- Romani music
Romani music (often referred to as Gypsy or Gipsy music, which, in other contexts, is considered a derogatory term) is the music of the Romani people, who have their origins in Northern India, but today live mostly in Europe.
Typically nomadic, the Romani people have long acted as wandering entertainers and tradesmen. In all the places Romanies live they have become known as musicians. The wide distances travelled have introduced a multitude of influences, starting with Indian roots and adding elements of Greek, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Czech, Slavic, Romanian, German, French and Spanish musical forms.
Romani music characteristically has vocals that tend to be soulful and declamatory, and the music often incorporates prominent glissandi (slides) between notes. Instrumentation varies widely according to the region the music comes from.
There is a strong tradition of Romani music in Central and Eastern Europe, notably in countries such as Hungary, Romania and the former Yugoslavia. The quintessentially Spanish flamenco is to a very large extent the music (and dance, or indeed the culture) of the Romani people of Andalusia.
Apart from Romani music for local use, in Eastern Europe a separate Romani music originated for entertainment in restaurants and at parties and celebrations. This music drew its themes from Hungarian, Romanian, Russian and other sources of Romani origin, but was more sophisticated and became enormously popular in places like Budapest and Vienna. Later on it gained popularity in Western Europe, where many Romani orchestras were active, playing sophisticated melodies of East European origin.
Original Romani music
Original Romani folksongs - not derived from the countries where the Romani live - are relatively rare. This particular folk music is mainly vocal and consists of slow plaintive songs and fast melodies which may be accompanied by dancing. The fast melodies are accompanied with tongue-clacking, hand-clapping, mouth-basses, clicking of wooden spoons, and other folk techniques.
Most Romani music is based on the folk music of the countries where the Romani went through or settled. Local music is adopted and performed – usually instrumental – and, slowly, it is transformed into Romani styles, which are usually more complex than the original styles. In its turn, Romani music has greatly influenced the local music. Among these the Hungarian versions have become best known, although examples of Romani music in other countries also endure.
Spanish Romani music is widely known across the world, having been popularized as flamenco. Flamenco was born in Andalucia and was only linked with Romanis some time after the genre evolved. Flamenco is associated with the Romani people of Spain (Gitanos) and a number of famous flamenco artists are of this ethnicity. Flamenco has been linked with Indian classical dance, notably kathak.
The Lăutari were traditional Romani musicians, playing at various events (weddings, funerals, etc.) The lăutarească music is an important part of the Romanian traditional music.
The manele genre became very popular in Romania and is promoted mostly by Romani ethnic musicians.
Romani people are known throughout Turkey for their musicianship. Their urban music brought echoes of classical Turkish music to the public via the meyhane or taverna. This type of fasıl music (a style, not to be confused with the fasıl form of classical Turkish music) coupled with food and alcoholic beverages is often associated with the underclass of Turkish society, though it also can be found in more "respectable" establishments in modern times.
Romanis have also influenced the fasıl itself. Played in music halls, the dance music (oyun havası) required at the end of each fasıl has been incorporated with Ottoman rakkas or belly dancing motifs. The rhythmic ostinato accompanying the instrumental improvisation (ritimli taksim) for the belly-dance parallels that of the classical gazel, a vocal improvisation in free rhythm with rhythmic accompaniment. Popular musical instruments in this kind of fasıl are the clarinet, violin, kanun, and darbuka. Clarinetist Mustafa Kandıralı is a well known fasıl musician.
The sophisticated music of the Romani orchestras that visited Western Europe became popular in the second half of the 19th century and had its heyday from the 1920s onwards to about 1960, although this music remains popular still today. The tours of rajkó-orchestras – featuring young Romani-musicians – added much to its popularity. The rajkó boys were both endearing and virtuoso, a combination that enchanted the public.
The cimbalom, unknown to the Western audience, added its characteristic sound to the violins played in a Romani style. Romani music was highly regarded in restaurants, nightclubs, parties and on-stage concert-performances and flourished in elegant towns like Paris, Berlin, Brussels, The Hague, etc. Romani virtuoso like Bela Babai, Lajos Veres, the many members of the Lakatos family and others became famous. Nowadays the names of Roby Lakatos, Buffo Sandor and Sandor Jaroka still are household names for the Western connoisseurs of this type of music.
The Western public regarded this genre as a counterpart to the other Romani-related music: Gypsy jazz. They regarded it as a typical Gypsy style: a fine specimen of Romani culture. In their Western European languages they valued it as “Gypsy music”, “Musique tsigane”, “Zigeunermusik”, etc.
- Broughton, Simon, "Kings and Queens of the Road". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp 146–158. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0
- Balint Sarosi, "Zigeunermusik" (Gypsy music), Budapest 1970, in English, German, Hungarian
- ^ Zigeunermusik, Balint Sarosi, Budapest 1970, in English, German and Hungarian edition, see chapter 3
- ^ Gypsy Love, Bela Babai, "King of the Gypsy Violin", and his orchestra. Columbia Records CL636
- The most comprehensive archive of gypsy music online
- Romani musical web-journal
- Gypsy music live. A musical tour through Romania
Music of Southeastern Europe
1 Armenia, Cyprus and Turkey may be considered West Asian countries.
For further information, see Middle Eastern music.
Music of Southeastern Europe (the Balkans) By stylePop-folkFolk musicOther By country Performers by country Folk dancesCircle dancesOtherBy country Folk musicians
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Music of Greece — General topics Ancient Byzantine Néo kýma Polyphonic song Genres Entehno … Wikipedia
Music of Thrace — Music of Greece General topics Ancient • Byzantine • Néo kýma • Polyphonic song Genres Entehno • Dimotika • Hip hop • Laïko • … Wikipedia
Music of Kosovo — Music has always been part of the Albanian and Serbian cultures in Kosovo. In Kosovo, along with modern music, folk music is the most popular. There are many folk singers and ensembles. The multicultural ensemble is Shota. Classical music is also … Wikipedia
Romani people — For other uses, see Romani (disambiguation). Romani people Rromane dźene Romani flag created in 1933 a … Wikipedia
Music of Turkey — Turkish music redirects here. For the musical style used by European composers of Classical music, see Turkish music (style). Music of Turkey General topics Ottoman military bands … Wikipedia
Romani anthem — Gelem, Gelem is often used as the anthem of the Romani people. It is known by many (often similar names) including Gyelem, Gyelem , Dzelem, Dzelem , Dželem, Dželem , Đelem, Đelem , Djelem, Djelem , Ђелем, Ђелем , Ѓелем, Ѓелем , Џелем, Џелем ,… … Wikipedia
Music of Southeastern Europe — The music of Southeastern Europe or Balkan music is a type of music distinct from others in Europe. This is mainly because it was influenced by traditional music of Southeastern European ethnic groups and mutual music influences of these ethnic… … Wikipedia
Music of Croatia — Part of a series on the Culture of Croatia Timeline … Wikipedia
Music of the Republic of Macedonia — Part of a series on Macedonians … Wikipedia
Music of Romania — Part of a series on the Culture of Romania Topics … Wikipedia