My life story would have been completely different if I hadn’t begun learning folk songs from folk-song books since I was 13. When you are 75, everything seems clearer, there is a certain pattern to it all.
This will be a stroll through my life, with the focus on b o o k s. It will be a chronological story about what preceded my „Croatian folksong story“– my autobiography with the help of books from which I learned songs, singing them at home or to my friends.
Books are important! The Internet does not have it all…
I learned through the years that songbooks, books containing collected traditional folk songs (music and lyrics), are especially important because they preserve songs that cannot be heard anywhere any more. The „problem “lies only in the fact that some traditional folk songs have never been recorded, and one can learn to sing them or play them only on basis of sheet music.
There is a vast number of musicians today who are great artists, even though they do not have formal music school or conservatory education. Most often they do not know how to read music because they do not consider this to be necessary for them, and most often this is all right for the kind of music they perform.
- – to stress today’s absurd circumstances when folk songs are being forgotten because they can be found only in written form in books/songbooks, whereas they had been collected in this form by ethnomusicologists and enthusiasts for centuries now, – NOT to be forgotten. Instead of rearranging the already recorded songs that they hear from others or find in „Most popular folk songs … “ editions, perhaps the musicians who do read music and like folk music would look for inspiration in books, if they knew what a vast number of beautiful forgotten folk songs are buried there. The folk songs that have been recorded previously, the ones that have already become popular, are being recycled over and over again. On the other hand, thousands of songs from many old songbooks will probably never be heard again. This is the basic reason I began singing in public at 47, and recording forgotten Croatian folk songs.
This project is not just about forgotten folk songs, but about the general state of things in music: if it is not on the Internet – it does not exist. On the other hand, if music is not recorded, if it does not have audio files – it cannot be on the Internet.
- – to list the titles of the books/songbooks from which I learned the songs on the Songbook Songs album (Release date: November 5, 2021), because I have been learning folk songs in this way my whole life.
- – to list the titles of Croatian songbooks I did not know existed, the ones that have changed my life completely. Perhaps some musicians would find this interesting and try to learn and make arrangements for some of the forgotten songs.
- – perhaps this could be interesting for people in other parts of the world too, because there is a similar situation in many countries: forgotten songs in forgotten songbooks.
The overall message is : Take care of your heritage! There are many interesting things that you cannot find on the Internet. Try searching for them in books!
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