Taraf (musical band)

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Taraf of Ochi-Albi, an 1860 painting by Carol Szathmari

Taraf is a small folk (lăutărească) music ensemble from Romania or Moldova, usually consisting of 3-8 musicians. Instruments include the violin, cello, tambourine, accordion, harmonica and cimpoi (Romanian bagpipes). A taraf also often includes an instrument typical to the region: a kobza and cimbalom (Wallachia and Oltenia) a trumpet and flute (Moldova), a Tárogató (near Banat), a clarinet (Transylvania), or a 2-3 stringed lute (in Maramureş county) sometimes called a "zongora". Players may also use instruments improvised from grass, birch bark, mussel shells, and leaves.

Famous tarafs[edit]

The group Taraf de Haïdouks, introduced to the West in the 1990s, brought the word to international fame.

External links[edit]

A Russian- and Romanian-language radio broadcast, with an interview of and music by a Transylvanian taraf: