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In 1952 The State Institute for Folksong in Brno invited Czech-born composer Petr Eben (1929-2007) to collect and transcribe folksong in the original dialect from the Moravian-Silesian district around the town of Těšín, which straddles the Czech/Polish border. The resulting collection of 280 folksongs provides rich documentation of the spirit of the Těšín people, the regional landscape, folk culture, and Těšín's unique regional dialect. This treatise is a study of the musical and cultural influences in the eleven songs known as "Písně z Těšínska" ("Songs from Těšín") as arranged by Eben for voice and piano. The treatise contains biographical information about the composer, extant information about the method of the collection of the songs, historical and cultural background of the region, and detailed research into the dialect including firsthand interviews and a video diary of those interviews. The author also makes use of personal interviews with contemporaries and relatives of the composer, folklorists, music professors, school children, and teachers; as well as personal observations while on a two month journey through this region of the Czech Republic. The sections of the treatise include a general biography of Eben, a focus on Eben's associations with the Těšín region (beginning with the 1952 study and the influence of this period in his subsequent compositions), an overview of the historic context through which the district Těšínské Slezsko (Těšín region) and its unique dialect came to be, and a specific exploration of Písně z Těšínska including consideration of text, music, and cultural references. Appendices in the electronic format will include a word-for-word translation of the texts, an audio recording of the readings of the texts by native speakers, a chronological listing of Eben's works for solo voice and piano or chamber ensemble, and a 25-minute video documentary presenting highlights of the author's two-month journey through the Czech Republic, supported by a grant from the Theodore Presser Foundation.
Czech Republic, Folksongs, Kratký, Po Našimu, Státni Ústav Pro Lidovou Píseň Těšínské Slezsko, Boleslav Slováček, Bohumil Indra, Gawendžioře, Hej Koło Těšina, Ten Těšinsky Mostek, Tam Z Tej Strony Jeźora, V Zelenym Hajičku, Dolina Dolina, V Neděli Rano, Ja Věm O Ptaškovi, Litali, Litali Dva Holubci Mali, Śvětě Marny, Za Gorum, Za Vodum, Paněnky Se Chłubjum
Date of Defense
May 28, 2009.
A Treatise submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Stanford Olsen, Professor Directing Treatise; Charles Brewer, Outside Committee Member; Lisa Ryoko Wakamiya, Committee Member; Timothy Hoekman, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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