Kângë majekrahi [Majekrahi songs]
- Bledar Kondi
Song genre. The term majekrahi refers to a vocal communication system and a traditional musical repertory in northern Albania, Kosovo, and the Albanophone highlands of Montenegro. It comprises antiphonic cries, homophonic songs, and instrumental pieces performed exclusively by men. According to the ‘Kanun of Lek Dukagjin’ [the self-administered, customary law of the mountains] a ‘clan herald has to cry out … from a specified site’. The herald cups his left ear with the left palm and then cups the open mouth ‘to pour out his voice’ (me derdhë zanin) in space while the receiver cups the right ear and sometimes closes with his index finger his left ear to hear better. This bodily position for vocal articulation is called majekrahit (‘over the peak of the arm’). The ‘mountain telegraph’ served in the past primarily for war cries and death announcements. The melodised cries are performed asqerçe (in the style of Ottoman soldiers) or ...