Hussite Songs

Hussite Songs

 

Czech popular hymns originating in the period of the Hussite wars of 1419–37. The hymns are stern and heroic, reflecting the revolutionary direction of the Hussite movement. In contrast to the Catholic Latin hymns, these were sung in the Czech language. Closely related to folk melodies, the Hussite hymns are sung in unison with a not very wide range of tones and are based mostly on church chants, lacking any coloratura ornamentation and sung without accompaniment (the organ and other instruments were prohibited by the Hussites). Owing to the ease with which they could be sung (their simple melodies and easily understood text), the Hussite hymns became widely popular and were of great importance in the development of professional Czech music. (The melody of the Taborite hymn “Who Are Ye, Warriors of God?” was used, for example, by B. Smetana and A. Dvořák.) The main source for the Hussite songs is the Jistebnicky kancionál(1420), a collection of Hussite choral songs, liturgical chants, prayers, and Christmas carols, including 77 Taborite and Utraquist songs.

REFERENCES

Belza, I. Istoriia cheshskoi muzykal’ noi kul’lury,vol. 1 Moscow, 1959.
Nejedlý, Z. Gusitstvo i iskusstvo: Izbr. trudy.Moscow, 1960. (Translated from Czech.)
Daňhelka, J. Husitské písně. Prague, 1952.
References in periodicals archive ?
At this time other Hussite songs were produced and spread on a mass basis among Hussites and their supporters, and it is recorded that when the Hussite army advanced against the enemy singing these songs, the anti-Hussite crusaders, often very superior in numbers, would flee without joining battle.