Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"Jeru, Jeru, Mascolon" - The Remarks About a Livonian Lament in Löwenklau's Annales Sultanorum Othmanidarum, 1588


Digitization offers amazing new possibilities for research. Numerous libraries have made parts of their collections available online and have already created a kind of "Universal Library". Even many of the most obscure sources are now easy to access and quick at hand. But in fact we are still in the pioneer stage of this development and there are - of course! - still many practical problems. One major problem is - and I have mentioned it several times before - that digital copies of historical books are scattered over many different repositories. There is often no way to find something in one easy step. There are several search-engines and catalogs and everyone of them offers different results. It takes some time to find all available scans of a particular book. 

But there is also another even more fundamental practical problem. A digital facsimile of a book is a source in its own right (see the excellent discussion in Werner 2015). In many cases - not in all, of course - it can be used instead of the original book. In this respect I have a very pragmatic attitude. But a digital copy should never be used uncritically. This medium is also prone to errors and has its own set of possible flaws. There is now an additional layer of source criticism that at times can be quite time-consuming. At first it is necessary to go back to the basics and simply ask: is a particular digital copy really complete - absurdly this is an important problem today - and does it represent the original publication in the best possible way?  The following should serve as practical demonstration of these kind of problems. 


I am at the moment trying to put together a little piece about the earliest printed Estonian and Latvian "folk"-tunes. This started with the three - mostly fragmentary - songs in Friedrich Menius' Syntagma de Origine Livonorum (1635) and in the following 200 years only very few more melodies were published. In this context I also wondered: what were the earliest reports about the music and songs of the Baltic peasants? In a previous text I have discussed Balthasar Rüssow's Chronica (1584) with its remarks about the Livonian bagpipe (see here in this blog). In that case it was not that difficult to find the best digital copies of the relevant publications. Nonetheless they also needed to be checked and sorted. But everything was available and mostly in good quality. 

About another early source I learned first from an interesting paper by Baltic-German scholar Georg von Rauch (1972, also Brambats 1982, p. 12; Donecker 2011, p. 224). In 1588 German Humanist Johannes Löwenklau quoted in his Annales Sultanorum Othmanidarum a phrase that he claimed was sung by Latvian peasants: "Jeru, jeru, Mascolon". This is not much, only a fragment and most likely mutilated. But it was the first original Baltic song quoted in Western literature. These words made Löwenklau also speculate - in the typical fashion of the time - that the Latvians were of Jewish origin, descendants of refugees from the Middle East. He regarded "Jeru" and "Mascolon" as relics of "Jerusalem" and "Damascus". 

This may sound absurd today but at that time it wasn’t. The origin of of a nation or a people was discussed by scholars and intellectuals with great enthusiasm, not only because it served a political purpose (good overview: Garber 1989). I will only mention here the Swedes who claimed to be descendants of the old Goths. Interested scholars also wondered about the origin of the indigenous inhabitants of Livonia, the part of the Baltic that was ruled by the Teutonic Order until 1561 and then - after some interludes with Swedes, Danes and Poles - became a part of the Russian Empire in 1721. Others proposed as possible forefathers of the Latvians, Livonians and Estonians were for example the Romans, the Wallachians or several Germanic tribes. Most of these theories - like Löwenklau's Jewish hypothesis - were based on fanciful "etymological associations" (see Donecker 2011, quote on p. 213). 

Besides that this particular "lament" had already been mentioned two times before Löwenklau and then appeared in different variants in some later publications. In fact it was discussed by scholars on and off for several hundred years (see Brambats 1982). Not at least we can see here one of the earliest debates about a song belonging to the genre that would later be called Volkslieder or national songs: "a symbolic anticipation of future possibilities" (von Rauch, p. 5), but in a different intellectual context. Therefore it is also of interest in a comparative perspective. 

At first it is necessary to learn a little bit about the author and the historical background. Today it is also much easier to get acquainted with a new topic. The secondary literature is quick at hand even though it is of course neither possible nor advisable to use only resources available online. But in this respect we are on a good way and much progress has been made. The major problem today - so it seems to me - are some academic publishers who prefer their journals to have as few readers as possible. Otherwise I can't explain the high walls they have built around their products. 

Where to start? I have only recently been told that Wikipedia is not that popular in academic circles. But I tend to think that everybody goes there first to get a quick overview. A critical reader should be able to judge the quality of an article and see if its usable. In this case it isn't very good. The text about Löwenklau in the German Wikipedia is much too short and those available in other languages aren't any better. But at least there is a helpful list of literature that can serve a starting-point. 

The articles in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie and in Neue Deutsche Biographie are a good introduction to Löwenklau's life and work, but the former - even though more detailed - may be a little bit outdated and the latter is excellent but much too short (Horawetz 1883, Metzler 1987, at Deutsche Biographie). There is still no complete biography about him. He surely would have earned it. The best biographical overview is Metzler's article in the series Westfälische Lebensbilder (1985). This work is not yet available online but there should be no problem to get a copy. It is at the moment still indispensable. 

Metzler also points to the article about Löwenklau in the Biographie Universelle (XXIV, 1819, pp. 355-6, at the Internet Archive). The short text may be outdated but there is a detailed and helpful list of his publications. Babinger's groundbreaking work about Löwenklau's youth is still worth reading (1949, at Westfälische Geschichte) and thankfully also available online. 

Otherwise there is an interesting article by an Hungarian scholar (Ács 2011, at academia.edu) and - recently published - a chapter in the Volume 7 of Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History that offers a short biography as well as a helpful introduction to his works about Ottoman history (Höfert 2015). This should be enough at the moment. I don't want to write a dissertation but only need a good biographical overview, an idea of what his main fields of work were and also some information about his connection to the Baltic. 

Johannes Löwenklau (1541-1593), Humanist scholar, jurist, writer, translator, editor and traveller, was born in the town of Coesfeld in Westphalia. At the age of 10 - around 1551/2 - he accompanied his uncle Albert von Löwenklau, vicar of the dome in Münster, on a trip, possibly a diplomatic mission, to Livonia (see Metzler, pp. 22-3). Since 1555 he studied at the universities of Wittenberg - with Melanchthon -, Heidelberg and Basel. He never became professor but instead spent his life as a highly respected and very busy free-lancing scholar, well-funded by wealthy patrons. "His contemporaries regarded him as one of the most learned men of his day" (von Rauch, p. 1). 

Löwenklau was a very versatile scholar. Among his major publications were translations of Greek literature, for example Xenophon's and and Zosimus' works. But apparently he was also later in life still interested in Baltic and Eastern European history and wrote a Commentarius de bellis Moscorum adversus finítimos Polonos, Lithuanos, Suedos, Livonios, a short piece about the Livonian wars, that was published first in one of the many editions of Herberstein's famous and popular Rerum Moscoviticarum Commentarii (Basel 1571, pp. 205-27, at the Internet Archive). He traveled much and in in 1584/5 even made it to Constantinople as a member of an Austrian delegation. He also learned Turkish and published several works about Ottoman history that are "still of priceless historical value" (Ács 2011, p. 2). 

His Annales Sultanorum Othmanidarum appeared first in 1588. Its major parts were a translated Turkish chronicle until the year 1550, a supplement until 1585 and Löwenklau's own Pandectes Historiae Turcicae, a very impressive and knowledgeable commentary with many interesting notes about Turkish history and culture, a "Liber Singularis, ad illustrandos Annales" (see also Höfert, 2015, pp. 484-6). An expanded German translation was published in 1590 with the title Neuwe Chronica Türckischer Nation. This must have been a successful and popular publication. New editions of both the German and Latin version came out in 1595 respectively 1596. 

There is good reason to assume that the different editions of this work have been digitized and are available online, but hopefully not behind a pay-wall. A good starting-point is often the Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog (KVK) the allows to search the holdings of most European libraries and also offers the results of specialized search-engines like BASE and Eromm Web Search. At the moment it is still the most valuable tool for these purpose even though it be at times quite confusing and sometimes it doesn't work correctly. Not at least - from my experience - a considerable number of existing digital copies can't be found with it. Other search-engines like Europeana - which doesn't work with KVK - need to be consulted, too. 

In this respect I have also a very pragmatic approach. Usually it depends on what I am looking for. Here I started with the Internet Archive. They have great collections from several American and Canadian libraries - always with the necessary bibliographical data - that also include a lot of early modern European publications and their scans are nearly always of excellent quality. Additionally a great number of books digitized by Google are also available there even though though their bibliographical data often leaves a lot to be desired.. Not at least I think that the Internet Archive has at the moment the most user-friendly interface and the digital books are presented there in a way that allows effective work. 

A quick search showed that Löwenklau's Annales were available there. When I looked first - this has changed by now - they had one copy of the first Latin edition, 1588. Here we can find the relevant remarks about this song on pages pp. 229-30. Then there were two copies of the second Latin edition (1596, here pp. 121) as well as one of the first German edition. In the latter the part that interests me appears on pp. 181-2
"Equidem ut obiter aliquam de meo velut symbolam his adijciam, adulescens in Liuoniam, necdum collegio Teutonicorum equitum dissipato, a Cunrado patre missus ad Albertum patruum, quum alia istic anim aduertere memini: tum etiam versus Lithuaniam, in vicinia metropolis Rigae [...] in huius ergo Rigae vicinia, nationem quamdam esse barbaram Lettorum, a ceteris Liuoniae barbaris incolis, Curonibus & Estonibus, lingua plane discrepantem: qui perpetuo in ore quasi lamentationem quamdam habent, quam vociferando per agros adsiduo repetunt. Ieru Ieru Masco Lon. quibus verbis Ierusalem & Damascum intelligere creduntur, ceterarum in antiqua patria rerum, tot a faeculis, & in remotissimis ab ea solitudinibus, obliti". 
"Damit ich nun seyne meynung zu bestetigen auch etwas ohngefähr hinzu setze: weiß ich mich zu erinnern, daß ich in meiner ersten Jugendt, ehe dann der Teutsch Orden in Lifland zerstört und abgegangen, von meinem lieben Vatter, Cunrat Löuwenklauw, zu seinem Bruder, meinem Vettern, Albrecht Löuwenklauw, auff dessen begehrn in gemeldtes Lifland abgefertigt unnd geschickt worden. Desselben Landes Hauptstatt ist Riga, gegen Litthauen am Wasser Duina gelegen [...] In dieser Statt Riga Gegnet herumb habe ich damals ein unteutsche Nation gespürt, die Letten genannt, so mit andern unteutschen Eynwohnern deß Lyfflands als Curen und Esten gantz und gar kein Gemeinschaft der Spraach haben und können auch nicht von inen vernommen werden. Diese Letten haben für und für was sie auch immer vorhaben und verrichten gleich als ein kläglichs Geschrey im Maul und widerholens bevorab im Feld ohn unterlaß. Jeru Jeru Mascolon. Unnd man halt dafür sie verstehen durch gemeldte Wort die Statt Jerusalem und Damasco deren Namen sie allein von so langer zeit hero behalten und anderer Sachen in irem alten Vatterland durchaus vergessen bevorab in so ferne davon abgelegenen Wildtnussen". 
Here Löwenklau recalls that in his youth he was sent to Livonia to his uncle. Apparently he stayed for some time in or near Riga. There he became acquainted with the Latvians and he also observed correctly that their language was different from those of the Estonians and "Curen" (i. e. Livonians). The former have a song that they are wailing all day and everywhere they go - he describes their singing as "kläglichs Geschrey", a typical case of cultural dissonance -, a lament consisting of he words "Ieru, Ieru, Mascolon". This he sees as their only remaining memento of Jerusalem and Damascus now that they are living in a far and distant wilderness.

The intellectual context is also interesting. This particular chapter offers a resumé of the equally fanciful theory of the possible Jewish origin of the Tatars and Turk that was proposed by French writer Philippe de Mornay in his De la Vérité de la Religion Chrétienne, a book only published several years earlier (1581, p. 640; also 1582, pp. 580-1; also English ed., p. 472). Therefore he felt encouraged to add his own theory about the Middle Eastern ancestry of the Latvians and that's the reason this short reference to a song from the Baltic can be found in a work dedicated to Turkish history. 

What Löwenklau reported wasn't entirely new. Already Sebastian Münster had noted in later editions of his Cosmographia that the inhabitants of Livonia used to sing the word "Jehu" (sic!): "Wann sie singen so heülen sie jämerlich wie die wölff, unnd das wort Jehu schreien sie on underlaß" (Basel 1550, p. 929; see Brambats, p. 11). One may assume that this was the same. But according to Münster they didn't know what this word was supposed to mean: "die weil ire voreltern also gesungen haben singen sie auch also". But he didn't specify if these were Latvians or the Finno-Ugric Livonians and Estonians. 

A possible Jewish origin of the Livonians had also been proposed before Löwenklau. Severin Goebel, German physician and scholar, was even familiar with this lament. In his book about amber, Histori und Eigendlicher bericht von herkommen, ursprung und vielfeltigen brauch des Börnsteins, he referred to it as a possible evidence for this theory (1566, p. [20], at SB Berlin; see Donecker, pp. 223-4, Brambats, pp. 11-2): "In Sonderheit weil sie noch in ihren alten Klagelied den Namen Jeru Jeru als Jerusalem oft widerholen und kleglich singen". But he wasn't sure about it. 

Löwenklau apparently was sure and he thought this a reasonable theory. During the next 250 years other scholars discussed this idea but they weren't really convinced (see von Rauch, pp. 2-4, Brambats, pp. 12-15) . Most interesting in this respect was Friedrich Menius, who even included in his Syntagma de Origine Livonorum (1635, in SRL II, p. 525) a fragmentary tune. In fact this was a very strange melody, only one note, but up and down an octave. Menius, at that time Professor in Dorpat, a very interesting and troublesome character (see Donecker 2012), even claimed to hear similarities to Jewish music. But he decided against this theory and proposed refugees from the Balkan as ancestors of the inhabitants of Livonia.

60 years later German pastor Christian Kelch referred to Löwenklau's theory in his Liefländische Historia (1695, pp. 14-5), printed a more complete text and showed that this was not a lament but a love song known among the Estonians: "Jörru! Jörru! jooks Ma Tullen [...]". He regarded "Jörru" as a girl's name. Herder included an edited version of Kelch's translation in his Volkslieder (II, 1779, pp. 83-4) and noted that this was a man's name. As late as 1825 L. J. Rhesa mentioned and ridiculed the theory of the Middle Eastern origin of the Latvians in his collection of Lithuanian Dainos (p. 316). But he claimed that "Jeru" was a Latvian name. 

