The Power of Song
Nonviolent National Culture in the Baltic Singing Revolution
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: University of Washington Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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In writing this book I have had the aid of a number of institutions and individuals whose role I gratefully acknowledge. The Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections provided copies of sound recordings that are at the center of this study. The University of Washington...
Introduction: Three Nonviolent National Cultures
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“A nation who makes its revolution by singing and smiling should be a sublime example to all,” wrote the Estonian journalist Heinz Valk, in the June 1988 editorial whose title, “Singing Revolution,” gave the nonviolent Baltic independence movement its name. “It is impossible...
1. Balts Speak to America, July 4, 1998
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They walk onto the main stage at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, DC: one hundred fifty Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians, carrying the three national flags: blue-black-white, red-whitered, and yellow-green-red. Lithuanian shepherds’ horns and Latvian...
2. Herder’s Discovery of Baltic Songs
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These oaks, three feet in diameter, could be two centuries old. The linden is larger than her neighbors, but probably younger. Beneath the three towering giants stands the white-bearded Oskars Stalts, together with his daughter Helmī, his son-in-law Dainis, and granddaughter...
3. Three Singing Nations and Their Songs
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These songs, and many others, are part of an informal national repertoire. Created by individual poets and composers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and diffused by the mass media, the songs entered oral tradition. They are sung at family celebrations and community...
4. Songs of Warrior Nations
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The 1990 Lithuanian National Song and Dance Festival published a songbook for public singing events. On the first page is a song with a motif common to Lithuanian folk songs about war: a group of brothers riding horses. The singer tells the riders to stop, listen, and...
5. Soviet Power versus Power of the Powerless
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Soviet power was established in the Baltic by military force. On August 23, 1939, Stalin and Hitler divided eastern Europe into spheres of influence. In September, World War II began when first Germany then the Soviet Union invaded Poland, and a second Soviet-Nazi treaty on...
6. Living within the Truth in Choral Songs
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Lithuania’s song festival traditions became explicitly non-Soviet in Vilnius on July 1, 1988. During the opening concert of Gaudeamus, a Baltic university students’ song festival, singers in the combined choir unfurled, for the first time together on stage, the three national tricolors...
7. Living within the Truth in Rock Songs
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The Singing Revolution began in Estonia on May 14, 1988, at the Tartu Music Days, an annual venue for cutting-edge rock music on the westernmost margins of permitted Soviet culture. That day, the nonconformist sprit of rock converged with explicit nationalism and...
8. Living within the Truth in Folk Songs
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In the Baltic, summer nights are short and days are long. It was still broad daylight in Rīga at 8:00 pm on July 13, 1988, when the opening concert of the Baltica Folklore Festival ended and the festival participants walked in a procession from the Daugava Sports Stadium to...
9. Nonviolent National Singing Traditions
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James and Maureen Tusty’s film Singing Revolution documents a critical moment on May 15, 1990, when several hundred Interfront demonstrators broke down the gates of the Estonian parliament and streamed inside, tearing down the blue-black-white flags of independence. Edgar...
Appendix I: Index and Map of Place Names
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Appendix II: Chronology
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Appendix III: Song Annotations and Index
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Bibliography, Discography, and Filmography
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Page Count: 456
Publication Year: 2014