Runosong as a form of cultural communication

Pekka Huttu-Hiltunen

Runosong used to be a central form of cultural communication in the Baltic-Finnish culture-area at least for two thousand years (Huttu-Hiltunen 2008, 32-51 or Kuusi 1963, 129). Equal, culturally significant forms of epic (or narrative) singing forms existed all over the world (Honko 2001, 2002). Singing is a typical human way to renew and share cultural concepts. Before the general spread of writing technology, the most important cultural meanings and concepts were shared by culturally signified singing.

My own dissertation (2008), in which the music analyses of singing in Western Viena Karelia was central, produced several interesting questions, which I aim to study in my presentation. These questions are connected with more deep music analyse, especially methodologically (how to reach the culturally essential and meaningful features of unsynchronized, monocronic singing style), but also in regarding to the intermediation-function of runosong in culture. In my dissertation I made thesis about runosong being the cultural medium in Baltic-Finnish culture-area, and that its musical features were/have developed according to the demands of this function.