In fact this seems to be a more complex problem and it is not clear if Kelch's "Jörru, Jörru" was really the same as Münster's "Jehu" and Löwenklau's "Jeru, Jeru, Mascolon". Latvian musicologist Kārlis Brambats (1982) has discussed this topic thoroughly and has even dug out some more references to possibly related songs. For example he found a report about a Lithuanian "Jehu" from the year 1666 (p. 13). But I will leave it at that. Most important here was Löwenklau's short note about "Jeru, Jeru, Mascolon", the earliest published fragment of an original song of the Baltic peasants. Of course it looks terribly mutilated and he seems to have mixed it all up a little bit. But when he heard that song in 1551/2 he was only a boy of 10 or 11 and then wrote about it 37 years later. Any misunderstandings and lapses of memory are understandable.

This is only a short and abbreviated resumé of the scholarly discussion about particular - and rather obscure - topic, based on some notes and references in a couple of articles and then recapitulated with the help of online resources. All the major sources are freely available, not only the Latin and German editions of Löwenklau's Annales - that was my starting-point - but also all the others I needed, from Münster's Cosmographei to Herder's Volkslieder and Rhesa's Lithuanian collection. 

On one hand this allows much more effective work than was possible back in the stone-age, a time I remember very well. On the other hand there is also now much more transparency possible. In every case I was able to set a direct link to the relevant page in a digital copy of the original source and it is now easily possible to check them. Therefore it is also advisable to only use - as far as possible - digital books in open repositories, not in those that are not publicly accessible. The most fantastic collections are useless if the doors are closed. And even if a scholar has access: his readers may have not (see also Sarah Werner's remarks, 6.10.2015) . 


I have found what I was looking for. But of course there are also problems that need to be taken into account. It is necessary to check the quality of a digital book, that means at first to check its provenance. This particular copy of the first Latin edition of Löwenklau's Annales was produced by Google Books and is also available there. It is a scan of a book from the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale in Rome (2014). In fact this is one of the countless digital books by Google that have also been uploaded to the Internet Archive - there is even a little program for that - and that's the reason it can be found there. 

I really appreciate the existence of Google Books and use it constantly. Notwithstanding all its problems - especially the often careless handling of bibliographical data - it is still an indispensable research tool. Their program of mass digitization made digital copies of so many historical books freely available and also inspired numerous other libraries to follow suit. Without them we surely wouldn't have come so far. But there is one major problem: the quality of their digital facsimiles often leaves a lot to be desired and in many cases it is plain awful. This has been discussed often enough (see f. ex. Roessler 2015 & 2016). 

Particularly troublesome is the fact that many of their scans are not complete. Everything that has a different format than the book itself has - in nearly all cases - not been scanned correctly: foldouts with maps, illustrations and music or other extras. This is not occasional sloppiness but a general problem (see also Roessler 2016, pp. 123-4). I have encountered this numerous times and it's extremely annoying. A typical example is for me Gervaise's Histoire Naturelle et Politique du Royaume de Siam (1688). This book includes a foldout page with the first Siamese song ever printed but Google's hand keeps it secret from our eyes (p. 130, at Google Books). In fact it is missing in all available digital copies produced by Google. I could also mention again what they did to the plates in Rousseau's Dictionnaire de Musique (1768, see f. ex. here; see also in this blog: "Exotic" Tunes in Rousseau's Dictionnaire (1768) & Laborde's Essai (1780)). 

Therefore every Google Book needs to be checked for completeness. In fact between pages 184 and 185 in the first edition of Löwenklau's Annales there is a foldout and - as expected - it has not been scanned correctly. This looks like a list of Sultans. In this case I don't need this particular page and otherwise this scan is generally of tolerable quality. But I really like to have my books complete. Some further research is necessary to find a better copy. A complete roundup of all available digital copies of this book - all that I am able to find - can be helpful to understand the quantitative aspect of this problem. 

First let's go to Google Books and see how many more versions of this book they have. I found there six additional copies and checked them one by one. First there is a scan of a book from the University Library of Gent produced in 2008. Here this particular page is also missing (pp. 184-5). We have the same problem with the copy from the Lyon Public Library (2012, pp. 184-5). In both cases the reader can't even see that there is a fold-out page in the original book. Then there are three copies from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in München. The BSB hosts an outstanding digital collection not only of their own books but also of the digital holdings of other Bavarian libraries. In one copy (2012, SB Regensburg, 999/4Hist.pol.1177, pp. 184-5 at Google Books) this page has also not been scanned correctly. In the second copy (2015, SSB Augsburg, 4 Gs 2240#Bbd., pp. 184-5 at Google Books) it is there, much to my surprise I must admit. It was also scanned completely for their own copy (2014, BSB, 4 Turc. 27, after p. 184 at Google Books, now also at the Internet Archive). Besides these there is also a scan of the copy from the Austrian National Library that looks as if it is complete (2015, ÖNB; before p. 185 at Google Books; now also at the Internet Archive).

In three out of the seven copies produced by Google Books this particular foldout page was included. This is a very good result, in fact much better than average. I know of books scanned half a dozen times but none of the digital copies were complete. For this reason we can also look what other libraries have to offer. In fact I know of no library that would knowingly publish incomplete scans. This is only a problem of Google Books. They rule the field because of the sheer mass of their products that make up a great part of what is available. These scans can be found not only on their own site but also at the Internet Archive, at Hathi Trust and in the repositories of the libraries that have provided the books, like the BSB and the ÖNB. If all of Google's copies were incomplete or of bad quality it would be necessary to find a better copy elsewhere. In fact in many cases there are better copies available. I must admit that I have become used to look at first in other open repositories and prefer to check Google Books only if I can't find what I need anywhere else. 

With the help of KVK and Europeana I managed to find three more copies. First there is apparently one from the National Library of Belarus, Minsk that should be available at manuscriptorium.com. But it seems it doesn't work at the moment and this particular site doesn't seem to be as user-friendly as I would wish. A digital copy offered by the National Library of Romania looks quite good and is of course complete. But their online reader has some serious problem: it is apparently not possible to download a pdf of this book, there is no way to set a link to ac particular page and it generally appears to be quite inflexible. 

One more copy can be found on the site of the Silesian Digital Library but they still use the outdated djvu-format. My browser warns me not switch on this plug-in. This means that it is not immediately accessible. But it is possible to download the images and convert them into a pdf and then perhaps upload it to the Internet Archive, a somewhat time-consuming task. But it would be necessary if there was no other complete digital copy of this book. Their scan is of course complete and in excellent quality. 

All in all we can see that there are - at least - 10 copies of this particular edition available online. Seven of them are by Google Books. This surely reflects the general ratio of scans produced by Google to those produced by all the other libraries. Thankfully three of their seven copies are apparently complete and therefore usable. But if this wasn't the case - and that is not uncommon - I would have been left with copies from Poland and Romania.

I can play the same game with the available copies of the second Latin edition of the Annales that was published in 1596. The two at the Internet Archive are also scans by Google - again of books from the library in Rome - and in both cases the foldout has not been reproduced correctly (after p. 98 in copy 1, also at Google Books, 2014; after p. 98 in copy 2, also at Google Books, 2014). I found five more copies at Google Books that have again the same problem: 
Zero out of seven, that's really bad but not untypical. All these scans were published between 2009 and 2014 and the more recent ones are in no way more complete. This may look like as severe case of nitpicking. It is mostly only a very small part of this particular page that's missing. Otherwise all these scans are perfectly well usable and the general quality is mostly quite good. I have seen much worse. Perhaps nobody in the next hundred years will have a look at the genealogy of the sultans in the second edition of Löwenklau's Annales, perhaps nobody will ever need it. 

But I want to be nitpicking here. Either a digital copy of a book is complete or it is not. There is no middle-ground. This must be the standard. Even if there is only a little bit that has been left out, for whichever reason: this means that it is unreliable. Who knows what else is missing. I know of enough cases where it is nor even visible that something has not been scanned. Here the reader doesn't even see that something is missing. 

It is way beyond my understanding how anybody ever even can come up with this idea. Of course, in this program of mass digitization the sheer number of digital copies may be more important than their quality (see Roessler 2016, pp. 124-5). Nonetheless: the fact that such a large company in cooperation with some of the most renowned libraries in the world was and is not able to organize and secure the correct scanning of some foldouts and plates in historical books is simply mind-boggling. Every other library does it right. This is a problem that seriously undermines the credibility and reputation of the whole project. 

Often enough only incomplete copies can be found at Google Books. Anybody who tries to work with maps or musical supplements will make this experience. For example: I have quoted here from Rhesa's Dainos (1825), a collection of Lithuanian songs. A while ago I needed this book because of the supplement with the tunes. In Google's copy the plates with the music are terribly mutilated (see here). This is not helpful, to say at least. The equally mutilated plates in Rousseau's Dictionnaire have already been mentioned. Numerous more examples could be added here. 

But thankfully in many cases - not in all, alas - better copies are available elsewhere. Excellent scans of the Dictionnaire with all the plates can be found at the Internet Archive (see f. ex. here). I also managed to unearth a pdf of a more complete scan of Rhesa's book in a Lithuanian repository. Here the musical supplement had been scanned correctly (now at the Internet Archive). 

A really complete copy of the second edition of Löwenklau's book has been produced by the Lower Silesian Digital Library. The foldout is in place and the general quality is excellent. I wouldn't expect otherwise. But this repository also uses files in djvu. This makes it a little bit difficult to read it there. Now it has found its way into the Internet Archive where it is easier to work with.

The Internet Archive also offered - at the time I looked there first for this book - one copy of the first edition of the German translation (Neuwe Chronica Türckischer Nation, 1590). Here the source is not Google Books but the Getty Research Institute. This is one of the collections made up of the Internet Archive's own scans of books provided by American or Canadian libraries - see for example also the University of North Carolina, the University of Toronto (several, like the Robards Library), Boston Public Library, California Digital Library or John Carter Brown Library - and I know that these are always reliable and also of very good and often excellent quality, in fact usually much better than the average Google book. 

This German edition also includes the foldout with the genealogy of the Sultans and of course we can find it in this particular digital copy (see p. 151). A closer inspection shows that there is an additional foldout plate that was not in the Latin editions: an illustration with a view of Buda and Pest and in the foreground something that is described as "Turkish spectacle" (before p. 119). But unfortunately there is another - not uncommon - problem. It seems that the binding of this particular book was too tight. The inner margin has not always been scanned completely and is not always visible as much as it should be. On some pages there some loss of text, not much but occasionally the reader needs some fantasy to guess the last letter in a line (see f. ex. p. 136, p. 170). I am not sure if this could have been avoided but otherwise this copy is fine and complete. 

What else is available? I found three more copies at Google Books and in all of them there are problems with one or both foldout pages. In case of the ÖNB's copy and the BSB's own it is not even noticeable that there was an illustration between p. 118 and 119. Nonetheless it may be necessary to consult one of these incomplete digital exemplars if something is not readable in the one at the Internet Archive. I haven't found more in other repositories. 
  • ÖNB, 2012, here pp. 118-9, p. 151 
  • BSB, 2014, pp. 118-9, p. 151 
  • BSB (= SSB Augsburg), 2015, pp. 118-9, p. 151 
There was also a second edition of the German translation in 1595. A quick survey of the copies available at Google Books shows that two of them have the usual problems: the one from the ÖNB (2012, see pp. 118-9, pp. 151-2) as well as the one from the Czech National Library (2014, see pp. 118-9, pp. 151-2). But thankfully and surprisingly a third copy, a scan of a book in the BSB, is complete (2014, see after p. 120, pp. 151-2). I think this book looks better in the Internet Archive where it now also resides (see there after p. 120). Besides these there are also copies available at the Lower Silesian Digital Library and the Silesian Digital Library which are of course both complete and in excellent quality. If necessary they could also be downloaded and converted to pdf.


Now I have for every one of the four editions of this particular book at least one digital copy that is more or less complete and also at least in tolerable quality. Of course this still only a provisional selection. Others may find more defects. A bibliography with links to all the usable copies will look of course somewhat complicated. But it is necessary to identify all copies. Some of them are now available in three different repositories: 
  • [Johannes Löwenklau], Annales Sultanorum Othmanidarum A Turcis Sua Lingua Scripti: Hieronymi Beck a Leopoldtorf, Marci fil. studio & diligentia Constantinopoli aduecti M D L I, Diuo Ferdinando Caes. Opt. Max D. SD. iussuque Caes. a Ioanne Gaudier dicto Spiegel, interprete Turcico Germanice translati. Ioannes Levnclavis Nobilis [...], Francofurdi, Apud Andreae Wecheli heredes, Claudium Marnium & Ioannem Aubrium, 1588
    at BSB München, 4 Turc. 27 [=Google Books], now also at the Internet Archive, here pp. 229-30
    at ÖNB [= Google Books], now also at the Internet Archive, here pp. 229-30
    SSB Augsburg, 4 Gs 2240#Bbd. at BSB [= Google Books]
    at Silesian Digital Library [as djvu]
    dto., Editio Altera, 1596
    at Lower Silesian Digital Library [as djvu], now also at the Internet Archive, here p. 121
  • [Johannes Löwenklau], Neuwe Chronica Türckischer Nation, von Türcken selbs beschrieben: volgendes gemehrt unnd in vier Büchern abgetheilt: Das Erst, Gitabi Teuarichi, Chronic oder Zeitbuch der Fürsten Osmanischen stammens: von ihrem Ursprung [...] biß auff den Sultan Suleiman Chan und das 1550. jar Christi: Welches der Edel und Gestreng Herr Jeronymus Beck von Leopoldstorff etc. im nechst folgenden 1551. Jar von Constantinopel mit sich bracht. Das Ander, Von Türckischen geschichten die nach dem 1550. jar Christi biß auffs 1590. sich zugetragen. Das Dritt, Pandecktes Türckischer histori, Das ist vollkomner Bericht allerley Türckischer Sachen und Erklärung derselben. Das Viert, Etliche Particular Beschreibungen mercklicher und zur Türckischen histori gehörigen geschicht. Alles durch Hansen Lewenklaw von Amelbeurn unser Teutschen Nation zu sondern nutz und wolgefallen zusammen gefasst, gestellt, ubersetzt unnd in Truck verfertigt, Gedruckt zu Franckfurt am Mayn, bey Andres Wechels seligen Erben, nemlich, Claudide Marne und Johan Aubri, 1590
    at the Internet Archive [Getty Research Institute], here pp. 181-2 [tight binding, inner margin occasionally not completely visible], also available at Hathi Trust
    at BSB, 4 Turc. 109 l [= Google Books; foldout before p. 119 missing, but this copy is better readable]
    - dto., 1595
    at BSB, 4 Turc. 105 r [= Google Books], now also at the Internet Archive, here pp. 181-2
    at Lower Silesian Digital Library [djvu]
    at Silesian Digital Library [djvu]
I have discussed these problem here in detail because I also wanted to get some quantitative data: how many digital copies of the four editions of this book are available and how many of them are both complete and in tolerable quality? All in all I have found 26 different copies, 20 of them by Google Books and the rest by other libraries. The numbers speak for themselves. In the end 9 of them were more or less acceptable, four by Google Books and five others. This is certainly not a satisfactory result. 

