Women collectors of Slovak folk songs. On the participation of women in the collecting movement in the 19th century
The participation of women in the 19th century collecting movement has hitherto received only marginal attention. Taking the example of Slovakia, evidence is provided of the contribution of women to the documentation of folk songs. Using published editions of songs and manuscript sources, a database was produced of 46 women who were active in collecting Slovak folk songs from the early years of the 19th century to 1918, with overlaps also into the more recent period. The majority of these women collectors came from the Slovak intelligence, whose core membership came from the middle class/bourgeoisie. Based on the collected song material, we explored a hypothesis on how gender category (identity) influenced the results of collecting work. A definition of women’s concept of collecting was deduced from the contemporary preference for the national language and the role of women in its diffusion in private and public life (focusing especially on the texts of the songs) and from analysis of the genre structure of the documented song repertoire.
Ústav hudobnej vedy SAV, Dúbravská cesta 9, 841 04 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
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