Music of Southeastern Europe

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 groups in the period of the Ottoman Empire. The music is characterised by complex rhythm.

The music of the Slavic countries of Southeastern Europe is significantly different from the music of Eastern Europe, which includes the Slavic states of the former USSR. The latter was much more influenced by the common eastern Slavic culture, notably by Kievan Rus and more recently the USSR.


Neighboring musical influences

Byzantine medieval music

Main articles: Byzantine music

Byzantine (Greek: Βυζαντινή Μουσική), traditional music is associated with the medieval sacred chant of Christian Churches following the Constantinopolitan rite. Its modal system is based on the ancient Greek models. The development of large scale hymnographic forms begins in the fifth century with the rise of the kontakion, a long and elaborate metrical sermon, which finds its acme in the work of St. Romanos the Melodos (sixth century). Heirmoi in syllabic style are gathered in the Heirmologion, a bulky volume which first appeared in the middle of the tenth century and contains over a thousand model troparia arranged into an oktoechos (the eight-mode musical system) and the whole system of Byzantine music which is closely related to the ancient Greek system.

Greek music

Main articles: Greek music

Greek folk music includes Nisiotika, Laiko, Rebetiko. Greek music developed around the Balkans as a synthesis of elements of the music of the various areas of the Greek mainland and the Greek islands, with Greek Orthodox ecclesiastical chant, and a reference to music of Crete and Byzantine music. The music of the Aegean Islands, are known for Nisiótika songs; Greek characteristics vary widely. Crete has a well known folk dance tradition; it includes swift dances like pentozalis. Most of the Nisiótika songs are accompanied by Greek musical instruments like: lira, clarinet, guitar and violin. Greek folk dances include Kalamatianos, Syrtos and Sousta.

Ottoman music

Main articles: Ottoman music

Dimitrie Cantemir was a composer of Ottoman music. any musical instruments were introduced to the Balkans during the time of Ottoman control, but many Ottoman instruments were borrowed by the locals.

"Balkan" is a Turkish word which means sharp mountains. As this the influence of Mehter and Turkish rhythms and melodies can be seen in Balkan Music. In the 19th century in imitation of the Turkish military bands which replaced the Mehterhane formations of Janissary Turks beginning in 1828. Apparently, as in Turkey, they dethroned the ancient traditional oboe (zurna, zurla, or mizmar) and double-membraned drum ensembles.

Pre-modern Balkan music

Traditional Serbian music

The medieval era in Serbia traditional music. During the Nemanjic dynasty, musicians played an important role in the royal court, and were known as sviralnici, glumci and praskavnici. Other rulers known for the musical patronage included Stefan Dušan, Stefan Lazarević, and Đurađ Branković. Medieval musical instruments included horns, trumpets, lutes, psalteries, drums and cymbals. Traditional folk instruments include various kinds of bagpipes (Gaida), drums (tapan, dajre), woodwind (diple, zurla, kaval, ocarina), strings (oud, sargija, lyra, tamburitza) and gusle.

Derivatives and offshoots

Progressive Balkan folk

Progressive Balkan folk has seen rise in many western countries, particularly the United States. It has had its greatest success with progressive communities across the country. Younger American generations are discovering the possibilities of this genre and are bringing it to small clubs and festivals across the US.

The upbeat, dramatic tone of the music has also attracted a following in the Tribal Fusion bellydance community. Tribal Fusion does not claim to emulate traditional dances, costume or music styles strictly, but it does draw inspiration from Balkan traditions.

Balkan soul funk

Bay Area, CA band Inspector Gadje plays mainly traditional and contemporary balkan dance tunes, but because of the varied background of its musicians, elements of jazz and experimental music can be heard.

Brooklyn-based Slavic Soul Party! is a virtuoso ensemble of brass musicians that infuse traditional balkan rhythms and beats with jazz, soul, funk and the energy of dance pop.

Flamenco Balkan Fusion

Another popular exploration has been between Balkan music and other styles around the Mediterran like Flamenco, Jazz and Middle Eastern Music. Vancouver based act Ivan Tucakov and Tambura Rasa explores this style and beyond.

Music per country

Notable artists



 Bosnia and Herzegovina





  • Boban Rajović
  • Dado Polumenta
  • Sako Polumenta
  • Vlado Georgiev
  • Sergej Ćetković
  • Bojan Marović
  • Vlatko Stefanovski


  • Horia Moculescu
  • Adrian Romcescu
  • Anton Suteu
  • Marius Teicu
  • Mircea Vintila



Musical groups elsewhere


See also

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Music of Macedonia (Greece) — Music of Greece General topics Ancient • Byzantine • Néo kýma • Polyphonic song Genres Entehno • Dimotika • Hip hop • Laïko • …   Wikipedia

  • Music of Macedonia — may refer to: Music of the Republic of Macedonia Music of Macedonia (Greece) See also Music of Southeastern Europe This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an …   Wikipedia

  • Music of the Republic of Macedonia — Part of a series on Macedonians …   Wikipedia

  • Music of Serbia — Part of a series on the Culture of Serbia Arts …   Wikipedia

  • Music of Albania — Part of a series on Albanians …   Wikipedia

  • 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 Yugoslavia — was the music of Yugoslavia. Contents 1 Meaning 2 Categories 2.1 Music of SFR Yugoslavia 2.2 Record labels …   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

  • Music of Epirus (Greece) — Music of Greece General topics Ancient • Byzantine • Néo kýma • Polyphonic song Genres Entehno • Dimotika • Hip hop • Laïko • …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”