M usicalOferings Spring2023 Volum e14,Num ber1
Musical Offerings Soli Deo Gloria An Undergraduate Journal of Musicology Spring 2023 Volume 14, Number 1
Editor-in-Chief Sandra S. Yang, Ph.D. Professor of Music History, Cedarville University Associate Editor Kathryn P. Carnegis Digital Commons Director, Cedarville University M.B.A., Wright State University Assistant Editors Phillipa Burgess, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor, Sinclair Community College Managing Editor Tricia Clark, B.A. Library Digital Services Specialist, Cedarville University Copy Editor Jacy A. Cina B.A. Music, Cedarville University Student Editors Lydia C. Kee B.M.E. Student, Multi-age Choral, Cedarville University Allison Renner B.M. Student, Keyboard Pedagogy, Cedarville University On the cover: Sketch from the Complete Kalevala. Musical Offerings is an online, open-access journal published by the Cedarville University Department of Music and Worship. Since 2010, it has published articles in the fields of musicology, ethnomusicology, music history, and church music history. This journal is available in print as well as electronically through Cedarville’s institutional repository, DigitalCommons@Cedarville. ISSN 2167-3799 (Online) ISSN 2330-8206 (Print) http://digitalcommons.cedarville.edu/musicalofferings/
Contents Spring 2023 Volume 14, Number 1 A Herderian Perspective on Finland, Sibelius, and the Kalevala 1 Philip Cataldo Singing Planets Don’t Sing; They Speak 27 Joanna Lauer The Four Pillars of Choral Music Education 39 Joanna Setness
Musical Offerings ⦁ 2023 ⦁ Volume 14 ⦁ Number 1 1 Musical Mythos: A Herderian Perspective on Finland, Sibelius, and the Kalevala Philip Cataldo Ithaca College he story of Finland’s emergence as an independent nation is often counted as merely one among many such stories that occurred in Europe throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. In fact, it sometimes meets an even worse fate, being entirely left out of texts about nationalism in Europe.1 To be sure, its small population and relative geographic isolation from much of Europe may lead one to assume that its history is a rather unremarkable one. However, a closer look reveals precisely the opposite. Finland had neither a unified language nor a unified history, in large part due to its continual subjugation by both Sweden to the west and Russia to the east for roughly six hundred years.2 According to the philosophy of Johann Gottfried Herder (1744–1803), whose writings are nearly ubiquitous in the scholarly literature on European nationalism in the 18th and 19th centuries, this made Finland an unlikely candidate for nationhood.3 How, then, did it ultimately emerge victorious in its struggle? Although Finland lacked the common language or history so central to the Herderian concept of a nation, it encountered a solution to this problem in 1835: the Kalevala.4 This text is a concatenation of mythological stories heard throughout the border regions between Finland and Russia, namely Karelia, Ingria, Olonetsk, and Arkhangelsk.5 Below, Figure 1 depicts the former three regions, each 1 See Kostantaras, n.p. 2 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 126–128, 140. 3 Fox, 716–732; Wilson, “Sibelius,” 109–111, 128. 4 Lönnrot, xiii. 5 Lönnrot, 355; Various renderings of these regional names occur in the literature. Olonetsk is also sometimes seen as “Olonec,” “Olonets,” or “Olónetz.” Arkhangelsk is often translated as “Archangel.” Ingria is also seen as “Ingermanland.” Karelia is also seen as “Kexholm.” T
2 Cataldo ⦁ Musical Mythos of which are situated in the vicinity of Lake Ladoga, while Figure 2 shows Arkhangelsk (Archangel) on the eastern shores of the White Sea.6 Figure 1: Hermann Beyer-Thoma, “Swedish Territories Bordering with Russia 1617–1700,” n.d. Digital Map. Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg, Germany. Figure 2: Samuel H. Bryant, “Finland: Lönnrot’s Field Trips,” n.d. Map on Third Cover. Prior to the publication of the Kalevala, its mythological stories were preserved solely through an oral tradition known as rune singing, a vocal 6 Kujala, 547; Lönnrot, x-xi.
Musical Offerings ⦁ 2023 ⦁ Volume 14 ⦁ Number 1 3 art form “with a particular, complex poetic meter” that drew on “specific musical devices.”7 In order to avoid confusion of this specific folk tradition with modern Western understandings of “songs” and “poems,” I will refer to these myths as “runes.”8 Published by the Finnish folklorist Elias Lönnrot (1802–1884), the Kalevala became the object of immense pride throughout Finland following its publication and is widely recognized as having played a crucial role in Finland’s emergence as a nation.9 It also contributed greatly to the emergence of a uniquely Finnish artistic culture that grew throughout the remainder of the 19th century into the 20th.10 One of the key figures within this artistic culture was the composer Jean Sibelius (1865–1957). Several of Sibelius’s compositions are named after characters from the Kalevala and much of the melodic content of those pieces is inspired by rune singing.11 Additionally, some of the texts in his programmatic works were inspired by or even taken directly from the Kalevala.12 Though there were a number of influential artists, poets, writers, and composers that emerged during this period in Finnish history, my focus will be on the works of Sibelius in relation to the Kalevala and how the two contributed to Finland’s unique path to independence.13 While there is a great deal of appreciation for the Kalevala and the artistic movement it inspired in the existing literature, the musical aspects of Finland’s journey to nationhood are sometimes viewed as simply ornamental to the political and military thrust for independence rather than vital to its success.14 7 Laitinen, n.p. 8 According to Francis Peabody Magoun, “rune” is an anglicization of the Old Germanic word “rūnō,” originally meaning “secret thing” or “magic charm.” 9 Wilson, “Sibelius,”131–134. 10 Lönnrot, xiii; Wilson, “Sibelius,”132. 11 Dahlström, n.p. 12 Dahlström, n.p. 13 Meinander, 156. 14 This tendency exists mostly in general histories of Finland. For instance, the words “Sibelius,” “Kalevala” and “music” each appear ten times or fewer in Henrik Meinander’s A History of Finland. On the occasions they are mentioned, there is limited in-depth discussion of their importance. This is, of course, a less pervasive issue in music-centered scholarship.
