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Bulgarian Musicology - online
1. Table of Contents (Bulgarian Version)
“A Hundred Years Raina Katsarova” – Elena Stoin
Raina Katsarova was born on the 7th of May 1901. She was a daughter of General Dimitar Katsarov, an amateur naturalist and scholar, a son of priest Ilia Katsarov from Koprivshtitsa, a participant in the April Uprising. Her mother, Stefania Konstantinova, was a housewife, but by self-education she reached a high level of learning and erudition. The enlightened family background and the childhood spent in Berkovitsa, Vratsa and Koprivshtitsa cultivated in her love and respect for the hard-working Bulgarian people, for its holidays and workdays, its customs and songs.
She graduated from the Theoretical Department of the State Music Academy (1922-25). Her interest in the musical folklore made Prof. Dobri Hristov and the commission present at her state examination, particularly Prof. Vassil Stoin, direct her to work in the sphere of folk music. By that time she had already taken down on her own initiative several scores of songs. After successful trial work on location (sent by the Ethnographical Museum) to collect folk songs in the region of Teteven and the Rhodopes, at the end of 1928 Raina Katsarova was appointed assistant and later curator in the section for folk music at the National Ethnographical Museum. Here under the guidance of Vassil Stoin and with the friendly assistance of the museum workers, especially the ethnographer Hristo Vakarelski and the museum director Stefan L. Kostov, Katsarova developed as an excellent musical student of folklore and museum worker. Trips for collecting musical folklore materials all over Bulgaria followed. During the period of printing the collections of folk songs she actively collaborated with V.Stoin.
At the end of 1930 Katsarova travelled at her own expense to Czechoslovakia and Germany. In Berlin she got acquainted with the best specialists in the area of folk music – the professors Hornbostel, Kurt Sachs, Wolf, Schunemann and Dr. Lachmann. In Prague, in Berlin and in Dresden she won a lot of friends for the Bulgarian musical folklore.
Following V. Stoin Raina Katsarova became curator of the section for folk music at the Ethnographical Museum. Thanks to her initiative and personal relations abroad she managed to supply the section with a phonograph apparatus “Presto” together with metalophone records for it. Hers was the initiative a collection of folk musical instruments to be created as well as the instruments from the first Plovdiv Fair in 1898 housed in the museum to be arranged and included in an inventory. Simultaneously she collected new instruments and studied some of them. Taking the risk of getting in conflict with the management of the museum, in 1944 Katsarova evacuated the property of the section for folk music to Koprivshtitsa and thus she rescued it from the fire in Sofia on the 30th of March 1944.
In 1950 the section for folk music was transferred from the Ethnographical Museum to the Institute of Music (established in 1948) at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (today Department “Music” at the Institute for Art Studies – BAS). As a senior research associate she headed the folklore section to the end of 1964 when she retired.
As a musical folklore specialist R. Katsarova manifested all-round interests. During all her creative activity her interest in work on location did not diminish. She was the author of a great number of monographs, studies and papers, devoted to various aspects of the musical folklore practice. Among them are: “Three Generations of Folk Women Singers”, “Today’s State of the Epic Recitative in Bulgaria”, “Two Distinctive Features of the Pomak Tunes in the Rhodopes”, “Ugarchin Pentatonic” and “Mourning of the Dead”, “The Bagpipes of a Master from Shumen” and “Koprivshtitsa’s Bagpipes and Bagpipe-Players”; “Lazaritsa” (London, 1935), “Folk Dances and Games from the Village of Hlevene, Lovetch District”, “Bulgarian Dance Folklore” (translated into Russian and English with an attachment of 12 folk dances, arranged for the stage by choreographer Kiril Djenev) and “Distribution and Variants of one Bulgarian Dance”; “Padarevski Kukeri “ (Mummers from Padarevo), “Sourvakari”, “Winter Carnival Games From the Regions of Pernik, Breznik and Radomir”, “Dervishes From the Village of Lesichevo, the Region of Pazardjik” and “Mummers From the Village of Vresovo, the Region of Aitos and the Village of Asparouhovo, the Region of Provadia”; “Folk Puppet Theatre. Puppets Made of Napkins” and “Puppets Made of Plants”; “Variations and Permutations of a Spring Melody”, “Balkan Variants of Two Turkish Songs”, “Distribution and Variants of One Bulgarian Dance”, “Hadji Dambo Is Building a Tower” etc.
R. Katsarova was the first to broadcast lectures and folk songs live on Radio Sofia. She dedicated a lot of time to amateur folklore activities. She popularized Bulgarian musical and dance folklore and Bulgarian folkloristic musical science abroad.
It cannot be said that R. Katsarova is a representative of a definite generation of musical folklorists. She made her first steps together with her teachers Dobri Hrisov and Vassil Stoin and walked along the long and uneven road of the musical folklore together with the next generations. Everything accomplished by Raina Katsarova in the sphere of Bulgarian musical and dance folklore is worthy of respect and appreciation.
Raina Katsarova had a nice family – a husband and two sons, but in her personal life she survived several serious ordeals. In 1944 an American bomb hit her house at 12 Veliko Tirnovo Street. With a lot of effort and privation the house was partly restored. The governing red aristocrats forced her to leave her native house in the centre of Sofia, and to move to the suburban housing estate “Droujba” where she lived to the end of her life. Unfortunately she lost her elder son. All this affected her health, she suffered a stroke and after a while she passed away on 14th of August 1984.
Raina Katsarova left a deep track in Bulgarian music folklore science and unforgettable memories in those who had the opportunity to work and communicate with her.
“Oration about Raina Katsarova”
– Nickolai Kauffmann
With deep conviction and clear conscience I rank Raina Katsarova among the emanation of the Bulgarian people, among those great Bulgarians whose names will remain forever. When the Institute of Music at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences was established (1948), Raina Katsarova was put in charge of the music folklore section. Having been a collaborator of Vassil Stoin, she took from him and introduced into all of us the flame of the collectors of the great golden treasure. This eminent trio – Raina Katsarova, Ivan Kachulev, Elena Stoin – brought with themselves a great tradition from the Ethnographical Institute, where they worked before coming to the Institute of Music. That was the great science of Ivan Sishmanov, Mihail Arnaudov, Hristo Vakarelski. She worked hard to create a centre for collecting and studying Bulgarian folk music, which can be compared with the most prestigious ones. She headed the passionate work of collecting and studying the music folklore from all regions of Bulgaria, she gathered a nucleus of folklorists, who shared her love for and devotion to the national music folk art.
I will not enumerate the merits of the collective and research activities of our teacher in everything connected with ethnomusicology – the first solid stones of paving the way in ethnochoreology, in studying folk rituals and customs accompanied with music, in studying folk songs from all over t