansko, Dobrinishte, Pletena, Kochan and Gotse Delchev. The horo songs are accompanied by kinetic signs. In 1941 she studied mainly Northwestern Macedonia – the regions of Skopie, Koumanovo, Tetovo, Kichevo, Kroushevo etc. Later she visited the regions bordering on Serbia and Albania. Over 125 songs and horo dances were decoded. Some of the horo songs were accompanied by kinetic signs. Thematically and functionally the songs are quite various. From 1950 (except 1955) Katsarova regularly went on location in the region of Pirin. In 1960 a research expedition was organized along the valley of the Mesta River – part of the regions of Blagoevgrad, Razlog and Gotse Delchev, the results of which haven’t been published yet. In Raina Katsarova’s publicistic activity the Pirin theme occupied a modest place. These were about ten synopsis papers. Four of them were devoted to the Ensemble for Folk Songs and Dances “Yane Sandanski” in Gotse Delchev. She was the first to publish an article on “Hadji Dambo is building a tower from the village of Dolno Osenovo.
“About Raina Katsarova with Love and Gratitude” – Anna Ilieva
Raina Katsarova was the founder of the terrain dance ethnology in Bulgaria. Hers was the idea and the merit of initiating the collection, description, filming and theoretical studying of Bulgarian national dances, thanks to which, now we possess rich film documentation of unique dance phenomena and rituals. In her monograph “Folk Dances and Games From the Village of Hlevene, the Region of Lovech” she studied the essence of Bulgarian folk horo in the functional entity of artistic life in one village. In “On Ruchenitsa” she examined the dance phenomenon called “ruchenitsa” in all its rich, synchronously existing forms, regional variety, i.e. from the ritual dance to the most developed, town or danced on the stage “ruchenitsa”. A considerable contribution to our scarce choreological literature were the regional studies of Katsarova: “Folk Dances and Games in Strandja”, “Today’s State Of Folk Songs and Dance Folklore in Dobrudja” and “Dances and Games From Northwestern Bulgaria”.
“Raina Katsarova’s Contribution to the Bulgarian Collection of Albert Lloyd” – Dimitrina Kauffmann
In 1954 the famous British folklorist Albert Lloyd came to Bulgaria. His aim was to have a look at the territory and to choose interesting material to be broadcast by BBC. I do not know exactly what is the connection between the BBC – collection of Albert Lloyd and the collection of Alan Lomax published the same year in the USA and how the songs and the instrumental melodies were transferred from Britain to America. In the introduction to his collection Lloyd wrote that he had visited some places in Bulgaria (their names were not mentioned), accompanied by Raina Katsarova - head of section “Musical folklore” at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, he had met Philip Koutev – conductor of the Ensemble for Folk Songs and Dances (today the Ensemble is called Philp Koutev) and Georgi Boyadjiev – editor-in-chief of section “Folk Music” at Radio Sofia. Althogh Lloyd was the author of the text, the selection of the collection – of authors, performers, genres, regions seemed to be prompted to a high extent by Raina Katsarova. This is evident from the thorough look at the terrain, the best performers included as well as performers who became stars about 15-20 years later..
“Raina Katsarova and Children’s Musical Folklore” – Mihail Bukureshtliev
The collection “Du-li du-li, gaida” (1947) contained 22 folk songs, skilfully arranged with a pedagogical insight into “from the easier to the more difficult”. It was the first time in Bulgarian literature that children’s folk songs had been collected. In the collection “The Alphabet in Songs – Cheerful and Easy” (1957) songs with texts from the alphabetical order were included. The collection “A Source of Beauty and Patriotism” (1969) contained tales, legends, riddles, sayings, calendar series of songs from customs, in which children participate, e.g. Sourvakari, Koledari, Lazarki etc. Katsarova did all this with the only aim to get these ancient customs and games used today too because they possess everlasting artistic value.
“Raina Katsarova and the Overcoming of Ethnocentrism” – Ventsislav Dimov & Lozanka Peicheva
Raina Katsarova remained part of the ethnocentric orientation but spontaneously she began to destroy its pattern from inside. As a program she defended the view of the unity, stability and authenticity of our folklore, but as a conscientious researcher and European scholar, adherent to comparative musicology, she did not let out of her sight the manifestations of other music folklore traditions, she studied the mutual influences and loans, she considered the musical traditions of hers and other peoples equally worthy of attention. She was one of the first who paid attention to the role of the Roma musicians (gypsies) in the town musical culture and the chalga tradition from the period of the National Revival in her study “Features of Music Life in Koprivshtitsa” (1938). Being ahead of the theoreticians and practitioners of World Music Today, Raina Katsarova introduced into Bulgarian scientific and public space some measurements of the interethnical, intercultural dialogue.
“Raina Katsarova and the Bulgarian Folklore Puppet Theatre” – Elena Vladova
Raina Katsarova presented information about manifestations of folklore puppet theatre – the so-called custom “Lazar” as early as 1936 in London. The relations between the Bulgarian folklore puppet theatre and the folk culture of other ethnic groups were converted into a comparative method that she later tried to apply in her further research work. The book of the historian Max fon Boen was her principal source of information. She was among the founders of the Puppet Theatre at Slavianska Beseda, whereas before that she was an active participant in the first performance of the Bulgarian puppet theatre, founded by Atanas Donkov in 1924.
“In the Steps of Raina Katsarova” – Vesselka Toncheva
The study “Three Generations of Folk Women Singers” presented the three generations of folk women singers from the village of Dermantsi, the region of Lovech. Raina Katsarova not only examined the family tradition and made important conclusions about the time, the background and the style of performance, but she also made original analysis of the music folklore dialect peculiarities of this village, and consequently of the whole region, proving the unity of the music folklore in the region. This is proved by comparing the mournings of the Islamic population, recorded today and these songs of weeping quoted by Katsarova; from the typical, according to Katsarova “bear-ward rhythm” in 9/16 with characteristic pause on the first time of 1st and 3rd beat; from the tamboura (mandolin) and its use as the main accompanying instrument of singing.
