East European Meetings in Ethnomusicology.
One cannot proceed further without recognizing that the publication in English is rather ambitious, given the unusual idioms used throughout the issue. One lauds the intention to reach a wider audience and hesitates to criticize unduly a translator for whom English is a second language, but at times the foreign idioms and unusual word choices are more than merely different: they obscure the meanings of headings and sentences, particularly in the more philosophical articles.
The articles are grouped in two sections. Section One, headed Theoretical Guidemarks and Mouldings" contains theoretical and historical articles with a broad focus. In the first issue, this section contains two articles. "Ethnomusicology as a Humanistic Science; From Sociologism and Technicism to Anthropology and Culture," by editor Balasa, discusses the scope and meaning of ethnomusicology, using as a foundation for discussion the theoretical works of Rumanian ethnomusicology Constantin Brailoiu (b.1893. Gheorghe Oprea's "Pentatony in the Rumanian Musical Folklore" presents a historical summary (beginning with Brailoiu and Hugo Riemann) of musicological discussion concerning the use of the pentatonic scale in various genres.
The second section, headed Particular Phenomenologies/Zonal Materials" contains articles focused on a specific genre or region. "Pilgrimage and Pilgrimage Song in Transvlvania" by Constanta Christescu focuses on ceremonial folk pilgrimage song," such as that sung by peasants journeying to monasteries and shrines in the region. The author states that the songs in the article had never before been collected or studied. Based on her field research, the article is accompanied by lyrics in the original language and in English translation and transcriptions of the melodies. Felicia Diculescu's,"Guttural Ison: A Hybrid Technique and a Vocal Element Specific to Instrumental Performance". treats the vocal sounds produced by the nose or larynx that accompany performances on certain folk flutes and whistles, such as the fluier, the fifa, and the dramba. This practice has been described as singing and playing simultaneously. Musical examples accompany the text. In "Aspects of the Music of Folk Dances in the Corabia Area (Olt County)" Marian Lupascu analyzes the influences on the dance of this southern region of Romania, which include both older and modern idioms, elements from neighboring regions, and certain cultivated influences." The final article by Steluta Popa,"The Revolution in December 1989 Reflected in the Musical Folklore," presents nine songs, with lyrics in the original language and in English translation, along with transcriptions of the melodies. Only one song in the group was previously published. Popa includes quoted transcriptions by the songs, creators, describing how the events of December 1989 affected them and how they came to create these songs.
The third section of the journal, headed "Discussion, Signals, Reviews, Notes," contains conference reports ("Zlaten Kesten [The Golden Chestnut Tree]: The First International Symposium and the Second National Festival of Old Urban Songs, Petrich, Bulgaria, October 13th-17th, 1993;" and an international symposium in honor of Constantin Brailoiu, held in Bucharest, September 8th-13th, 1993) as well as two short articles, one comparing the styles of two gypsy bands based on their recordings, the other a review of a recent panpipe method book by Valeriu Apan.
The articles range from nine to fifteen pages in an issue of I Obi pages. The journal is printed in rather faded type on white paper. The editor has published brief professional biographics and lists of works by each of the authors. In this issue, all were Rumanian, but if the editor's call for papers (as well as subscriptions) is heeded, future issues may include articles from scholars outside the country as well. An odd note is struck here and there by references to the high quality or professionalism of an author's work or a particular conference. This journal remains, however, unique in its scope and for that reason alone should be considered by librarians responsible for collecting in the area of ethnomusicology.