As I have tried to show even the five copies produced by other libraries are not without problems. The one of the first German edition at the Internet Archive seems to have suffered a little bit from some practical limitations - the tight binding of the original book - , the three excellent scans by the Silesian Digital Library are only available in an outdated and impractical file format and the one copy offered by the National Library of Romania can be found in a repository that apparently does not even allow the most elementary operations like linking to a particular page or downloading the complete book. 

Now this all looks like a very tedious kind of work. But it is really important - and this should be obvious - not to use uncritically everything that is floating around. Elementary source criticism of digital facsimiles of historical books is necessary and especially the products of Google Books need an extra dose of it. To be true this is not always that time-consuming. Often it is a simple routine. After some time it will become clear where to look for what and what to expect. 

Most the other digital copies of historical books I have used here - like Münster, Goebel, de Mornay, Herberstein, Kelch and Herder - were much less problematic. Some I found at Google Books and these were all - as far as I could see - of tolerable or even better quality even if not always the most esthetically pleasing reproductions. If there is nothing special included - like foldout pages - then there is a good chance that they are complete. The rest I found in other repositories. Nearly everything was quick at hand and also of good and sometimes excellent quality. 

Of course it is also possible - and sometimes perhaps necessary - to work "quick and dirty" and simply use what's available on first sight. But in a wider perspective it is important to always distinguish between the complete and incomplete scans and between those of good and those of not so good quality. The latter will for years to come still make up a considerable part not only of Google Books itself but also of the repositories of those libraries that have provided them with the books to digitize - like the ÖNB and BSB - and of the holdings of the Internet Archive and Hathi Trust

Often enough there is still no good copy available at the moment and that can be somewhat frustrating. But it is definitely getting better. Numerous libraries are busy digitizing a part of their holdings and in many cases it is possible to find better and complete scans. They are often "hidden" in smaller repositories, are perhaps difficult to find or buried underneath impractical user interfaces. But it is time to look for quality, not only for quantity. That is the prerequisite for any serious work with digital copies of real books. 


a) Other Sources:
  • Severin Goebel, Histori und Eigendlicher bericht von herkommen, ursprung und vielfeltigen brauch des Börnsteins, neben andern saubern Berckharzen so der gattung etc. Aus guten grundt der Philosophi, Daubmann, Königsberg, 1566, at SB Berlin 
  • [Johann Gottfried Herder], Volkslieder [Nebst untermischten andern Stücken], 2 Bde., Weygand, Leipzig, 1778-9, at ÖNB [= GB], also at the Internet Archive 
  • Christian Kelch, Liefländische Historia, oder Kurtze Beschreibung der Denckwürdigsten Krieg- und Friedens-Geschichte Esth-, Lief- und Lettlandes, Wehner, Reval, 1695, at BSB, 4 Russ. 19 u-1 [= GB], also at the Internet Archive 
  • [Johannes Löwenklau], Commentarius de bellis Moscorum adversus finítimos Polonos, Lithuanos, Suedos, Livonios et alios gestis ab annis iam LXX, quibus, antea per Europam obscuri, paulatim innotuerunt, in: Sigismund von Herberstein, Rerum Moscoviticarum Commentarii [...] Quibus Russiae ac Metropolis eius Moscouiae descriptio [...], Oporinus, Basel, 1571, pp. 205-27
    at ÖNB [= GB], also at the Internet Archive
    at BSB (SSB Augsburg), 2 Bio 22#(Beibd. [= GB], also at the Internet Archive
    at Lower Silesian Digital Library [djvu!; better quality, but pp. 111-2 missing]
  • Friedrich Menius, Syntagma de Origine Livonorum, Dorpat, 1632-35, p. 45 (not yet digitized; reprinted in: Scriptores Rerum Livonicarum II, Riga & Leipzig, 1848, pp. 511-42, at the Internet Archive) 
  • Philipp de Mornay, De la Vérité de la Religion Chrétienne. Contre les Athées, Epicuriens, Payens, Juifs, Mahumidistes, & autres Infideles, Plantin, Antwerpen, at ÖNB [= GB], also at the Internet Archive
    - . Seconde edition reueise par l'Autheur, Plantin, Antwerpen, 1582, at the Internet Archive [PTSL] (new ed., Paris 1585, also at the Internet Archive [TFRBL]) 
  • Philippe de Mornay, A Woorke concerning the trewnesse of the Christian Religion, written in French. Against Atheists, Epicures, Paynims, Iews, Mahumetists, and other Infidels. Begunne to be translated into English by Sir Philip Sidney Knight, and at his request finished by Arthur Golding, Thomas Cadman, London, 1587 [ESTC S112896], at the Internet Archive [PTSL] (also new ed., 1592 [ESTC S112897], at the Internet Archive [= BL via GB]) 
  • Sebastian Münster, Cosmographei oder beschreibung aller länder, herschafften, fürnemsten stetten, geschichten [...], Petri,Basel, 1550, at the BSB, Res/2 Geo.u. 48 a [= GB], also at the Internet Archive 
  • L. J. Rhesa, Dainos oder Litthauische Volkslieder gesammelt, übersetzt und mit gegenüberstehendem Urtext herausgegeben. Nebst einer Abhandlung über die litthauischen Volksgedichte, Hartung, Königsberg, 1825, at WLLAS, now also at the Internet Archive 

b) Secondary Literature 
  • Pál Ács, Pro Turcis and contra Turcos: Curiosity, Scholarship and Spiritualism in Turkish Histories by Johannes Löwenklau (1541-1594), in: Acta Comeniana 25, 2011, pp. 25-46, at academia.edu 
  • Franz Babinger, Herkunft und Jugend Hans Lewenklaw's, in: Westfälische Zeitschrift 98/99, 1949, pp. 112-27, at Westfälische Geschichte 
  • Kārlis Brambats, Ein frühes Zeugnis livländischen Singens, in: Musik des Ostens 8, 1982, pp. 9-29 
  • Stefan Donecker, Alt-Livland zwischen römischen Kolonisten und jüdischen Exilanten. Genealogische Fiktionen in der Historiografie des 17. Jahrhunderts, in: Zeitschrift für Ostmitteleuropa-Forschung 60, 2011, pp. 210-231, at zfo-online 
  • Stefan Donecker, An Itinerant Sheep, and the Origins of The Livonians: Friedrich Menius's Syntagma de Origine Livonorum (1635), in: Journal of Baltic Studies 43, 2012, pp. 1-21 
  • Jörn Garber, Trojaner - Römer - Franken - Deutsche. "Nationale Abstammungsmythen im Vorfeld der Nationalstaatsbildung, in: Klaus Garber (ed.), Nation und Literatur im Europa der Frühen Neuzeit, Tübingen, 1989 (= Frühe Neuzeit 1), pp. 108-63 
  • Adalbert Horawitz, Art.: Leunclavius, Johannes, in: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie 18, 1883, pp. 488-493, at Deutsche Biographie 
  • Dieter Metzler, Johannes Löwenklau (1541-1594), in: Robert Stupperich (ed.), Westfälische Lebensbilder, Bd. 13, Münster 1985, S. 19-44 
  • Dieter Metzler, Art.: Löwenklau, Johannes, in: Neue Deutsche Biographie 15, 1987, pp. 95-6, at Deutsche Biographie 
  • Georg von Rauch, Ein Estnisches Volkslied im Blickfeld des Späthumanismus, in: Nordost-Archiv 5, 1972, pp. 1-10 
  • Hole Roessler, Sichtbare Hände der unsichtbaren Hand. Zur Warenästhetik des Retrodigitalisats, 29.4.2015, at holeroessler.de 
  • Hole Rössler, Googles sichtbare Hände. Das Retrodigitalisat als Ware, in: Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte 10.2, 2016, pp. 115-125, pdf at z-i-g.de 
  • Sarah Werner, When Is a Source Not a Source?, Conference Paper, at MLAC Commons, 2015 dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6PG6F
  • Sarah Werner, Questions to ask when you learn of digitization projects, in: Wynken de Worde. books, early modern culture, post-modern readers, 6.10.2015, accessed 14.6.2016

Monday, May 16, 2016

Alfons Kissner's German Editions of Scottish, Irish and Welsh Songs 1872-1878

Scottish and Irish songs - especially those by Burns and Moore - were quite popular in Germany during the 19th century but mostly as poetry. Editions with music happened to be somewhat rare. The 1860s had seen the publication of three small collections of Scottish songs: by Max Bruch, Edmund Friese and Hermann Kestner (see in this blog: Scottish Songs in Germany - Bruch, Friese & Kestner (1864-68)). The latter also had put together Irish and Welsh anthologies. 

Only during the 1870s a series of publications with a great number of Scottish, Irish and Welsh songs with their original tunes appeared. They were compiled and edited by young scholar Alfons Kissner in cooperation with father, Kapellmeister Carl Kissner, and other musicians who were responsible for the arrangements, either for choirs or for voice and piano. Of course these were no scholarly collections but intended for practical use: 
  • Carl & Alfons Kissner, Schottische Volkslieder (Scotch Songs) für Sopran, Alt, Tenor u. Bass, 2 Hefte, Partitur und Stimmen, J. Rieter-Biedermann, Leipzig & Winterthur, n. d. [1872]
    (Heft 1 available at the ZB Zürich, Mus RB 1867: 1 & the Internet Archive
  • Alfons Kissner, Lieder von der grünen Insel. Ins Deutsche übersetzt und für eine Singstimme mir Clavierbegleitung herausgegeben, 4 Hefte, J. Rieter-Biedermann, Leipzig & Winterthur, 1874 (H. 1-3), 1878 (H. 4)
    (available at the ZB Zürich, Mus RB 1870 & the Internet Archive
  • Carl & Alfons Kissner, Schottische Lieder aus älterer und neuerer Zeit für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte. Unter Mitwirkung von Ludwig Stark, 3 Hefte, Rieter-Biedermann, Leipzig & Winterthur, 1874
    (available at the ZB Zürich, Mus WA 979 & the Internet Archive
  • Carl Kissner, Schottische Volkslieder für 4 Männerstimmen (Soli & Chor) bearbeitet, deutsch und englisch, Partitur und Stimmen, J. Rieter-Biedermann, Leipzig & Winterthur, 1875
    (see Hofmeister, Oktober 1875, p. 222; not yet digitized, extant copies at BSB, 4 Mus.pr. 1224 & ZB Zürich Mus RB 1866
  • Alfons Kissner & Ludwig Stark, Lieder aus Wales. Ins Deutsche übersetzt und für eine Singstimme mit Pianoforte, 4 Hefte, Rieter-Biedermann, Leipzig & Winterthur, 1875/76
    (see Hofmeister, Dezember 1875, p. 311, Oktober/November 1876, p. 297; not yet digitized; extant copies at ZB Zürich, Mus RB 1872: 1-4; BSB, 4 Mus.pr. 1229-1/4, and some more) 
  • Carl Kissner, Vier Altschottische Volksmelodien. Für eine Sopran- und Baßstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, J. Rieter-Biedermann, Leipzig & Winterthur, 1876
    (available at the Internet Archive
  • Carl & Alfons Kissner, Ludwig Stark, Burns-Album. Hundert Lieder und Balladen von Burns mit ihren schottischen National-Melodien für 1 Singstimme mit Pianoforte und schottischem und deutschem Text, 4 Hefte, J. Rieter-Biedermann, Leipzig & Winterthur, 1877
    (see Hofmeister, März 1877, pp. 82-3; AMZ 12, 1877, pp. 335-6; not yet digitized; complete copy at BSB, 4 Mus.pr. 1227-1/4
  • Alfons Kissner & Ludwig Stark, Balladen aus keltischen Bergen. Ins Deutsche übersetzt und für eine Singstimme mit Clavierbegleitung herausgegeben. Drei Hefte, J. Rieter-Biedermann, Leipzig & Winterthur, 1877
    (available at the Internet Archive
At that time this series was surely regarded as an ambitious and important project. The publisher regularly ran large ads in the music press (see f. ex. AMZ 7, 1872, col. 87, col. 215; AMZ 9, 1874, col. 463-4; AMZ 12, 1877, col. 431-2) and Friedrich Chrysander even wrote an extended critical review in the AMZ (Vol. 10, 1875, col. 290-4 etc.). Today Kissner's collections are more or less forgotten and are rarely mentioned in the relevant literature (but see Selle, p. 105-6, Kupper, p. 186 ).

Alfons Kissner (1844-1928; see Tilitzki, p. 562; Wikipedia), son of Kapellmeister Carl Kissner (1815-c.1905; see bmlo), studied in Bonn and Marburg. He wrote his dissertation about Chaucer in seinen Beziehungen zur italienischen Literatur (1867, at the Internet Archive). At first, he had to spent some years as a private scholar and as librarian and secretary for a Russian Grand Duchess. But already in 1875 he became professor for English and French at the University of Erlangen and that was the start of a long academic career. His friend Felix Dahn, novelist, historian and jurist, called him "the most amiable of all professors" and noted that he was "well-versed in the literatures (and music!) of all peoples and times" (1895, pp. 137 , Kupper, p. 186).

It is not clear why he started this project but it seems that at first it wasn't intended to be that extensive. The very first publication in 1872, the two booklets of Scotch songs arranged for choirs, was quite similar to earlier collections, for example those published a decade earlier by Kestner, Friese and Bruch. Here he included the popular standards - mostly by Burns - like "My Heart's in the Highlands" and "John Anderson, my Jo" and used older translations by Freiligrath, Bartsch, Winterfeld, Dahn and others. 

