Chalgia

Moonlight is shining… Martinka is on my lap. The horse, my Dorcha, one step at a time. Chalgiа, which we took from the Bilacha Han, are walking behind us. They’re playing and singing for me. Thin and high through the night, and by the moonlight, they play. From sarays and gardens, where young women and girls, around the shadirvan, and in the moonlight dance choro, clarinet plays, tambourine echoes, and singing… It’s not a song, but the voice only. Soft, full voice. Sweet voice as the first maiden caressing and kissing. And the voice flows, sticking to the moonlight, it twinkles at me and fals on my heart like a balm.

Bora Stankovich, Koshtana

The term chalgia has multiple meanings. It primarily means a type of Balkan traditional music, but also the band that performs songs in this genre. Traditional chalgia includes traditional strings (lute, tamboura, canon, violins , lira), wind (clarinet, qawal) and percussion instruments (def, tarabuka). In the area where we live, chalgia music is mostly identified with Vranje, Macedonia, Kosovo-Metohia and Bosnian sevdalinka songs. Undoubtedly, chalgia musicians were part of the daily life of our urban population in the past. Chalgia have been regaling them in taverns, at weddings and other public and private celebrations. Chalgia Moisey Petrovich plays on authentic instruments that have been raised in urban areas of the eastern Mediterranean, the area that Balkan culture organically belongs to. The Chalgias repertoire consists of the most beautiful sevdalinka songs, arranged in rustic style, that brings to life customs and the spirit of old Serbian and Balkan towns. The members of Chalgia are have chosen to study various musical forms and systems, and to continuously improve themselves in the ancient techniques of playing on, already almost forgotten, chalgia instruments. A special impression on the audience make old, well-known songs, which in chalgias performance gain a new value, an unique sound that is both modern and also very traditional.