Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Balkan Brass Bands

This is a style originating from Eastern Europe, when trumpeters in the Serbian military in the 19th century transcribed folk songs to boost morale. It's key regions of popularity and influence are Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Macedonia. It was common for a town to have a band in these areas to play at gatherings, ceremonies, and festivals such as births, baptisms, weddings, state and church festivals, funerals, and even harvesting, reaping crops.

Many of the brass instruments used today in these bands are off the beaten path, such as flugelhorn, alto horns, helicons, and tenor horns. Included are also trumpets, euphoniums, baritones, tubas, and sometimes trombones.

Some notable groups include the Kocani Orkestar I spoke of in a previous blog, and the Boban Marković Orkestar, founded and led by the greatest trumpeter to come out of the Balkans.

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