4 Cataldo ⦁ Musical Mythos Further, there is need for clarification as to whether or not Finland’s journey to nationhood fits conceptually within a Herderian framework, which focuses so heavily on a common language and history.15 Though the Kalevala greatly aided the advancement of the Finnish language, Meinander writes that it was not “until the 1880s that the social status and lexical diversity of Finnish would reach a level of sophistication that would enable it to overtake Swedish as the official language in Finland.”16 Moreover, the Kalevala could not alter the reality that Finland had for centuries a largely disunited populace with little semblance of a national consciousness.17 Given this, what can explain the enormous steps Finland took towards independence in the decades following the publication of the Kalevala? Through a study of the Finnish nationalist movement within a Herderian framework, I argue that the music of the Kalevala and Jean Sibelius played a vital role in the emergence of the Finnish nation by simultaneously fulfilling the need for a common language and a common history. Although Finland is a rather young nation, its inhabitants are quite ancient. The first human beings walked the land now known as Finland in roughly 8700 BC in the form of small hunter-gatherer communities.18 The first distinct community of people, known as the Sámi, inhabited the northern regions of modern-day Finland in approximately 7900 BC.19 The language that these first settlers spoke is a topic of ongoing debate.20 Today, the Sámi tongue is considered a Uralic language belonging to the same family as modern Finnish (as well as Hungarian and Estonian), which suggests some level of linguistic continuity from Finland’s earliest days to the present.21 However, modern Finnish has many loanwords from Swedish and, as Henrik Meinander points out, the genetic makeup of Finns today is the “result of a continuous immigration from nearly every direction, but primarily from the south and west.”22 15 Spencer, 79, 139. 16 Meinander, 34. 17 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 127–128. 18 Meinander, 2–3. 19 Meinander, 3; Existing scholarship sometimes refers to the Sámi as “Lapps” or “Laplanders,” but these terms may be seen as derogatory today. The northern regions sometimes referred to as “Lapland” would more appropriately be termed “Sápmi.” 20 Meinander, 3. 21 Meinander, 6. 22 Meinander, 3, 6.
Musical Offerings ⦁ 2023 ⦁ Volume 14 ⦁ Number 1 5 Many such waves of immigration indeed came to the land in the following millennia, though the population likely remained in the few tens of thousands even beyond AD 400.23 Population finally began to grow substantially throughout the remainder of the first millennium, and this growth, along with agricultural advancements, allowed Finnish settlements to gradually spread eastward, establishing three distinct, and to a degree separate, regional communities in modern-day Finland by AD 1000: Karelians, Tavasts, and Finns.24 These names correspond with the regions that they generally inhabited: Karelia in the east, Tavastland (Häme) in center, and Finland Proper in the southwest respectively.25 According to the folklorist William Wilson, the people of these regions “spoke dialects of the same language, [but] they had not coalesced into any sort of unified federation and were thus ill prepared to protect their independence against foreign forces moving into their land from the west and the east.”26 Figure 3 below depicts these regions, amongst others, in 1630, demonstrating that these regional separations were significant enough that they remained relevant for centuries.27 As a result, the gradual political and military consolidation that took place in Sweden over the next three centuries proceeded such that, according to Meinander, it was “possible to speak of a Swedish realm by the beginning of the fourteenth century, with Finland as one of its core constituents.”28 This status was solidified with the Treaty of Nöteborg (Pähkinäsaari) in 1323, which established a definitive border between the Swedish Crown and the Novgorod Republic.29 This border split the eastern region of Karelia in two, with the western component under the Swedish crown and the eastern half under Novgorod.30 Figure 4 below 23 Meinander, 4. 24 Meinander, 6. 25 “Tavastland” and “Häme” refer to the same region, the former being the Swedish rending and the latter being the Finnish rendering. 26 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 126. 27 Kaljundi, 5. 28 Meinander,10. 2929 Meinander, 12. 30 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 126.
6 Cataldo ⦁ Musical Mythos shows the border that this treaty established, with Swedish territory to the west and Novgorod to the east.31 Figure 3: Linda Kaljundi and Tuomas Lehtonen, “The Swedish Provinces,” n.d. Digital map. Most of Finland remained squarely within Swedish borders for nearly five hundred years after this treaty was signed, though these years were by no means inconsequential or uneventful in Finnish history.32 Firstly, most of the regions from which Lönnrot would later collect the runes of the Kalevala now lay within the cultural and governmental domain of the Orthodox Church and Novgorod (later, Russia).33 With the exception of the period between the Peace of Stolbova (1617) and the Peace of Nystad (1721), when Sweden controlled Karelia and Ingria, this would remain the case up to the present day.34 Further, two broader movements throughout Europe during this time would lay the groundwork for the 31 Häkkinen, 195. 32 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 126–128. 33 Lönnrot, xiii, 375. 34 Meinander, 48, 71.
