Music of Romania

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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.

Romania Sovereign state in Europe

Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the southeast, Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to the southwest, and Moldova to the east. It has a predominantly temperate-continental climate. With a total area of 238,397 square kilometres (92,046 sq mi), Romania is the 12th largest country and also the 7th most populous member state of the European Union, having almost 20 million inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest, and other major urban areas include Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași, Constanța, Craiova, and Brașov.

Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many diverse styles. "Pop" and "rock" were roughly synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became increasingly differentiated from each other.

Hip hop music music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping

Hip hop music, also called hip-hop or rap music, is a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans and Latino Americans in the Bronx borough of New York City in the 1970s. It consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records, and rhythmic beatboxing. While often used to refer solely to rapping, "hip hop" more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks.



Folk music is the oldest form of Romanian musical creation, characterised by great vitality; it is the defining source of the cultured musical creation, both religious and lay. Conservation of Romanian folk music has been aided by a large and enduring audience, also by numerous performers who helped propagate and further develop the folk sound. One of them, Gheorghe Zamfir, is famous throughout the world today and helped popularize a traditional Romanian folk instrument, the panpipes.

Gheorghe Zamfir Romanian pan flute musician

Gheorghe Zamfir is a Romanian nai musician.

The religious musical creation, born under the influence of Byzantine music adjusted to the intonations of the local folk music, saw a period of glory between the 15th and 17th centuries, when reputed schools of liturgical music developed within Romanian monasteries. Russian and Western influences brought about the introduction of polyphony in religious music in the 18th century, a genre developed by a series of Romanian composers in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Byzantine music Music in the tradition of the Byzantine Empire

Byzantine music is the music of the Byzantine Empire. Originally it consisted of songs and hymns composed to Greek texts used for courtly ceremonials, during festivals, or as paraliturgical and liturgical music. The ecclesiastical forms of Byzantine music are the best known forms today, because different Orthodox traditions still identify with the heritage of Byzantine music, when their cantors sing monodic chant out of the traditional chant books such as sticherarion, which in fact consisted of five books, and the heirmologion. Byzantine music did not disappear after the fall of Constantinople. Its traditions continued under the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which after the Ottoman conquest in 1453 was granted administrative responsibilities over all Orthodox Christians. During the decline of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, burgeoning splinter nations in the Balkans declared autonomy or "autocephaly" against the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The new self-declared patriarchates were independent nations defined by their religion. In this context, Christian religious chant practiced in the Ottoman empire, Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece among other nations, was based on the historical roots of the art tracing back to the Byzantine Empire, while the music of the Patriarchate created during the Ottoman period was often regarded as "post-Byzantine". This explains why Byzantine music refers to several Orthodox Christian chant traditions of the Mediterranean and of the Caucasus practiced in recent history and even today, and this article cannot be limited to the music culture of the Byzantine past.

Liturgical music music genre

Liturgical music originated as a part of religious ceremony, and includes a number of traditions, both ancient and modern. Liturgical music is well known as a part of Catholic Mass, the Anglican Holy Communion service and Evensong, the Lutheran Divine Service, the Orthodox liturgy and other Christian services including the Divine Office. Such ceremonial music in the Judeo-Christian tradition can be traced back to both the Temple in Jerusalem and synagogue worship of the Hebrews.

Traditional music

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.

Cimbalom concert hammered dulcimer

The cimbalom is a type of chordophone composed of a large, trapezoidal box with metal strings stretched across its top. It is a musical instrument commonly found in the group of Central-Eastern European nations and cultures, namely contemporary Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus and Poland. It is also popular in Greece and in the Romani music. The cimbalom is (typically) played by striking two beaters against the strings. The steel treble strings are arranged in groups of 4 and are tuned in unison. The bass strings which are over-spun with copper, are arranged in groups of 3 and are also tuned in unison. The Hornbostel–Sachs musical instrument classification system registers the cimbalom with the number 314.122-4,5. Moreover, the instrument name “cimbalom” also denotes earlier, smaller versions of the cimbalom, and folk cimbaloms, of different tone groupings, string arrangements, and box types.

Traditional Romanian song featuring a taragot.


In Banat, the violin is the most common folk instrument, now played alongside imported woodwind instruments; other instruments include the taragot (today often the saxophone plays the taragot role in bands), which was imported in the 1920s from Hungary. Efta Botoca is among the most renowned violinists from Banat.

