Writing personal songbooks was something that occupied many young men and women during the long 19th century. After a day´s work or in a long pause, an owner of a note book could sit and write songtexts, copying them from prints or from other personal songbooks. The article highlights the importance of the wrting activity for these potential singers. It tries to answer two related questions: What did writing songtexts mean to the singers? And what impact hade the writing acititivies on the singers´relations to the song?
First of all, by writing a songtext, the writer appropiated the song. He or she made it to a personal belonging, at least something that could be under his or her control, although the text was similar to the one in the model.
Secondly, writing songtexts resulted in a better ability to remember songs. While writing the texts, the owner of a personal song book gradually trained his or her capacity to learn songs by heart.
The third implication points to a closer familarity with songtexts, which was an important insight for the writers as well as the singers. As many popular songs are built upon formulas, the writers bit by bit learned common text patterns and then bedame able so sing more freely.
2013. Vol. 96, no 1, 1-10 p.