The Introduction is not particularly profound but at least he showed familiarity with the most important collections like Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany, Johnson's Scots Musical Museum and George Thomson's publications. Nonetheless later Chrysander in his review (1875, col. 290-2) correctly criticized a certain superficiality as well as the old-fashioned romantic attitude.

Kissner spent some time in London during the years 1873 and 1874 (see Tilitzki, p. 562) and apparently he did some research. The introductions of the further volumes didn't get much better - in fact they are all somewhat disappointing for a future professor of English literature - but from then on he had access to a much greater selection of songs, not only those that had already been published in Germany.

The year 1874 saw the publication of the first three booklets of Irish songs, Lieder von der grünen Insel. The second and third of these were completely dedicated to Thomas Moore's Irish Melodies - a fourth volume would follow in 1878 - and this was in fact the very first German - partial, of course - edition of this famous collection including the music.

Moore was very popular in Germany since the early 1820s, but mostly as a poet, not as a songwriter. Most of his works had been translated into German language but the tunes of his songs were only rarely included in German publications. Silcher had used some in his Ausländische Volksmelodien (1835-41, at the Internet Archive) and Hermann Kestner's Irische Volkslieder (1866-9) - a part of his series Ausländische Volkslieder - offered a small amount of Moore's songs (see Hofmeister 1866, p. 127; 1867, p. 47; 1869, p. 109). From the Irish Melodies only "'Tis the Last Rose of Summer" - first introduced by Silcher (1835) and then a great hit after its inclusion in Flotow's opera Martha (1848; see in this blog: "Des Sommers letzte Rose" - Thomas Moore's "'Tis The Last Rose Of Summer" in Germany) and "Minstrel Boy" had become part of the German singing tradition. 

The 36 songs in booklets 2, 3 and 4 were of course only a small part of Moore's complete Irish output but a considerable part of them hadn't been available in Germany until that time. The translations were by Kissner himself. In fact he translated the words of the complete Irish Melodies into German and published it in an extra book: 
  • Thomas Moore's Irische Melodien in den Versmaaßen übertrsgen von Alfons Kissner, mit Beiträgen von Friedrich Bodenstedt, Hoffmann & Campe, Hamburg, 1875, at the Internet Archive
Original Welsh songs were also quite rare in Germany. Again only Hermann Kestner had published three small booklets in the previous decade. Otherwise not much was available. Here Kissner offered four booklets with altogether 40 songs, the biggest anthology of music from Wales that appeared during the 19th century. 

But most important was his collection of Robert Burns' songs. Burns' texts had been translated several times (see Selle and Kupper) and many of these German translations were then set to new music (see for example in this blog: "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" - New Musical Settings By German Composers 1836-1842). Here Kissner put together a selection of 100 songs in four booklets together with their original tunes. Most of them hadn't been published in Germany before. Some of the translations were by Kissner himself and the rest he borrowed from the available collections. In fact this was the most comprehensive anthology of songs by Robert Burns so far. 

Schottische Lieder aus älterer und neuerer Zeit includes Scottish songs not written by Burns. Here we can find old classics like Robert Crawford's "Tweedside" and "The Bush Aboon Traquair" as well as others first published in Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany. But he also added some songs from the later 18th and early 19th century like Niel Gow's "Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch" and Miss Jordan's well-known great hit "The Blue Bells of Scotland". The latter, by the way, was already popular in Germany and easily available in different translations. The last of the series was a volume with the title Balladen aus keltischen Bergen, a mixture of Welsh, Irish - including some more from Moore's Irish Melodies - and Scottish songs, some older, some more recent. It is difficult to see some organizing principle but nonetheless this was another welcome addition. 

All in all these songbooks can be seen as an impressive achievement, both by the publisher and the editors. Never before so many original Scottish, Irish and Welsh tunes had been available in Germany. Other reviewers were full of praise (see Grenzboten 37, 1878, pp. 381-91). But I don't get the impression that these collections were particularly successful and by all account they didn't have much influence. Only very rarely these songs were used by other arrangers. All these songbooks have only survived in a few copies and this this suggests that they most likely weren't sold as well as the publisher may have hoped for. Alfons Kissner himself never returned to this field. In 1877 he was appointed professor in Königsberg. Later he made himself a name as the translator of Ludovico Ariovist's works while his efforts as an editor of British songs fell into oblivion. 

  • Altenglische Volkslieder am Klavier, in: Die Grenzboten. Zeitschrift für Politik, Literatur und Kunst 37 II.1, 1878, pp. 381-91 
  • Friedrich Chrysander, A. Kissner's schottische und irländische Volkslieder, in AMZ 10, 1875, col. 290-4, 323-8, 337-344, 354-60, at the Internet Archive 
  • Felix Dahn, Erinnerungen. Viertes Buch, Breitkopf & Härtel, Leipzig, 1895 (at the Internet Archive
  • Hans Jürg Kupper, Robert Burns im deutschen Sprachraum unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der schweizerischen Übersetzungen von August Corrodi, Bern 1979 (Basler Studien zur deutschen sprache und Literatur 56) 
  • Christian Tilitzki, Die Albertus-Universität Königsberg. Ihre Geschichte von der Reichsgründung bis zum Untergang der Provinz Ostpreußen (1871-1945). Band 1: 1871-1918, Berlin, 2012 
  • Rosemary Anne Selle, The Parritch and the Partridge: The Reception of Robert Burns in Germany. A History, 2 Vols, Phil. Diss., Heidelberg 1981 (now available as: 2nd Revised and Augmented Edition, Frankfurt/M. 2013)

The Remarks about the Livonian Bagpipe in Balthasar Rüssow's "Chronica der Prouintz Lyfflandt" (1578/84)

Recently I needed to check some references regarding the use of the bagpipe in Livonia in the 16th century . The source referred to (by Graf 1962, pp. 88-91) was one particularly important chronicle from that time, Balthasar Rüssow's Chronica der Prouintz Lyfflandt (1578/84). Once again I was impressed by number of digital copies of this book that are available. Digitization has changed everything and even old and rare books are easily at hand in a matter of minutes.

But today it is not enough to go to only Google Books or Hathi Trust and see what they have. In fact digital copies of historical books are scattered over numerous different libraries and repositories and they are not always easy to find. There is not a single catalog that allows the access to all that are available. KVK is a good start but its results are - for different reasons - far from being complete. There is still quite a lot of footwork to do. 

Besides that the quality of the scans is not always what one would expect. That means a systematic review of all digital copies of a particular book is often necessary to see which one is the best. In case of Rüssow's Chronica this is thankfully not that difficult. Nonetheless it is helpful to bring them in some kind of order. There are - at least - two Google-scans of each edition and some other libraries are offering their own digital copies. For the first edition alone we have four different scans! This should be enough at the moment: 
Rüssow's Chronica was already discussed by historians since the late 18th century. Early examples were Gadebusch's four pages in his Abhandlung von Livländischen Geschichtsschreibern (1772, pp. 37-41) and Kruse's Balthasar Rüssow, in Erinnerung gebracht in 1816 (at UTR). In 1845 Eduard Pabst translated the Low German text into modern High German to make it more accessible. Most of his notes are still helpful:
  • Balthasar Rüssow's Livländische Chronik. Aus dem Plattdeutschen übertragen und mit kurzen Anmerkungen versehen durch Eduard Pabst, Koppelson, Reval, 1845
    at BSB München, Russ. 132 t [= Google Books, also at the Internet Archive
Even though the Chronica was sold quite well at the time of its publication - otherwise there wouldn't have been the two additional editions - it had apparently become quite rare in the 19th century and was not that easy to find in libraries. Therefore the original text of the edition from 1584 was reprinted in an important collection of original sources for Baltic history: 
  • Scriptores Rerum Livonicarum. Sammlung der wichtigsten Chroniken und Geschichtsdenkmale zu Liv-, Ehst- und Kurland; in genauem Wiederabdrucke der besten, bereits gedruckten, aber selten gewordenen Ausgaben. 2 Bde (at the Internet Archive: Vol. 1 [GB] & Vol. 2 [GB]), Franzen, Riga & Leipzig, 1853/1848, here Bd. 2, pp. 1-194 (also at ÖNB [GB]: Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
There are several Google-scans of copies from different European and American libraries and I have tried to select the best of them. With the easy access to digitized copies of the original work one may assume that this reprint is of no use today. But that is not the case. First there are helpful additions, especially a dictionary and an Index. Besides that: for a long time scholars have used the Scriptores Rerum Livonicarum. It happened to be easily available in libraries while the original books were difficult to find. Therefore page numbers in the notes of most of the secondary literature usually refer to this edition. Not at least these two massive volumes also include other important relevant works that have not yet been digitized, for example Friedrich Menius' Syntagma de Origine Livonorum (Dorpat, 1635, here Vol. 2, pp. 511-42). 

We can see that in this case all necessary publications have been digitized. There are several digital copies of each of the different editions of the original Chronica and also of the reprint and the translation. The quality of the available scans is not bad and they are all readable and usable. 

By the way, this chronicle is still well worth reading, not only for those interested in Baltic history and culture. Rüssow (1536-1600; see Johansen 1996, the standard work; good introduction: Brüggemann 2003, short: Miljan 2004, p. 426) was a very interesting character. He may have been born as an Estonian - that is not completely clear but not unlikely -, was sent to Germany to study theology and then became Lutheran pastor in Reval. He was also an excellent writer, often very laconic and he happened to be very critical of just about everybody, particularly the upper class. 

But his book is also quite depressing to read. The late 16th century was an era of death and war for the Livonians, both the indigenous peasants - the Latvians and Estonians - and their oppressors, the German nobility. Russian, Tatars, Poles, Swedes as well as mercenaries from Germany and even from Scotland were fighting against each other and plundering the locals. Especially the Russians regularly raided the country and were responsible for much destruction and terror. Not at least the plague broke out several times. 

The author also added interesting information about the life and culture of the people living in Livonia. What I was looking for were several remarks about the Estonian bagpipe. Interestingly these parts can only be found in the edition published in 1584. Rüssow writes about the peasants coming to the "kerckmissen" - the parish fairs - in summer to drink and celebrate. They made themselves "frölich [...] mit eren groten Sackpipen, de men by auendt tyden schyr auer eine Myle weges hören kan". These instruments must have been really loud! And after the church they kept on drinking and singing and playing the bagpipe "daß Einem [...] das Hören und Sehen vergehen möchte" (p. 31b). 

In the summer of 1574 (see pp. 85b-86) the Livonians had to bear one more attack, this time by 10000 Russians and Tatars. They burned down all villages near Reval and killed or captured many people. "Do wos alle fröwde in dem ganzen Lande benamen" and the great Livonian bagpipes had to hide. One "Börger" of the besieged Reval complained about the permanent ringing of the alarm bell and longed to hear "der Buuren Sackpipen" again. Here the sound of the peasants' bagpipes - usually more of a nuisance for the cultivated citizens - became a symbol of more peaceful times. 

  • Karsten Brüggemann, Die 'Chronica der Prouintz Lyfflandt' von Balthasar Rüssow. Ein lutherischer Pastor als politischer Chronist, in: Klaus Garber (ed.) et al., Kulturgeschichte der baltischen Länder in der frühen Neuzeit, Tübingen, 2003, pp. 265-282 
  • Friedrich Konrad Gadebusch, Abhandlung von Livländischen Geschichtsschreibern, Hartknoch, Riga, 1772, at the Internet Archive (here pp. 37-41
  • Walter Graf, Die ältesten deutschen Überlieferungen estnischer Volkslieder, in: Musik des Ostens 1, 1963, pp. 83-105 
  • Cornelius Hasselblatt, Geschichte der estnischen Literatur. Von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart, Beerlin, 2006 
  • Paul Johansen, Balthasar Rüssow als Humanist und Geschichtsschreiber. Aus dem Nachlaß ergänzt und herausgegeben von Heinz von zur Mühlen, Köln, 1996 (= Quellen und Studien zur baltischen Geschichte 14)
  • Karl Wilhelm Kruse, Balthasar Rüssow, in Erinnerung gebracht. Gelegenheitsschrift zur Ankündigung des Lehrganges auf dem Gymnasio illustri zu Mitau für das Jahr 1816, Steffenhagen und Sohn, Mitau, 1816, at University of Tartu Repository 
  • Toivo Miljan, Historical Dictionary of Estonia, Lanham & Oxford, 2004

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"Exotic" Songs and Tunes in European Publications 1577-1830


The early decades of the 19th century saw a new enthusiasm for what was called national airs, or - in Germany - "Volkslieder" or "Nationalgesänge". Collections of songs and tunes began to appear and these also included a not inconsiderable amount of - mostly - original music from the more "exotic" places of the world, from the Americas, Asia, Turkey and the Levant, sometimes even Africa and Oceania but also from the European periphery, for example Finland, Russia, the Balkan and Greece (see in this blog: "Melodies of Different Nations": Anthologies of International "National Airs" in Britain 1800-1830 & "Ausländische Volkslieder" in 19th-Century Germany - Some Important Collections 1829-1853).

Where did the editors get these tunes? An important source were reports, ethnographies and histories by travelers, voyagers, missionaries and scholars about foreign and "exotic" countries. These books appeared in Europe in great numbers since the 16th century. It was an immensely popular genre that offered a wealth of information about all parts of the world, the people that lived there and their culture. Some of these works even included original and more or less "authentic" music. Of course the term "authentic" should not be understood in the sense of modern ethnomusicology. What European observers had transcribed and then published may have been only a "pale reflection of the original" (Miller & Chaironpot 1994, p. 138, about one Siamese song in a French book). How much these tunes and songs really were a representation of the real music of those peoples is another question that can't be discussed here. But they were regarded as such.

This seemed to me a very interesting topic. I wanted to know what exactly was available to European readers. What was published, how much musical examples were included in these kind of books? What was used, what was reprinted and republished and what became part of the popular music tradition. Therefore I tried to put together a bibliography of European publications from the 16th century to circa 1830 that included songs or tunes from outside of Europe and from the European periphery. This means: not descriptions of musical performances or musical instrument - that was quite common - but actual music in staff notation. A preliminary version of this bibliography is now ready and is available, but at the moment only at Google Docs:  
The following text is a short overview, a kind of introduction to this topic. 


