Music of Bosnia and Herzegovina

From Academic Kids

Template:SoutheasternEuropeanMusic Like the surrounding Balkan countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina has had a turbulent past marked by frequent foreign invasions and occupation. As a result, Bosnian music is now a mixture of ethnic Bosnian, Albanian , Roma (Gypsy), Turkish, Hungarian and Macedonian influences.



During its period as a part of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina was covered in state-supported amateur musical ensembles called Cultural-Artistic Societies (Kulturno-Um(j)etnička Društva, KUDs) which played folk music and released a few recordings on local labels.

Folk music

Rural folk traditions in Bosnia include the shouted, polyphonic ganga and ravne pjesme (flat song) styles, as well as instruments like a droneless bagpipe, wooden flute and sargija.

Urban Bosnian music has a much more pronounced Turkish musical influence, using the saz and melismatic singing. The gusle, an instrument found throughout the Balkans, is also used to accompany ancient epic poems. There are also Bosnian folk songs in Ladino, derived from the area's Jewish population.

See also:


Main article: Sevdah

Sevdah is a kind of emotional folk song, typically led by a vocalist accompnied by the accordion along with snare drums, upright bass, guitars, clarinets or violins.


Main article: Sevdalinka

Bosnia and Herzegovina has probably retained the most marked Turkish influence that can be seen in the popular urban music called sevdalinka. Sevdalinka is a mixture of Turkish and Bosnian music, especially Muslim religious melodies called ilahije alongside Jewish songs like "Kad ja pođoh na Benbašu", the unofficial anthem of the city of Sarajevo. Sevdalinke is traditionally performed with a saz, a Turkish string instrument. Though not as common as it once was, traditional sevdalinka singers like Kadir Kurtagić, Emina Ahmedhodžić, Hasim Muhamerović and Muhamed Mesanović-Hamić are still popular to the extent that their recordings are available.

More modern performers like Safet Isović, Himzo Polovina, Zaim Imamović and Hanka Paldum have used non-native instruments, including the accordion, clarinet, violin and guitar, to some derision from purists.

Sadly, now a days the young generation doesn't listen to these kinds of songs , which is the first music of Bosnian, but rather listen to rap and pop music.

Ilahije i Kaside (Religious Songs)

Ilahije are religious songs that came after or before sevdalinkas.These songs usually deal with religion, but somne of them tell tales of how two lovers (male and female) come together.

Some ilahije singers are Aziz Alili, Burhan Saban and Mensur Malkic also known as 3 Hafisa.

Bosnian Root Music (Izvorna Bosanska Muzika)

Bosnian roots music (izvorna bosanska muzika) is a recent outgrowth of folk music from the Drina valley and Kalesija. It is usually performed by singers with two violinists and a šargija player. These bands first appeared around World War I and became popular in the 1960s. Modern performers in this field include the Braca Babajic, Kalesijski Zvuciand Sijelo Halida Musica.

Classical music

Main article: Bosnian classical music

Bosnian composers of European classical music include Dino Zonic, Edin Dino, Mirsad (Giga) Jeleskovic, Dusan Bogdanovic and Goran Bregovic.

Rock music

Main article: Bosnian rock

Rock music has been very popular in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the mid-20th century. Popular and influential rock bands and artists have included Goran Bregović's Bijelo Dugme, Plavi Orkestar, Zabranjeno Pušenje, and others.

Hip hop

Main article: Bosnian hip hop

Hip hop music came to Bosnia and Herzegovina from the United States, and became popular throughout the country with the help of Edo Maajka, who is the most popular rapper in Bosnia and Balkan , who is now starting to expand his popularity throughout the world. See also: Bosnian Music Awards


  • Burton, Kim. "Sad Songs of Sarajevo". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.). "World Music Volume 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East", pp 31-35. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0.

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