Mar 6, 2012

Bosnian traditional music - sevdalinka

Sevdalinka is a traditional genre of folk music from Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The actual composers of many sevdalinkas are unknown.
In musical sense, sevdalinka is characterized by a slow or moderate tempo and rich harmony, leaving a melancholic feeling with the listener. Sevdalinka songs are very elaborate, emotionally charged and are traditionally sung with passion and fervor. The combination of Oriental, European and Sephardic elements make this type of music stand out among other types of folk music from the Balkans. The singer will often impose the rhythm and tempo of the song, both of which can vary throughout the song. Traditionally, sevdalinkas are women's songs, most addressing the issue of love and longing, unfulfilled and unfortunate love, some touch on a woman's physical desire for her loved one, and some have comic elements. Currently they are often performed by men as well. Traditionally, they were played without any instruments, hence the elaborate harmony. Modern interpretations are followed by a small orchestra containing accordion (the most prominent), violin, nylon-string guitars and/or other string instruments (occasionally), flute or clarinet (occasionally), upright bass, snare drum. In between the verses, an accordion or violin solo can almost always be heard.
The most prominent performers (singers) of sevdalinka in the 20th century are Zaim Imamović, Asim Brkan, Beba Selimović, Hanka Paldum, Himzo Polovina, Meho Puzić, Safet Isović, Silvana Armenulić, Zehra Deović and Nada Mamula.