Banat Historical region

The Banat is a geographical and historical region straddling between Central and Eastern Europe that is currently divided among three countries: the eastern part lies in western Romania ; the western part in northeastern Serbia ; and a small northern part lies within southeastern Hungary.

Violin bowed string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths

The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden string instrument in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body. It is the smallest and highest-pitched instrument in the family in regular use. Smaller violin-type instruments exist, including the violino piccolo and the kit violin, but these are virtually unused. The violin typically has four strings, usually tuned in perfect fifths with notes G3, D4, A4, E5, and is most commonly played by drawing a bow across its strings, though it can also be played by plucking the strings with the fingers (pizzicato) and by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow.

Woodwind instrument Family of musical wind instruments

Woodwind instruments are a family of musical instruments within the more general category of wind instruments. Common examples include flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone. There are two main types of woodwind instruments: flutes and reed instruments. What differentiates these instruments from other wind instruments is the way in which they produce their sound. All woodwinds produce sound by splitting an exhaled air stream on a sharp edge, such as a reed or a fipple. A woodwind may be made of any material, not just wood. Common examples include brass, silver, cane, as well as other metals such as gold and platinum. Occasionally woodwinds are made out of earthen materials, especially ocarinas.


Bucovina is a remote province and its traditions include some of the most ancient Romanian instruments, including the ţilincă and the cobza. Pipes (fluieraş or fluier mare) are also played, usually with accompaniment by a cobza (more recently, the accordion). Violins and brass instruments have been imported in modern times.

Cobza Multi-stringed instrument

The cobza is a multi-stringed instrument of the lute family of folk origin popular in Romanian and Moldovan folklore. It is also used in the Hungarian folk music revival.

Accordion Bellows-driven free-reed aerophone musical instruments

Accordions are a family of box-shaped musical instruments of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone type, colloquially referred to as a squeezebox. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist. The concertina and bandoneón are related; the harmonium and American reed organ are in the same family.

Brass instrument class of musical instruments

A brass instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound by sympathetic vibration of air in a tubular resonator in sympathy with the vibration of the player's lips. Brass instruments are also called labrosones, literally meaning "lip-vibrated instruments".


Crişana has an ancient tradition of using violins, often in duos. This format is also found in Transylvania but is an older tradition. Petrică Paşca has recently helped popularize the taragot in the region. Also, in Roşia village are well known two local instruments: Hidede, a type of violin with a trumpet, replacing the resonance box and a type of drum called Dobă.


Dobrujan music is characterized by Balkan and Turkish rhythm and melodicism. Dobrogea's population is ethnically mixed and the music here has a heavier Turkish, Bulgarian, Tartar and Ukrainian import than in the rest of the country. The most popular dance from Dobrogea is the geamparale, which is quite different from the other traditional dances of Romania.

Maramureş and Oaş

The typical folk ensemble from Maramureş is zongora and violin, often with drums. Taragot, saxophone and accordion have more recently been introduced.

In Oaş, a violin adapted to be shriller is used, accompanied by the zongora. The singing in this region is also unique, shrill with archaic melodic elements.

Moldavia (Moldova)

Violin and ţambal are the modern format most common in Moldavian dance music. Prior to the 20th century, however, the violin was usually accompanied by the cobza, which, although very rare, is still in use today. [1] Brass ensembles are now found in the central part of the county. Among the most renowned violinists from this region is Ion Drăgoi. Moldavia is also known for brass bands similar to those in Serbia.

There is a famous song written about a Moldovan girl living in Bucharest called 'Hey Cherry Blossom'. The song starts by introducing the main protagonist, Cherry Blossom, the male vocals ask Cherry Blossom many questions, she replies describing life in Romania and dreams of having blue eyes instead of brown. The song has received criticism for exacerbating Romanian stereotypes describing women "wearing head scarves and people farming geese", however Cherry Blossom does repost to the questioner that "people in the cities normally don't", her herself now living in the city. (Documentar - Muzica romaneasca dupa 1990)


Transylvania has been historically and culturally more linked to Central European countries than Southeastern Europe, and its music reflects those influences. The province is tied historically to the smaller western regions of Maramures, Crisana and Banat and they are often referred to collectively as Transylvania.

Violin, kontra and double bass, sometimes with a cimbalom, are the most integral ensemble unit. All these instruments are used to play a wide variety of songs, including numerous kinds of specific wedding songs.

Drum, guitar and violin make up the typical band in Maramureş and virtuoso fiddlers are also popular in the area. In the end of the 1990s, the Maramuzical music festival was organized to draw attention to the indigenous music of the area.


