Rozpaky nad Hábou : příspěvek k dějinám masové písně

Variantní název
Embarrassment about Hába : on the history of the mass song
Zdrojový dokument: Musicologica Brunensia. 2010, roč. 45, č. 1-2, s. [207]-214
  • ISSN
    1212-0391 (print)
    2336-436X (online)
Type: Článek
Licence: Neurčená licence
This study addresses Alois Hába as the author of masssongs. This aspect is de-emphasized in Hába's biography, even though the list of Hába's works includes 52 extant mass songs or song cycles (four songs remain missing). The immediate impetus for this activity was the first international olympiad of revolutionary theaters (MORT), which took place in 1933 in Moscow. Immediately after his return from the Moscow conference, Haba published his four songs in the daily newspaper "Rude pravo" from July to September 1933 ("A Unified Front" [Jednotna fronta], "Song of the USSR" [Pisen SSSR], "In the country X" [Ve state X];(1933), "A German Lullaby" [Nemecka ukolebavka]; (1933). In the years 1948–50 the author composed solely mass songs and choirs. Previously he had alternated social commitment and participation in developing trends of the European avant-garde with his works of the 1930's but now only one genre ruled. -- It's not always easy to decide about their classification. This is the reason that the authors who prepared the catalogue of Haba's works hesitated a long time before creating a separate section named "Mass song". This uncertainty is not a matter of semantic judgement. All songs were kept in manuscript form and the lyrics were cut out of the contemporary newspapers and stuck in to the autograph. The problem comes when setting the parameters that lead to categorization amongst "Mass song". The determinant parameter is not or can't be simply the text of the song. Its quality and concentration could perhaps work as a guide criteria. The most significant assisting facility is that of "non-opus", meaning the placement of mass songs amongst compositions without an opus number; occasional compositions. However, the formal scheme and setting, often not prescribed by the composer, seem to be crucial. The result of the nature of the genre are songs designed for individuals or groups (not a choir) accompanied with any harmonic instrument (guitar, harmonica, piano). -- We can't deny that the development of the work song had prepared an important ideological base for post war socialist realism - this is not an art movement but more a "political campaign". This type of art can't be erased by moral appeal or by any attempt to wipe it out. It is also not necessary to take offence at it. It isn't possible to remove it from the developmental progress of the 20th century because at least it offers another interesting arena for the critical discussion about the politicalization of art or music.