Lecture on Croatian Music Fascinating

Posted on July 16, 2018

The Department of Humanities Education invited Professor Berislav Jerković, Associate Professor, PhD, working at the Academy of Arts in Osijek, as well as Professor Antoaneta Radocaj-Jerkovic, PhD, Associate Professor at Osijek. They gave a lecture in June to discuss ‘The Influence of Different Vocal Traditions on the Development of Croatian A​rt Music​’. They discussed different influences, both traditional and artistic, which have impacted Croatian artistic vocal music as it is known to us today. ​

The Croatian vocal tradition grew primarily from two performing practices of medieval music. On the one hand, these involve the Gregorian chant that is characteristic of the entire medieval Catholic Europe. On the other hand, it is the characteristically and uniquely Croatian Glagolitic chant (liturgical singing of Catholic priests and Glagolitic clerics) typical of Dalmatia and Istria that was developed in the 9th century, first in Old Church Slavic and then in Croatian, that endured by word of mouth to this day. 


​Also, several original Croatian vocal traditions which are inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity were presented. They include musical traditions that are passed from generation to generation and that represent the starting point for developing a sense of identity and cultural continuity.

​​Lecturers presented vocal music of the most prominent Croatian composers, from the Renaissance period till the modern day, such as Julije Skjavetić, Julije Bajamonti, Ivan Lukačić, Vatroslav Lisinski, Ivan pl. Zajc, Blagoje Bersa, Josip Štolcer Slavenski, Jakov Gotovac, Boris Papandopulo, Josip Hatze, Ivan Matetić Ronjgov which were influenced by Croatian folk melodic; they either composed using literal folk motifs or found rhythmic and melodic solutions akin to folk music tradition. These composers used Croatian folklore in their works, but also the folklore heritage of other South Slavic peoples, as during that time Croatia was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and later SFRY. The compositions exude a pronounced flowing rhythm and irregular measures typical of the Balkans, Macedonia, Serbia, and Bosnia.

- Author Annalize Brynard
Published by Thabo Masenamela

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