Musical Offerings ⦁ 2023 ⦁ Volume 14 ⦁ Number 1 7 Finnish nationalist movement: the Protestant Reformation (1517–1648) and the Enlightenment (1648–1789).35 Figure 4: Kaisa Häkkinen, “The Most Important Places Throughout Mikael Agricola’s Life,” n.d. Prior to the Reformation, Sweden (and thus Finland) existed within the domain of the Catholic Church.36 However, it was not long after Martin Luther published his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517 that the Reformation spread northward to Swedish lands.37 Though Lutheran doctrine was not officially adopted by the Swedish Crown until 1593, the influence of Luther’s theology became consequential for Finns much sooner, particularly the focus of Reformation doctrine on the use of vernacular languages and the accessibility of the Bible to all people.38 As Wilson points out, Reformation doctrine stated that “one could comprehend the saving power of the gospel only from the direct word of God as revealed 35 Burkhardt, 272–290; Dupre, xiii; Continent-wide movements like these rarely have definitive beginnings and ends, so while these ranges are necessarily imprecise, they are nevertheless useful for this research. 36 Meinander, 10. 37 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 127. 38 Meinander, 35; Wilson, “Sibelius,” 127.
8 Cataldo ⦁ Musical Mythos in the scriptures. To comprehend that work, of course, one had to have access to it.”39. The problem with this, for Finns, was that Finnish had no written version nor a standardized spoken one.40 Thus, if the Finnish church wanted to take advantage of the written word, there would first need to be a written word.41 Bishop Michael Agricola (1510–1557), himself a student of Luther and one of the most consequential figures in Finnish history, fulfilled this need and much more.42 Agricola’s most notable works include Abckiria (1543), which contains the first standardized Finnish alphabet and is also the first published work to be written in Finnish, and a complete translation of the New Testament (1548).43 According to Häkkinen, Agricola’s works “fulfilled nearly all the needs of the Church,” the only exception being the lack of a Finnish hymnal.44 This lack was rectified when Jacobus Finno (1540–1588) published one in 1583.45 Although Agricola is considered the founder of the written Finnish language, Finno’s work extends far beyond this one work and was instrumental in organizing Finnish religious texts and making them more accessible to lay people.46 In addition to the aforementioned works, Wilson writes that “[Agricola] and his fellow clergymen began composing the country’s first Finnish language religious poetry.”47 It should be clarified, though, that the poetry composed by Agricola and other members of the clergy during this time was the first Finnish language religious poetry composed within a Christian tradition. The runes of the Kalevala, which originated within a pre-Christian mythological tradition, are frequently referred to as poems due to their metric structure.48 In this sense, it may be more accurate to say that these runes were, in fact, the first Finnish language religious poetry. 39 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 127. 40 Häkkinen, 8. 41 Häkkinen, 8, 21. 42 Meinander, 33. 43 Häkkinen, 53, 163. 44 Häkkinen, 145. 45 Häkkinen, 145; Kaljundi, 136. 46 Häkkinen, 144; Kaljundi, 137. 47 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 127. 48 Laitinen, n.p.
Musical Offerings ⦁ 2023 ⦁ Volume 14 ⦁ Number 1 9 Wilson’s claim, though, brings to light an interesting duality regarding the works of Agricola and Finno. Being that Christianity was the official religion of Finland at the time, the composers and translators of religious poems and songs of this time deliberately avoided the rhythmic and metric characteristics that would evoke the runes of the Kalevala because the latter’s content did not fit within the Christian canon.49 As such, the foundation that Agricola and Finno laid for a standardized, literary Finnish language was one that focused on rhymed poetry, Christian source material, and, perhaps most importantly, the southwestern dialects of Finland Proper, all of which came with significant German and Swedish linguistic influences.50 This is particularly interesting when juxtaposed with the work of Elias Lönnrot, who Francis Peabody Magoun has referred to as the “second founder of our written language.”51 In contrast to Agricola’s work, Lönnrot’s focused on the distinctive meter of Kalevalaic runes, aptly named the ‘Kalevala meter’, as well as pre-Christian folklore and eastern Finnish dialects.52 According to Linda Kaljundi and Tuomas Lehtonen: Kalevala metre is a trochaic tetrametre with specific ‘broken verses’ consisting of more or less half of the verses. In a broken verse, a short stressed syllable is situated at the fall of a poetic foot, giving a characteristic syncopation to the metre. Thus the metre is based both on the stress of the syllables and on their length: a long stressed syllable should be at a rising, a short one at a falling position. A verse typically has from eight to ten syllables, two to four syllables in the first foot. The most recognizable feature of the verse is the ample alliteration. Rhyme is not used, and the poems have no stanzaic structure, but parallelism is frequent.53 Lonnrot’s work did not erase Agricola’s, though, and in many respects built upon it. As Magoun puts it, “In all main points [Lonnrot] kept the West Finnish morphological system, already to some extent established in the earlier literature, but as the need arose he enriched it with additions 49 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 127. 50 Häkkinen, 59, 62. 51 Lönnrot, 348. 52 Lönnrot, xiii, 343–348. 53 Kaljundi, 130.
