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Serbia and Montenegro was a Balkan country, recently ravaged by war that has caused widespread migration and cultural oppression. Indigenous folk music (narodna muzika) remains popular, both traditional tunes and more modern compositions. The most modernized form of folk music is novokomponovana narodna muzika, which is a best-selling genre throughout Serbia and Montenegro.

Novokomponovana can be seen as a result of the urbanization of folk music. In its early times, it had a professional approach to performance, uses accordion and clarinet and typically includes love songs or other simple lyrics (though there have long been royalist, anti-Communist and democratic lyrical themes persisting underground). Many of the genre's best performers also play Bosnian sevdalinka music or other forms imported from even further abroad. These include Šaban Šaulić, Toma Zdravković, Predrag Gojković Cune, Miroslav Ilić and Lepa Lukić. At a later stage, the popular performers such as Vesna Zmijanac, Lepa Brena, Dragana Mirković were using more influences from pop music, oriental music, and other genres, which ultimatively led to explosion of turbo-folk.

The era of turbo-folk took place during the war and crisis of 1990s. Turbo-folk used Serbian folk and novokomponovana as the basis, and adding influences from rock and roll, soul, house and UK garage. Turbo-folk is aggressive and swift, and includes popular performers like Ceca, widow of Željko Ražnatović, and Jelena Karleuša. Turbo-folk is mostly used as a derogatory term as the music and its protagonists celebrate kemp, hedonism, and even gangster way of living ("Koka-kola, Marlboro, Suzuki" is one of (in) famous popular song titles of the time). Some musicians used their music to protest against Milošević during the 1990s, such as the Rimtutituki project, while others were seen as having used music and cultural expression to incite extremist nationalist fervor.

There are many rock bands that exist since 1970s and 1980s. Some of the older Yugoslav rock bands were Smak, YU-Grupa and Korni-Grupa. The "Golden age" of Yugoslav rock music occurred during the 1980s when Belgrade's New Wave music bands, such as Električni orgazam, Idoli, Šarlo Akrobata and later its spin-offs Disciplina Kičme and Ekatarina Velika, drew new frontiers in musical expression. Their music is listened to mainly by the young urban population. Today, the most famous mainstream performers include Riblja čorba, Bajaga i Instruktori and Van Gogh, while Rambo Amadeus and Darkwood Dub are the most prominent musicians of the "alternative" scene.

Pop music has been catching up with the popularity of folk in recent years. Newer artists that perform this kind of music include: Vlado Georgiev, Negative, Madame Piano, Orthodox Celts, Ana Stanić, Night Shift, and Željko Joksimović who was runner-up in the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 , along with old stars Đorđe Balašević and Zdravko Čolić.

There are also numerous hip-hop bands and artists, mostly from Belgrade but other cities as well: GRU, 187, C-Ya, Beogradski Sindikat.

Brass bands are extremely popular, especially in southern and central Serbia. This tradition is now dominated by Gypsy musicians who achieve sometimes great popularity; Fejat Sejdić, Bakija Bakić and Boban Marković are the biggest names in modern brass band bandleaders.


Folk music

Pure folk music includes a two-beat dance called kolo, which is a circle dance with almost no movement above the waist, accompanied by instrumental music made most often with an accordion, but also with other instruments: frula (traditional kind of a recorder), tamburica, or harmonica. Modern accordionists include Mirko Kodić and Ljubiša Pavković.

Sung epic poetry has been an integral part of Balkan music for centuries, but is now found mostly in Montenegro; see Serbian epic poetry. These long poems are typically accompanied on a one-string fiddle called the gusle, and concern themselves with subjects such as Kraljević Marko or the Battle of Kosovo Polje. More modern subjects include various celebrities and current events.

The Vlach minority in northeastern Serbia is related to Romanians. Their popular music is most closely related to the people of Wallachia in Romania, while their traditional music shows a wide range of influences.

See also


  • Burton, Kim. "Balkan Beats". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp 273-276. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0

External links

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