This is a post about transcription.
As we can ear these songs today, through their written representation, actual renditions and recordings, we experience the "transcription-effect" : orality brutally irrupts into the field of the recorded and the written. An object tries to enter a code that excludes him. Transcription is a struggle from literacy to orality, from the field of oral transmission to its own score, and from this score to other scores.
In the following songs, a voice contains many voices. In fact, it contains all the voices that carried these songs to their trancription. Perfectly immemorial, they've never been so close.
Antiquity faces us.
Selection of Folk Songs from the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature recorded in Yugoslavia by his student Albert C. Lord between 1933 and 1935
Selection of Béla Bartòk's transcripted scores of recordings from the Milman Parry Collection of Oral Literature
Performer and Performance : The Role of Tradition in Oral Epic Song, Lecture by Albert C. Lord, Harvard University, 1989.
Hungarian Peasant Songs, Béla Bartòk, 1917 (performed by Zoltan Kocsis)