10 Cataldo ⦁ Musical Mythos borrowed from East Finnish dialects.”54 However, it speaks to the divided nature of Finland’s history and language that the two most important figures in the development of literary Finnish took such differing approaches. Just as Agricola’s work took place amidst the Protestant Reformation, Herder’s work took place amidst the next major European movement: the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment is a notoriously difficult movement to define, with scholarly opinions differing widely on its content and merits alike.55 However, Russel Arben Fox provides a concise, reasonable definition for the scope of this research. According to Fox, the Enlightenment was a movement that “posited the universal possibility of a certain kind of progress—namely, that through education, secularization, political reform (or revolution), and public debate, human beings everywhere can and should enjoy the benefits of personal liberty, representative government, and civil rights.”56 Some scholars have described Herder as a “Counter-Enlightenment” thinker due to the religious elements in his writing that would seem to contradict the largely secular ideals of the movement proper, but he was nevertheless situated within the context of Enlightenment thought.57 In a sense, nationalism in Europe was simultaneously a fulfillment of Enlightenment ideals and a reaction against them. On one hand, the central Enlightenment tenets of political reform, revolution, and representative government, align quite well with nationalist ideals. On the other, the emphasis of nationalism on cultivating distinct, particular identities was partly a reaction to the universalist and cosmopolitan sentiments of the Enlightenment.58 The French Revolution (1789) is a useful, if imprecise, marker of the end of the Enlightenment and the beginning of nationalism in Europe due to the numerous revolutionary movements that followed in its wake.59 Like the Enlightenment, nationalism is difficult to define due to the variety of conflicting theories 54 Lönnrot, 346. 55 Dupre, 1. 56 Fox, 716. 57 Dupre, 4, 13; Fox, 722; William Dupre disagrees with categorization of Herder as Counter-Enlightenment thinker, arguing that rather than a reactionary he was instead a participant in the fundamentally “dynamic” and “dialectical” nature of the Enlightenment. 58 Dupre, 3; Kleingeld, n.p. 59 Kostantaras, 16; Kramer, 39.
Musical Offerings ⦁ 2023 ⦁ Volume 14 ⦁ Number 1 11 regarding its existence.60 Hans Kohn describes it as a “state of mind, in which the supreme loyalty of the individual is felt to be due to the nationstate.’”61 However, this understanding of nationalism, especially that of a “nation-state” being a combined cultural and political unit, aligns more with a modern understanding of nationalism.62 In Herder’s time, the concept of the nation-state did not yet exist. Instead, Herder developed the concept of a “Volk” which, according to Spencer, “is most appropriately defined as a socially cohesive community with shared historic memories, a common culture, and a sense of solidarity and belonging that unites its members. This means that in certain contexts a “Volk” might be a modern ‘nation,’ or a tribe, or an ethnic community, but it is none of these exclusively.”63 Though Herder used the terms “Volk” and “nation” more or less interchangeably, his concept of a nation is distinct from a modern one.64 A nation, in Herder’s view, could “exist independently of those formal political structures that are associated with the modern state.”65 According to Spencer, “Only by seriously distorting his political philosophy…can [Herder], therefore, be credited with the development of ‘modern nationalism.’”66 Given that the focus of this research is on Finnish nationalism through a Herderian lens, it is important to acknowledge that the nationalism which arose in late-18th- and early-19th-century Europe (and thus Finland) failed to achieve the Herderian ideal in many ways.67 The only issue more hotly contested than Herder’s position as an Enlightenment thinker is, perhaps, his position as a nationalist thinker. Wilson credits Herder, in large part, with the creation of what he refers to as “romantic nationalism.”68 According to Wilson, “In contradistinction to liberal nationalism, romantic nationalism emphasized passion and instinct instead of reason, national differences 60 Spencer, 29. 61 Kohn, quoted in Wilson, “Sibelius,” 109. 62 Spencer, 152; Vicki Spencer regards the term “nation-state” as a misnomer with respect to many modern states as they frequently house many nations, or “Völker,” within their borders. 63 Spencer, 144. 64 Spencer, 130. 65 Spencer, 132. 66 Spencer, 17. 67 Kramer, 5. 68 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 110.
12 Cataldo ⦁ Musical Mythos instead of common aspirations, and, above all, the building of nations on the traditions and myths of the past—that is, on folklore—instead of on the political realities of the present.”69 On the other hand, Vicki Spencer argues that Herder does not fit into either of these categories; the suggestion that such a dichotomy even exists is a matter of contentious debate.70 Nevertheless, Herder’s political philosophy did indeed direct a great deal of attention towards folklore with an associated focus on history and language. According to Wilson, Herder’s interest in folklore was inspired, in part, by the ideas of the Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico (1668–1744).71 Vico argued that a nation’s “origin and course can be discovered by recreating or remembering the ‘poetic’ or ‘metaphysical truth’ which underlies them. This is manifest primarily in fable, myth, the structure of early languages, and the formations of polytheistic religion.”72 Thus, for Vico, a nation’s language is profoundly intertwined with its history as captured by its folk poetry and myth. Although Herder’s idea of a “Volk” is not solely a linguistic one, as Spencer rightly points out, Herder’s philosophy demonstrates that he believed deeply in the importance of a national language, once writing that a nation “has nothing more valuable than the language of its fathers. In it lives its entire spiritual treasury of tradition, history, religion, and principles of life, all its heart and soul.”73 Like Vico, though, Herder does not privilege a literal, spoken language over a more figurative, poetic one in terms of its ability to serve these purposes. In fact, he does not make a distinction between literal and figurative language at all and even actively challenges the existence of a dichotomy between the two.74 According to Spencer: 69 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 110. 70 Spencer, 129; Kostantaras, 113. 71 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 114-115; Costelloe, n.p. 72 Costelloe, n.p. 73 Herder, quoted in Wilson, “Sibelius,” 117; Spencer, 139. 74 Spencer, 44.
