Budvanske [будванске]

(from Budva) = specific type of songs

These songs are a part of the Mediterranean-littoral cultural sphere. In the urban environments of the Montenegrin littoral and its hinterlands (Kotor, Prčanj, Herceg Novi, etc), these types of songs still bear the name of Dalmatian songs (see songs Dalmatian, singing homophonic). They are mainly characterized by lyrics about love, in stanzas, with rhymes, which are sung by multiple voices (in two, three or four voices) and diatonic homophony. Most often they are in the major key family, with a harmonic basis made up of tonic, dominant and subdominant chords. The transition from one harmonic function to the next is very important for the singers, for, according to tradition, the chords must flow into each other. The leading voice in these songs performs the largest part and he needs to be technically very skillful (practically in the manner of bel canto), and to have an appropriate vocal tone. The second voice, usually in a harmony of a third, follows the part of the first voice; the third voice, if it is performed by four voices, fills in the chord, and the fourth voice (or the third if there are three voices) most often unquestionably indicates the basic key of the chord.

Dobra molitva [Добра молитва]

Good prayer

These are special songs that are performed in some parts of the Montenegrin littoral and its hinterlands at weddings (Grbalj), after the parental blessing directed at the bride when she leaves for her new home. They are performed by men, by the guests who have come for the bride, in a group, in unison, which in the cadences of the songs switch to heterophonic two-part second (see singing heterophonic two-part).

Heterofono dvoglasno [хетерофоно двогласно]

heterophonic two-part

Group and unison singing in some parts of the Montenegrin littoral and its hinterlands switch into heterophonic second two-part, but only in the cadences of the melo-line or melo-stanza (Grbalj, see singing in a group). The heterophonic second two-part in the cadences also appears in antiphonic singing (Spič, see singing antiphonic). This singing is connected to rural districts in the hinterland. These songs are performed in the context of ritual-customary practices in rural parts of the Montenegrin littoral and its hinterlands (for example, at wedding ceremonies, occasionally at the celebration of the family patron saint, at spinning-bees, etc.). These songs are based on a tone row, which is mostly non-tempered, and the harmony second that appears in their two-part singing is considered consonant. These songs begin with a soloist who “raises” [диже] the song and who is then allowed to embellish it with the usual melodic ornaments (single and double appoggiaturas, after-beats, vibrato, etc.). In a way, it is the soloist who introduces the other singers into the song, and they then take over the song, which by that time has been sung halfway through, and also embellish it, in this case by changing to a perceptibly slower tempo as opposed to the solo beginning. During the singing by the group, in the cadences there is a transition from singing in unison to heterophonic second singing.

Kontinentalno-planinske [континентално-планинске]


These are songs that for the most part arose from the rural and patriarchal culture of the continental part of Montenegro, which is the origin of the heritage of the majority of the inhabitants of the Montenegrin littoral and its hinterlands. These songs have adaptable text, mostly asymmetric deca- or tredecasyllable, and are performed on a tetrachordal tonal basis, mostly through two-part melodic-“models”, determined by tradition. They are sung loudly, from the throat, for they are traditionally connected to performance in open areas (this means singing loudly, for as the inhabitants say, when the singers “thunder, it can be heard afar”, Donković 2000). These songs are generally sung in a group, in unison, except in some parts of the Montenegrin littoral and its hinterlands in which the unison sound is interrupted with heterophonic second two-parts in the cadences of the melo-line or melo-stanza (Grbalj, see singing heterophonic two-part). Some of the songs of this cultural sphere are also performed in unison, with heterophonic second two-parts in the cadences, but also antiphonally (Spič, see singing antiphonic).