What was available at that time to Europeans interested in foreign, "exotic" music? Not much, to be true! What was collected and published from the 16th to the early 19th century would fit neatly in a small booklet. For example in the 200 years between Columbus' arrival and the beginning of the 18th century nine original tunes - or better: fragments of tunes - from the Americas were published in only three different books: five from Brazil in 1585 in the third edition of Jean de Léry's Histoire d'Un Voyage Faict en la Terre du Brésil (1585, pp. 159, 173, 279, 286-7), three from Canada in Marc Lescarbot's Histoire de la Nouvelle-France (1617, pp. 728-9) and one more "Chanson Canadoise" in Marin Mersenne's Harmonie Universelle (1636, Vol. 1, pt. 3, bk. 3, p. 148). That was all! Until the year 1800 only 13 more pieces of music - in five different publications - became available (calculated from Stevenson 1968 & 1973, Levine 2002). That is not much, especially if we take into account the great interest for the "New World" and the considerable number of relevant books published during that time. But this was still more than what was collected in other parts of the world. 

From Africa two very fragmentary "tunes" were published during the 18th century: one in Peter Kolb's Caput Bonae Spei Hodiernum (1719, p. 528) and the other in Anders Sparrmann's Resa till Goda Hopps-Udden (1783, Vol. 2, p. 766). More would follow only several decades later, at first in Bowdich's Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee (1819, pp. 361-9). For a long time one lone song from Persia was available for Europeans, the little piece in Jean Chardin's Voyages en Perse, et Autres Lieux de L'Orient (1711, here Vol. 2, plate No. 26). Only in 1818 German orientalist scholar Joseph von Hammer added one more song in his Geschichte der schönen Redekünste Persiens (p. 272) and in 1842 Alexander Chodzko included 9 tunes in the Specimens of the Popular Poetry of Persia (pp. 583-92). 

Whoever was interested in original Chinese music had to make do with the five melodies in du Halde's Description Géographique, Historique, Chronologique, Politique, et Physique De L'Empire de la Chine et de la Tartarie Chinoise (1735, Vol. 3, pp. 265-7) as well as one single air in the Gentleman's Magazine (27, 1757, p. 33). More would be published only since the 1790s. Tunes from India were first printed not earlier than 1789 in William Hamilton Bird's Oriental Miscellany (available at the Internet Archive) but this publication then set off a big fashion for "Hindostannnie Airs" (see Woodfield 1995, pp. 281-95). 

The countries from the European periphery did not fare much better. In fact for a while it was easier to find Chinese tunes than original music from Finland or the Baltic. The first Finnish tunes were published in 1798 respectively 1802 by the Abbé Vogler and the travelers Acerbi and Skjöldebrand (see in this blog: The Collection and Publication of National Airs in Finland 1795-1900). Very early examples of Latvian and Estonian tunes can be found in Friedrich Menius' Syntagma de Origine Livonorum (1635, see the reprint in Scriptores Rerum Livonicarum II, 1848, p. 525) but more original music by Baltic peasants was only made available much later, in 1777 and 1782, by Pastor Hupel in his Topographische Nachrichten von Lief- und Ehstland (Vol. 2, suppl., Vol. 3, suppl.).

Even modern Greece music was very difficult to find, as Forkel complained in 1788 in his Allgemeine Geschichte der Musik (I, p. 443). The first one to publish an authentic tune had been - only 12 years earlier - Pierre Augustin Guys in his Voyage Littéraire de la Gréce ou Lettres sur les Grecs, Anciens et Modernes (1776, Vol. 2, p. 41). Forkel reprinted this one as well as a few others that had come to light in the meantime (pp. 449-51). 

What was the problem? It was not that the Europeans were not interested in "exotic" music. A lot of music happened to be available that pretended to be "exotic", but it was all created by Western composers (see f. ex. Locke 2011 & 2015 about "exoticism"): from a Ballet des Indiens or a Mascarade de Sauvages performed at the French court in the early 17th century (see Pisani, Chronological Listing, 2006) to an "Egyptian Love Song" by Welsh bard Edward Jones, published in one of his earliest collections, The Musical Bouquet; or Popular Songs, and Ballads (1799, p. 4). The production of "exotic" music was a time-honored tradition. Only original and "authentic" music was somewhat rare and not that easy to find. 

Besides that: western music was brought to the remotest parts of the world. It followed the voyagers, conquerers, the colonists and the church. Musicians on ships performed for the natives (see Woodfield 1995, pp. 95-113). In Mexico music for the church was already printed in the 16th century (Stevenson 1968, pp. 173-93). In Virginia the settlers sang psalms with a local chief, as was reported by Thomas Harriot in his Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land (1588, f. E4v; Stevenson 1973b, p. 400). In Finland the people were taught continental hymn tunes which of course then pushed aside their old traditional songs (see f. ex. Haapalainen 1976). 

But it seems that this was most of the time more or less a one-way street and very little music from other parts of the world found the way to the cultural centers of Western Europe. In many cases travelers, voyagers or missionaries simply didn't bother that much about the real music of the people they visited. It was not a particularly important topic and many of these writers offered at best some casual remarks or superficial observations. Not at least what they wrote about music - if the wrote anything at all - usually only made up a small, often negligible part of their work. Very few of them were trained musicians who would have been able to note a tune they had heard. 

For example only half "of the extant descriptions of early Siam by Europeans [...] mention music to some extent, from a mere passing reference to a complete chapter". Of the 21 sources from the 16th to the 18th century that have references to Siamese music only two included original music, one song each: Nicolas Gervaise's Histoire Naturelle et Politique du Royaume de Siam (1688, foldout after p. 130 [not scanned correctly]) and Simon de la Loubére, Du Royaume de Siam (1691, after p. 206). More Siamese tunes would only be published nearly 150 years later by Captain James Low in a series of articles about the History of Tennasserim in the Journal of the Asiatic Society (Vol. 4, 1837, pp. 51-4; see Miller & Chonpairot 1994, p. 8, pp. 138-54).

In Germany appeared since 1747 a series in 20 volumes, Allgemeine Historie der Reisen zu Wasser und Lande: oder, Sammlung aller Reisebeschreibungen (most Vols. available at the Internet Archive). This was a kind of representative compilation of the most important travel reports. The texts were all translated from the English and French. We can look at the Index in the last volume (p. 605) and see that there are only 20 references for the term "Musik". That is not much for such a massive collection and in most cases music is only mentioned in passing. And there is only one report that includes tunes in musical notation: the reprint of du Halde's Description about China (Vol. 6, plate after p. 312). 

It was also a problem that many travelers were not particularly open-minded and that kept them from conducting further research. Robert Lyall from England went to see - among others - the Tartars in the Crimea. In the book about his Travels (2 Vols., 1825) we can find several remarks about their music. In one town he once heard the "sonorous, but harsh sound of music in a Tartar coffeehouse [...] two violins, held like a violoncello, and a tambarine [sic!], regaled us during our stay with the most inharmonious music" (Vol. 2, pp. 245-6). In another place he had to listen to music played on an instrument similar to the guitar but it "possessed neither regularity nor harmony; the vocal music seemed [...] to consist in strong nasal sounds, which were most distressing to our ears" (p. 332). Mr. Lyall also received some information the Tartars' cultural life from a "gentleman" who had lived there for a long time and "was familiar with their language, customs, and manners". About songs he was only told that "they have many; but the use of them is confined to the common people. They are amorous, and often licentious" (p. 350). 

In fact some European visitors simply did not like what they heard. There was a certain snobbishness and a belief in the superiority of European music. Many commented on what they regarded as backwardness, especially on the lack of polyphony and harmony as well as the non-existence of musical notation. Sometimes the verdict was particularly harsh. Baptiste du Halde in his Description noted about Chinese music that "it is at present so imperfect that it hardly deserves the Name" and the accompanying five tunes were added as a proof of its shortcomings (quoted from Engl. ed., 1742, Vol. 3, p. 65). But of course du Halde had never been in China. He simply edited the many reports sent by Jesuit missionaries living there. Several decades later another Jesuit, Jean-Marie Amiot, expressed a much better opinion of Chinese music in his Mémoire Sur La Musique Des Chinois, Tant Anciens Que Modernes (Paris 1779, at the Internet Archive). 

English traveler Edward Daniel Clarke was very disappointed with Finnish music. From the remarks in his Travels (1819, p. 503) we can see that he in fact did some real research. But didn't feel able to ascribe "any thing beyond a mere humdrum to the national music of the Finns" which he thought was "confined to a few doleful ditties". 

A particular interesting case was Hinrich Lichtenstein (see Wikipedia), a physician and scholar from Germany who lived and traveled in Southern Africa between 1803 and 1806. His Reisen im südlichen Afrika were published in two volumes in 1811 and 1812 and an English translation quickly followed in 1812 and 1815. Dr. Lichtenstein was a very educated man and also a good observer as well as a trained musician who would have been able to write down some original music. But he didn't. In fact he wasn't really fond of what he heard there, for example in case of one tribe he happened to come across (Vol. 1, p. 464; Engl. ed., Vol. 1, p. 280): 
"In der Musik sind sie weit zurück [...] Ihre Melodien sind einem musicalisch gebildeten Ohre unerträglich und ihr Gesang ist ein unerträgliches Geheul". 
But we can find here some interesting bits of information. For example he saw a woman playing "a sort of guitar made of half the rind of a gourd scooped out, with a rough touch-board fastened over it, along which were drawn four strings" and she "produced accords [...] which could not without great difficulty have been produced from any of our own stringed instruments" (Vol. 1, p. 150; quoted from Engl. ed., Vol. 1, p. 94). In the second volume there is an discussion of the "extraordinary intervals" used in tunes and he also called for further research into this field: 
"This is a matter worthy the investigation of future travellers, and the Cape offers a rich field in this respect to an experienced inquirer, since the various slaves from different nations [...] have each their own peculiar melodies, with intervals not in any way adapted to our diatonic scale" (pp. 549-51; Engl. ed., Vol. 2, pp. 338-9). 
In fact a not inconsiderable number of relevant publications offered valuable information about the music of foreign cultures: about instruments, performances and their contexts, and much more, occasionally with helpful illustrations. This is - even without musical examples - still an "an important resource for the ethnomusicologist" (Woodfield 1995, p. 267; see the many examples in: dto., pp. 286-80; Stevenson 1968 & 1973a & b for America; Miller & Chonpairot 1994, p. 8 and passim for Siam; Bartens 2002 for Lapland; also Harrison 1973).


Many writers included the words to one or more songs in their books. That was a little bit easier than trying to transcribe a tune. French writer Michel de Montaigne didn't even need to travel to America. He met some Brazilian natives in France and interviewed them. This inspired him to his famous essay No. 30, "De Cannibales" where he quoted translated fragments of a love song and a death song (Essais, 1580, here pp. 323-5; Engl. ed., 1603, pp. 105-6). But neither he nor anybody else thought of noting the tunes. Nor did William Strachey who quoted in his Historie of Travaile into Virginia Britania (1612, here new ed., 1849, pp. 79-80; see Stevenson 1973b, p. 402) some lines from a "a scorneful song they made of us the last yeare at the falls, in manner of tryumph" after they had killed some English sailors. He also noted that the natives had "their erotica carmina, or amorous dittyes [...] which they will sing tunable enough", but, naturally, refrained from quoting from any of these songs. 

Inca Carcilaso de la Vega, Spanish chronicler of Peruvian origin - his mother was said to be an Inca Princess - , quoted the words of two old songs in the original language and Spanish respectively Latin translation in his Commentarios Reales (1609, Libro 2, Cap. 17; quotes from Engl. ed., 1688, here pp. 50-1). One of them - "Pulchra Nympha/Frater tuus" - he had borrowed from the now lost writings of the legendary Blas Valera and the other one, " four Verses of an amourous Song" - a fragment only - he remembered from his youth. For the latter he even knew the melody but refrained from including it: "the tune also I would gladly set down, but that the impertinence thereof may easily excuse me". It seems that his snobbish readers wouldn't have appreciated such an example of original Inca music. 

Several decades later Professor Scheffer from Uppsala secured the words of two Lapp joiks for his famous Lapponia (1673, pp. 282-5), Petrus Bång, professor of theology in Åbo, published a "Bear Song" by the Finns or Lapps in Swedish and Finnish language in the Historia Ecclesiae Sveo-Gothicae (1675, pp. 213-4) and Christian Kelch included one Estonian song - both the original text and a translation - in the Liefländische Historia (1695, pp. 14-5). But these pieces would have been even more valuable if they had been able to add the melody. The same can be said about Pastor Philipp Ruhig who offered some Lithuanian songs in his Betrachtung der Littauischen Sprache (1745, pp. 75-8). Jonathan Carver, the adventurous American traveler, described in his Travels in the Interior Part of North-America a "plaintative melancholy song" by an American Indian woman bemoaning her dead husband and child. He quoted some lines but apparently was no expert for music and we have to do without the tune (1778, pp. 405-6). 

Some of these texts became part of the European literary tradition. In 1682 Daniel Georg Morhof discussed in his Unterricht von der Teutschen Sprache und Poesie (here new edition, 1700, pp. 374-82) not only one of Scheffer's Lapp songs and the Finnish "Bear Song" but also de la Vega's "Pulchra Nympha". German Poet Ewald Christian Kleist translated Montaigne's Brazilian love song ("Verweile, liebe Schlange", 1755, here in Sämmtliche Werke II, 1803, p. 150) and later even Goethe wrote his own versions of both of Montaigne's pieces and published one of them (in Ueber Kunst und Altertum 5.3, 1826, pp. 22-3; see Düntzer 1875, pp. 185-6). 

But it was Johann Gottfried Herder who brought it all together and set a standard with his - at first anonymously published - Volkslieder (2 Vols., 1778-9, at the Internet Archive), the truly multi-cultural and universal anthology of the international national songs. Here we can read the old texts from Peru and Lapland as well as many others, for example from Greece, the Baltic and even Greenland. The latter is particularly interesting. Danish merchant Lars Dalager had heard a death lament there and published the words - translated into Danish - in his Grønlandske Relationer (1752, p. 46). The Moravian missionary David Cranz added a German translation to his Historie von Grönland (1765, p. 303; also Engl. ed., 1667, p. 239). It is not clear if this was a speech or really a song. In Cranzen's book it is called both a "Klage-Rede" and "Klage-Lied" (dto.). Nonetheless Herder was apparently glad to find something from such an exotic location and borrowed it for his own collection (II, 1779, pp. 128-9). 

