A while ago I wrote about the Romanian manele music and promised to come back to you with some more interesting bits about real Romanian music. Now is the time to talk about the traditional Romanian music and for you to listen to what makes us (but especially older folks here) tic and dance.
The traditional Romanian music has slight variations depending on the area you’re in: in Oltenia and Banat, the tempo is higher and the songs are neverending, while in Muntenia everything is slower paced and the steps are really basic and easy to learn. I am far from being an expert when it comes to traditional Romanian music, I have no idea how to dance it and to be honest I don’t really like most of it, but there are some classics that are worth checking and you can see them below – because it’s always more fun to watch and listen than try to do some of the dances yourself.
We’re going to start with the Calusarii, an amazing dance and a real show to watch. It’s one of the fastest dances in Europe and probably one of the most difficult to master. Like many traditional Romanian dances, it’s characterized by the shouts of those dancing it:
We’ll continue with Ciocarlia (The Lark) – one of my favorites. It is usually sang by the most skilled pan-pipes players and if you give it a minute or two, you will really see why. A really happy and alert traditional Romanian song:
Now let’s move to my all time favorite traditional Romanian music singer, Maria Tanase. She was the Marylin Monroe of our times – great talent, beautiful, a party animal, died young – and she left behind some amazing songs. We’ll start with Ciuleandra – a song that starts slow and goes faster and faster.
If you want to check out the dance (a relatively poor quality video), you can do so here – start from 0:50 to get to the fun part sooner.
We’re moving to another song of hers, Doina din Maramures (the word “doina” doesn’t have a translation in any other language, but we can say that it means “sad song” – it’s enough to listen to it and you will know that the translation is true):
And finally, my all time favorite song – Cine iubeste si lasa (The one who loves you and leaves you). It really gives me the chills every time I listen to it. If you got this far, it doesn’t matter if you listened to the other songs or not, this one is a must:
We should end this on a lighter, happier note, though, so I give you Tudor Gheorghe:
And one of his most famous songs, a real work of art:
Just like every nation out there, we have tons of great traditional songs, but these made it on my list and I hope you enjoy them. I sure did!