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János Sipos könyvei a rukkolán


János Sipos - Azeri ​Folksongs
János ​Sipos has been conducting expeditions to the Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Anatolian and Thracian Turk and Karachay-Balkar people since 1987. The Azeri expedition and this volume is an important step of his research. The Azeri Folksongs - At the Fountainhead of Music volume introduces those elementary styles of Azeri folk music, which bring us back to the old history of the music. The preface of the book is followed by a history of Azerbaijan, after which the collecting expeditions are described illustrated with maps and photos. The highlight of the book is the comparative presentation of Azeri musical styles. You find an ample anthology of music examples in the book. The song texts and their English and Hungarian translation may be useful for those interested in Azeri language and folk culture. In addition to becoming acquainted with Azeri folk music, we learn how these musical styles relate to the folk music of people living in this area and to the folk music of the Anatolian Turks and the Hungarians. The book ends with indices and notes, as well as an important supplement: a CD with the finest tunes of the collected stock.

János Sipos - Kazakh ​folksongs
What ​business does a Hungarian ethnomusicologist have in the Kazakh steppe? Let us remember a beautiful wording by Bence Szabolcsi: Hungarians are the outermost branch leaning this way from age-old tree of the great Asian musical culture rooted in the souls of a variety of peoples living from China through Central Asia to the Black Sea. While the languages of different Turkic peoples have been subjected to thorough comparative analyses, only the first few steps have been taken in the comparative research of their musics. In the multitude of arising questions, it is highly intriguing to explore whether traces of old Turkic musical styles can still be detected in contemporary Turkic folk musics. One of the main questions appealing to Hungarians is to see how Turkic folk music styles relate to layers of Hungarian folk music. One might also wonder why collect personally instead of studying the books on folk music. First, because there are no comprehensive monographs of individual Turkic ethnicities, and second, it is highly accidental which tunes are included in the existing publications. The latter usually include no information about the popularity, spread, variants, provenience, or users of the published tunes, whether they were collected from learned city-dwellers or an old lady living at the edge of tiny village, and so on. Most importantly, they offer no possibility to look deeper into tune types and musical strata that might kindle our interest. Nor is it rare that local collectors have preference for more complicated tunes which they deem more advanced. It was a serious problem in Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan that my local escorts almost prohibited the collecting of simple tunes. They were ashamed of them and wanted to present larger forms, as performed by professionals if possible. I remember the anxiety of our Kazakh attendant when he saw us recording such simple tunes, from untrained peasants or – horribile dictu! – from nomads during our last trip to southwest Kazakhstan. He was worried what people would think about such "primitive" songs in faraway countries. Another reason for collecting in person is the reduction of folk music publications to a single variant per tune, whereas without a knowledge of the tune variants, no deep musical analysis can be conducted. Field work also gives further help for the systematization of the tunes. It often happens that several people sing at a site, taking turns. A heard tune may retrieve from the memory another tune that sounds different at first hearing but has several ties with the former. This in turn may largely contribute to exploring melody contacts that derive from the specific culture of the given singing community. In this way, theory creation by the desk may be replaced by the more noble act of demonstrating real connections within the given musical material. The Kazakh collections were part of a more comprehensive project. As is known, the Chuvash, Tatar, Bashkir, Kazakh, Turkmen, Azeri and Anatolian Turkish people (listing the great ethnic units from north to south) live in the western part of the immense Turkic language bloc. There have been Hungarian attempts to explore the music of the Turkic peoples living on this vast crescent. In the northern area László Vikár collected a significant material of Chuvash, Tatar and Bashkir tunes, and discovered a musical style that is very similar to the Hungarian pentatonic fifth-shifting style along the Cheremiss and Chuvash border. Down in the south, Béla Bartók's collection in Turkey in 1936, aimed at the comparative exploration of Anatolian folk music, launched the work, joined in 1987-93 by my Anatolian collection. It turned out that although the fifth-shifting style is missing in Anatolia, there are strong similarities in the psalmodic and lament styles of Hungarian and Anatolian folk music. The Azeris and Turkmens linguistically relatively close to Anatolian Turks and speaking a Turkic language of the Oguz group live between the Volga region and Anatolia, which is also the home of the Kazakhs and Tatars speaking a Kipchak-Turkic tongue. We have succeeded in conducting several field researches among Kazakhs with support from the British Royal Academy's Stein-Arnold Fund as well as the Soros Foundation. As a result, we have gained an insight into the music of Mongolian Kazakhs and other Kazakh people who moved to Turkmenistan and then moved back to southwest Kazakhstan in recent decades. This volume is to afford a glimpse of the folk music of two Kazakh ethnic groups living some 3000 km apart. Besides presenting the material systematized and proportionately with the characteristics, we also try to give a comparison between the musics of the two groups. Whenever possible, analogies or contacts with the musical styles of other Turkic peoples living elsewhere and with the Hungarians are also pointed out.

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