Tag: Koprivshtitsa

Bulgarian Folk Music

Valya BalkanskaBulgarian folk music was and is inseparable part from people’s daily life and holiday celebrations, in times of joy or sorrow.

Songs were created to any occasion – for traditional holidays, for seasons’ working activities as harvest, grape-picking, etc., dance songs and many others.

The regional variations are not strictly divided, but certain typical characteristics have formed several musical areas.

The main features of the Bulgarian folk music:
1. It is homophonic. Even when there are two or more singing parties, the song sounds like single-voiced.
2. Its rhythm and vocal wealth are described as ranging from fantastic richness to primitive monotony.
3. It is based on extended time. This technique makes Bulgarian folk music unique, because it doesn’t exist in the rest of the European music. It is most expressively used in the Rhodopian songs.

There are more than 70 000 folk songs in Bulgaria. Even today the folk song tradition is as alive as ever. There are many folklore ensembles, folk dance groups and folk orchestras all over Bulgaria. In addition, the folk music of Bulgaria has very important place in the modern Bulgarian music.

You can enjoy the authentic Bulgarian folk music at the traditional folk festivals held in Koprivshtitsa, Shiroka Laka, Predela and many other places in the country as well as at the traditional holidays and customs in Bulgaria.

The most typical traditional Bulgarian musical instruments are “gayda”/Bulgarian bagpipe/, “kaval”/wooden flute/ , “gadulka” /string instrument/ and “tapan”/drum/.

The uniqueness of the Bulgarian folk music is proved by the fact that on the Voyager-1 and Voyager-2 spacecrafts among the selected masterpieces of mankind’s musical treasury and along with a Beethoven symphony is a Bulgarian folk song from the Rhodopes region, performed by Valya Balkanska whose picture decorates this article.

Events & Festivals

Yordanov DenPublic Holidays
January 1 – New Year
March 3 – National day of the Liberation from Ottoman Domination
Easter – Two days (Sunday and Monday) according to the Orthodox calendar
May 6 – St. George’s Day
May 24 – Day of the Bulgarian culture and the Slavonic script
September 6 – National Day of Bulgaria’s Reunion in the year of 1885
September 22 – Independence Day
November 1 – Day of the Bulgarian Revival Leaders
December 24-26 – Christmas Eve and Christmas
December 31 – New Year’s Eve Read more


KoprivshtitsaIf you only ever visit one village in Bulgaria, then it really should be Koprivshtitsa. Hidden away among the foothills of the Sredna Gora mountains some 75 kilometers east of Sofia.

This bucolic highland settlement preserves more in the way of traditional Balkan architecture than anywhere else in the country.

Enriched by the proceeds of the local wool industry, Koprivshtitsa’s 19th-century merchants employed Bulgaria’s best painters and wood-carvers to adorn their houses, turning the village into a focus of the cultural upsurge known as the National Revival Period of Bulgaria. Read more