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Istra and Hrvatsko primorjelocked

  • Lada Duraković
  •  and Lovorka Ruck


Two-part singing and a traditional idiom partly based on the so-called ‘Istrian scale’, which has been carefully preserved in Istria and the Croatian Littoral, but also found outside this area. The singing style is based on unequal temperament and uses a vigorous, partially nasal tone color. There is often a degree of improvisation and variation during the performance in both voices, though endings must always be in unison or at the octave. The scale can consist of anywhere from four to six notes. The chants are in most cases performed by two singers, singing in 3rds or 6ths. Musical instruments that are typically used in this style are the ‘sopele’ shawms, always played in a pair, and bagpipes (‘mih’). In many cases a given local sub-style will have developed its own characteristics. In ‘Kanat’, for instance, which is performed primarily by the Croatian population, the second voice is often replaced or doubled by a small ...

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