Folk Instruments in the Balkans
AbstractFor the typical characteristics of the Balkan instruments to be discovered and their history to be penetrated, a wide range of musical instruments have been taken into examination, starting from those of Greece to those from the territory now occupied by Yugoslavia, from the folklore items of Bulgaria and Albania to those known by aborigines or medieval settlers. Sources such as representations in the fine arts have been consulted for the right age of the instruments that may have been in popular use to be determined. Historical examination of the Balkan instruments may never produce definite answers regarding their one-time diversity, but it may point to the possible uses of these instruments. The art of the southern and north-eastern Balkans contains representations of folk instruments the majority of which are of Oriental origin. Unless they are autochtonous, they can hardly be conjectured to be of Western European provenance. It may prove to be of no little interest to point to which of the folk instruments from the western Balkan territory are represented in the art of medieval Serbia or that of the Byzantine cultural domain, as well as to which sorts of instruments have played an integral part in the arts of the two cultural spheres. The art of the Byzantine tradition has been found to contain representations of "tambura"lutes (though only in a small number), in addition to those of "gusle", Dalmatian lira ("lirica"), panpipes, pipes of various kinds, bagpipes, "sopile", "zurle"and horns, whereas the Renaissance monuments in the territory of what is now Croatia show representations of dulcimers, pipes, bagpipes and horns. Some of the instruments existing in the folklore of Slovenia are the transverse flute ("strančica"), panpipes, the cow horn, pipes and bagpipes. These have found their place in the art of the Byzantine style. Western European works of art include representations of dulcimers, bagpipes, different sorts of pipes, and panpipes. The pipes, the horn and the bagpipes are common to both areas. The "tapan" drum has the lead as the instrument most numerously represented throughout the territories of Serbia and Macedonia. Cow-bells, stringed "čamparas", "taiambas" kettledrums, "uts", dulcimers, "zurle" and bagpipes are to be seen in a number of monuments. To be represented in a single or just a few examples are tambourines, tamburas, mandolins, "gadulka" fiddles, kemangehs, "gusle", violins(?), kanons, transverse flutes, double-pipe instruments, kavals, short horns, "bučinas" and tuba-horns. "Tapans", "talambases", dulcimers and bagpipes are some of the instruments that have been represented in the arts constantly. The chronological sequence of the instruments encompasses the short horns of since 1180 and most of the instruments of since the 14th century – cow-bells(?), "čamparas", "tapans", "talambases", "uts", mandolins, "gadulka" fiddles, kemangehs, kanons, beaked flutes, transverse flutes and "bučinas". This would mean that these instruments could have been in use even before the invasion of the Turks. Cithers are bound to the period after the invasion, or even possibly related to some Turkish influence, e.g. double-piped instruments and bagpipes to the period since the 15th century, tambourines, violins(?) and "zurle" to the period since the 16th century, and tamburas, "gusle ", kavals and tuba-horns to the period since the beginning of the 17th century. Most of the folk musical instruments are to be found in Serbian monuments in the areas of Serbia and Macedonia. If their representations are to be taken as an indication of their actually having been used in the corresponding area, then "čamparas", "tapans", tambourines and "talambases" have been played in Serbia, and "talambases" in Macedonia as well. It is possible for the "ut" and the "gadulka" fiddle to have been played by the Serbs, the kemangeh to have been played by both the Serbs and Macedonians, the kava I and the "zurle" to have been played by the Serbs, the bagpipes to have been played by the Slovenes, and the "bucina" and the tuba-horn also by the Serbs. This would, to a certain degree, necessitate a change in our conception of the present-day distribution of the folk musical instruments in the Balkans.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 1989 Roksanda Pejović
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published (print and online) in journal Musicological Annual by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.