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Around The World In 80 Ways – Music

Croatian Language SchoolnewsletterAround The World In 80 Ways – Music



April 23 , 2020 |

Around The World In 80 Ways – Music

We’re collecting together various ways our students, friends and associates have of cheering themselves up during lockdown. Today’s post focuses on uplifting song suggestions:
  1. Exodus by Maksim Mrvica: https://youtu.be/-3WfQ-tQGZ8
  2. Vilo Moja by Vinko Coce and Klapa Tragos: https://youtu.be/F0HumjR-guQ
  3. EL0‘s Mr Blue Sky https://youtu.be/swYdKF1MpWg
  4. Coldplay’s “Fix You”  https://youtu.be/vU7Va2wc3fE

The first two, are, of course, Croatian and worthy of comment:

Maksim Mrvica

Croatian born pianist, Maksim Mrvica, is one of the biggest selling Classical – Crossover pianists in the world. He completed his education at The Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest and the Alexander Scriabin Conservatoire in Paris, and won first prize at the Rubinstein Piano Competition in France. His debut album “Piano Player” sold more than 4 million copies and achieved Double Platinum in Hong Kong and Gold status in Singapore. His music style, combining classical and movie music with pop and electronic, has broken down many boundaries between music genres. In the fashion world, his collaborations with brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, and Christian Dior have led to him being named Best Dressed Man by Vogue Homme.

Klapa Music

Vilo Moja is, of course, one of the most well known folk songs of Croatia, sung by Klapa groups all over Dalmatia and further afield. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Klapa, simply put, it’s multi part harmony singing, nearly always by men, and, in its purest form, without any musical accompaniment. Deep bass, baritone and tenor voices tend to dominate, in contrast with the generally higher pitch of the better known and vaguely comparable US barber shop quartets. Quite often, in a restaurant frequented by locals, a table of 12 can strike an opening note and then sing in perfect harmony, each in a different key. The songs are normally stirring national songs with “Dalmatia”, “love” and “the sea” featuring very often in the lyrics. Even without understanding all the words, just the mood it can create can be enough to bring tears to your eyes and those of the grown men singing. Guitars and mandolins sometimes appear from nowhere, and soon you have a unique evening’s entertainment in your favourite restaurant or occasionally in someone’s house. The spontaneous renditions are the best but there are also plenty of organised concerts in Croatia in the summer. The word Klapa means “a group of people” and the genre traces its roots to choral singing. It’s a form of “a capella” music which is an Italian phrase for “from the chapel” and  denotes singing without musical accompaniment. Given the influence of Italy on Croatia in the past, perhaps the Croatian word grew from the same root as the Italian phrase.

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