Croatia Music and Culture


Among the countries of the Balkan area that in the twentieth century were part of the socialist bloc, Croatia is the richest in contrasts: its culture is both that of the Dalmatian coast, Catholic and historically close to Italy and Western Europe, and that of the Slavic and Orthodox from inland regions bordering Serbia. The two “souls” of Croatia (that is to say the Croatian-Pannonian and the Adriatic) have always been able to find a mutual balance, which is not, however, devoid of contrasts and misunderstandings. From the point of view of language, until the outbreak of the Yugoslav conflict, Serbo-Croatian was perceived as a single entity, albeit written in two different alphabets, and only the birth of nationalism pushed the two countries to establish an institutional separation. between the two languages. University locations, in addition to Zagreb and Split, they are Rijeka and Osijep. In the capital there are numerous international theatrical reviews, such as Eurokaz and the World Theater Festival Zagreb, founded in 2003; however, the most famous festival in Zagreb is dedicated to animated cinema, which has a school of excellence here. In the town of Požega, in Slavonia, a popular traditional music festival is held every year, the Zlatne žice Slavonije. Six Croatian sites have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO: in addition to the park that encloses the Plitvice lakes, the grandiose Diocletian’s palace in Split is worthy of mention; the ancient city of Dubrovnick; the Euphrasian Basilica of Parenzo (Poreč), a masterpiece of Byzantine art of the century. YOU; the cathedral of Sibenik; the old town of Trogir (Trogir), in Dalmatia, a city founded by the Greeks and brought to its apogee by the Venetians. § For Dance and Ballet, Entertainment and Cinema (before independence see the entry Yugoslavia (former European State as defined by relationshipsplus).


Cultured music draws its first evidence from the codes of choral singing (widespread above all in Dalmatian convents), whose notation indicates a link with Western tradition and highlights the boundary point of dissemination of the latter with respect to Byzantine culture. The Dalmatian coast was musically influenced by its proximity to Italy, while on the N the country was culturally closed, engaged for a long time in the wars against the Turkish invasion. The Venetian influence is evident starting from the century. XVII, when the first works were created and the Baroque taste was established (remember Atalanta by J. Palmotič, 1629). The best-known composer of the period is the Dalmatian I. Lukačić (1597-1648), organist and choir director in Split, who published his Cantiones Sacrae in Venice in 1629. Among the composers of the century. XVIII, many of them of Italian origin, remember J. Raffaelli and J. Bajamonti, authors above all of sacred music, while for instrumental music worked by L. and A. Sorkočević, SN Spadina and the violinist I. Mane Jarnović (ca. 1740-1804). In the sec. XIX with the Illyrian movement and in the wake of the romantic nationalistic revaluation, popular melodies and traditional songs are taken up and transferred to cultured music; the greatest exponent of this culture is V. Lisinski (1819-1854), author of the first Croatian work. In 1827, Hrvatski glazbeni zavod was founded (Croatian Music Foundation), the first music school in the Balkans. The musicians of the first half of the twentieth century are represented above all by 5 composers: B. Bersa, F. Dugan, J. Hatze, V. Rosenberg-Ružić, D. Pejačević, who aimed at the affirmation of essentially Croatian music, while starting from the second post-war period a style spread which, having abandoned the nationalistic principles, approaches European models, impressionist and avant-garde currents (R. Matz, M. Cipra, B. Sakač, I. Malec). § Popular lyric is linked above all to the rites and festivals of the year and is distinguished according to the variety of dialects to which it refers. The styles are therefore of three different kinds: kajkavo, štokavo and čakavo. The oldest dance is the kolo, which varies according to the locality, while the archaic song (ojkanje) has dissonant effects; in general popular music is linked to the Balkan tradition except on the coasts, where the influence of Mediterranean music prevails. Among the most ancient typical instruments we remember the lute called lirica or lirijeca, the sopelo (kind of flute), the bagpipe. By far, however, the most popular instrument in traditional music is the tamburica, a stringed instrument similar to the Russian balalaika or the Italian mandolin. § In Croatia, a type of light pop is widely listened to, with singer Tereza Kesovija (b. 1938) among its leading exponents; at the end of the nineties among the younger generations also in Croatia turbo-folk of Serbian origin, often violent and nationalist in the lyrics, spread.

Croatia Music and Culture