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Jan Stęszewski

revised by Zbigniew J. Przerembski

[mrëczk, mruczek] (Pol.: ‘grumble bass’)

Friction drum used in the Pomerania and Warmia regions of Poland. Formerly it was used in magic and annual folk rituals, mainly during Christmas and Shrovetide. Nowadays many folk ensembles use it to provide a rhythmic bass, and as a musical attribute of Kashubian cultural identity. The barrel-shaped body is about 25–30 cm tall and made of wooden staves, or sometimes a hollowed log. The bottom of the barrel is made of leather or wood with a centrally attached strand of horsehair or a metal chain that is rubbed rhythmically with wetted or rosined hands. A smaller version called the ...

Article

Croatia  

Stanislav Tuksar, Hana Breko Kustura, Ennio Stipčević, Grozdana Marošević, Davor Hrvoj, and Catherine Baker

Country in south-east Europe. Once the ancient Roman province of Illyricum, it was settled at the beginning of the 7th century by Slavs, who were converted to Western Christianity by the end of the 8th century. Medieval principalities were quickly formed, and a kingdom of Croatia existed from 925 (the dynasty of Trpimirović) to the end of the 11th century. In 1102 Croatia entered into a personal royal union with Hungary, with dynasties of Árpád, Anjou, and those of the Holy Roman Empire, Bohemia, and Poland on its throne during the 14th and 15th centuries; in 1527 it became part of the Habsburg Empire by electing Ferdinand King of Croatia. This political, cultural, and social union with Hungary and Austria lasted until 1918. Between 1409 and 1797, however, the Croatian maritime provinces of Istria and Dalmatia were under Venetian control, and from 1526 to 1699 other parts (e.g. the continental province of Slavonia) were conquered by the Ottoman Empire. The region comprising the Republic of Dubrovnik claimed autonomy from ...

Article

Catherine Wojtanowski

(b Sarajevo, Yugoslavia [now Bosnia and Herzegovina], 1925). American singer and guitarist. Growing up in a Sephardic Jewish community, she learned Balkan folklore as well as traditional songs in the Ladino language with guidance from her grandmother. In 1946 she married a serviceman and immigrated to the United States, where she has become known as the Flame of Sephardic Music because of the strength of her commitment to this unique musical heritage. In addition to transcribing, performing, and teaching traditional Ladino material, Jagoda has composed and arranged new Sephardic songs. She also has performed material drawn from biblical verses, poems, and prayers. She has recorded several albums, which often recall her early experiences, including Memories of Sarajevo (1996) and Kantikas di mi Nona (Songs of my Grandmother) (1996). She also published The Flory Jagoda Songbook: Memories of Sarajevo (1996), which includes songs and stories about her family history. She is featured in the documentary ...

Article

Laura Otilia Vasiliu

(b Reuseni, Suceava county, Romania, May 2, 1944). Romanian composer, musicologist, and teacher . Rooted in the folklore of Bukovina and in Byzantine liturgical music, furthering the musical environment of his predecessors Ciprian Porumbescu and George Enescu, his works stand at the crossroads of tradition and modernity, having become established through their authentic expression and mastery of form. His personality has been influential in the musical life of Iaşi and the George Enescu University of Arts, which he served as a professor, dean, and rector.

He studied at the George Enescu Conservatory in Iaşi. He graduated in pedagogy and composition under Vasile Spătărelu. He attended composition classes led by Ştefan Niculescu, Aurel Stroe, and Anatol Vieru at the Vacanţele muzicale de la Piatra Neamt (‘Musical Holidays of Piatra Neamţ’, 1972–80), and then he studied with Roman Vlad at the Santa Cecilia Academy in Rome (1980). Up until ...