Balkan Travelogues from the 15th to the 18th Century as Sources for the History of Music: Polk Music and Customs
AbstractThis article is a continuation of the text printed in Arti Musices No. 4, 1973, under the same title. This chapter attempts to discuss information about the folk music and different customs in Balkan countries from the 15th to the 18th century. Important data are found in about two hundred documents – travelogues, daries and the other papers – written by Western delegates during their diplomatic travels through the Balkans. The information concerns: 1. Folk music instruments and instrumental groups, used on various occasions; seventeen different instruments were mentioned; 2. Folk dances – the Serbian kolo, a soldiers' dance with swords, religious dances of the Muslim dervishi and the popular dance lindjo from the outskirts of Dubrovnik; 3. Different customs which include folk singing and dancing – funeral customs, commemoration of the dead at Pentecost, wedding rituals, spring customs for St. Lazar's Saturday and the Patron Saint's Day of villages. These documents help to reconstruct a picture of popular and folk music in Serbia during the Turkish occupation. According to descriptions in the various sources discussed, folk music instruments, dances and customs are very similar to those still alive in the Balkan countries. Consequently, it has been possible to reach the conclusion that changes in folk tradition have not been rapid.
Copyright (c) 1975 Danica Petrović
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