Wallachia, consisting of Muntenia and Oltenia, is home to the taraf bands, which are perhaps the best-known expression of Romanian folk culture. Dances associated with tarafs include brâu, geamparale, sârbă and hora. The fiddle leads the music, with the cimbalom and double bass accompanying it. The cobza, once widespread in the region, has been largely replaced by the cimbalom. Lyrics are often about heroes like the haidouks. Taraf de Haïdouks is an especially famous taraf and have achieved international attention since their 1988 debut with the label Ocora. The Haidouks first attained visibility as lăutari, traditional entertainers at weddings and other celebratory occasions.


Oltenia's folk music and dance are similar to those in Muntenia. Violins and pipes are used, as are ţambal and guitar, replacing the cobza as the rhythmic backing for tarafs. The cimpoi (bagpipe) is also popular in this region.


Muntenia has a diverse set of instrumentation. The flute (fluier in Romanian) and violin are the traditional melodic element, but now clarinets and accordions are more often used. Accordionists include the renowned performers Vasile Pandelescu and Ilie Udilă.


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.

Regional styles of doina:

Other styles of doina:

Classical music

Angela Gheorghiu is one of the best-known Romanian sopranos Angela Gheorghiu as Floria Tosca at San Francisco Opera, November 2012.jpg
Angela Gheorghiu is one of the best-known Romanian sopranos

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. [2] [ self-published source ]

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.


Jazz has been imported in Romania as early as the interwar period, thanks to musicians such as Sergiu Malagamba. [3] However, jazz music was banned after World War II, with the arrival of the communist regime. The ban was dropped in 1964.

Promoted by Cornel Chiriac, jazz musicians such as Eugen Ciceu, Richard Oschanitzky and János Kőrössy helped establish the genre in Romania, initially promoted alongside "easy music". Vocalist Aura Urziceanu has performed at New York City in 1972 and toured extensively under the name Aura Rully.

Although restrained, jazz after 1989 still has cult following, with a number of festivals such as Gărâna International Jazz Festival. Contemporary jazz singers include Johnny Răducanu, Anca Parghel and others. In recent years a few bands have emerged that make use of elements of nu-jazz, trip hop and electronic music: Aievea, Jazzadezz, Norzeatic & Khidja and others.


Romanian rock music has a great history, with a lot of influences. In the `80 bands like Iris, Transsylvania Phoenix, Compact, Holograf or Cargo "rocked" the stages with songs about love and friendship. Nowadays[ when? ] the most popular rock bands in Romania are Vița de Vie, Robin And The Backstabbers, Coma, Alternosfera, Vama, Luna Amară, The Kryptonite Sparks, Grimus and byron.

Muzică uşoară românească

The 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 1980s, 1970s and rarely, 1960s: Aurelian Andreescu, Elena Cârstea, Corina Chiriac, Mirabela Dauer, Stela Enache, Luigi Ionescu, Horia Moculescu, Margareta Pâslaru, Angela Similea, Dan Spătaru and Aura Urziceanu.


Romanţă (plural: romanţe) is a vocal or instrumental musical piece, sung in a poetic and sentimental mood. It appears as an accessible and expressive melody, on the background of piano and guitar orchestral arrangements. It presents similarities to British music style "Easy Music". The history of Romanian romanţe can be traced back until the Interwar period, when it became famous through the agency of the most popular Romanian singer of that time, Marin Teodorescu, who is better known as Zavaidoc. After World War II, singers like Gică Petrescu integrated in this music orchestral elements, which are specific for Argentinian style, Tango Nuevo.

Folclor Suburban - Manele

Anton Pann had the first few transcriptions of a new style that was present in the suburbs of Bucharest in the 18th century. The new style flourished and grew, being promoted by ordinary musicians playing in suburbs called Mahala. This musical style combined the Balkan and Gypsy styles into a new style that we call today, Manele. After the Romanian Revolution from the end of the 1989, this genre was booming. The performers are from the Gypsy (roma) minority in the country. This style always represented the low-educated musicians and addressed to a low-educated public. There are a few subjects described in those songs. The main subjects are: money and enemies due to his/her loved one or due to his/her power/qualityes. A few contemporary bands that promoted the style are:

Some modern manele singers are:


Etno music is a popular Romanian style, which keeps most accurate the typical ethnic sound of Romanian traditional folk music. It is adapted to the modern sound of music, as employs frequently synthesizers along with the typical traditional instruments. It emerged in the early 1990s as a revival of Romanian traditional folk music and maintained a constant popularity until nowadays. It has the largest audience through the fans of Romanian folk music and it is popularized, along with Romanian folk music, through the medium of Etno TV, a Romanian Television, dedicated mainly to Romanian folk music, especially the modern side of this music.

