Traditional / folk music of Serbia
Serbia maybe has one of the most influential folk music on the world music. Serbian folk music has a deep roots in the history and it comes back to long time before any classical music in Europe. Serbian people consider themselves as musical nation. “He who sings thinks no evil” is an old Serbian saying.
The folk music of Serbia was under the influence of both east and west. The folk music most of time recognized as part of Turkish music and also part of Balkan music tradition. During the last two centuries western influence also can be seen. There is no event without music in Serbia. These music traditions includes old folk songs which still exist today and can be seen in villages and country sides.
One of the interesting folk music traditions in Serbia is “dodolas”. It is a pagan tradition which is found in Balkan. It performs during the dry period if there is not enough rain. A girl or a group of girls who are decorated with leaves and flowers, sing and dance through the street of village, stop at every house. The hosts sprinkle water on them. They may go from village to another village and pray for the rain by singing and dancing.
The national folk dance of Serbia is “kolo”. Kolo is a circle dance and it has different styles in different area. It is usually accompanied by accordion. Some other folk musical instruments which is used with kolo dance (and also other type of folk music in Serbia) are Frula (kind of recorder), Tamburica and Šargija (it is a plucked, fretted long necked chordophone used in the folk music of various Balkan countries). Kolo usually performed by group of several people. They have their hands around each others waists usually in a circle. There is almost no movement above the waist. Kolo performed in many different events like wedding, social, cultural, and religious ceremonies.
This is a folk music genre in Serbia and also other Balkan countries which was very popular during the early 1900s in Serbia. But today it can be heard in different parts. It is an urban traditional music which is also accompanied by kolo dance. In rural area the music named izvorna muzika. The folk musical instruments which are used in Starogradska muzika are Bouzouki (kind of lute originally comes from Greece), Tamburica, Kaval , Zurna (it is a wind instrument played in central Eurasia, ranging from the Balkans to Central Asia), Davul (kind of flute), Gaida (kind of bagpipe common in Balkan countrie) and Gusle.
One of the most characteristic folk genre and also name of folk instrument is Gusle. It is very significant genre and instrument in different Balkan countries including Serbia. Gusle in Serbia has one or two strings. There are records of an instrument named gusle in 13th century. The poems of gusle is about heroes and historical events. It had an important role in the history of Serbian epic poetry. The gusle player (guslar) holds the instrument vertically between his knees, with the left hand fingers on the strings. The strings are never pressed to the neck, giving a harmonic and unique sound.
If you have more information about the folk music of Serbia, its genres or instruments or you know specific song on each genre, please kindly contact us and let us know about it or send them through “Post a Song” link on top of the page. Also if you see any wrong information about the song tags on the list below please kindly let us know.
Traditional / folk songs for Serbia
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