The main tendencies of European folk music research are discussed. Starting with literary and aesthetic aspects in the 18th and 19th century, continuing to folk music research, comparative and ethnomusicological, systematic as well as music anthropological paradigm, which are interrelated with the leading personalities of the field. Their names and main activities are summarized. Definitions are related to traditional music and the objectives we are investigating. The process of research is described, starting with fieldwork, the primary evaluation of the gathered material, the process of its analysis and classification, as to the proposed topics and special studies. The aims of our studies play a decisive role, if they are directed to editorial, source-critical, theoretic, methodical questions, or if they understand traditional music as a historical remnant. It is important to notice that our approach and understanding of traditional music is an important aspect, which can influence our research results. We can understand music as a vivid, open and permanently changing phenomenon, or look upon it, as to something damned for disappearance. They are often part of a national, regional concept, of a school tradition, which deeply determine our access to the questions we have to answer. The following paradigms have been analyzed: - the rescuing paradigm, - that of identification of the researcher with the phenomena, - the structural-comparative one, - the socio-cultural and the - synthesizing paradigm.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.