eCompanions provide support that can’t be housed between the covers of a book, whether due to media disparities or to publishing priorities. They can contain audio and video files (whether streaming or downloadable), photographs, supplementary texts, databases, links to other pertinent internet resources, and so forth. eCompanions are critical for the presentation and understanding of oral traditions because they promote the user’s understanding of oral performance as a living event to be experienced in its traditional context.
How to Read an Oral Poem
The first eCompanion to be built accompanies a general book on oral poetry, How to Read an Oral Poem. This online facility includes audio and textual examples of South Slavic oral tradition collected in the field, a video of a slam poetry performance, photographs of oral poets from various cultures, and other ancillary materials. The reader can experience some of the performances described in the book by clicking through the eCompanion.
As of volume 19 (2004), the journal Oral Tradition began the practice of providing eCompanions for some of the articles that appear in its pages. Audio, video, photographic, and database support is available for articles on Gaelic song, American jazz, Bosnian epic, Javanese dance, North Indian music, Japanese kabuki, Chinese drama, Appalachian folktales, and other traditions. With the migration of Oral Tradition to an online, free-of-charge periodical, eCompanions are now embedded in downloadable pdfs.