Breton songs on popular prints
Broadsheets database

General informations - Malrieu catalog
of broadsheets

(FV = feuilles volantes in french / Broadsheets)

Besides the general reasons leading to the realization of catalog, evoked in Previous catalogs, this site aspires to:
  • Refresh the Ollivier catalog. Indeed this dates from 1942 and new pieces have come to light. Some, though prior to 1942, were unknown to J. Ollivier. Others were published after that date. Moreover, J. Ollivier had considered only the songs in the Breton language and it seems normal to add songs in French, especially those which are coupled with other songs in Breton, on the same sheet.
    The immense domain of songs on religious subjects poses a problem of limits. Is it necessary to confine oneself to the songs relating a story, a saint’s life and, in this, approaching the genre "gwerz" (historical or legendary songs) and ignore the strictly devotional pieces that have undeniably often a very minor interest on the narrative level?
    The boundaries are often very indistinct between one genus and the other… The choice has been made here to extend the field of investigation somewhat, the application of sorting criteria making it possible to better define the desired field of research.
    Thus, J. Ollivier had retained 1154 different songs. The first version of the site contains almost 6000.
    It is the same for the different editions of a particular sheet. The number of variants known today has often doubled compared to what was recorded in the Ollivier catalog.
  • Facilitate accessibility to documentation: new tools allow targeted searches by criteria, searches on words, groupings of songs dealing with the same theme, etc. From this point of view, the Ollivier catalog is often impractical, sometimes obliging users to flip through all the pages when searching for a particular piece (lack of thematic classification or keyword).
    These research tools also greatly facilitate the task of those who want to work on the subject "broadsheets" itself (statistics,…), direct references to the authors or printers, etc.
  • Allow non-Breton speakers to have an idea of the contents thanks to the presence of summaries in French giving in a few lines the main subjects treated in the song.
  • Allow the consultation of a reproduction of the document in PDF format and thus to have access to the entire texts, whatever the place of consultation. But also to know where the original document was consulted. In addition the possibility to enlarge the texts on the screen offers a certain comfort.
  • Highlight the links to be made to pieces that have entered the oral tradition with, in particular, the reference to the corresponding parts of the Malrieu OT catalog, which then makes it possible, by consulting the Dastum database to listen to samples of the song collected In the oral tradition of the second half of the twentieth and early twenty-first century.
  • Give the catalog an evolutionary and collaborative character. Freed from the constraints of paper publishing, the site can be updated regularly and integrate new discoveries. A collaborative approach allows for increased contributions or exchanges between consultants and site managers.
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