Contemporary Romanian Folk

Acoustic Romanian style of music, inspired by American folk music, with sweet lyrics and played almost exclusively with guitar. Generally, it evokes a poetic and melancholic atmosphere. It emerged in the early 1960s, along with the first releases of Phoenix band. It was promoted later, through the medium of the Cenaclul Flacăra, a cultural phenomenon from the 1970s and the first half of the 1980s, which was initiated by Adrian Păunescu, a Romanian poet. A lot of Romanian folk artists gain affirmation through the Cenaclul Flacăra movement: Mircea Vintilă, Vasile Șeicaru, Florian Pittiș, Valeriu Sterian, Nicu Alifantis, Alexandru Zărnescu, Victor Socaciu, Vasile Mardare, Magda Puskas, Emeric Imre.

Rock music

From the early years (the '60s) there was in Romania an active Rock scene. Because of their free attitude which was associated with the western culture and the capitalist society, the communist regime censored as much as possible the rock musicians. [4] From the beginning they had a "paria" social position. The symbols of the movement like: long hair, jeans, stage attitude were considered decadent. The bands activated under the name of "instrumental-vocal musical ensemble" to avoid the expression rock which was considered to be subversive. [5] Despite of this, the rock scene resisted with consequence in one kind of "official underground" before the revolution from 1989. [6]

Veterans of the scene kept the rock spirit alive under difficult restrictive conditions. [7] The connection with the "news" from west was made within radio stations like "Free Europe" which were forbidden to listen. Rock was in these troubled times for its Romanian supporters more than music. It was attitude against the lack of freedom. [8] Some names with historical resonance for the Romanian rock movement: Phoenix, Sfinx, Roșu și Negru, Mondial, Sincron, Sideral, Semnal M, Metropol, FFN, Progresiv TM, Pro Musica, Catena, Iris, Compact, Holograf, Timpuri Noi, Krypton, Cargo, Celelalte Cuvinte, Post Scriptum, Florian Pittiș, Cornel Chiriac, Dan Andrei Aldea, Octave Octavian Teodorescu, Sorin Chifiriuc, Nicu Covaci, Valeriu Sterian, Mircea Baniciu, Ovidiu Lipan, Ilie Stepan, Liviu Tudan, Mircea Florian, Dorin Liviu Zaharia, Teo Peter, Florin Ochescu, Paul Ciuci, Cristi Minculescu, Dan Bittman, Josef Kappl, Iuliu Merca.

The political freedom and the cultural openness obtained after the 1989 revolution marked a new era for the rock music in Romania. The scene is now very active even the rock music is not one of the main act in the Romanian mass media. The rock clubs have a rich list of concerts. There are yearly organized great rock festivals with national and international character. [9]


In the 1990s and the early 2000s, with the emergence of independent television and radio stations, the term easy music has been replaced by pop. Mainstream success is shared between early dance-pop bands such as A.S.I.A., Animal X, Blondy, Body & Soul, L.A., 3rei Sud Est or Akcent, pop-rock singers and bands such as Ștefan Bănică Jr., Holograf, Bosquito, Voltaj or VH2, hip-hop outfits such as B.U.G. Mafia, La Familia Paraziții or Ca$$a Loco, Latino singers (Pepe) and others (electronic band Șuie Paparude and some alternative rock bands such as Vama Veche, Bere Gratis, Sarmalele Reci, OCS, Spitalul de Urgență, Zdob și Zdub or Luna Amară that are still popular especially in the underground).

Romanian Dance-Pop

Inna Inna 2011.jpg

With the exception of Moldavian-based band O-Zone, Romanian Europop had not achieved considerable echoes outside the borders of the country until 2005, when the band Morandi achieved success with songs written in English, Portuguese and other languages. The sound of Morandi, DJ Project, Fly Project and a few others marks the transitional period to the Romanian Dance-Pop of the late 2000s and early 2010s.

