Istrian scale

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Istrian mode on C.[1] About this sound Play 

Istrian scale refers both to a distinct musical scale and the Istrian and Kvarnerian folk music genres which use the scale.[2] Named for the Istrian peninsula; genres include kanat and tarankanje; techniques include nasal tone, variation and improvisation, and resolution to the unison or octave; and instruments include sopele shawms, bagpipes, flutes, and tambura lutes.[2] It was first studied or conceived by Ivan Matetić Ronjgov.[3]


Non-equal-tempered,[4] the scale could approximately be notated as: E-F-G-A-B-C (see: enharmonic). It may be thought of in various ways, such as the Gregorian Phrygian mode (on E: E-F-G-A-B-C-D) with lowered 4th, 5th, and 6th degrees.[5] Performances feature diaphony and the Phrygian cadence (in E: F and D moving to E).[5]

Something like the Istrian mode, but without its top note, is found in Haydn's String Quartet in F minor, Op. 20 No. 5.[1] Uroš Krek's Inventiones ferales (1962) uses the scale, "in a disguised manner".[6] Karol Pahor's cycle of 15 pieces, Istrijanka (1950), was the result of study of the Istrian mode, as was Danilo Švara's Sinfonia da camera in modo istriano (1957).[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Van der Merwe, Peter (2005). Roots of the Classical, p.227. ISBN 978-0-19-816647-4.
  2. ^ a b "Two-part singing and playing in the Istrian scale",
  3. ^ Thammy Evans, Rudolf Abraham (2013). Istria: Croatian Peninsula, Rijeka, Slovenian Adriatic, p.17. ISBN 9781841624457.
  4. ^ Marušić, Dario. "Reception of Istrian Musical Traditions", Musicology 7/2007 (VII) ("Reception of Istrian Musical Traditions", doiSerbia).
  5. ^ a b Seljačka sloga, Vinko Žganec, Nada Sremec (1951). Hrvatske narodne pjesme i plesovi, Volume 1, p.228.[full citation needed]
  6. ^ (2001). Muzikološki zbornik: Musicological annual, Volumes 37-39, p.86.[full citation needed]
  7. ^ Ray Robinson, Regina Chĺopicka, eds. (2003). Studies in Penderecki: Penderecki and the avant garde, p.137. ISBN 9780911009118.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bezić, Jerko. "Yugoslavia, Folk Music: Croatia", New Grove Dictionary 2:594.

External links[edit]