Croatian music and dance

The rich cultural heritage can be seen in Croatian music. Striking diversities which developed in folk music of the country can be explained by the Mediterranean, Balkan, and Central European influences Croatia was exposed to.

The most distinguishable trait of Croatian folk singing of ancient times was collectivity. As for group performance with musical instruments, it became popular only in the late 18th c., with the emergence of guci, a group consisting of two violins and a double bass, which was later enriched with the tamburitza.

The gusle music has always coexisted with epic poetry praising significant historical or patriotic events and was popular mostly in Dalmatia. Mile Krajina is the most prominent contemporary gusle player in the country.

A pretty new form of a cappella singing (1960's), called the klapa music, glorifies love, wine, homeland and sea, with harmony and melody serving as the key elements. A klapa group includes four voices and can sometimes be accompanied by a guitar and a mandolin.

The tradition of classical Croatian music is also strong, with the most distinguished composers being Luka Sorkocevic, Vatroslav Lisinski, Jakov Gotovac. World-acclaimed Croatian musicians are Ivo Pogorelich, Ana Vidovic, Monika Leskovar, Valter Despalj, etc.

Croatian dance tradition was also determined by the convergence of different cultures of specific regions. The traditional Croatian dance is usually associated with kolo, a simple circular form of dance, which shows a need for community expression. In fact, kolo used to be not just a dance form, but also a social gathering, at which people could get to know each other. It had been the heart of social life in most Croatian villages up to the World War the II.

The old layer of the dancing tradition in Croatia also includes the wheel dance and the ritual dances related to Christian holidays celebrations and family events.

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