Thanks to a couple of artists such as Inna, Edward Maya, Alexandra Stan, Antonia, David Deejay, Play & Win, Radio Killer and others, a new sound has emerged that has managed to achieve commercial success outside Romania and dominate the national TV and radio music charts. This new sound, nicknamed pejoratively by some "popcorn" [10] after the name of one of its characteristic synths, is characterized by "shiny", danceable melodies, hooks sometimes based on synthesized accordion [11] and simple lyrics written most often in English, accompanied by videos frequently featuring young women. "Popcorn" has been criticized by some as superficial (sometimes being even compared to Manele), overly commercial, repetitive and easily grating, as a large number of producers and performers (including singers that initially achieved notoriety in the early 2000s, such as Andreea Bănică or Connect-R) have adopted this sound in a short period of time. However, since Romanian spectralism is virtually unknown outside the avant-garde music community, "popcorn" may be considered the first movement in the history of Romanian history to gain momentum.

House music

An important influence on Romanian dance-pop was house music, which gained so much following in clubs that, thanks to radio stations such as Pro FM, has attained mainstream status. Minimal house in the vein of Ricardo Villalobos has and is being produced by DJs such as Petre Inspirescu, but vocal-based house continues to have more success. As of recently, dubstep has emerged alongside house music, although currently still underground.

Underground music

Pre-1989 underground bands include the new-wave band Rodion G.A. alongside older rock bands such as Celelalte Cuvinte and Semnal M. First electronic music attempts belong to composer Adrian Enescu.

First represented by bands such as Vorbire Directă and R.A.C.L.A., hip-hop music has achieved quickly mainstream success with bands such as B.U.G. Mafia, La Familia and Paraziții, in spite of them being criticized for delivering explicit language and themes. The scene is currently split between mainstream rappers (Puya, Guess Who) and underground rappers (Vexxatu Vexx, C.T.C., Haarp Cord). Labels dedicated to hip-hop include Hades Records and 20 CM Records.

Rock scene is currently split between metal bands (such as Negură Bunget and Trooper), progressive and indie rock outfits (byron, Kumm, Robin and the Backstabbers). There are also other niches such as punk rock (E.M.I.L. Haos, Terror Art) or post-rock (Valerinne).

Underground electronic music scene has been until 2010 somewhat unified by the existence of the Timișoara-based festival TMBase, reuniting DJs and producers from genres such as drum and bass, breakbeat, dub techno, electronic rock etc. A result of TMBase collaborations is the IDM outfit Makunouchi Bento, who have attracted some attention with their Bandcamp-released material. [12] Also notable is the label La Strada Music, which has been home to names such as Silent Strike (who has gained acclaim on the Internet and some radio stations with the single Astenie featuring Ada Milea), Yvat (a prolific IDM producer of Belgian origin, based in Bucharest), Electric Brother, nu-jazz outfit Aievea and others.

Trip hop and post-rock have influenced a few bands such as Margento, but dream pop, shoegaze and other niche genres are poorly represented. Freak folk is partially known due to the success of singer-songwriter Ada Milea, but is practiced by only a few other bands such as Nu & Apa Neagră. The producer Minus has attempted to introduce bitpop and, more recently, chillwave.

Dubstep DJs have started to emerge, though with the genre has also been associated the band R.O.A., who have achieved some mainstream success thanks to the leader Junkyard, formerly vocalist in Șuie Paparude.

Music festivals

Jazz festivals

Electronic Music

See also


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Tárogató type of wind instrument

The tárogató refers to two different woodwind instruments commonly used in both Hungarian and Romanian folk music. The modern tárogató was intended to be a recreation of the original tárogató, but the two instruments are thought to have little in common.


The Romanian word Lăutar denotes a class of musicians. Most often, and by tradition, lăutari are members of a professional clan of Romani musicians, also called țigani lăutari. The term is derived from lăută, the Romanian word for lute. Lăutari usually perform in bands, called taraf.

Rhythm section group of musicians within a music ensemble or band who provide the underlying rhythm, harmony and beat for the rest of the band

A rhythm section is a group of musicians within a music ensemble or band who provide the underlying rhythm, harmony and pulse of the accompaniment, providing a rhythmic and harmonic reference and "beat" for the rest of the band. The rhythm section is often contrasted with the roles of other musicians in the band, such as the lead guitarist or lead vocals whose primary job is to carry the main melody of the song.

The doina is a Romanian musical tune style, possibly with Middle Eastern roots, customary in Romanian peasant music, as well as in Lăutărească. It was also adopted into Klezmer music.

Balkan music is a type of music found in the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. The music is characterised by complex rhythm. Famous bands in Balkan music were Taraf de Haïdouks, Fanfare Ciocarlia, and No Smoking Orchestra.

Manele is a genre of pop folk music from Romania.