“Folklore and Folklore Forms through the View of the Carriers” – Elena R. Tomova
The surveys made in Sofia and Varna according to a prepared in advance questionnaire revealed the attitude of the contemporary carriers of folklore to what they consider to be folklore and not folklore, how they perceive folklore and folk art. Almost all are unanimous that it is the same, that the song cannot be the same in the different generations, that there is a lot in common between the songs of the Balkan peoples, but they are still different. In respect to concert forms like fairs and festivals, two extremes have been notices towards the folklore ensembles and the folk albums: unreserved adoption and absolute rejection.
“Traditional Manifestations and Beliefs” – Galin Georgiev
In science there are different points of view and opinions on the problem of professionalism in man’s activities in the so-called traditional society: in most cases it is contrasted as a type of the traditional; others defend the opinion of the so- called traditional professional culture or of “professional craftsman’s culture”; in respect to the problems of the instrumental and singing tradition some researchers speak about professionalism, others about semi-professionalism (or folk professionalism), specialization, still others use the terms of low and high art, craft, etc.
From the problem of professionalism and specialization in the activities of the village musician, a number of peculiarities of the traditional instrumental music are derived as a specific cultural phenomenon. From a social and cultural point of view, they come down to the differences in the traditional women’s singing, whereas from an ideological point of view, they are ideas connecting its origin with the sacred musical activity of cultural heroes and ancestors whose instrument playing is accepted as a mythical prototype of the specific talent of the man instrument player. Raina Katsarova gave interesting information describing a woman – mandolin performer. The belief that all musical instruments except the kaval (shepherd’s pipe) originated from the devil still exists.
“Raina Katsarova – Enthusiastic, Courageous, Unique” – Lozanka Peicheva
In the memoirs of Assen Alexandrov – a friend of Raina Katsarova and her family for many years, and of Geo Kukudov – the younger of her two sons, Raina Katsarova was: “an enthusiastic person”, “always above the average level of mood”, with “an air of lightness, gaiety, informality”, “terrific physical agility”, “permanently enthusiastic”, “she made no bones to anybody”, “she had a good word for everybody, understanding of all, she was able to communicate with all people”, “an exceptional person with a unique and forceful spirit… a Renaissance spirit … she was conscious … she had a mission”, “a deeply religious person”, “she gave birth to my brother and me with 20 years difference, which is also a heroic deed”, “she was a great person in all respects”. The same warm feelings are visible from the unpublished letter of Binka Vazova, an artist, a friend of hers, who accompanied her on location many times, illustrator of her book “Koledarski pesni” (Sofia, 1934). The letter was written on 12th of October 1984, Sofia and was sent later to Raina Katsarova’s son.
“Raina Katsarova and her Archive Fund through the Eyes of the Specialist”
– Margarita Popova
In the branch office of the Scientific Fund of the Institute for Art Studies at the BAS, the share of Raina Katsarova’s personal fund is considerable. Her terrain materials are arranged in 55 folders containing collections of about 400 settlements. Usually each of these collections has their own inventory number. Some inventory numbers, however, contain musical folklore from more settlements, therefore the real number of the settlement collections is bigger. The archive units in Katsarova’s fund are over 10 000 and represent folklore from all over Bulgaria; from Macedonia, Moldavia and the Ukraine; songs, hora and customs of settlers from Aegian Thrace (the regions of Drama and Syar, recorded in the region of Nevrokop; Odrin, Lozengrad and Malgar, recorded in North-eastern Bulgaria). In North-eastern Bulgaria folklore of settlers from Macedonia (Vardar and Kostur), Asia Minor and North Dobrudja (Kjustendja and Tulcha) was recorded.
Among the best-studied settlements by Raina Katsarova were those in the region of Nevrokop (South-western Bulgaria); the region of Karlovo and Kazanluk (Sredna Gora); Velingrad and Devin (the Rhodopes); the regions of Varna, Provadia and Silistra (North-eastern Bulgaria); the regions of Loukovit, Teteven, Vratsa and Montana (North-western Bulgaria); the regions of Veliko Tirnovo, Sevlievo and Lovech (Middle North Bulgaria); Pernik and Samokov (Middle Western Bulgaria); Bourgas and Yambol (South-Eastern Bulgaria).
Most of the terrain materials was submitted to the Archive by Raina Katsarova while she was still working as a research worker at the Institute of Music of that time. Additionally her archive fund was enriched in 1989 with the materials presented by her son Georgi Kukudov, kept in the family archive until then.
“About a Trip of Raina Katsarova to the Regions of Varna and Provadia” – Radka Nickolova
The trip of Raina Katsarova to 37 villages in the regions of Provadia and Varna resulted in 1350 songs written down in notes by her. After a thorough examination it was established that the songs were recorded in December 1929 and 1930. The songs were mostly of settlers from Asia Minor (Kodjabunar, Valgartsi), from Macedonia (Kostur and Vardar) and from Aegian Thrace (Odrin, Lozengrad, Malgar). The song melodies are authentic, with little ambitus and without a well-developed melodic line. That shows that the songs belong to a more ancient and less well-known layer of folklore. Their publication will excite great scientific interest as they were not presented in either of the two volumes of “Folk Songs of North-Eastern Bulgaria”.
(Translation by Violeta Velichkova)
1999 Book 4
2000 Book 1
2000 Book 2
2000 Book 3
2000 Book 4
2001 Book 2
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