Prussian Lithuanian songs of 20th-21st century

Prussian Lithuanian songs of 20th-21st century

The historical events of the 20th century and the division of the areas inhabited by Prussian Lithuanians between the German and Lithuanian states also changed the cultural situation of the locals. The attention to the Lithuanian language and culture of the scientists of the University of Königsberg was declining, and the collection of folklore in the Königsberg region eventually became non-existent. However, individual Lithuanian ethnographers, folklorists, composers or folklore lovers gradually became involved in the work of Lithuanian folklore collection.

In 1922, Martynas Jankus, the most famous personality of Lithuania Minor of the 20th century, sang over 50 songs for composer S. Šimkus. In 1935, the Folklore Archive had the songs of Jankus and his daughter Elzė Jankutė audio-recorded.

After World War II, more songs of the older generation of Prussian Lithuanians who remained in Lithuania were recorded, which were published in various collections of folklore. The issue very significant in terms of knowledge of Lithuanian vocal folklore was the fourth edition of Dainos (Songs) of L. Rhesa – Lietuvių liaudies dainos (Lithuanian Folk Songs) (1958, 1964).

Throughout the end of the 20th century, the number of publications devoted to the history and culture of Klaipėda region and the entire Lithuania Minor were increasing. The creations of vocal folklore were published in Rusnė, Lietuvininkų žodis, and Bėgau jūružėm books, and Dainų balsai (Voices of Songs) work of Ch. Bartsch was edited and published.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the publishing of audio recordings of the songs of Prussian Lithuanians started. Suvalkijos dainos ir muzika (Songs and Music of Suvalkija Region) (2003) was the first audio recording that included Jankus’ song Prieš kalną beržai, pakalnėj klevai. In 2006, the audio recording of A. Mažeiva's songs entitled Eit mergeli pajūriais was published, and Klaipėdos krašto dainos ir muzika (Songs and Music of Klaipėda Region) anthology appeared in 2017.