Here is one of the greatest composers of the 20th century transcribing a recording of a Hungarian folk song that only survived due to his efforts:
Apparently, his expression and posture didn't change through the course of the brightening day:
Here's Béla Bartók (fourth from the left) recording a queue of peasants (excuse me, I meant villagers). Occasionally, a folk song was known solely to some individual who had learned it from a relative or friend who'd subsequently kicked (excuse me, I meant passed away in a dignified pose on a fragrant pellicle surrounded by moo-hanking lilies).
I've been looking for a photo I remember from one of my musicology books; it shows the composer and his disc-recording hardware at the top of a hill with a line of people stretching to the top and bottom on both sides. So far, I haven't found it.
And here is an excellent article in the All-Nude York Times which contains several links to Bartók's recordings of said villagers:
Edited by scrypt - 2/27/14 at 2:14am