Course code Folk3020
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Credit points, number of lectures
Credit points ECTS Credit points Total number of auditorium hours Number of lecture hours Number of seminars and practical work hours Number of student independent work hours
2 3 32 26 6 48
Course annotation
The aim of the course is to get acquainted with different aspects of Latvian traditional music, to trace general and local features of traditional singing, to show its place and meaning in the life of Latvian people, and to offer theoretical and practical knowledge about musical instruments and instrumental music-making traditions in Latvia.
The course begins with overview of the documentation, study and most important publications of musical folklore. On the basis of traditional terminology and music materials two main types of vocal music – recited and sung songs – are characterized. The study of music materials is based on experimental learning followed by self-reflection combined with information about the functional context – calendar, life-cycle or other traditions – of the music materials.
Students get acquainted with sources of Latvian organology, history of research, the most significant collections of musical instruments. Instruments are treated from the point of view of terminology, construction, musical characteristics, repertoire, purpose and semantics of use, as well as history and provenance. A special attention is paid to functional contexts of particular instruments and their groups. The organological objects are studied through textual, audio and visual materials.
The connection of music with other spheres of traditional culture – religion, ritual, magic, lifestyle, calendar, economic activities, entertainment – is discussed. Regional and diachronic characteristics of musical traditions is provided.
Students have knowledge of theoretical concepts of musical folkloristics, providing for the definition of traditional singing, they know the history of the discipline and the most significant results in Latvia. Students are conscious about the multifaceted role of music in traditional society, they can characterize the most important contexts of its functioning. Students have a certain practice of listening and singing of the musical materials. Students have a perception of the variety of singing traditions in Latvia, and more or less motivated view about their development and modern situation.
Students have understanding of sources of Latvian organology and history of research, they can provide a multi-faceted characteristics of instruments. Students know the most important functional groups of musical instruments, and they are able to provide their characteristics in respect to different aspects of traditional culture.
Course plan
1.Collection and study of music folklore in Latvia. Significant publications.L2
2.Characteristics of vocal music: traditional terminology, recited forms and vocal drone, melodies of the sung songs, mono- and polyphony.L2
3.Genres and contexts of vocal music: calendar celebrations and their music. Refrain songs.L2, S2
4.Genres and contexts of vocal music: life-cycle celebrations and their music. The main tune of the celebration.L2, S2
5.Traditional singing in the sphere of Christianity.L2
6.Singing without traditional contexts.S2
7.Regional and diachronic characteristics of traditional singing. Modern situation.L2
8.Latvian organology: sources, history of research, personalia.L2
9.Survey of the most important functional groups of musical instruments.L6
10.Solo and ensemble playing traditions.L2
11.Traditional musical instruments in ecclesiastical sphere.L2
12.Diachronic scheme of the development of musical instruments in Latvia. Modernization of musical instruments. Modern situation.L2
Requirements for obtaining credit points
Active participation in seminars (30%), written annotations about literature studies (30%), oral exam (40%).
Study programmes Baltic Philology