Rumanian Folk Music
Sounds of the World 1997

  1. Djamparalele
  2. With Rhythm
  3. Anvartita Of Birtzelui
  4. Bressa
  5. Dojna
  6. Brautch
  7. Batuta
  8. Sarba - Oltenjaska
  9. Wedding Danse
10. Russjaska
11. Sarba
12. Ardemana From Shimbock
13. Banat Game For Two

14. Horo From Maramuresh
15. Na Pojas - Dance For Two
16. Jolly Dance With Taragot
17. Hauegana
18. Oltjansko Horo
19. Ot Horodnik
20. Svatbenata
21. Horo
22. Sorokul from Timosha
23. Tzerenjaska
24. Romanian Folk Game From Muntenja
25. Oltjanski Kelush
26. Na Kaval

The traditional music of European peoples may at first strike us by its diversity: a diversity of forms, styles, idioms, means of expression, functions and ages. From prehistoric times to the present day each successive stage in a long and complex past has left its traces in music as it has in signs of material culture. Underlying all these developments lies an archaic musical language common to all the ethnic groups of Europe. This ancient musical heritage, which dates back to prehistoric times, has left its traces in the most remote peasant communities of the present day and allows us to get some inkling of the music of the nomadic shepherds and farmers who people Europe.

In Central and Eastern Europe highly differentiated ethnic groups are to be found side by side throughout this area and comparisons in the field of music are difficult. Some groups have lived in a state of relative isolation down to the present day, while others have long been penetrated and influenced by the mainstream of civilisation: sociocultural, economic, geographic or religious factors have all helped to accentuate these existing regional peculiarities. The Slavic people, for instance, have kept some of their ancestral musical customs intact, whereas the equivalent was wiped out in the Germanic countries by the Lutheran Reformation.

The preponderant musical idiom in the Eastern European area is diatonic, as elsewhere in Europe. Still, certain chromatic elements are present in the Balkan musical tradition thanks to Arab and Turkish influences, and here too pentatonic and sub-pentatonic scales and asymmetrical rhythms are more in evidence than elsewhere in the region. The melodies for the most part have a syllabic and strophic structure, or proceed by the more or less strict imitation of an initial motif.

The Balkan countries, Bulgaria and Rumania in particular, possess a large body of songs of the narrative epic type and this traditional art style of bardic verse is still very much alive in these countries. In Rumanian music the desire for ornamentation in song is very strong. The singers make use of the production of the voice itself: for instance trill-quavers which Carpathian shepherds obtain by striking their throats with the palm of the hand and the clucking of Rumanian female singers.

The instruments used in Balkan music are very differentiated and often supplemented by bodily gestures such as the hand clap. Percussion instruments of the rattle type are often utilised. There is an immense number of stringed instruments, above all the many varieties of the hurdy-gurdy played with a bow or wheel, while the lute family is also represented by many types. Finally the very prolific family of the zithers, both plucked and played percussively, competes in diversity with the family of wind instruments, represented by various types of bagpipe and flute.