The zongora is an instrument typical of Maramureș, a region of Romania. It is similar to a guitar, but has fewer strings. In the past it had two strings, but nowadays it has four or even five. When played, the instrument is usually held vertically. The string layout is compressed to the central inch of the fingerboard to allow rapid rhythmical strumming. Recent musicians make more harmonic changes than in the past, but still use only major chords.

Mircea Florian, is a Romanian multi-instrumentalist musician, multimedia artist and computer scientist, based in Germany. Having started his musical career as a folk rock singer, in the late 1960s, he developed a fusion between Romanian folklore and Eastern music, especially Indian sound, moving into psychedelic music. He founded Ceata Melopoică ensemble, with whom he recorded a concept album. These and his solo acts earned him a cult following among rebellious youth, establishing his reputation as one of the most original contributors to Romanian pop music. Florian was also an early member of Cenaclul Flacăra, a traveling music and literature circle, but parted with it when it became increasingly nationalistic.

Cornel Chiriac Romanian musician, journalist and radio producer

Cornel Chiriac was a Romanian journalist, radio producer, record producer and jazz drummer.

Geta Burlacu Moldovan singer

Geta Burlacu is a Moldovan singer. She represented Moldova in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 with the song "A Century of Love".

Vocal harmony

Vocal harmony is a style of vocal music in which a consonant note or notes are simultaneously sung as a main melody in a predominantly homophonic texture. Vocal harmonies are used in many subgenres of European art music, including Classical choral music and opera and in the popular styles from many Western cultures ranging from folk songs and musical theater pieces to rock ballads. In the simplest style of vocal harmony, the main vocal melody is supported by a single backup vocal line, either at a pitch which is above or below the main vocal line, often in thirds or sixths which fit in with the chord progression used in the song. In more complex vocal harmony arrangements, different backup singers may sing two or even three other notes at the same time as each of the main melody notes, mostly with consonant, pleasing-sounding thirds, sixths, and fifths.

The term gypsy style refers to the typical way East European music is played in coffeehouses and restaurants, at parties, and sometimes on-stage, in European cities. Music played in this style is known by the general public as "gypsy music".


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  4. Arta Sunetelor - Magazine - 2009-01-25 Article: Interview with Florin Ochescu (Reporter: Sorin Lupașcu)
    • Yes! There was Romanian rock before the '80s! There are many explanations for the lack of recordings ... including the fact that during this period the censorship operated oscillating ... when more severe when larger, I think this was a policy to keep the things under control, culturally at that time.(in Romanian)
  5. History National Museum of Romania - Project "The Communism in Romania" - Article: Our youthfulness - The music of the '70s-'80s
    • Beyond the music and text, clothes and haircut distinguish the rockers from the rest of the population. Through this, young displayed openly a statement to the regime. On the other hand, the censorship gave way in the press only negative news about the rock (drug use, sexual promiscuity, violence). So it was that if you wanted to be on TV or in a more importantly concert, your hair had to be cut, you don't wag and, especially, to be clothed regulation: the uniform of the band was a popular shirt or suit. In any case you could not show up dressed in jeans and T-shirt. If you passed the test "suit" after that you had to argue on the repertoire, it was not allowed to sing in foreign languages or parts that the censorship don't like. There have been cases where censorship expressly requested to modify the words of some lyrics.(in Romanian)
  6. Formula As - Magazine - 2004 Article: Interview with Iulian Vrabete (Reporter: Corina Pavel)
    • We appeared rarely on TV, because we had long hair and we had to collect it back with clips, to mask it. But the concerts were extraordinary and the world loved us unconditionally. Maybe where there were no other offers.(in Romanian)
  7. Adevărul - Newspaper - 2012-06-14 Interview with Cristi Minculescu, singer (Reporter: Laurențiu Ungureanu
    • It was, until '90, a struggle, a continual torment. With that chasing, with the censorship. But we can not arrogate credit for that time because we weren't the only ones in that situation.(in Romanian)
  8. - Project of the "Society Online" Association - 2012-05-10 Article: In Memoriam Cornel Chiriac an unforgettable soldier of liberty (Author: Vladimir Tismăneanu
    • Cornel Chiriac, the one who, first at "Radio Romania", then at the Radio "Free Europe" proved that rock music could undermine the petrified system, it can be an efficient form to contest the totalitarianism and the retrieval of dignity. He was one of the most prized radio journalists by the legendary Bernard Noel. He didn't just exceptional music programs, but organized true tribunes for freedom.(in Romanian)
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