Musical Offerings ⦁ 2023 ⦁ Volume 14 ⦁ Number 1 13 [I]t is not just figurative language that is dependent on the literal and that takes its elements from the objective world. Following Hamann, Herder sees poetry as the original language of humanity [italics added]. Literal language, too, is originally formed through abstraction, images, and metaphors: ‘In this understanding the entire language is allegory: because every time the mind expresses something through another in it . . . [that is], objects through signs, thoughts through words, they have nothing rationally in common with each other.75 In Herder’s conception, it seems that the importance of a national language does not so much hinge on its type or formal structure, but on its ability to express spiritual and metaphysical realities. As the philosophers R.G. Collingwood and Charles Taylor have argued, language is “but one expressive form in a more general category of ‘expression.”76 Herder’s focus on the importance of a common history, too, demonstrates parallels between his philosophy and Vico’s.77 “For Vico,” writes Wilson, “mythos equaled history.”78 To be clear, Vico did not believe that all mythical stories were historically factual accounts, but rather that the “ancient wisdom,” the “metaphysical truth” they contained, was of equal or even greater value than historical fact.79 Likewise, in his writings on a nation’s history, Herder’s philosophy does not privilege a literal, genealogical ancestry over a mythological one. As Spencer writes, “In definitional terms, there is nothing to prevent a group with no ethnic ties from forming a Volk.”80 So long as there existed some means by which a community could participate in the “creation and transmission of certain shared memories,” nationhood, as Herder understood it, was possible.81 Based on Herder’s definition of “Volk,” as well as his writing on language and history in relation to nationhood, I posit that the role of a 75 Spencer, 66. 76 Spencer, 75. 77 Spencer, 139. 78 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 114. 79 Dupre, The Enlightenment, 194–195. 80 Spencer, Herder’s Political Thought, 138. 81 Spencer, 138.
14 Cataldo ⦁ Musical Mythos national language in forming and maintaining a nation could be fulfilled by any mode of expression that: (1) creates a sense of social cohesion, solidarity, and belonging; (2) allows for the creation and transmission of shared historic memories, literal or mythological, that foster a sense of connection to one’s ancestors; and (3) provides a means of expressing the distinctive character of one’s nation. Further, due to the inherently historical nature of the second criterion, this mode of expression could simultaneously fulfill the role of a national history as well. Such is my case for the Kalevala. As nationalist sentiments grew throughout Europe following the French Revolution, so too were things changing in Finland.82 In the midst of the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815), Russian military victories against Sweden led to the Diet of Borgå (Porvoo) in 1809 which established Finland as a grand duchy under the Russian Empire.83 Though this granted Finland a novel degree of autonomy not enjoyed under Sweden, it meant serving yet another foreign master who could take away such freedom at any moment.84 Some of the first Finns to recognize this were students at the University of Turku, the “Turku Romantics,” as Wilson called them, who began calling for an awakening of a truly Finnish spirit through a return to Finland’s native folk poetry.85 This laid the groundwork for Elias Lonnrot’s publication of the Kalevala a few decades later.86 It is worth noting that the literal Finnish language steadily gained popularity throughout the 19th century and received a significant boost from the publication of the Kalevala in 1835.87 Even still, centuries of Swedish rule had left an obstinate linguistic rift amongst the Finnish people. According to Meinander, “despite the mounting interest in Finnish, Swedish was still the language of both home and workplace for the academic and administrative elite up to the 1880s.”88 Particularly during the time of the Turku Romantics, many of those fighting for the advancement of Finnish were, themselves, a part of this primarily Swedish-speaking elite.89 Thus, with the literal Finnish language as yet 82 Dupre, xiii. 83 Mikaberidze, 104; Meinander, 101. 84 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 128. 85 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 128–129. 86 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 130. 87 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 130–131. 88 Meinander, 123. 89 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 130.
Musical Offerings ⦁ 2023 ⦁ Volume 14 ⦁ Number 1 15 unable to get a foothold, Finnish identity would coalesce around a different mode of expression. There is substantial precedent for the idea that Kalevalaic rune singing is linguistic in nature. According to Heikki Laitinen, the “‘grammar’ of singing’” within this tradition was taught orally and implicitly, largely without organized instruction, in much the same way that people begin learning their native language.90 Drawing from the ideas of the folklorist Matti Kuusi, Laitinen writes, “Rune-singing, ‘Kalevala language,’ was the language of the epic, the lyric and magic…We may therefore speak with justification of a musical vernacular. Playing and singing were like artistic speech, guided by the unwritten rules of grammar, containing crystallised sayings and phrases, but always unique.”91 This understanding of rune singing as a kind of language dates back considerably. According to Lehtonen and Kaljundi, “In the first scholarly descriptions of Finnish poetry from the seventeenth century on, the Kalevala metre is described as the old and original form of the Finnish language.”92 However, given the observable differences between music and language as forms of communication, described in depth by Ray Jackendoff, one may reasonably remain unconvinced that a poeto-musical art form like rune singing could have functioned identically to a literal language even in spite of these parallels.93 Within a Herderian framework, rune singing could still have fulfilled the role of a national language as an alternative mode of expression provided that it met the three criteria that I have extrapolated from Herder’s political philosophy. First, did the Kalevala create a sense of social cohesion, solidarity, and belonging? Following the publication of the Kalevala, a variety of new institutions centered on Finnish language and culture were created. These institutions included schools, for both young students and preservice Finnish-language teachers, organizations for the advancement of the Finnish arts, Finnish newspapers, and Finnish intellectual societies.94 While the Kalevala was certainly not the sole cause for these advancements, much of the improvements to Finnish social and cultural 90 Laitinen, n.p. 91 Laitinen, n.p. 92 Kaljundi,129. 93 Jackendoff, 195–204. 94 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 131–133.
