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The music of Slovenia is closely related to Austrian, Istrian and Croatian because of its common history and Alpine and littoral culture. In the minds of many Slovenes and foreigners, Slovenian folk music means a form of polka that is still popular today, especially among expatriates and their descendants in North America. However, there are many styles of Slovenian folk music beyond polka, kolo and waltz.

Contents

Prehistory

The Divje Babe flute, an artifact found in a cave near Cerkno, Slovenia, is possibly the oldest known musical instrument ever.

The history of modern Slovenian music can be traced back to the 5th century, when Christianity spread in Carantania. Liturgical hymns (kyrie eleison) were introduced, and became the first plainchant to make a connection to the peoples' language.

Classical music

During the mediaeval era, secular music was as popular as church music, including wandering minnesingers. By the time of Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, music was used to proselytize. The first Slovenian hymnal, Eni Psalmi, was published in 1567. This period saw the rise of musicians like Jacobus Gallus and Jurij Slatkonja. In 1701, J. B. Hoffer dounded the Academia Philharmonicorum based on the Italian model. Italy was an important musical influence of the period, especially opera.

As the economic depression hit the country in the last half of the 18th century, music declined in popularity. Beginning in 1768, German theater companies arrived and became very popular. The 1794 formation of the Philharmonische Gesellschaft was important because it was one of the first such orchestras in Central Europe. The 19th century saw the growth of a distinctively Slovenian classical music sound based on romanticism, while the German minority continued to push for a stronger Germanic identity.

In the early 20th century, impressionism was spreading across Slovenia, which soon produced composers Marij Kogoj and Slavko Osterc.

Avant-garde classical music arose in Slovenia in the 1960s, largely due to the work of Uroš Krek, Dane Škerl, Primož Ramovš and Ivo Petrić, who also conducted the Slavko Osterc Ensemble. Jakob Jež, Darijan Božič, Lojze Lebič and Vinko Globokar have since composed enduring works, especially Globokar's L'Armonia, an opera.

Modernist composers include Uroš Rojko, Tomaž Svete, Brina Jež-Brezavšček and Aldo Kumar. Kumar's Sonata z igro 12 (A sonata with a play 12), a set of variations on a rising chromatic scale, is particularly notable.

Popular music

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Folk music

Folk music includes velike goslarije, a type of big band music, the bowed zither and panpipes, and rural harmony singing. Folk revivalists include Katice, Trinajsto prase, Musicante Istriani and Tolovaj Mataj.

Slavko Avsenik is one of the most influential and popular polka and waltz musicians in the world. Oberkrainer music, which the Avsenik Ensemble popularized, remains very popular today and is always a strong candidate for country (folk) music awards in Slovenia and Austria. Slavko and his brother, Vilko, are usually credited as the pioneers of Slovenian popular music, having solidified its style in the 1950s.

Modern music

One of the most famous modern Slovenian bands is Laibach, an early 1980s industrial music group.

Ljubljana-native Bratko Bibič's former band Begnagrad was a very influential 1970s group that are considered one of the direct influences on modern world music. Bibič's unique accordion style, often solo, with no accompaniment, has also made him a solo star.

Slovenia has also produced two of electronic dance music's most renowned DJs: DJ Umek and Valentino Kanzyani. Specialising in a frantic brand of party techno and tech-house, the pair co-founded the label Recycled Loops as well as having many popular releases on labels such as Novamute, Primate, Intec and Bassethound Records.

See also

References

  • Burton, Kim. "The Sound of Austro-Slavs". 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 277-278. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0

External links


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