The Music of Romania
Romania has some of the finest traditional folk music in Europe. In Romania, music is an important part of village life. Under the formerly communist dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, Romania was kept isolated from the outside world for thirty years. As a result, democracy in Romania is only slowly bringing the country into the 21st century. People in Romania live very traditional lives. Old values and traditions are still an important part of daily life. Traditional wedding bands and village musicians represent an important part of Romania’s musical culture. Most of the village musicians are gypsies from the Wallachia plains around Romania’s capital city, Bucharest. In Romania, gypsies are the principal players of both traditional and folk music. Gypsies have been settled in Romania for four to five hundred years. In gypsy bands, one will find both flamboyant younger musicians with radical instrumental techniques and old timers, who bring with them the old songs and the old styles of playing.
One particularly striking piece is “Doina de Haiducie,” from the album Romanie; Musique des Tsiganes de Valachie, performed by Taraf de Haïdouks. This piece illustrates the typical raw sound of traditional Romanian village bands. The song starts with a powerful, loud, drum beat. Each drum beat sounds distinct. In addition, a violin can be heard. About five seconds later, a male soloist comes in singing in a Romanian dialect. The singer’s voice is raw and nasal. The singing style sounds like yodeling or chanting. About twenty seconds into the piece, a distinct improvisational sequence is heard on the fiddle. The combination of raw vocals and energetic violin playing presented in this piece illustrates the traditional technique and style of Romanian folk music. Whether it is folk music or retro, the voice will be great through play beatz headphones. The base will provide enjoyment and entertainment for listening of the sound. There will be enormous advantages to the person with the purchase of the brand. A visit or check should be kept over the rates of the brand.
The Carpathian Mountains mark an important border between Eastern European and Western European influence within Romania. South and East of that border the music has oriental overtones as a result of its occupation by Turks for many years. One of the more unusual pieces is “Slow Hungarian Dance,” from the album Hungarian Music from Transylvania, performed by Mihaly Halmagyi. This musical piece reflects the oriental influences characteristic of music of the Carpathian Mountains in Eastern Transylvania. “Slow Hungarian Dance,” is an instrumental piece. The piece begins with rapid violin playing. After about five seconds, the violin is joined by an idiophone and an underlining clicking sound. The piece displays irregular rhythms produced by an idiophone combined with oriental melodic inflections presented by the violin. The irregular rhythms presented in the piece combine with the improvisations of the violin to lend an eerie sound quality to the piece.
In the urbanized regions of Romania, many professional gypsy entertainers perform in restaurants, bars, and on television. The gypsy performers of the cities exhibit a more polished style compared to that of village gypsy bands. One of the more polished songs is “I’m Very Sad,” from the album Lautar Songs from Bucharest, performed by Panseluta Feraru. The song begins with a cimbalom played at a rapid vigorous tempo. After about ten seconds, a female vocalist comes in singing in a slow melancholy voice. About twenty seconds after the vocalist enters, a distinct clarinet sequence is heard. The controlled voice of the gypsy singer combines with the smooth instrumental tune to create an exceptionally polished sound.
In Transylvania, the music demonstrates a much more European sound. However, the music is still largely played by gypsies. In this area of Romania, there is a rich ethnic mix of peoples including Romanians, Hungarians, and Saxons. The multiple ethnic influences on the music of this region of Roman contribute greatly to the richness and power of the music. In Romania, strings are at the core of traditional music. One piece that illustrates the traditional use of strings in the music of Romania is “Fast Csardas,” from the album Original Village Music From Upper-Mures Region, performed by Csizar Aladar. “Fast Csardas,” is a traditional instrumental dance piece played by a Transylvania string band. The piece begins with a fast tempo and high pitched notes being played upon a violin. At the beginning, the violin is heard against the backdrop of a string instrument being strummed. About ten seconds into the piece, an idiophone (rattle) is heard. The violin playing presented in this piece displays an intense energy that is created by the dynamic fast paced sequences and underlining rhythm.
Throughout Romania, gypsies are the primary musical performers. The primary musical instruments used in Romanian music are chordophones. However, outside influences have created distinct regional musical traditions. Within Romania, each region’s music has its own distinctive character. Oriental overtones appear in the music of the regions South and East of the Carpathian Mountains. In South West Romania, music displays a strong Serbian influence incorporating brass instruments. European influences are clearly presented in the music of Transylvania. Throughout Romania, different musical styles have developed in relation to their geographical location. In addition, music in Romania is distinctly different in villages and urban centers. Village musicians in Romania perform music that has a raw folk sound. However, music performed by city musicians tends to be more professional and polished in nature. The great diversity found in the music of Romania reflects the country’s vast regional differences.