Romany Music

The music, with its high instructive and communicative value, has played, over the centuries, an active role in Romany society in the defence, preservation and transmission of the Romany culture, identity and language, that’s to say the romanipé. Since Renaissance the Roma, moving around from square to square and from castle to castle, have influenced cultured musicians, bringing rhythmic, musical and instrumental innovations. But it was particularly in the Romantic era – when the concepts of nation, cultural roots, local folklore and freedom were asserted – that great composers like Listz, Brahms, Schubert and later Dvorák, Musorgskij, Ravel, Debussy, Bartók, Stravinskij, took inspiration largely on the Romany musical tradition.
Europe, a cultural mosaic, is also a musical mosaic and every people is the guardian of rhythms and styles that have been renewed through the ages. In this rich cultural European mosaic, Roma originally coming from North India have given their input, with different colors and shapes.
In many countries the Romany culture has become part of the local folklore and often the folklore of those countries identifies with the Romany art or culture: the flamenco in Spain, Hungarian violinists, Romanian cymbalisti, music in Russia and in the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Some musical kinds derive from Roma, like the Czárdás and Verbunkos but also, as just said, flamenco and lots of Balkan music, beside Jazz Manouche.

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