Balkan music emerged through the interaction of many races and cultures belonging to different religions, such as Eastern Rome and the Ottomans. The influence of Roma and Slavs on this genre of music is indisputable. Music has been the common language of many nations that speak so many different languages. These tunes are the common pain, joy of Albanian, Serb, Bosnian, Balkan neighbours who have lived shoulder to shoulder for years.
It is rich in cultural as well as instrumental aspects. It forms a full feast of music with many instruments such as trumpet, accordion, mandolin, bagpipes, guitar, and clarinet. This diversity is embedded in the soul of the notes, and with the richness of harmony, our soul is at rest. Since we have a common background, it is very similar to Turkish music. If you want to share the feelings of our neighbours, wherever you hear Balkan music you are enjoying it or if you are just discovering it, this list is for you;
It's a song we find a distinct taste, a distinct feel in each version of the cover over and over again. Ederlezi, Hıdırellez ... the coming of spring, the suffering, the migration, all of it. It describes the marginalization of free-spirited migrant Roma in places where they go and the Hıdırellez where they greet spring. Let's take a look at the words of this Bosnian lament.
“Bosnian girls of Goran,
Orphans were yellow, orphans were blue.
Ah Ederlezi, why did you come this year.
Don't you know, the girls here are orphans.
It was our fathers lying there, without shroud
Our blond hair went into mourning.
Our blue eyes were without a father,
And Goran, shout again to the mountains of Bosnia.
Ederlezi my daughters, Ederlezi.”
The first song on the album of the same name by Gulag Orkestar... it would be wrong to say it was actually a song, it is a lament. It is named after the Gulag concentration camps established by the Soviet Union during the Stalin era in 1930. It deals with the suffering of around 3 million people in these camps.
Zachary Francis Condon, founder of the Beirut Group, an immigrant from Serbia, started to take an interest in this music genre by listening to the Balkan music of his upper neighbours. When he meets the Balkan people and starts playing the musical instruments, he decides to make the Gulag Orkestar album. He is known to be able to play all of the musical instruments on the album such as violin, ukulele, cello, piano, mandolin, accordion, drums. We recommend listening to all the songs in this precious album.
Barcelona Gipsy Klezmer Orchestra – Djelem Djelem
The group consists of six musicians, Serbian, Italian, French, Spanish, Greek and Indian. From here we understand the universality of music. Considered the national anthem of the novels, it was written against nationalism, genocide and lynch.
We feel that these beautiful songs that hold both joy and sadness at the same time touch your soul. Somewhere far away we have shared in the unknown suffering of our neighbours we have not seen. May you cling to the music on the brink of all emotion, like these beautiful people who can remain cheerful despite all the pain.