All these "exotic" texts - and of course also Herder's Volkslieder that only included words but no music - had one major disadvantage. These were lyrics of songs but nobody knew how they were supposed to sound. Therefore sometimes new tunes were made up by European composers who wanted to turn these pieces into songs again. For example the English translation of one of the Lapp texts from Scheffer's Lapponia was set to new music - in England only, not in Germany or France - at least half a dozen times (see in this blog: "Orra Moor" - A Song from Lapland in England and Germany). 

Jonathan Carver had included an "extremely poetical and pleasing" oration performed for a dead chief in his Travels (1778, pp. 399-400). This was not a song at all nor was it really "authentic". His text was derived from one in an older publication, the Baron Lahontan's Memoires de L'Amerique Septentrionale (1703, pp. 151-2; Engl. ed., 1703, pp. 51-2). But poet Friedrich Schiller got hold of the German edition of Carver's book (1780, here on pp. 334-5). He was very impressed by this text and turned it into a "ballad" which was then published first in 1798 in the Musen-Almanach (pp. 237-9) as "Nadowessische Todtenklage" (summarized from Jantz 1959). This piece then found also the favor of some composers, among them Johann Bernhard Hummel who set Schiller's ballad to new music (in 12 Deutsche Lieder, 1799, pp. 6-7). Interestingly Hummel's version also became known in England. Benjamin Beresford translated Schiller's text and included this "North-American Death-Song" in one of his anthologies, the Collection of German Ballads and Songs (1800, pp. 22-3). 

Scottish physician Mungo Park explored Africa from 1795 to 1797. In his Travels (1799, p. 198) he quoted some lines from a song performed by the locals while they were at work. It "was composed extempore; for I myself was the subject of it [...] the air was sweet and plaintive". For some reason he refrained from transcribing this particular tune. But back at home he gave these fragmentary lines to a "Lady, who is not more distinguished for her rank, than for her beauty and accomplishments", the Duchess of Devonshire, who then versified them. This poem was "set to music by an eminent composer", G. G. Ferrari and the resulting song then included his book (see Appendix). 

Composer Thomas Haigh apparently liked one particular poem in Joseph Carlyle's Specimens of Arab Poetry (1796, pp. 65-6). He composed a tune and this song was then published as "Leila. A Ballad" (c. 1800, available at the Internet Archive). More similar examples could easily be added. But here we can see how the lack of original music and the interest in and fascination with "exotic" topics and texts inspired European composers to come up with their own ideas of how such songs should sound. 


While there was a decent amount of information about music and even an interesting selection of songs without the tunes only very few pieces of original music found their way into European books. Here a chronological overview is useful. From the 16th century we have only two examples: de Lery's five Brazilian tunes (1585) and one lone Arab melody. That one was published in 1577 by Spanish musicologist Francisco de Salinas in his De Musica Libri Septem (p. 339; see Stevenson 1968, p. 122, Pedrell 1899, p. 392). But it was not much, in fact only a little fragment that could have been from anywhere. 

In the early 17th century three more publications followed and I have already mentioned them: Lescarbot with the three Canadian songs in 1617, French musicologist Mersenne with one more tune from Canada in 1636 as well as Menius' Latvian and Estonian melodies in 1635. Then there was nothing new for more than half a century. Of course some interested scholars may have collected something. Italian composer Pietro della Valle traveled through the orient from 1614 to 1626 and claimed to have made "a very curious collection of Persian, Turkish, Arabian, and Indian tunes, wholly different from those of Italy, both in time and intervals" (Burney II, p. 532) but this was not published. 

The Jesuit missionaries in North America showed considerable interest in the culture of the locals and their reports also included a lot of interesting information about their music, for example descriptions of performances (see f. ex. the Relations 1655 & 1656, pp. 67-76; Jesuit Relations 42, pp. 114-126; see Crawford 1967). Father Dablon reported in the Relations for the years 1671-1672 that he had heard some "very tuneful airs" sung "in excellent harmony" while being with the Illinois in Wisconsin (in Jesuit Relations 55, pp. 204-5). The year 1681 saw the publication of a book that included a report of Father Marquette's famous journey to the Mississippi in 1673. Here (p. 27; also in: Jesuit Relations 49, p. 136) we can find some interesting remarks about the songs of the Illinois as well as the first line of one of them: 
"Voicy quelqu'une des Chansons qu'ils ont coutume de chanter, ils leur donnent un certain tour qu'on ne peut affez exprimer par la Notte, qui neanmoins en faite toute la grace.

Ninahani, ninahani, ninahani nano ongo". 
In this case the tune was also transcribed - most likely by Father Dablon in 1671, who then interpolated this paragraph into Marquette's report - and the blank space on the page suggests that the printer may have forgotten to include it. Thankfully the manuscript with the song including the melody survived for nearly 200 years in the archive and was then first published only in 1861 in a new edition of Marquette's Voyages (in: Mission du Canada, p. 273, see also p. 240; see also The Jesuit Relations 59, p. 311, n. 29, pp. 294-99; Hamy 1903, p. 136; Stevenson 1973, pp. 18-21, Lindsay 2002, No. 4, pp. 7-8). 

But at least some original "exotic" music was printed at the end of the 18th century: the two above-mentioned Siamese songs in the books by Gervaise (1688) and de la Loubère (1691) as well as two rather obscure contributions. Matthias Zimmermann included a "Tarantella" in his Florilegium Philologico-Historicum (II, p. 757), an early encyclopedia. This little piece was even reprinted by Edward Jones in his Maltese Melodies (p. 38), a nice collection with tunes not only from Malta but also from other countries that was published in 1807. Job Ludolphus, a German diplomat and scholar, added three very fragmentary pieces of music to the Commentary (1691, p. 263) to his own Historia Aethiopica (1681, see here book 2, ch. 18; Engl. ed., 1684, pp. 236-7). These were no songs at all but - if I understand it correctly - they were used for singing petitions to the king of Ethiopia. 

After the turn of the century some important publications offered more relevant music even though the European scholars and travelers still showed a certain reluctance: until the 1760s only 10 works including original tunes became available. But among them were some of the most influential of this genre: Chardin's Voyages with the Persian song (1711), du Halde's Description with five Chinese melodies (1734) as well as Thomas Shaw's Travels or Observations Relating to Several Parts of Barbary and the Levant (1738, p. 272) with six Arab tunes. Only since the 1770s - the era of Ossian had just begun - more would be published and one gets the impression that from then on visiting scholars and explorers showed a little more interest for the music of the people they encountered. 

But most of the time not much was collected and we still have to make do with fragments. Johann Reinhold Forster accompanied Captain Cook on his second expedition between 1772 and 1776. We can find a little bit of information about Polynesian music in the book written about this journey by his son, the Voyage Around the World published in 1777. He even was able to add some tunes. James Burney, son of musicologist Charles Burney - he had started a career as a Navy officer and also took part in the expedition - transcribed for him some of what they heard the locals singing. But the result of their efforts looks somewhat disappointing: less than 10 bars of music found their way into this book (here Vol. 1, p. 429, Vol. 2, pp. 467-8; see also Agnew 2008, pp. 92-103; Irving 2005).

Very few of these scholars and writers did some real research. In most cases there were only one or two tunes, often fragments. Music remained a negligible topic in the context of these publications. Among the few who offered more than the usual fare was for example Johann Georg Gmelin (1709-1755, see Wikipedia). He happened to be the first one to collect and publish songs from Siberia. Gmelin, professor for chemistry and natural history in St. Petersburg, took part in the Great Nordic Expedition from 1733 to 1743. His Reise durch Sibirien, - a very fascinating work - was published in four Volumes in 1751-2. 

When he had to spend some time in Krasnojarsk he came upon the idea to study the music and poetry of the different peoples living there. Therefore he asked for songs to be performed for him and selected some to be transcribed. Five of them can be found in his book, all of them with the tune, the original text and a translation (Vol. 3, pp. 369-74, p. 475, p. 522). This was an excellent documentation, much better than what many other travelers were able to deliver. But it was not everywhere appreciated. The French edition (1757, pp. 105-10) only included the texts and left out the music. 

One should expect that there are perhaps some manuscripts of unpublished music from that time. This is not the case. But interestingly we know about at least one important selection of original Peruvian songs. They were collected by Baltasar Jaime Martínez Compañón, the Bishop of Trujillo, during the years 1782-85. 20 songs and tunes can be found his report sent back to Spain. Only a century later four of them were printed (see Congreso Internacional de Americanistas, 1882, pp. LXI-LXXX; Stevenson 1968, pp. 313-21).


With the small but slowly growing body of "exotic" music available to Europeans some musicologists began to show more interest for this topic. In France both Rousseau with the five tunes in his Dictionnaire de Musique (1768) and Laborde with the great amount of tunes - mostly taken from the older travel literature - that he included in his Essai sur la Musique (1780) did some pioneering work (see in this blog: "Exotic" Tunes in Rousseau's Dictionnaire (1768) & Laborde's Essai (1780)). Michel Chabanon wrote about the "Chansons des Sauvages" in his De la Musique (1785, pp. 393-396) and was able to offer four formerly unpublished musical examples from North America. He had received these pieces from  a French officer who had spent some time there. 

During these years several ground-breaking works discussing music from outside of Europe were published, but all of them not by musicologists but by learned "outsiders". I have already mentioned the Jesuit missionary Amiot who wrote a comprehensive treatise about Chinese music (1779). Both the Austrian officer and scholar Sulzer (1781, Vol. 2, pp. 430-547) and the Italian literature historian Toderini (1787, Vol. 1, pp. 222-52) added substantial chapters about Turkish music as well as some musical examples to their books. And of course one should not forget to mention the English jurist, orientalist and linguist Sir William Jones whose short article "on the Musical Modes of the Hindus" in the third volume of the Asiatick Researches in 1792 (pp. 55-87) set the starting-point for further research into Indian music. 

In Germany it was Johann Nicolaus Forkel who studied music from outside of Europe. For example he reprinted the relevant parts from Forster's and Niebuhr's books including the musical examples in his Musikalisch-Kritische Bibliothek (2, 1778, pp. 306-320). But in the Allgemeine Geschichte der Musik (Vol. 1, 1788) he made use of only a few of the available sources. At least he knew Ludolphus' three Ethiopian tune fragments (p. 94). Forkel's important bibliography, the Allgemeine Litteratur der Musik (1792, at the Internet Archive) included chapters about foreign music but he clearly missed a lot of what he could have used. 

The legendary Abbé Vogler, performer, composer and musicologist, preferred to collect the tunes himself and he even traveled as far as North-Africa (Vogler 1806, p. 24). In fact he may have been the very first professional musician who made what would be called today a "field-trip". In his Pieces de Clavecin faciles (1798) we can find - besides a Chinese tune - also a "Romance Africaine" as well as an "Air Barbaresque" from Morocco (p. 6, pp. 20-2). Vogler was also the first to promote African tunes in Europe and he played these pieces in his spectacular organ concerts (see in this blog: Polymelos - Abbé Vogler's Collections of National Airs (1791/1806)). 

But the most comprehensive collection of "exotic" music in Germany was Fritz von Dalberg's expanded edition of Sir William Jones' little treatise about Indian music (1802, at the Internet Archive; see in this blog: "Exotic" Airs in Germany - Dalberg's "Ueber die Musik der Indier"). Dalberg - a multi-talented scholar deeply influenced by his friend Herder - was familiar with many of the relevant publications like for example Chardin's, Shaw's, Forster's and Amiot's important works and he included 50 tunes, not only from India, but also from Arabia, Persia and China. He did more than any other German musicologist of this era to further the knowledge of non-European music and his anthology would serve as a major source for "exotic" tunes for the next several decades. 

At the same time in England the musicologists showed a certain reluctance to discuss this kind of music. Charles Burney was very interested in exotic national music (see Agnew 2008, passim; Irving 2005) but he refrained from writing about this topic in his General History of Music (1789). But on the other hand: London had become the capital of multi-cultural music and nearly everything was available there. German musicians and scholars like Vogler and Dalberg had felt the need to travel to England to get access to more sources. Most of the relevant travel literature appeared there and scholars like William Ouseley with his Oriental Collections (1797-1800, at the Internet Archive), a short-lived but very important periodical, added more to the growing body of exotic tunes and songs. 

But - and that is an important difference to France and Germany - so-called national music was not so much regarded as an academic topic: every relevant collection included arrangements for pianists or other instrumentalists so that the these tunes and songs could be played and sung at home. Today scholars tend to complain about these arrangements and the resulting adaptation to the contemporary musical taste and the technical abilities of the amateur musicians. But this was music for practical use and the people were supposed to play it. Playability and singability were more important than any kind of "authenticity" in the modern sense. 

In fact national airs - even those of the more exotic kind - became an important part of the popular music of that time. Already in the 1780s Domenico Corri - an Italian composer and publisher living and working in England and Scotland - had included a Persian song in the third volume of his Select Collection of the Most Admired Songs, Duetts, Etc (p. 44). It is not clear where he got this piece but it looks as if it could really be an original song from Persia. At least it fit nicely to all the other national songs from Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Western Europe he offered in this volume. Of course William Hamilton Bird added arrangements for piano and guitar to the Oriental Miscellany, his collection of tunes from India (1789). Karl Kambra - a German musician working in England - published Two Original Chinese Songs. Moo-Lee-Chwa & Higho Highau, for the Piano Forte or Harpsichord (c. 1796, at Harvard UL) and did his best to render them  "agreeable to the English Ear". 

A particular interesting example is an unidentified songbook (available at the Internet Archive) - the title-page is missing but it was most likely published between 1802 and 1810 - that offered an intriguing but not untypical mixture of music. Here we can find a standard collection of English, Scottish , Irish and Welsh national airs and even some from the Orkneys. But the editor - whoever that was - also added German, French, Russian and Venetian songs as well as some popular hits with an exotic topic like "Let the Sultan Saladin" (No. 46) and "Death Song of the Cherokees" (No. 60), the latter one of the first popular songs imported from the USA. But besides these there are also two "authentic" original pieces: the "Runa of the Finlanders" (No. 34) from Acerbi's Travels Through Sweden, Finland, And Lapland in The Years 1798 and 1799 (1802, here Vol. 2, p. 325) and a "New-South Wales Song" (No. 36) with original text , "The Air & words brought over by an Officer from N. S. Wales". This was the very first published original song of the Australian Aborigines (see Skinner, Checklist 1801-10, 1802: Wahabindeh bang ha nel ha). 

