Folk music considered the oldest form of Romanian musical conception, is categorized by its countless vivacity. Romanian folk music is the outlining foundation of the cultivated musical creation. Preservation of this type of music has been helped by a large and long-term audience, and by various musicians who helped promulgate and further cultivate the folk sound.
Probably, the most familiar instrument in Romania is the pan flute. Gheorghe Zamfir, a legendary singer is considered “the king of the pan flaute from Romania”, wining during time numerous awards and prizes. After all, the pan flute form, known as “the Nai” in Romania, is considered the national instrument, and is deliberated to be a traditional instrument of the Romanian people.
The Romanian pan flute (in Romanian: Nai) is different then the Greek pan flute (the Syrinx).
One of the greatest Romanian folk music is doina, a lyrical, sincere song that is spontaneous and unstructured. As the spirit of Romanian folklore, till 1900 it was the only musical genus in many areas of the country. The provincial doinas are typically vocal and monophonic and are caroled with some vocal individualizes that vary from one region to another: exclamations, glottal clucking sounds, emotional crying effects, and so on.
Instrumental doinas are played on humble instruments, typically various types of flutes, or even on elementary ones, such as a leaf. In 2009, the doina has been incorporated in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The religious musical songs were developed under the power of Byzantine music, and accustomed to the inflections of the native folk music, met an era of grandeur among the 15th – 17th centuries. IN this period, the music was present in famous seminaries of religious music, which developed within Romanian Monasteries. One century lates, the Russian and Western stimuli introduced the polyphony in religious music, a genre settled by a series of Romanian musicians in the following centuries.
The Romanian Christmas Carols (in Romanian “colinde”) are unique, being passed down from one generation to another. Nowadays, Stefan Hrusca is one of the most famous singers and his carols are very popular.
Romanian music is as diverse and astonishing as Romania’s multicultural legacy. From conventional music to funky jazz and Balkan-influenced rhythms, Romanian performers hold a variety of styles and types, often reinterpreting old-style themes in their masterpieces. We explore Romania’s top musical voices, from composer George Enescu to opera diva Angela Gheorghiu and well-known pan falute singer Gheorghe Zamfir.