Recording Studio: Like Moldova’s literary history, this small country shares many of the same musical elements as its larger neighbour, Romania. And really, a lot of their music is stemmed from the traditions of Balkan music and other Eastern European styles. (Technically, Moldova is not considered a Balkan state, even though portions of Romania is sometimes included. But they share some common history, so, you know, whatever. I’m including it anyway.)
Recording Studio: Moldovan Folk Music
Folk music continued even during the Soviet years. However, they were really worried about their close cultural ties with Romania, so certain aspects of their music and culture were squashed. One key part of their culture that finds its way into their literature and music is a type of ballad called the Miorita. The Orchestra of Moldovan Folk Music and Dance plays folk music from not only Moldova (hence their name), but also of the region in general.
Recording Studio: Moldovan Instruments
Many of the instruments heard in Moldovan music are also played throughout much of Central and Eastern Europe. One instrument that can be heard in Moldovan music is the cimbalom, which is like a hammered dulcimer. (I sooooo want to buy a hammered dulcimer. I love this instrument!) Another instrument is the ney (also spelled nai), which is like a pan flute. Other traditional instruments include the violin, the flute, and the bagpipes.
Recording Studio: Moldovan Folk Dancing
Folk music and folk dancing go hand in hand. One of the oldest dance troupes in the country is known as Joc, formally known as National Academic Ensemble of Folk Dance. Dancing is often performed at festivals and other events. The current director, Vladimir Curbet, has been teaching and directing there since 1957. He’s currently 85 or 86, so that means he’s been working there for the past 59 or so years!