Discover the world in music… PART I, Eastern Europe.

Music is an integral part of my routine. I wake up to it, drink coffee to it, write to it, daydream to it… You get the gist. A few months ago, I shared a glimpse of the music I listen to while writing and this post has been very popular amongst writers and others.

Today, I thought I’d start a musical series filled with beautiful, foreign music, whether it be instrumental only or sung in a foreign language. Writer and blogging friend Sacha Black recently pointed out she writes to music she doesn’t understand the lyrics of so maybe this will be of some use to you too.

The aim of this series if to take you around the world in music. I shall honour my Bulgarian origins by starting with Eastern Europe.

What to expect? Hypnotising melodies, mystic voices with, at times, underlying Middle Eastern vibes. Russian balalaikas, Hungarian rhythms and altogether, a glimpse of authentic music.

The first artist I want to introduce is Stellamara. (This was a recent discovery and man! I am head over heals.)

Purely Bulgarian, the next artist you should meet is Daniel Spassov.

A little further north, I take you to Hungary with the Kákics Folk Ensemble. Traditional hungarian folk music seems a lot more upbeat although I can’t understand a word. 

Let’s move to “Mother Russia” as my grandparents like to call it (ironically). None of you know this but I am actually 25% Russian so… Here’s to those 25%!

Meet the Balalaika Ensemble. My personal favourite is number 5, Black Eyes (Ochi Chernye). You will also probably recognise number 7 : the famous Kalinka. (A balalaika is actually a Russian stringed instrument resembling a guitar except its body is triangular and it only has 3 strings.)

To end today’s post, here’s an hour-long musical account of European folk music.

And a bonus round : 50min of pure Russian bliss by late Ivan Rebroff, an icon famous for his incredible vocal range of four and a half octaves!!! (The very first song on the video below demonstrates this beautifully.)

Any favourites so far? Have you heard any of them before?

Which part of the world would you like to travel to next?


Thanks for reading.
Hop on my Facebook and Twitter caravans.




5 responses to “Discover the world in music… PART I, Eastern Europe.

  1. Pingback: Discover the world in music… PART II, The Middle East | A Writer's Caravan·

  2. I’ve heard none of them before. The first two prove yet again what a great instrument the human voice is. And then Ivan Rebroff. Wow!!! Thanks you for the introduction.

    The folk music was a bit energetic for this old woman.


    • I’m in love with Stellamara. The voices, as you say, are so memorable.
      And yes, Ivan Rebroff is a legend, isn’t he? Such beautiful timbre.
      I’ll admit I wasn’t particularly moved by the Hungarian music either and decided to only post what moved me, hence the ‘Middle East’ post is all “me” in terms of music I listen to.


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