Music of the balkans bosnia and bulgaria
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Music of the Balkans: Bosnia and Bulgaria PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Music of the Balkans: Bosnia and Bulgaria. Historical Overview. Bosnia was republic of Yugoslavia from 1945-1991. Declared independence: 1992. Ethnic groups: Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks

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Music of the Balkans: Bosnia and Bulgaria

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Music of the balkans bosnia and bulgaria

Music of the Balkans:Bosnia and Bulgaria

Historical overview

Historical Overview

  • Bosnia was republic of Yugoslavia from 1945-1991. Declared independence: 1992.

  • Ethnic groups: Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks

  • Religions include Orthodox Christianity (9th cent.), Catholicism, Judaism, Islam (under Ottoman Empire:1463-1878).

  • Region marked by ethnic violence.

  • Sarajevo=capital city of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The highlands

The Highlands

Music of the highlanders

Music of the Highlanders

  • Songs tend to be polyphonic, vocal.

  • Songs used in local rite of passage festivals, with dance.

  • Girls sing with their own “singing groups” (only unmarried women sing).



  • Vocal genre of highland villagers, sung in male and female singing groups.

  • Alternation of solo (leader) and group.

  • Short phrases, emphasis on dissonance.

  • Narrow vocal range.

  • Aesthetic goal: contribute accompanying pattern through close dissonance described as “cutting”, “chopping”, or “sobbing.”

  • Topics are gender-specific.

Newly composed folk music

“Newly Composed Folk Music”

  • Songs composed in the style of folk songs. Regulated by and used to further the political aims of the state.

  • Style usually excludes rural aesthetics in favor of urban/Western standards.

  • Is NOT folk music, but a completely different genre.

  • Emerged 1960s-1980s in Yugoslavia, provided basis for young urban musicians looking for “national” style.

Tamburitza orchestra

Tamburitza Orchestra

  • Played by professionals.

  • Instrumentation is “folk orchestra” made up of folk string instruments.

  • Promoted by state-managed cultural system in Yugoslavia.

  • Performed rural genres as well as newly composed folk songs.

  • CD 2/13 (lowlands wedding song)



Bosnian musician mensur hatic

Bosnian Musician: Mensur Hatic

  • Balance between “national” and “international” style.

  • Living in US.

  • CD 2/14: “Last Stop Brcko” – Inspired by living near train station

Music of bulgaria

Music of Bulgaria



  • Demographics: most are ethnic Bulgarians. Turks and Rom (Gypsies) are minorities.

  • Language: Bulgarian (Slavic language)

  • Religions: Most are Eastern Orthodox

  • Under Ottoman Empire for 5 centuries

  • Like Yugoslavia, was under communist regime from 1940s to late 1980s

Women s village music

Women’s Village Music

  • Women’s singing:

    • in western regions: antiphonal (2 choirs, alternating) and diaphonic (part singing, with an active part over a drone). Often end with aspiration or “yelp.”

    • Like in Bosnia, women tend to sing for courtship and rites of passages, as well as work.

    • Aesthetic goals of group singing similar to ganga: here, “to ring like a bell”

State sponsored folk music the mystery of the bulgarian voice

State-Sponsored Folk Music:“The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voice”

  • 1950s: Filip Kutev, composer, director of National Ensemble of Folk Song and Dance

  • Presented “modernized” folk songs

  • 1987: “world music” becomes marketing term. French label releases “Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares.”

Ivo papasov

Ivo Papasov

  • Clarinetist, of Turkish and Rom heritage

  • Founded group Trakiya in 1974

  • Created new form of popular music based on traditional wedding music (“Balkan jazz”)

  • Style includes use of compound dance meters, improvisation, scales and ornamentation from folk music

  • Incorporation of drum set and electric instruments, as well as “polished” sound

Hristianova kopanitsa

“Hristianova Kopanitsa”

  • 2+2+3+2+2

  • Begins with folk tune

  • Followed by improvised solos

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