Exhibition and guide „Serbia: Living Roots”



This exhibition with a guide presents nine elements of the musical heritage of Serbia that are extremely important for the culture of Serbia and the entire humanity. It is about are phenomena of living vocal, vocal-instrumental and instrumental, rural and urban tradition from different parts of Serbia. They represent forms of musical expression that, by their characteristics, fit into the wider cultural and musical physiognomy of the areal in which they are spread, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, these forms are specific, sometimes in endemic terms.

It was sung and played on all occasions, especially at work and during various celebrations. Songs were created by being conceived in someone’s soul, and later on they continued to live by travelling from one person’s throat to another’s, from one person’s heart to another’s… A simple and openhearted song is accompanied by such “folk” instruments.

In the cities, under the influence of the Orient, small groups gathered, especially in the southern parts of Serbia. Players made their own instruments and tuned them roughly by ear.

Thanks to ethnomusicologists and all those who wrote down and recorded songs and gigs from folk singers and players, today a large number of songs have been preserved and passed down from generation to generation again with the awakening of national consciousness, which was clouded in certain political periods. A happy circumstance is that the influence of the West was not so strong, so a large number of songs were preserved in their original form. Traditional music in Serbia has not died out and the song lives on as a tradition in some regions even today.

We hope that with this exhibition and the guide that accompanies it, we will help you get to know at least in part the exceptional musical heritage of Serbia.

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