Centres of Polyphony


Montenegro, a small mountainous country, is a part of Serbia and Montenegro state unity. The Montenegrins still mostly live in predominantly agricultural societies and retain many elements of their traditional culture. Unfortunately, although scholars of a few other countries did a series of fieldwork and publications, due to the lack of a national school of ethnomusicology, the traditional music of Montenegro is possibly the least studied among the Balkan peoples. Ethnomusicologists note the existence of four regiona g to the available incomp an countries, the Montenegro singing tradition is mostly monophonic (solo). The tradition of vocal polyph l musical styles in Montenegro (Petrovich, 2000:957). Acordinlete information from Montenegro, unlike most of the Balk ony has been documented only in the Southwestern part of Montenegro, on the border with Herzegovina. Here on both sides of the border the same “Balkan” style of polyphony is documented, based on the wide use of drone and the coordination of parts in major seconds. This kind of polyphony, according to Petrovich, “occurs in shepherds’ and wedding songs of the Southwest region of Montenegro” (Petrovich, 2000:958). Interestingly, Albanian migrants from the mountainous area of Malesi (the Montenegro-Albanian border), the so-called “Malisori”, also sing polyphonically in Montenegro. Here is a rare published example of Montenegro two-part singing with almost constant sounding seconds:

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