Slovenský ľudový umelecký kolektív

Multipart Singing in Horehronie Region


Inscription in: 2015

Proposal by: Civic Association OPORA Pohorelá

Number of certificate: CTLK-RZ-NKD-2014/02

Definition of element

The villages of the Horehronie region are distinguished by astonishing richness of traditional folk culture. The folk multipart singing belongs to its most expressive and constant manifestations. In Slovakia the folk multipart singing is considered to be characteristic of Horehronie localities. Interpretational nuances and performance of tones in the northern villages of the region (Šumiac, Telgárt, Vernár) differ from those in the southern villages. In the south performance of the multipart singing in Pohorelá is similar to performance in Heľpa, and performance in Závadka is similar to that in Polomka.

The forms of folk vocal culture have been significantly influenced by natural conditions. Singing in the hills or meadows during work implied very intensive throaty expression resounding far and wide as well as audible polyphonic consonances.  This kind of singing tradition was linked to people’s assertiveness and vitality through the elements of shepherds’ way of life that was transferred to the region during Wallachian colonization in the 14th-17th centuries. Moreover, the tradition of multipart singing is related to people’s religiosity: the vocal culture of Horehronie has been considerably influenced by spiritual songs, in particular in eastern part of the region, where most of inhabitants practice Orthodox rites. Apart from aesthetical and artistic value, the Horehronie multipart singing expresses people’s local and regional identity.