Folk Roma Music

Traditional Romanian folk instruments include the bucium (alphorn), the cimpoi (bagpipes), the cobza (a pear-shaped lute) and the nai (a panpipe of about 20 cane tubes). Many kinds of flute are used, including the ocarina (a ceramic flute) and the tilinca (a flute without finger holes). The violin is today the most common folk instrument.

The doina is an individual, improvised love song, a sort of Romanian blues with a social or romantic theme. The balada (ballad), on the other hand, is a collective narrative song steeped with feeling. Couples may dance in a circle, a semicircle or a line. In the sarba, males and females dance quickly in a closed circle with their hands on each other's shoulders. The hora is another fast circle dance. In the brau (belt dance), dancers form a chain by grasping their neighbour's belt.

Modern Roma or Tzigane (Gypsy) music has absorbed many influences. Roma musicians circulate through the village inviting neighbours to join in weddings, births, baptisms, funerals and harvest festivals. Improvised songs are often directed at a specific individual and are designed to elicit an emotional response (and a tip). To appeal to older people, the musicians sing traditional balada, or epic songs in verse, often recounting the exploits of Robin Hood-style outlaws who apply

Number of medals Romania has won in all the Winter Olympics: one (world ranking: last place).

Number of medals Romania has won in all the Summer Olympics: 265 (world ranking: 10th).

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justice through their actions. Muzica latareasca is the term to describe (he music you're likely to see performed with violin and accordion in restaurants. It is a variant of traditional Roma music played during special events or gatherings inside homes or inns in the 17th to 20th centuries. Professional Roma ensembles include the famous Taraf de Haiduci (The Outlaws' Ensemble).

Painting on glass and wood remains a popular folk art today. Considered to be of Byzantine origin, this traditional peasant art was widespread in Romania from the 17th century onwards. Superstition and strong religious beliefs surrounded these icons which were painted, not for decorative reasons but to protect a household from evil spirits. Well-known 19th-century icon painters include Dionisie Iuga, Maria Chifor and Tudor Tocariu. The glass icons of contemporary artist Georgeta Maria Uiga from Baia Mare are exhibited worldwide.

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