Slovenská hudba

Slovak Music, musicological revue, 4 issues a year

Quo Vadis, Musica Slovaca?

Every revue is accomplished in a certain social, political, cultural and publishing context. The history or our Slovak musicological periodical started in 1957, when the Union of Slovak Composers began to publish it. Publishing the reflections on modern or contemporary music, and several up-to-date discussions, Slovenská hudba soon headed the progressive endeavours of musicologists, publicists and composers in their battle for the change of Slovak music in the 1960s. Several personalities successively held the chief editor position at that time: Jozef Šamko (1957 – 1958), Eugen Šimúnek (1958 – 1963), and namely Oskár Elschek (1963 – 1971), who, prompted by his wide general knowledge and managing skills, contributed to the consolidation and qualitative expansion of the revue.

The increasing quality was proved also by the fact that from the periodicity of six issues a year it became a monthly with a higher circulation and higher number of pages (including note appendices and others). Slovenská hudba offered its space for an open critical dialogue, the search for creative bases as well as shaping of the extremely necessary individual stylistic orientation of composers following their own ideas, ideals or models. Thus it participated in the transformation of the Slovak music in the 1960s;and this was officially and transparently taking place on the pages of the revue of the Union of Slovak Composers. However, the revue’s number of pages, and long production cycles in particular used to complicate quick and immediate reactions to the music life in Slovakia. Soon Hudobný život/Music Life assumed the task to react promptly and to create an apt pendant to Slovenská hudba, which became more distinctively oriented on musicology.

In 1971 the 15th volume of the revue Slovenská hudba closed the first phase of its existence, and it fell silent for more than 20 years. The void left by a missing musicological periodical was filled by occasional publications – anthologies of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (14 anthologies or volumes entitled Musicologica slovaca were published prior to 1989).

Nevertheless, after 1990 the ideas about the regeneration of the Slovenská hudba revue were revived in the Slovak music society. Following the intricate difficulties caused by the transformation of the Union to independent music professional associations freely joined in the Slovak Music Union, and after several proposals and concepts the publication of the Slovenská hudba revue could be renewed. With a new look, and a new concept, yet following the preceding 15 years, its 17th volume was published (the 16th one was omitted by a mistake). Since that time another 23 years have passed, during which Slovenská hudba has assumed the central position in the musicological writings and publication. In this new era several chief editors helped to develop its character: Vladimír Godár (1991 – 1996), Alžbeta Rajterová (1997 – 1999), Hana Urbancová (2000 – 2004) and Marta Földešová (2004 – 2007). This unique musicological revue presents top musicological studies, essays, reviews and other contributions, mapping the whole thematic scope of musicology. Topical issues presenting the current musicological research and themes, alternate with more generalized issues with quarterly periodicity. This way the revue represents an important driving force for the development of the Slovak musicological research.

Alena Čierna