16 Cataldo ⦁ Musical Mythos life that took place in the mid- and late-19th century may not have been possible in its absence.95 In 1841, the Kalevala was also translated into Swedish, allowing Swedish-speaking Finns access to the stories of the Kalevala in spite of this language barrier.96 Thus, the most significant language barrier amongst the Finns could now be bridged through these Kalevalaic runes, the stories they told, and the “metaphysical truths” they revealed.97 Second, did the Kalevala allow for the creation and transmission of shared historic memories, whether literal or mythological, that fostered a sense of ancestral connection? Though Lönnrot asserts that there is likely some degree of historical foundation for the tales of the Kalevala, he himself admits that it is difficult to discern which stories may be describing historical events and which are “completely invented.”98 Instead, it is the mythological content of these runes through which one could “meditate on his relationship with the past and future” that created a sense of shared memory and shared ancestry even where it may not have existed.99 As Walker Connor puts it, “[a] sense of unique descent…need not, and in nearly all cases will not, accord with factual history.”100 It was precisely this depiction of Finland’s “legendary, heroic, splendid past” that inspired Finns to imagine what they had been and fight for what they could be.101 Third, did the Kalevala provide a means of expressing the distinctive character of Finland? As previously established, the runes of the Kalevala are derived mainly from Karelia, Ingria, Arkhangelsk, and Olonetsk.102 With the exception of some of the western parts of Karelia, all of these regions have existed primarily within the Russian governmental and cultural domain for most of their existence following the Treaty of Nöteborg.103 Interestingly, Arkhangelsk and Olonetsk are also sources of byliny, a type of Russian oral folk narrative, that bear striking resemblance to Kalevalaic runes in a variety of musical dimensions. Like Kalevalaic runes, byliny were traditionally sung and 95 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 132. 96 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 132. 97 Costelloe, n.p. 98 Lönnrot, 367. 99 Laitinen, n.p. 100 Connor, quoted in Kramer, 12. 101 Hautala, quoted in Wilson, “Sibelius,” 132. 102 Lönnrot, 355. 103 Lönnrot, xiii, 375.
Musical Offerings ⦁ 2023 ⦁ Volume 14 ⦁ Number 1 17 dealt primarily with mythological topics.104 Further, when songs from each tradition have been transcribed or adapted using the conventional notation of Western European art music, both seem to frequently feature pentatonic scales and unusual time signatures such as 5/4.105 While it is important to note the inadequacy of this notational system in representing the nuances of oral traditions, the similarities in how they have been perceived and approximated suggest further parallels between how byliny and Kalevalaic runes would have sounded in authentic performances. Scholars like Vsevolod Miller and Tove Djupsjöbacka have even pointed out parallels between the bylinic hero Sadko and the Kalevaliaic hero Väinämöinen.106 Due to these similarities, it seems unlikely that the Kalevala could have expressed the distinctive character of Finland on its own. To make matters worse, it has yet to be established that this love for the Kalevala was sufficiently spread throughout the populace of Finland that it could have served as a truly common language or history. Though Finnish national consciousness had indeed grown significantly throughout the 19th century, nationalist fervor remained largely in academic circles for several decades after the publication of the Kalevala.107 According to Wilson, the academic and artistic elite even began turning away from the Kalevala in the 1870s and 1880s, focusing their attention on “realistic and naturalistic depictions of the world around them” instead.108 The movement needed to be revitalized and reach a wider public if any attempt at attaining independence from Russia was to be successful.109 In the words of Ernest Renan “the desire of nations to be together is the only real criterion that must always be taken into account.”110 The durability of a nation hinges, as Spencer puts it, on “a willing identification on the part of its members.”111 The 1890s provided precisely the stimulus needed for such a revitalization. During this decade, the Russian Empire began stripping away many of the freedoms granted to Finland as an autonomous grand 104 Lönnrot, xii–xiv; Reeve, 23. 105 Reeve, 74; Arango Calle, 13. 106 Bullock, 43; Djupsjöbacka, n.p. 107 Meinander, 156; Wilson, “Sibelius,” 140. 108 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 133. 109 Meinander, 156. 110 Renan, quoted in Spencer, 141. 111 Spencer, 141.
18 Cataldo ⦁ Musical Mythos duchy at the beginning of the century.112 While the official beginning of this period of Russification is generally marked in 1899, C. Leonard Lundin writes that “the first Finnish-Russian crisis was boiling up” as early as 1891.113 During this time, according to Timo Martin and Douglas Sivén, “all cultural work was understood to be a struggle on behalf of Finnishness, and artists considered themselves the people’s interpreters whose task it was to demonstrate Finland’s fitness as an independent nation.”114 Among the most important of these artists was Jean Sibelius, whose works during the 1890s frequently featured material from the Kalevala.115 The works of Sibelius and his fellow artists played a crucial role in advancing the cause for Finnish independence.116 Additionally, they provide the last piece of the puzzle in understanding how Finland’s emergence as a nation can be understood within a Herderian framework. After 1841, most literate Finns could reasonably access the written text of the Kalevala. However, since the first recordings of Finnish music did not appear until 1901, exposure to these runes in their original sung form was limited to those fortunate enough to hear a live performance by a trained rune singer.117 Such was the first vital role of Sibelius’ music: it brought the sound world of rune singing to life for a wider audience within Finland and abroad.118 At least as early as December of 1891, Sibelius met with the celebrated rune singer Larin Paraske (ca. 1834–1904).119 According to Erik Tawaststjerna (1916–1993), a Finnish musicologist and leading authority on Sibelius, Paraske’s performance of traditional runic melodies had a significant impact on Sibelius.120 Example 3 below compares a musical example of Tawaststjerna’s, who was present when Sibelius and Paraske met, of a runic melody like those that Sibelius would have heard from Paraske (Example 1a) with an excerpt from 112 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 133. 113 Meinander, 160; Lundin, 414. 114 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 134. 115 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 135–136. 116 It should be noted that Sibelius was not exactly an impassioned nationalist. The nationalistic themes in his music are generally quite subtle and his music drew influence from a variety of other sources and movements of the time. 117 Gronow, n.p. 118 Meinander, 156; Wilson, “Sibelius,” 136–137. 119 Goss, quoted in Sibelius, XII; Goss, 65. 120 Tawaststjerna, 98; Salmenhaara, 21.
