Ganga (music)

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Ganga is a type of singing that originated from rural Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Montenegro. It is most commonly found in the regions of Herzegovina and Dalmatia, but it can also be heard in Lika, Karlovac, and rural areas of western Montenegro. It is characterized by a lone singer singing a single line of lyrics, followed by others joining in, using a vocal style that is best described as a wail.

The culture surrounding Ganga is protected by the Croatian Ministry of Culture in order to preserve its place in Croatian culture and to encourage its study.


The folk songs of Duvno are descendants of Ganga music and study the history of Ganga. The parallels with ojkavica from Dalmatia can be concluded that the area of Zadar hinterland, Dalmatia, Imotski region and western Herzegovina sang the same type of Ganga.[clarification needed]


Ganga is an expressive form of singing. Ganga is situated mainly in small towns. However, several popular Croatian musicians have incorporated some Ganga into their work. Only recently has Ganga begun to address political issues, frequently adopting overtly nationalistic overtones and incorporating themes from the Croatian Homeland War. Although both men and women regularly perform Ganga, it is extremely unusual for them to perform songs together. In the past, it was not unusual for both Catholic and Muslim men to perform Ganga together.

Ganga is a dissonant form of singing, using two clashing notes to project sound over long distances. For example, if one person is singing a "C" note, another person will join either a half-step above or below ("B" or "C#"). Ganga is traditionally sung by sheepherders across stretches of valleys, for long-distance communication with each other.

Ganga is sung more in the summer than in the winter, because of the lack of farming in rural areas in the winter.


Ojkanje refers to the characteristic style of singing with a shaking voice or singing in a unique way often described as "from the throat". Such singing meet from Karlovac, to Lika, Dalmatia, Herzegovina until Konavle. Elements of local folk singing is usually referred to as old or starovinska singing. Such singing in the Cetina Valley is called ojkavica, in the Dalmatian hinterland ojkavica, in the hinterland ojkavica, in line Kotari and Bukovica orzenje - the rouge rozganje and in Hercegovini and Imotski pivanje. It is a remnant of Illyrian singing by local people, retained as part of their identity and history. It originated in Archaic and Medieval times, when the Illyrians were present in the area. "Ganga / kënga" in Albanian (i.e. descendant of the Illyrian language branch) means just "song", referring as well on the very same style of singing, as on "song" / "chanson" in general.

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