Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Some Traditional (and not so traditional) Serbian Folk Instruments

You don't really need modernity in order to exist totally and fully. You need a mixture of modernity and tradition.
Theodore Bikel

Today's post features some traditional (and not so traditional) instruments in Serbian folk music.

The first group plays a kolo on an accordion (the national instrument of Serbia) accompanied by two men on frula (a high-pitched flute). What I find strange is that these guys are wearing business suits instead of traditional clothing. Kolo in Serbian means "circle dance" but you can dance kolo in a line as well. It depends on the whim of the leader.

The next video features some eye candy for the guys. Sandra Milosevic on accordion plays Stara Vlajna with some violinists as backup. I'm trying to figure out why at the beginning of the video there's a woman dancing in high heels...that is very bad for the feet, but I've seen women dancing in all sorts of uncomfortable shoes: high heels and flip-flops are the worst.

If you thought you were going to escape the bagpipes this time: you won't. Although the bagpipe (gaida) is more closely associated with Serbia's neighbors, Bulgaria and Macedonia, they like it in Serbia as well.

If you follow this blog regularly, you have seen this group before....this piper and his band play Serbian Vlach melodies on the gaida. This is an ad for the band complete with dancers as backup dressed in traditional folk costumes, and the Iron Gate Gorge as a backdrop. Give him a call next time you're in the neighborhood :) His phone number is on the video.

This tamburitza ensemble from the Vojvodina region of Serbia has not one, but three "instruments of torture", a gaida and two accordions. The gaida is the dominating sound here. If you want to read why some people consider bagpipes and accordions instruments of torture, check out the links at the end of this post.

At this party, the musicians play something called Gaida Kolo. Where is the gaida? The keyboard player actually does a pretty good imitation of a bagpipe, though. It certainly gets people up on the dance floor.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

The Bagpipe and Bulgarian Folk Music (and why it's an instrument some people love to hate...)

The Accordion in Bulgarian Folk Music (and why it's considered an "instrument of torture" by some)

The River of Many Names, Part 5: The Danube in Serbian Folk Music (some beautiful scenery, music and thoughts on dreams and the mutability of time here)

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