FOLK MUSICAL CULTURE - A MODIFIED TRADITION
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The article discusses the changes in folk culture in Poland in relation to musical folklore. Modifications of traditional music during the last decades of the nineteenth century, and particularly the twentieth century, have been greatly intensified as a result of violent social, economic and cultural changes, of growing ease and frequency of intercultural contacts, and of development and spread of media techniques. Folklorist movement, which for years has been almost the only carrier of folk tradition, counteracts its total disappearance. However, although folklorism has saved from extinction many forms of music and dance which are part of cultural heritage, it inevitably led to their transformation. A particularly significant direction of transformation is the intermixing and standardisation of folk song and music repertory and its stylistic features, including the performance ones, leading to the blurring of differences between subregions, and even regions, also aided by social integration at national level. Another phenomenon characteristic of contemporary folklorist movement is professionalisation. This is the inevitable result of stage and festival competition practice, which enforces rising levels of performance from members of regional ensembles. Models of folk instruments become better adapted to stage performances through a synthesis of optimal solutions (in terms of construction and method) available from folk instrumentation on a regional and national scale, as well as from professional instrumentation. Such innovations sometimes lead to a change in the musical features of an instrument, including even its sound range, but for instrument manufacturers and for folk musicians it is usually more important to perfect the instrument, to achieve better timbre and to increase its musical possibilities, than to preserve its typological correctness. The spectacular aspect of folk movement also encourages instrument ornamentation, which was not the norm in folk culture.
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