• Nadezhda Petrova Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts „Prof. Asen Diamandiev” – Plovdiv, Bulgaria


Ludvik Cuba, Bulgarian folk song, piano accompaniment


The genre of the solo folk song with piano accompaniment is one of the ways the old musical-folklore tradition has been modernized. The polyphonic rendition of the folk song takes it beyond its solo and untempered authentic prototype and moves it to a new form of existence, close to the requirements and aesthetics of artistic music. In the period around and after the Liberation of Bulgaria, due to the lack of compositional arrangements, the first samples in the genre of solo folk song for voice and piano were the work of foreign composers. Their work in this genre remains either little known or completely unknown. Such is the case with the Czech artist and folklorist Ludvik Kuba and his 15th volume „Bulgarian Songs”, part of the collection  „The Slavs in Their Songs”, which is the subject of this report.

The name of Ludvik Kuba can be sometimes found in Bulgarian periodicals or publications, without specifying his place in the development of the genre of solo folk song with piano accompaniment. The fact that even the National Library „St. St. Cyril and Methodius” does not keep a copy of the mentioned 15th volume, which is the reason why part of his national musical heritage remains almost unknown. The collection is stored in foreign libraries and thanks to its digitization is in the public domain.

The volume „Bulgarian Songs” was published in 1929 and contains 40 folk songs arranged with piano accompaniment. The authentic primary sources belong to the urban song culture and are the result of the field recordings of Cuba, which he made in 1894 in Sofia, Plovdiv and Tatar-Pazardzhik, and in 1928 in the Rhodope mountains and other areas and villages. Most of the songs in the volume were first published in 1897 in the Collection of Folk Tales, Science and Literature (Bulgarian abbreviation: SbNUNK), book 14. Here the article by L. Cuba „The tonalities in the Bulgarian melodies” is published and the songs are used as an exemplary musical material in order to clarify the mood features in the Bulgarian folklore. Although Cuba himself had some doubts about the correct notation of the prototypes, his musical notation is one of the earliest in our musical history and is therefore of high value. The tracing of some parameters concerning the authentic prototypes - range, time signature, mode, as well as the peculiarities of their harmonization, highlight some characteristic features of the compositional stylistic manner of Ludvik Cuba when working with Bulgarian folklore.       


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How to Cite

Petrova, N. (2021). LUDVIK CUBA AND THE BULGARIAN FOLK SONG WITH PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT. KNOWLEDGE - International Journal, 49(6), 1287–1293. Retrieved from