Music of my grandparents

Music of My Grandparents – ROMANIA

Romania is a European country with a multicultural music environment which includes active ethnic music scenes. Romania also has thriving scenes in the fields of pop music, hip hop, heavy metal and rock and roll. During the first decade of the 21st century some Europop groups/artists, such as Tom Boxer, Morandi, Akcent, Edward Maya, Alexandra Stan, Inna and Yarabi, achieved success abroad. Traditional Romanian folk music remains popular, and some folk musicians have come to national (and even international) fame.

Traditional Romanian music reflects a confluence of sounds similar to Central European (especially Hungarian) as well as Balkan traditional music. In Romanian folk music, emphasis is on melody rather than percussion, with frequent use of the violin for melody and often only the cimbalom for percussion. The melody itself and especially the melodic embellishments are reminiscent of music from further south in the Balkans and of a distant Turkish influence.My grandparents enjoyed this music as well as they respect the romanian traditions.

The most widespread form of Romanian folk music is the doina, which translates as „shepherd’s lament or longing”. There are other styles of folk music. These include the bocet („lament”), cântec batrânesc (traditional epic ballads; literally „song of the elders”) and the când ciobanu şi-a pierdut oile („when the shepherd has lost the sheep”).Doina is poetic and often melancholic, sometimes compared to the blues for that reason. Doinas are often played with a slow, free rhythm melody against a fast accompaniment pattern in fixed tempo, giving an overall feeling of rhythmic tension. Melodies are sometimes repeated in differing songs, and typically follow a descending pattern.

In clasic music are notable romanian composers of the 19th and 20th centuries include Ciprian Porumbescu, Anton Pann, Eduard Caudella, Mihail Jora, Dinu Lipatti and especially George Enescu. Also famous are the composer and conductor Sergiu Celibidache and Vladimir Cosma.The Australian composer Julian Cochran wrote works extensively titled Romanian Dances with a collection of piano works and six orchestral works, exemplifying affinity amongst classical composers with the Romanian folk music tradition outside of Romania. György Ligeti and Iannis Xenakis were two avant-garde composers born in Romania who were followed in the second half of the 20th century by the Romanian spectralism school: Ştefan Niculescu, Horațiu Rădulescu, Iancu Dumitrescu, Octavian Nemescu, Ana-Maria Avram and others.

The music of my grandparents are also pop music, the romanian term could be translated literally as „Romanian Easy Music” and, in the most common sense, this music is synonym with „Muzică de stradă” (from French „estrade”, which means „podium”), defining a branch of Pop music developed in Romania after World War II, which appears generally in the form of easy danceable songs, made on arrangements, which are performed by orchestras. This music shows many similarities with Western Popular music, as most songs could be defined as a form of Schlager. It supported influences from other similar melodic styles, like Musica leggera italiana (from Italy) and Canción Melódica (from Spain). This Romanian style of music was popularized abroad through the international Golden Stag Festival, held in Brașov, since 1968. The most representative singers of that era are those from the 1980’s, 1970’s and rarely, 1960’s: Aurelian Andreescu, Elena Cârstea, Corina Chiriac, Mirabela Dauer, Stela Enache, Luigi Ionescu, Horia Moculescu, Margareta Pâslaru, Angela Similea, Dan Spătaru and Aura Urziceanu.

The examples attached are:

  1. Maria Ciobanu – traditional


  1.  Vasile Pandelescu – traditional song for accordion

3. Compact – rock song

4. Mondial – etno-pop-rock

5. O Zone – disco



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