Musical Offerings ⦁ 2023 ⦁ Volume 14 ⦁ Number 1 19 Sibelius’ 6 Partsongs, Op. 18 (Example 1b).121 Both examples demonstrate what Sibelius described as the “melancholy monotony” that is characteristic of Finnish melodies.122 Example 1a: Erik Tawaststjerna, no title: an example of a runic melody that Paraske would have sung Example 1b: Jean Sibelius, “Venematka” from 6 Partsongs, Op. 18: demonstrates the resemblance between Sibelius’ compositions and runic melodies Though Tawaststjerna does not speculate about the degree to which Paraske’s singing influenced Sibelius’ Kalevala-based works, he does affirm that Sibelius “listened to her with great attention and made notes on her inflections and rhythm.”123 On the other hand, Robert Layton, who seems quite assured of Parakse’s influence, points out some more specific characteristics of the runes that she would have sung, which align with the above examples quite well: Generally speaking the runic melodies that Sibelius took down from Paraske comprise two more or less rhythmically symmetrical four or five beat phrases that are within the compass of the first five notes of the major or minor scale. The notes, sometimes extended to 121 Tawaststjerna, 98. 122 Dahlström, n.p. 123 Tawaststjerna, 98.
20 Cataldo ⦁ Musical Mythos embrace the flattened sixth or the flattened leading note, generally correspond with those of the five-stringed kantele and the main melodic protagonists in the Kullervo Symphony leave no doubt as to these runic influences.124 This symphony to which Layton refers, Sibelius’ Kullervo, Op. 7, not only evokes the melodic content of these runes but also uses text directly from the Kalevala.125 This was a historic event because it contained, according to Tawaststjerna, “(for the first time in the history of Finnish music) a recitative of great skill that is completely secure in its treatment of the spoken language.”126 Interestingly, Glenda Dawn Goss points out that the manner in which Sibelius set the text of the Kalevala in Kullervo resembles “normally spoken Finnish” more than the poetic, stylized delivery of an authentic rune singer like Paraske.127 However, this may actually have been more effective in popularizing the Kalevala and promoting Finland’s cause seeing as his approach “created the basis for a new vocal style arising out of the nature of the Finnish language.”128 While Kullervo is one of the best examples of Sibelius’ use of Kalevalaic material, inspiration from Lonnrot’s text permeates many of Sibelius’ works from the 1890s and beyond including Venematka (1893), Lemminkäinen Suite (1895), and Pohjola’s Daughter (1906). Wilson rightly points out that many of Sibelius’ works exhibit little tangible connection to the Kalevala aside from their titles.129 However, it is precisely these interpretive, rather than literal, adaptations of Kalevalaic runes that allowed a distinctive Finnish character to be expressed. While the original text could reasonably be seen as a shared creation between Finnish, Russian, and Estonian cultures, the creations of Sibelius and the broader artistic community ignited the national consciousness and spirit of the Finnish people in an unprecedented manner.130 124 Layton, quoted in Bullock, 38; The kantele is a traditional Finnish instrument with five strings similar to a harp or zither. 125 Dahlström, n.p. 126 Tawaststjerna, 116. 127 Goss, 66. 128 Goss, 64. 129 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 136. 130 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 136–137; For further reading on the shared ancestry of Kalevalaic runes, see Etunimetön Frog, “The Finnic Tetrameter – A Creolization of Poetic Form?” Studia Metrica et Poetica 6, no. 1 (2019): 20– 78, https://doi.org/10.12697/smp.2019.6.1.02.
Musical Offerings ⦁ 2023 ⦁ Volume 14 ⦁ Number 1 21 Thus, I propose that through the music of Jean Sibelius, the Kalevala fulfilled the third criterion and further became truly “common” amongst Finns. As Wilson puts it, “The cultural awakening that occurred following Lönnrot’s publication of the Kalevala had primarily reached the intelligentsia.”131 In contrast, “the second cultural awakening that occurred at the turn of the century…reached most of the nation.”132 Though Sibelius certainly was not solely responsible for the emergence nor the efficacy of this second cultural awakening, he certainly stands among the most influential figures in modern Finnish history.133 In no small part, it is thanks to his works and those of his fellow writers, painters, poets, and composers at the turn of the 20th century that Finland was able to withstand the gruesome battles that lie ahead and, at last, attain independence in 1917.134 Throughout this essay, it has been my aim to demonstrate how the songpoems, or “runes,” of the Kalevala, together with the musical compositions of Jean Sibelius, allow Finland's emergence as a nation to be understood within a Herderian conceptual framework. In my survey of the literature concerning Sibelius, the Kalevala, and Finnish nationalism, I found that while Herder and his philosophy appeared frequently, it was often left ambiguous as to whether Finland’s story represented a fulfillment of Herder’s philosophy or a departure from it.135 The importance of a common history and a common language within Herder’s framework was apparent, but the reality remained that Finns had had a highly disjunct history and a language that did not rise to preeminence in their land until the 1880s.136 How could the Kalevala, a text of musical and primarily mythological content, have brought about such tremendous progress towards a national consciousness in the mid- to late-19th century in the absence of these two crucial binding ties? Through a further study of Herder’s reasoning, I extrapolated the three essential roles that a common language and history served for a community seeking nationhood. After briefly outlining a history of Finland and providing an overview of the broader cultural context in 131 Wilson, “Sibelius,”140. 132 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 140. 133 Wilson, “Sibelius,” 136–137, 140. 134 Wilson, “Sibelius,”140. 135 See Goss, “A Backdrop for Young Sibelius” and Wilson, “Sibelius and Karelianism.” 136 Meinander, 34.
