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Folk, music, dance in Slovenia

12. 9. 2013

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Folk, music, dance in different regions in Slovenia

Slovenian ethnic territory mainly belongs to the Alpine geographic region what also influences the musical character of folk songs. We can generalize that it mainly represents the main Central Slovenian musical character, which can be also roughly defined as Alpine, and is characterized by part singing, major scales, homophonic harmony, and the use of mainly tonic and dominant chords. The border regions are influenced by musical characteristic of the neighbourhood countries such as Croatia, Italy and Hungary. Today the multipart folk singing can still be heard throughout the countryside, while the traditional instrumental folk music has been mostly influenced by the folk-pop music. The majority of Slovenian folk dances were preserved until the 2nd World War and are nowadays mainly retained by folklore dance groups. However, in some parts of Slovenia and Slovene ethnic lands (Resia/Rezija in Italy, slovenska Štajerska/Styria, Prekmurje) folk dances are still alive and regularly performed. Folk dances that have been spread all over Slovenian national territory were polka, waltz and “štajeriš”.

Performances of folk dance and folk music are mostly limited to folk festivals and tourist events, as the one on St. George’s festival in Bela krajina (White Carniola. Performers in traditional costumes present the mixture of choreographies that were used at the village parties. Dance is accompanied by music performed by different music ensembles. The most common group of musicians who perform folk music in Bela krajina/White Carniola is the tambura orchestra. (Photo: Saša Babič, 2013.)

Singing is the most widespread version of music performances in Slovenia. Multipart folk singing can still be heard in the countryside. Folk singing is also performed by dancers and musicians in folk groups and folk singing groups. (Photo: Saša Babič, 2013.)

Dances are influenced by characteristics of neighbourhood countries. A group dance in a circle »kolo« is known and preserved only in the southern part of Slovenia, in Bela krajina/White Carniola at the border with Croatia. (Photo: Saša Babič, 2013.)

Folk dance and folk music are mostly preserved on the stage. Folk dancers perform the mixture of folk dances that are choreographed and modified for the stage performance. The most common dances in Slovenia are pair dances, i.e. polka, waltz and “štajeriš”. The first two are still regularly danced at dance parties, especially in the rural areas. (Photo: Saša Babič, 2013.)

The correctness of the information above is guaranteed by the ETNOFOLK Portal.