Montenegrin culture – folklore and music

Folk music and creativity of Montenegro during the centuries was formed under various influences, maintaining all the elements of specific musical expression. The folklore and tradition of Montenegro and the Montenegrin people played a crucial role, but also the style orientation and modern understandings of the music expression were accepted under the influence of the achievements of the European and music of South Slavs, especially.

Crna Gora – Montenegro has protected its intangible cultural heritage – the intangible cultural treasures that include customs, skills, arts, crafts and living tradition. Intangible cultural heritage of Montenegro include the Bokeška mornarica – Boka Navy, Bokeška noć – Boka Night, Dobrotska čipka – Dobrota lice and Peraška Fašinada – Fasinada of Perast, while soon it will also include the Cult of Saint Jovan Vladimir and skills of manufacturing the boats of the Skadar Lake. 

Montenegrin artistic music is with idea connected with the South Slav creativity and it is determined with the folklore, which thematically and with content is necessary for the development of the artistic musical creativity. When we are talking about the musical expression, Montenegrin folk melodies are of small range and of short form, which according to the texts is incessantly and continually being repeated. Those are patriotic songs. Songs of pride, sorrow, and joy, and they themselves make a strong confirmation of the tumultuous history of Montenegro. Because they originate from village and small town areas, they carry differences in them, as far as melody and rhythm, and even in the very melody and the text. With the tune, which come from the village area, the range of tones is in three cords, or tetra cords and they usually end on the second tone of the tone chain. The most characteristic aggregation of Montenegrin folk poems of country tradition is characteristic for its short air of melody. Their connection is strong with the songs of the entire “Dinaric” area, and their main expression mean is the text, which describes feelings or an important historical event. Laments and epic folk songs, which are being performed, accompanied with “gusle” string instrument are the best example of this and similar creativity. The second aggregation is characteristic for a longer melody, which points out the musical quality submitting the text to rhythm and melody. Melodies are connected to lyrical love poetry. They are sung with a larger range of tones, going from pent chords, over hexa-chords, to an octave.

Zora Ethno Group – Oj djevojko što mi reče 

Montenegrin Oro

A dance of ethnic Montenegrins is called the Oro, with the forms being the Crmnički Oro, Zetsko Oro, Katunski Oro and the Riječki Oro. It is as much a communal gathering and a game as it is a dance in the strictest sense. Typically, young men and women would gather and form a circle (kolo), then start to sing, usually in form of playfully mocking someone from the other side and daring them to enter the circle to dance. One of the more daring young men would then enter the circle and start to dance in a stylistic imitation of an Eagle. The aim here is to impress, just like in any modern disco club. The gallery crowd will immediately respond with a “feedback” song, either praising or ridiculing him. Soon, a girl would join, quite often his girlfriend or possibly someone attracted by his display. She would also imitate an Eagle, but in a more elegant way. The gallery also keeps up. When the couple gets tired, they kiss each other on the cheek and another couple jumps in to keep the kolo going, while the singing of the surrounding crowd never stops. Usually the young lads finish oro by forming a two-story circle, standing on one others shoulders, inside the greater circle and this is the scene that is the most recognizable and most often photographed part of the dance.

Ksenija Cicvaric – Milica jedna u majke

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