Early Lithuanian Rock Sheet Music Released

Early Lithuanian Rock Sheet Music Released

The Music Information Centre Lithuania has released digital sheet music book called "Songs That Weren't Written Down". This is the first ever sheet music publication containing (in Realbook format) 18 songs from the Lithuanian classic rock period.

Rock music in Lithuania emerged in the mid-1960s and was more
or less offcially tolerated for almost a decade – but then referred to by the euphemistic term“big beat” (not to be confused with the electronic genre of the 1990s), as calling it rock (and roll) was frowned upon throughout the Eastern Bloc.
In 1972, the Lithuanian rock movement was largely suppressed by the Soviet regime – the bands’ public shows were a thing of the past. Rock music was either absorbed by other genres (mostly by offcially approved schlager-type music, then called “estrada”), or retreated to the underground of basements and garages.

A few songs by offcially sanctioned authors are also included in this collection, and this should come as no surprise – these composers either collaborated with rock bands or were part of the rock movement themselves at the beginning of their careers. What is perhaps more surprising is that there were all-female bands in those days (the collection includes songs by two such bands, Bitės and Eglutės).

For this first edition, you will discover selected eighteen, more or less well-known but catchy songs of the period, of varying complexity. Until now, there has been a severe shortage of sheet music for these songs, and those wishing to perform them again have had to transcribe them from the few survived recordings, home-made and often of poor quality. There was only one professional recording studio in Lithuania, in Vilnius, owned by the state record company “Melodya”, and they generally refused rock bands.

The initiators, compilers and editors of the publication are Eglė Vakarinaitė-Zilnienė and Raminta Naujanytė-Bjelle. The digital sheet music is now available in our online shop (full set and individual songs).

Text by Linas Paulauskis, Eglė Vakarinaitė-Zilnienė and Raminta Naujanytė-Bjelle.