Ganga is a type of singing from rural Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. It is sung mostly in the regions of Dalmatia and Herzegovina, but it is also common in Lika and Karlovac, and in rural areas of western Montenegro. It is characterized by a lone singer singing one line of lyrics and then others joining in for what can best be described as a wail.
Ganga has been culturally protected by the Croatian Ministry of Culture to preserve it in Croatian culture and to encourage its study.
The folk songs of Duvno are the modern descendants. Careful listening can draw parallels with ojkavicom from Dalmatia, and we can conclude that the area of Zadar hinterland, Dalmatia, Imotski region and western Herzegovina sang the same type of ganga.
It is a very passionate form of singing, which is one of the reasons it has been limited in popularity to 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 the 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, based on the lack of farming in rural areas in the winter.
Ojkanje refers to the characteristic style of singing with shaking voice, singing in a special way "from the throat," and takes a breath as the lead singer and accompanist. 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 called ojkavica or, in the Dalmatian hinterland ojkalica, in the hinterland ojkavica, in line Kotari and Bukovica orzenje the rouge rozganje in Hercegovini and Imotski pivanje or singing. It is a remnant of Illyrian singing by local people retained as part of their identity. 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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- www.ganga.hr (Croatian)