At around the same time two important collections of international national airs appeared in England. Welsh composer and harper Edward Jones had already published ground-breaking works about Welsh music as well as some several anthologies of popular songs. He would become industrious publisher and arranger of foreign national tunes (see in this blog: Edward Jones & His Collections of National Airs (1784-1821)). His first collection in 1805, the Lyric Airs, included "Specimens of Greek, Albanian, Walachian, Turkish, Arabian, Persian, Chinese, and Moorish National Songs and Melodies" (available at the Internet Archive). This was of course a kind of a mixed bag and apparently he used what he had at hand at that time. But an anthology like this, exclusively dedicated to "exotic" music, hadn't been been available before in Britain.

Musicologist William Crotch published his Specimens of Various Styles of Music referred to in A Course of Lectures, read at Oxford & London in 1809 (available at the Internet Archive). He had a more systematic approach, but - as the title says - he used to hold lectures about national airs. There is a helpful introduction where he names most of his sources. The greatest part of this anthology - the most comprehensive overview of this genre at that time - was of course made up of airs from the British Isles. But he added music from many European countries as well as a considerable amount of tunes of more exotic origin, from Africa, Asia and America. In this respect he could compete with both Laborde's and Dalberg's collections. But unlike them he arranged all these pieces for piano as it was common in England at that time. This was not only a scholarly publication like Laborde's and Dalberg's but a collection of music for the people to play. 

Both Jones and Crotch were clearly familiar with most of the relevant older literature including Rousseau's Dictionnaire and especially Laborde's Essai that served as important sources for them. But they also added a considerable number of formerly unpublished tunes to the available repertoire, some from manuscripts and others from informants: both foreigners living in England and English collectors who had been abroad or at least had access to foreign sources. Jones for example "wrote down the Melodies" of two Turkish tunes "from the singing of Mouhammed Sidky Efendi, Charge d'Affaires of the Sublime Port" (p. 32) and received a Chinese melody from "a Gentleman, who resided some time in the English Factory, at Canton" (p. 29). Already in 1793 he had transcribed a song from the singing of two Australian aborigines who had made it to England and were living in his neighborhood. But it took him nearly 20 years until he published this piece in 1811 in his Musical Curiosities (see Skinner, Checklist 1756-1800, 1793: Barrabula; see also Engel 1866, pp. 26-7 & Bonwick 1870, p. 33). 

In Crotch's anthology we can for example find the first-ever "Malay tune" published in Britain (No. 323, p. 155) although in this case he didn't name his source. But one may assume that he received it from someone who had been there. Crotch was also supported by John Baptist Malchair, a musician of German origin living and working in Oxford who had become an expert collector of national airs. Malchair himself apparently knew a lot of people who supplied him with songs and tunes (see Wollenberg in Harrison 1998, pp. 41-2), even some from more far-away places: he helped out Professor Crotch with music for example from the Balkan and Canada (see Specimens, pp. 12-3). 

Following the ground-breaking collections of Scottish music by George Thomson (since 1791) and Thomas Moore's very successful Irish Melodies (since 1808) the British music fans were supplied with collections of "Melodies" of all kinds and from around the world with new English poetry. Thomas Moore himself also jumped on the band-wagon. His Popular National Airs - published since 1818 - included tunes from half of Europe - at least he claimed so - as well as some from outside of Europe. He even managed to reanimate an old tune from Hamilton Bird's Oriental Miscellany and turn it into a great popular hit: "All That's Bright Must Fade" in the first volume of this collection (pp. 9-15, see in my blog: From Calcutta to Tübingen - Thomas Moore's "All That's Bright Must Fade"). 

But not everybody was happy with this great fashion for exotic foreign tunes. In 1821 William Knyvett, composer, singer and an expert for glees, also tried his hand at this genre. He published "Bid Me Not Forget Thy Smile", a song with a "Persian Melody". At least he claimed so. But the reviewer in the Harmonicon (1, 1823, p. 18) felt it necessary to comment on this publication with a somewhat nasty remark: 
"[This] song is exquisitely tender and beautiful [...] But why call it a Persian air? If it be his own, he ought not to refuse himself the credit which it does his taste; and he must be too well-read a musician to believe seriously, that, thouigh the melody may have been offered to him as of oriental origin, it ever owed its birth to a country where the art is in so perfectly barbarous a state".
Robert Archibald Smith from Scotland, editor of the Scottish Minstrel and the Irish Minstrel, followed in Moore's footsteps and put together his own collection of international national airs. The Select Melodies, with appropriate Words, Chiefly Original, Collected and Arranged with Symphonies and Accompaniments, were published in 1828 (available at the Internet Archive). Besides the standard fare - songs from Britain and continental Europe - he of course had to add some of a more "exotic" kind. For example there were several from India as well as a  "Moorish Melody" and a "Turkish Melody" (p. 5, pp. 45-6, pp. 70-1, 49-50). It is not clear if these were really original tunes. He didn't name his sources. 

Mr. Smith also included "The Persian Minstrel" (pp. 22-3) and a "Song of the Persian Bride" (pp. 67-9). Both tunes are credited to composer John Thomson. In fact these were not original Persian tunes but only songs with an exotic topic. But besides these there is also "Best Melody, of the Nile" (pp. 36-7) that he claimed to have received from "a Gentleman who noted it in the spot when in Egypt". One may say his collection was a typical mixture of original, possibly original as well as pseudo-exotic tunes. But it also shows that these kind of "exotic" songs - no matter if they were "authentic" or not - were regarded as an important segment of the popular music market. 

On the other hand several new publications by British travelers and explorers appeared that offered important additions to the already available body of non-European music. Most "exotic" among these were surely the 8 songs in John Martin's Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands, in the South Pacific Ocean (2nd ed., 1818, Vol. 2, pp. 324-7). This book was based on the information received from an Englishman, William Mariner, who had spent a couple of years there and apparently had gone native. 19 African tunes - the biggest collection so far - can be found in T. E. Bowdich's Mission from Cape Coast Castle to Ashantee (1819, here after p. 365). Songs and tunes from Southeast Asia- until that time another blank spot on the musical map of the world - were published both by Thomas Stamfords Raffles in his The History of Java (1817, Vol. 1, after p. 470) and by John Crawfurd in the History of the Indian Archipelago (1820, Vol. 1, plates 10-12, see Brinner 1993). 

Even the musicologist took note of some of these publications. There were a couple of articles in the music press about music from outside of Europe. Bowdich's findings about African music were reported in a three-part article in the Harmonicon (2, 1824, pp. 195-8, pp. 219-21; 3, 1825, pp. 6-8) and the same magazine also offered articles about the music of the Eskimos and the Burmese (2, 1824, pp. 61-2; 5, 1827, pp. 131-3) as well as one presenting the "Chorusses of the Persian Dervishes" (1, 1823, pp. 185-91), the latter translated from the German. 

Meanwhile in France the most comprehensive treatise on Arabian and North-African music had been published. In 1798 Napoleon Bonaparte set out to invade Egypt. He was accompanied by a great number of scholars who had the task to research everything about this future part of the French empire. The war ended with an embarrassing defeat, Egypt did not become part of the French empire and Napoleon sneaked out of the country back home. But the French scholars, among them musicologist Guillaume Villoteau, proved to be immensely successful and delivered sterling work. The famous Description de l'Égypte appeared in 23 volumes between 1809 and 1828 and a second edition came out in 37 volumes between 1821-1830 (see Wikipedia). 

Villoteau's work about  the music in Egypt, De l'État Actuel de l'Art Musical en Égypt, became available in 1809 (in: État Moderne, Vol. 1, pp. 607-846, at the Internet Archive; 2nd ed., 1826, at NB, Oslo). Based on his fieldwork he discussed and described the musical culture of all the different peoples living there and included a considerable number of tunes and songs. In fact it was at that time the biggest collection of original music from this part of the world. As an additional benefit these pieces were not noted by an amateur collector but by a professional musicologist. One may say it was the first ethnomusicological study of "oriental" music. 

Besides this groundbreaking publication there were also a few more books in France that included some music from outside of Europe. Botanist Michel Étienne Descourtilz took part in the revolution in Haiti (1799-1803) and found even some time to note a song, a "Dialogue Créole". It was published in the third volume of his Voyages d'un Naturaliste (1809, pp. 132-6, planche XIII & XI). Members of Nicolas Baudin's expedition to Australia  transcribed three indigenous tunes in 1802. But they were only published much later, in 1824 in the second edition of the Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes, edited by François Péron and Louis de Freycinet (here Atlas, p. 32; see Skinner, Checklist 1801-1810, 1802: An exchange of songs and Musique des naturels). This Atlas also included several Malayan and Chinese tunes collected on Timor (p. 45). Louis de Freycinet made his own trip around the world from 1817 to 1820 and also brought back some music, for example tunes from Mozambique that were published in 1828 in one of the many volumes of his Voyage Autour du Monde (Historique 1.2, pp. 403-4). 

In Germany it became a little bit quiet after the publication of Dalberg's great work in 1802. Some composers followed in the Abbé Vogler's footsteps and used original exotic tunes in their works, for example Carl Maria von Weber, who included the Chinese melody from Rousseau's Dictionnaire in the Ouverture of his music for Turandot (Op. 37, 1809, see Jähns, No. 75, pp. 87-9; Veit, pp. 232-42). But there was still a certain skepticism among musicologists about the quality of non-European music. Dalberg had even been criticized by reviewers for being too positive about Indian music (AMZ 5, 1803, p. 297; NADB 86, 1804, p. 50). Christian Friedrich Michaelis wrote about "die Musik einiger wilden und halb cultiviertern Völker" in the AMZ (16, 1814, col. 509-515, 525-30). He knew much of the relevant literature but still remained rather dismissive. 

Occasionally there was an interesting article in the music press. W. Tilesius, one member of the Russian officer Krusenstern's journey around the world, sent back two very exotic pieces to his friends at home: a bear dance from Kamchatka and a "Menschenfresser-Lied" from an Isle in the pacific. This was duly published in the AMZ (7, 1804-5, pp. 261-71). The same journal also made available the above-mentioned songs of the Persian Dervishes, transcribed by the Abbé Max Stadler (AMZ 24, 1822, pp. 693-7 & Beilage No. 3). An excellent report with many musical examples from Mexico by a German migrant appeared not in the AMZ but in Cäcilia (7, 1828. pp. 199-222; 8, 1828, pp. 1-24, at the Internet Archive). 

Otherwise very little new "exotic" music was printed in Germany during that time. There was a German translation of Villoteau's great treatise, but unfortunately without the many musical examples (available at the Internet Archive). Orientalist Joseph Hammer added one single tune to his Geschichte der schönen Redekünste Persiens (1818, p. 272). The only publications of real importance were the Reise nach Brasilian by scholars Spix and Martius (1823, here Vol. 1, Musikbeilage) and Carl Erdmann's Beiträge zur Kenntniß des Innern von Rußland (Vol. 2.1, 1824, Anhang, pp. 1-18). Both books included a considerable number of musical examples. Spix and Martius had collected music of both the Brazilian Indians and "Volkslieder" of the urban population of European origin. Erdmann - a German physician working in Russia - offered tunes and songs by the Kalmyks, Tartars, Armenians and others from the more remote parts of the Russian empire. 

Who really appreciated this kind of music and welcomed all this exotic tunes and songs - both from outside of Europe and from the European periphery - were the admirers and editors of national airs - "Volkslieder" or "Nationallieder" - who just like their colleagues in England arranged them for practical use and included a few examples in their collection. Very influential in this respect was Professor Thibaut in Heidelberg, a jurist, music theorist and conductor of an ambitious choir (see Baumstark 1841). He dedicated one chapter in his famous Ueber Reinheit der Tonkunst to what he called "Volksgesänge" (2nd ed., 1826, pp. 74-93). 

Here he recommended this genre's study and also its performance. He himself arranged "Volkslieder" from around the world - even some of a more exotic kind - for his own choir. This arrangements with new German texts can be found in his manuscript called Alte Nationalgesänge (1820-40, see RISM). Besides songs from Europe - from Scotland to Italy - he also included some tunes for example from India, Arabia, Turkey and the South Pacific. Thibaut managed to acquire a significant collection of songbooks (see dto., pp. 81-93; Verzeichnis, pp. 42-3), among them for example Horn's Indian Melodies. But of course he was familiar with Dalberg's anthology, his major source for non-European tunes. He also pointed to the importance of travel literature as a source and knew at least some of the relevant literature, for example Spix' and Martius' book about Brazil as well as some of the more obscure publications about the European periphery. 

Wilhelm von Zuccalmaglio (see Yeo 1993, pp. 79-90; Yeo 1999, pp. 45-50) and Eduard Baumstark both knew Thibaut and sang with his choir. They used his resources for their Bardale. Sammlung auserlesener Volkslieder der verschiedenen Völker der Erde, the very first anthology of international national airs published in Germany (1829, available at the Internet Archive). All songs were arranged for piano and vocals and they added German texts. They included a good amount of tunes of non-European origin: there were songs described as Persian - originally from Chardin -, Indian, Turkish, Moorish - one of Shaw's pieces -, Armenian and Chinese, most of them borrowed from Dalberg. Besides these they also also added songs from the more exotic places in Europe, like Lithuania, Greece, Russia and Spain. In fact this was a well-selected collection of international "Volkslieder" but unfortunately not particularly successful.

Hermann Kestner from Hannover - collector of books and private scholar (see Werner 2003/4; Werner 1919) - also had sung with Thibaut in Heidelberg. He built up a great collection of songs and songbooks from around the world and would become the greatest German expert for foreign national airs. It seems he knew most of the relevant literature. But very few of his arrangements and translations were published. Most of his work has survived in manuscripts, for example one called Vermischte Volkslieder und Melodien fremder Völker (c. 1831, see RISM). 

Friedrich Silcher in Tübingen, editor of Ausländische Volksmelodien (4 Vols., 1835-41, available at the Internet Archive), the most successful collection of foreign national airs in Germany, happened to be much less adventurous. He confined himself to two Indian songs from Thomas Moore's Popular National Airs (Vol. 1, No. 6; Vol. 2, No. 5) as well as the Persian song from Hammer's Geschichte der schönen Redekünste (Vol. 2, No. 10). His friend and translator, future poet Hermann Kurz, recommended to him some very exotic tunes from the Pacific and Southeast Asia - for example from Celebes, Java, Borneo, Tahiti and New-Guinea - that he had found in a recently published book about Oceania, a part of the series called Welt-Gemälde-Gallerie oder Geschichte und Beschreibung aller Länder und Völker, ihrer Religionen, Sitten, Gebräuche u. s. w. (1837, pp. 86-88, at the Internet Archive; see Bopp, p. 103). But Silcher didn’t use them and preferred to concentrate on European tunes, particularly those from Thomas Moore's publications.


