Date: May 2016
Creator: Vassileva, Veronika
Description: Bulgaria, though a fairly small Eastern European country, boasts an ancient history of folk traditions and music; however, very few notated works exist due to the people's primitive lifestyle throughout Bulgaria's history. Singing and dancing as well as creating instruments from wood and animal skin were considered an integral part of everyday life, equal to cooking, sewing, herding, or farming; in fact, one almost always accompanied the other. Thus, more than 1500 years of folklore was orally passed on and preserved generation after generation; however, nothing was notated until only very recently when Bulgarians realized the cultural and national value of their history. After the liberation from Ottoman Rule (1453-1877) a nationalist movement spread throughout the Balkan countries, which resulted in the emergence of Bulgarian composers. Music and songs from the local folk traditions evolved, developed, and - with notation - became the foundation for the vocal and instrumental music of the so-called first generation of Bulgarian composers. Around the turn of the century, many Bulgarian artists and musicians traveled to Western Europe (mostly Austria, Germany, and Russia) and upon their return, their artistic output created an original mixture of Bulgarian national folk with influences from Western classical music. After ...
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