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Spiritual folk singing is a fascinating form of musical expression. So it
is not surprising that traditional spiritual melodies have been an object
of interest of many popular musicians through the last decades.
Since the Reformation, people in the Protestant European countries have
been forming their own versions of the Lutheran chorale melodies, and new
popular singing tradiontions were created in the Pietist revival movements
of the 17th and 18th centuries. Old and new traditions alike reflect the
clashes between the church authorities and the needs and norms of ordinary
people – socially in the cults, and musically in the melodies. In some
cases, musical traditions still alive date back to the 16th century.
In this book spiritual folk singing traditions from the Nordic-Baltic area
are presented as a common theme for the very first time. In ten articles by
Nordic and Baltic scholars, significant local differences in melody
traditions are demonstrated, as well as the many common traits in substance
and historical background.
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