Bulgarian traditional Music
Saturday, 16 June 2012 20:34
Here in this ancient Thracian land, Orpheus, the great hero of Greek Mythology was born. He lived in the 6th century B.C. and was the greatest musician and poet of Greek myth, whose songs could charm wild beasts and coax even rocks and trees into movement. He was one of the Argonauts, and when the ship of fifty oars named “Argo” (after Argus, its builder) had to pass the island of the Sirens, it was Orpheus' music that prevented the crew from being lured to destruction.
The traditional Bulgarian folk song is homophonic. Its rhythm and wealth range from fantastic for a foreigner’s ear pitches, to primitive monotony. Bulgarian voices are almost a mystery. There seems to be no explanation of the incredible range of the Bulgarian voice. Its unique sound was universally acknowledged - when the popular Rhodopean folk song "Izlel e Delyu Haidutin", sung by the talented singer Valya Balkanska, was recorded on a gold record then sent as a message to outer space on the American space station Voyager in 1977.
Bulgaria's musical instruments are also many and diverse. They are within three groups: wind instruments (pipe, shepherd's pipe, bagpipe, wooden pipe), string instruments (rebec, pandore), and percussion instruments (drum).
One of Bulgaria’s greatest musical treasures are the incredible opera talents, Boris Hristov, Rayna Kabaivanska, Nikola Gyuzelev, Gena Dimitrova and many others.
Bulgarian music increased in western popularity in the late 80s with some CD's that were released under the title Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares. These were choirs of women with an unusual voice quality produced in the throat, yet very different from bel-canto singing. It was striking! Very loud, powerful and resonant, an interesting mixture of the slightly exotic and the slightly familiar.
Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares were many times nominated for Grammy Award, and finally received it in 1990. This became part of the new "world music culture" awareness, which started in the late 80s in the United States and other countries.