22 Cataldo ⦁ Musical Mythos which pre-national Finland was situated, I indicated that the roles of a common language and a common history could theoretically be fulfilled by any mode of expression that: (1) creates a sense of social cohesion, solidarity, and belonging; (2) allows for the creation and transmission of shared historic memories, literal or mythological, that foster a sense of connection to one’s ancestors; and (3) provides a means of expressing the distinctive character of one’s nation. After establishing these three criteria, I sought to provide evidence that the Kalevala, together with the music of Jean Sibelius, met all of these criteria, thus solidifying Finland’s nationhood as valid within a Herderian framework. Scholars like Ray Jackendoff have rightly pointed out that music and language serve different purposes in day-to-day life.137 However, my findings provide an interesting example in which a musical mode of expression seemingly fulfilled the role of a language even though it was not, in that of itself, a language. In future research, investigating other circumstances under which this phenomenon could occur could offer a unique angle from which to explore the relationship between language and music. Further, the scope of this research is necessarily limited by the choice to focus on the Herderderian requirements for a common language and a common history, but Herder’s political philosophy expands well beyond these two dimensions. Future studies of Finland’s emergence as a nation in relation to the various other ideals that Herder established within his political philosophy would be useful contributions to the literature. As a final matter, it is my hope that this essay provides a compelling example of the crucial role that music can play in society. The artistic capabilities of music are not merely decorative. They have the power to alter the course of history. 137 Jackendoff, 197.
Musical Offerings ⦁ 2023 ⦁ Volume 14 ⦁ Number 1 23 Figure 5: Philip Cataldo, “A Brief History of Finland: From Antiquity to Independence,” 2023.
24 Cataldo ⦁ Musical Mythos Bibliography Arango Calle, Miguel. “Stylistic Conflicts in Sibelius’s Second Symphony.” Master’s thesis, University of Arizona, 2018. https://www.proquest.com/dissertations-theses/stylisticconflicts-sibeliuss-second-symphony/docview/2162905723/se2?accountid=11644. Bullock, Philip Ross. “Sibelius and the Russian Traditions.” In Jean Sibelius and His World, edited by Daniel M. Grimley, 3–57. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011. Burkhardt, Johannes. “The Thirty Years’ War.” In A Companion to the Reformation World, edited by R. Po-chia Hsia, 272–290. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2004. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470996737. Costelloe, Timothy. "Giambattista Vico." In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2022/entries/vico/. Dahlström, Fabian, and James Hepokoski. "Sibelius, Jean." Grove Music Online. January 20, 2001. https://doi.org/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.43725. Djupsjöbacka, Tove. “The kantele - not exclusively Finnish.” Finnish Music Quarterly. May 29 2017. https://fmq.fi/articles/thekantele-not-exclusively-finnish. Dupre, Louis. The Enlightenment and the Intellectual Foundations of Modern Culture. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004. https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1npfbd. Frog, Etunimetön. “The Finnic Tetrameter—A Creolization of Poetic Form?” Studia Metrica et Poetica 6, no. 1 (2019): 20–78. https://doi.org/10.12697/smp.2019.6.1.02. Forster, Michael. "Johann Gottfried von Herder." In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2022/entries/herder/. Fox, Russell A. “On Metaphysics and Nationality: The Rival Enlightenments of Kant and Herder.” American Behavioral Scientist 49, no. 5 (July 2016), 716–732. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764205282220. Goss, Glenda Dawn. “A Backdrop for Young Sibelius: The Intellectual Genesis of the Kullervo Symphony.” 19th-Century Music 27, no. 1 (Summer 2003): 48–73. https://doi.org/10.1525/ncm.2003.27.1.48.
Musical Offerings ⦁ 2023 ⦁ Volume 14 ⦁ Number 1 25 Gronow, Pekka. “A hundred years of Finnish recordings.” Finnish Music Quarterly. October 01, 2001. https://fmq.fi/articles/ahundred-years-of-finnish-recordings. Häkkinen, Kaisa. Spreading the Written Word: Mikael Agricola and the Birth of Literary Finnish. Translated by Leonard Pearl. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society (SKS), 2016. http://doi.org/10.21435/sflin.19. Jackendoff, Ray. “Parallels and Nonparallels between Language and Music.” Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal 26, no. 3 (February 2009): 195–204. https://doi.org/10.1525/mp.2009.26.3.195. Kleingeld, Pauline and Eric Brown. "Cosmopolitanism." In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2019/entries/cosmopolita nism/. Kostantaras, Dean. Nationalism and Revolution in Europe, 1763–1848. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2020. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv128fnxm. Kramer, Lloyd S. Nationalism in Europe and America Politics, Cultures, and Identities Since 1775. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2011. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/ithacaebooks/detail.action?docID=732137. Kujala, Antti. "Sweden's Russian Lands, Ingria and Kexholm Province, 1617 – Ca. 1670: The Interaction of the Crown with its New Subjects." Jahrbücher Für Geschichte Osteuropas, 64, no. 4 (2016): 546–574. https://www.proquest.com/scholarlyjournals/swedens-russian-lands-ingria-kexholmprovince/docview/1851600181/se-2?accountid=11644. Laitinen, Heikki. “Rune-singing, the musical vernacular.” Finnish Music Quarterly. February 28, 1985. https://fmq.fi/articles/rune-singing-the-musical-vernacular#. Lehtonen, Tuomas, and Linda Kaljundi, eds. Re-Forming Texts, Music, and Church Art in the Early Modern North. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1515/9789048524938-009. Lönnrot, Elias, comp. The Kalevala. Translated by Francis Peabody Magoun, Jr. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1963. Lundin, C. Leonard. “Finland’s Divided House.” In Russification in the Baltic Provinces and Finland, 1855–1914, edited by Edward C.digitalcommons.cedarville.edu