We can see that at this point - in the 1830s - that still only few examples of music both from outside of Europe - and from the European periphery - were available. There was no systematic research - Villoteau's work was an exception - and what was published were often enough mere curiosities. The collection of these kind of tunes and songs always depended on the interests and abilities of those travelers and explorers. Only very few were able and willing to note some music and if they did most of them - just like their colleagues in the previous century - confined themselves to at best one or two pieces of music. 

But some more musicologists began take note of these sources and, following in the footsteps of Rousseau, Laborde, Dalberg and Villoteau, they widened their perspective. William C. Stafford included interesting chapters about non-European music in his History of Music (1830, at the Internet Archive). Apparently the publisher couldn't afford to print some musical examples. Nonetheless it was a well-written and informative book, "a very sincere attempt at writing a universal history of music" (Bor, p. 60). French and German translation appeared quickly, in 1832 (at the Internet Archive) respectively 1835 (at the Internet Archive), as usual with additions and corrections by local experts. But at least in Germany they were able to add some music, for example some of the tunes from Rousseau's Dictionnaire (Tafel 1-11). 

Gottfried Wilhelm Fink also discussed non-European music and offered selected musical examples in his interesting but rather fanciful Erste Wanderung der ältesten Tonkunst (1831, at the Internet Archive). But I don't get the impression that he was familiar with all available literature and sources. Somewhat disappointing in this respect was Becker's Systematisch-Chronologische Darstellung der musikalischen Literatur von der frühesten bis auf die neueste Zeit (1836), an otherwise excellent bibliography of music literature. For some reason he missed out a lot of the relevant literature (see cols. 26-7, 66-7, 06-7, 99-101). 

Kiesewetter's Musik der Araber (1842, at the Internet Archive) was a groundbreaking attempt at describing and discussing Arabian music and he made use of most of the available sources from Shaw - via Laborde - to Villoteau and Lane's recently published Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (1836, Vol. 2, pp. 80-93, p. 116). Meanwhile in France J. Adrien de la Fage included long chapters about Chinese, Indian and Hebrew music as well as a lot of helpful examples in his Histoire Générale de la Musique et de la Danse (1844, at BDH, see tunes in the Atlas). August Wilhelm Ambros discussed non-European music in a chapter about "Die ersten Anfänge der Tonkunst" in the first volume of his Geschichte der Musik (1862, pp. 3-125). 

But most important in this respect was surely François-Joseph Fétis from Belgium, a highly accomplished and very industrious musicologist. In the first three volumes of his Histoire Générale de la Musique (5 Vols., 1869-74, at the Internet Archive) he systematically described and analyzed music from outside of Europe. He included numerous musical examples from around the world and was clearly familiar with nearly all available sources, especially with most of the music published in the travel literature since the 17th century. "Fétis' approach [...] was that of an antiquarian and an encyclopedist" (Bor, p. 61) and what he offered was a repository of world music, in fact nearly all the non-European music made available until the 1860s. One may say that he was the legitimate successor of Rousseau and Laborde. 

We can find similar attempts, though on a smaller scale, in other music histories. I will only mention Felix Clément's beautifully illustrated Histoire de la Musique depuis les temps anciens jusqu'a nor jours, published in 1885 (available at the Internet Archive). He also dedicated much room to the more exotic cultures and also offered a considerable number of musical examples. Here we can see how much had changed in the course of a century, since Burney's or Forkel's histories. In so far the - often reluctant - efforts of travelers and explorers to write down bits and pieces of the music performed by the peoples they visited had a practical effect and what they brought back has inspired the musicologist to look closer. 

Among the Folklorists and the editors of collections of "Volkslieder" or national airs two need to be mentioned. They were responsible for the most comprehensive overviews of the genre. Carl Engel, a German musician and scholar living and working in England, wrote two very interesting books, both more theoretical surveys. His Music of the Most Ancient Nations, Particularly of the Assyrians, Egyptians and Hebrews (1864, at the Internet Archive) was not only a historical treatise, as the title suggests, but also included - for comparative purposes and with the necessary musical examples - discussions of non-European tunes of more recent times, for example from China and India. The Introduction to the Study of National Music (1866, at the Internet Archive) offered a great amount of examples of both European and non-European national airs from all the relevant sources as well as an excellent bibliography. Later, in 1879, a critical bibliography followed, The Literature of National Music (available at the Internet Archive):

In 1870 the best and definitive collection of national airs from outside of Europe appeared, not in England or Germany but in Denmark. Danish composer and scholar A. P,. Bergreen published the second edition of his great anthology of international national airs - Folke-Sange og Melodier, Fædrelandske og Fremmede - in 10 volumes from 1860 to 1870. The first 9 volumes were dedicated to songs from nearly all European countries while the last one included music from outside of Europe, or, as the title says: Folke-Sange og Melodier Fra Lande Udenfor Europa (1870, available at the Internet Archive). Here we can find 120 different instrumental and vocal pieces, starting with Hebrew and Arab songs and ending with music from the South-Sea, all arranged for piano. The original words were also included and in most cases Danish translations were added. 

Of course this was a collection in the old style, the music made agreeable to European ears by arrangements in the Western style. But nonetheless an anthology like this had not only a practical value - "exotic" tunes as part of domestic musical entertainment - but there was also a pedagogical impetus. It was clearly intended as a kind of documentation of the music of non-European cultures and one should not underestimate its value in this respect. Berggreen added interesting notes and comments that helped the readers to learn a little bit more about this kind of music. The selection was excellent and thoughtful. He knew most of the relevant literature and sources, both older and more recent publications, and even dug out some rather obscure works that had until then not been used by editors of these kind of anthologies. He even was able to use some formerly unpublished pieces he had received from informants, for example some songs from Greenland (Nos. 87-94). 

Engel's and Berggreen's works were notable for their systematic approach and their scholarly ambition. But one may also say that they - as well as the music histories in the style of Fétis - suggested the end of an era. Their sources were for the most part the amateur collectors who had added one or two, rarely more, songs or tunes to their books about foreign cultures. This rather naive exploration of "exotic" music would soon be replaced by the critical look and the systematical field research of the ethnomusicologists and comparative musicologists who set out to collect "authentic" recordings of the music of foreign and faraway cultures. In 1885 Guido Adler in an article about Umfang, Methode und Ziel der Musikwissenschaft referred to "Musikologie, d. i. die vergleichende Musikwissenschaft [...] ein neues [sic!] und sehr dankenswertes Nebengebiet" (p. 14, see Bor, p. 50). 

Good examples for this development were Theodor Baker's dissertation about the music of the North American Indians (1882, at the Internet Archive) that included more than 40 songs and tunes, most of them transcribed by Baker himself and Franz Boas' report about the Central Eskimo in the 6th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology (1888, pp. 399-666, here pp. 648-58), a groundbreaking treatise that also discussed their "Music and Poetry" and offered a considerable number of musical examples. 

Both Baker and Boas had still notated the tunes by ear and hand. But then of course the introduction of the phonograph and its use for ethnomusicological research changed everything. One may only look at Stumpf's Anfänge der Musik (1911, at the Internet Archive) and compare it with the works by Fink, Ambros or Fétis to see the difference. Stumpf also criticized the unreliability of the the music noted by amateurs (pp. 69-73; see also Stumpf 1886, p. 405). Nonetheless all these "amateur" collectors since de Léry had laid the groundwork for modern ethnomusicology at a time when most musicologists preferred to look down on non-European music. This old corpus of "exotic" music remained an important and valuable source that was and is still discussed (see f. ex. Wallaschek 1893 & 1903 Tiersot 1903 & 1905; modern examples: Harrison 1973, Bor 1988, Miller & Chonpairot 1993 etc). 

But that also meant that this kind of music disappeared behind the walls of academia and left the living-rooms of the amateur-musicians who used to sing and play Chinese or Indian or perhaps even African tunes, no matter if they were only a "pale reflection" of their authentic sound and shape. At least some remainders of this tradition survived for a while and some more similar collections of foreign "Volkslieder" in the old style were made available. Some of them - not all, of course, see Reimann 1894 and Elson 1905 - offered a few non-European songs and tunes. German composer Hans Schmidt published in 1879 a small collection of "Weisen fremder Völker", arranged for the piano and with new poetry. Besides a couple of European tunes - from Romania, Italy, Norway, Russia and Latvia - he also included some from outside of Europe, one from Egypt and an Arab dance (available at the Internet Archive). 

In 1896 Breitkopf and Härtel brought out a Volksliederbuch (available at the Internet Archive) by the late Victorie Gervinus (1820-1893), a respected music scholar. This collection of German and foreign "Volkslieder" was compiled posthumously from her personal manuscripts. These were the songs she used to sing sa home, with her family and friends. Besides many of the popular standards from Germany, Ireland, Scotland and other European countries - like "Robin Adair" and "The Last Rose of Summer" - we can find here also a couple of pieces of a more "exotic" origin like three songs from India (pp. 34-7) and two versions of "Mizmoune", the "Moorish Aria" published in Shaw's Travels in 1738 (No. 55-6, pp. 60). These were mostly the tunes brought to Germany by Dalberg and then arranged and supplied with German texts by Thibaut, Zuccalmaglio and Baumstark as well as Kestner. Some Indian songs had already appeared in her instruction book for singing and piano playing published in 1892 (No. 36, p. 164 & No. 64, pp. 192-3).

In England it was Alfred Moffat, the industrious and knowledgeable editor of several volumes of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh "Minstrelsy" (available at the Internet Archive) who tried his hand - together with James Duff Brown - at a comparative collection of international songs: The Characteristic Songs and Dances of All Nations (available at the Internet Archive) were published in 1901 and the title of course recycled the old key idea of the ideology of "national music". 

This anthology included many songs from the British Isles and continental Europe but also a considerable amount of music from other parts of the world: two "North American Indian Airs" (p. 195), two "Canadian Indian Airs" (p. 203), both taken from Crotch's Specimens, apparently one of his major sources. One of these tunes happened to be the "Chanson Canadoise" first published by Mersenne in 1634 and then recycled as "Dance Canadienne" in Rousseau's Dictionnaire. The chapter with "Songs and Dances from Africa" offered once again Shaw's "Mizmoune" (p. 222) and there were also chapters with music from "Asia and Oceania" as well as "China, Japan and Siam". Mr. Moffat did not always name his sources but most of what he included looks quite familiar. 

10 years later composer Granville Bantock put together an anthology with the title One Hundred Folksongs of all Nations for Medium Voice (1911, at Sibley Music Library). He also included circa 20 examples of non-European songs and it seems that he relied heavily on Berggreen's collection which is quite often referred to in the helpful notes. At least he offered a more modern selection. Some of these pieces were taken from recent publications like Bourgault-Ducoudray's Trente Mélodies Populaires de Grèce et d'Orient (c. 1890s, at the Internet Archive). Just like Moffat he also added an excellent bibliography. 

Some of Bantock's arrangements were reprinted in singer Marcella Sembrich's My Favorite Folk Songs (1918, at the Internet Archive). Her collection also included a couple of songs of more exotic origin, for example the Chinese "Moo-lee-hwa" (p. 21), the old classic first published by Karl Kambra in 1796 and by John Barrow in his Travels in China (1804, pp. 316-7). Here it was placed - in a truly multi-cultural way - between a Bosnian song and "Barbara Allen" . She also offered some songs of the North-American Indians (pp. 1-5) as well as two from Syria respectively Turkey (pp. 135-6). 

Collections like these were frowned upon by musicologists. Max Friedlaender (1919, p. 63) was quite dismissive about Zuccalmaglio's and Baumstark's Bardale: "Für uns sind ihre Notierungen fremdländischer Volkslieder jedenfalls ohne wissenschaftliche Bedeutung". Carl Stumpf complained that the music in these kind of anthologies was "modernized beyond recognition and provided with a piano accompaniment for sweetly singing parlor ladies and unimaginative composers (1911, p. 109, my transl.). But there is no need to ridicule this genre. It represented a kind of naive but serious adoption and appropriation of "exotic", music. As long as there was an ever so slight connection to a foreign culture it was regarded as authentic. The new generation of ethnomusicologists disagreed but that didn't matter much. But at the same time this music became part of the European culture, it was both foreign and familiar. This was much in the spirit and tradition of Herder and all these collections - from Vogler to Sembrich - were in some way musical equivalents to his multi-cultural Volkslieder

On the other hand one should not overestimate the quantitative aspect. It was not that everybody was singing and playing African, Chinese or Siamese tunes and songs. As I already have noted: not much was collected and even less found its way into popular song- and tune-books. Much of it remained a curiosity and only very few imports from outside of Europe became part of the popular tradition. We may look for example in Hamilton's Universal Tune-Book, a "Collection of the Melodies of all Nations" that was published in two volumes in 1844 and 1846. This anthology consisted for the greatest part of tunes from the British Isles - Scottish, Irish, Welsh and English - and also included a considerable amoput of melodies from the European countries. But there were only very few from outside of Europe, like a "Persian Dance" and a "Chinese Air" (Vol. 1, p. 31, Vol. 2, p. 67).

In fact only one song with an exotic tune became a great hit: Thomas Moore's "All That's Bright Must Fade" with the Indian air from Hamilton Bird's Oriental miscellany. Other melodies from India were quite popular in England during the early years of the 19th century and some even survived for some time. For example in Davidson's Universal Melodist (Vol. 1, 1853, p. 392, p. 421 ) two songs from Horn's Indian Melodies were reprinted. Otherwise only very few original songs and tunes had a longer life-span, like the Chinese "Moo-lee-hwa", the "Mizmoune" from Shaw's Travels and Chardin's Persian song. These pieces were published - sometimes in new arrangements - a little more often. The rest remained obscure. I assume that a fabricated pseudo-exotic song like the "Death Song of the Cherokees" was surely better known than nearly all the original non-European music. 

There was so much enthusiasm for and so much interest in "exotic" cultures and for the new world discovered by Europeans. There were so many relevant books published about nearly every part of the world: histories, ethnographies, travel reports, translated literature and more. Also European composers were busy producing "exotic" sounds. Compared to that imported original music still took a back-seat and remained always only a very small part of European musical life. This is something I was really surprised about. 
  • Go to the Bibliography [preliminary version] (Google Docs) 

Literature :