Kosta P. Manojlović (1890 - 1949) and the Idea of Slavic and Balkan Cultural Unification
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This collective monograph, titled Kosta P. Manojlović and the Idea of Slavic and Balkan Cultural Unificaton (1918–1941), is the result of research by fourteen scholars from Russia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Portugal, Great Britain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia, which were partly presented at an international conference organized by the Muzikološki institut SANU [Institute of Musicology SASA] in November 2016. Kosta P. Manojlović (1890–1946) is one of the most important Serbian musicians and musical intellectuals of the interwar period. His musical activities were diverse and fuitful. As a composer, he was a proponent of the “national style”, which was primarily reflected in choral music. In this domain he left pieces of lasting value, such as Sever duva [The North Wind blows] for the mixed choir. His melographic and ethnomusicological work dedicated to Serbian musical folklore is of great significance. He was a pioneer of Serbian musical historiography and a proliferous critic who coll...aborated with numerous journals and dailies from Yugoslavia and abroad. Kosta Manojlović was also a long-standing Choirmaster of the Beogradsko pevačko društvo [Belgrade Choral Society] and the Pevačko društvo “Mokranjac” [Mokranjac Choral Society]. An important part of his activities was devoted to the administration of musical organizations and institutions. For instance, Manojlović was one of the founders and the Secretary-General of the Južnoslovenski pevački savez [South-Slav Choral Union]. Among his most important achievements in this respect was the opening of the Muzička akademija [Music Academy] in Belgrade in 1937, where he served as the first Chancellor. Research on Kosta Manojlović is scant. In 1990, the Faculty of Music in Belgrade published an anthology titled U spomen Koste P. Manojlovića, kompozitora i etnomuzikologa [Kosta P. Manojlović, composer and ethnomusicologist. In memoriam], comprised mostly of students’ papers dedicated to the investigation of his various activities. Insights on Manojlović’s contributions can be found in a number of studies by Serbian musicologists and ethnomusicologists, but a detailed monograph devoted to his life and works has not yet been published, nor has a complete bibliography of his writings. For that reason, scholars from the Institute of Musicology SASA in Belgrade resolved to organize an international conference and to prepare a collective monograph focusing on Manojlović’s diverse accomplishments. Traces of dominant and less influential ideological and political currents of the first half of the 20th century can be observed in Manojlović’s work. As such, the editors decided to bring to light the historical and cultural settings in which Manojlović acted, and more thoroughly examine his numerous activities. This volume is divided into five parts, an introductory section and four thematic units. The introduction comprises one study: Ivana Vesić (Belgrade) and Vesna Peno (Belgrade) have given an overview of Kosta Manojlović’s social “networking” and ideological horizons in Yugoslav public and musical spheres from 1919 to 1949, focusing on less well-known facts from his life and the biographies of his fellow composers and musical intellectuals. The first thematic part, titled Balkan and Slavic peoples in the first half of the 20th century: Intercultural contacts, contains three studies. Olga Pashina (Moscow) explores cultural relations between Slavic peoples on the example of the concert tours of Ivan T. Ryabinin, a famous Russian story teller, to Serbia and Bulgaria in 1902. Stefanka Georgieva (Stara Zagora) analyzes the presence of the idea of Slavic cultural unification in Bulgarian musical culture of the interwar period, concentrating on collaborations of various kinds between Yugoslav and Bulgarian musicians, including Kosta P. Manojlović. Ivan Ristić (Kruševac) examines Manojlović’s work on Yugoslav-Bulgarian cultural rapprochement, taking into consideration the political and cultural relations between the two countries during the 1920s. The second part, made up of four studies, is titled The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes/Yugoslavia between ideology and reality. As Secretary-General of the South-Slav Choral Union [SSCS] (1924–1932), Kosta Manojlović was faced with the complex issue of creating an internal institutional arrangement of this national organization. Strong disagreements over the Union’s structure and authority indicate the marked polarization of views on the national question in the Kingdom of SCS/Yugoslavia. Biljana Milanović (Belgrade) discusses Manojlović’s contribution to the foundation and policies of the SSCS, while Nada Bezić (Zagreb) focuses on relations between the Hrvatski pjevački savez [Croatian Choral Union] and the SSCS from 1924 to 1934. Srđan Atanasovski (Belgrade) investigates Kosta Manojlović’s research into musical folklore from the perspective of interwar narratives on “Southern Serbia”. Ivana Vesić (Belgrade) centers on Manojlović’s collaboration with the Balkanski institut [Institute for Balkan Studies] (1934–1941), taking into account his views on the unification of Balkan and Slavic peoples. The third part, titled Kosta P. Manojlović and church music, contains three papers. Vesna Peno (Belgrade) examines Manojović’s role in the construction of theory of Belgrade church chant. Bogdan Đaković (Novi Sad) brings this composer’s ecclesiastical choral music into focus, along with his compositional procedures and style. Ivan Moody (Lisbon) considers the approach of Serbian and Bulgarian composers of church music to problems of tradition and modernity in the early 20th century. Finally, the fourth part is comprised of papers that deal with Kosta P. Manojlović as choirmaster, critic and pedagogue. Verica Grmuša (London) explores Manojlović’s various activities during his studies of music at Oxford University from 1917 to 1919. Predrag Đoković (Sarajevo) discusses Manojlović’s performance and analysis of early music in the interwar years. Aleksandar Vasić (Belgrade) explores Manojlović’s achievements in musical criticism, concentrating on his writings published between the two wars in Belgrade’s music journals. The final years of Manojlović’s life, including his position in newly founded communist Yugoslavia, are surveyed by Ivana Medić (Belgrade). This monograph is the result of interdisciplinary and multifocal research into Kosta Manojlović’s life and works. We hope it will stimulate further investigation into the invaluable contributions of this Serbian composer and intellectual to music production, education and research.
Keywords:Kosta P. Manojlović / Balkan nations / unification of Yugoslav peoples / musical criticism / South-Slav Choral Union / cultural relations / Beogradsko pevačko društvo / Belgrade Choral Society / Mokranjac Choral Society / Music Academy in Belgrade / Pevačko društvo “Mokranjac” / church music / Belgrade church chan
- Belgrade : Institute of Musicology, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
- This collective monograph, titled Kosta P. Manojlović and the Idea of Slavic and Balkan Cultural Unificaton (1918-1941), is the result of research by fourteen scholars from Russia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Portugal, Great Britain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia, which were partly presented at an international conference organized by the Muzikološki institut SANU (Institute of Musicology SASA) in November 2016.