There are a few words and concepts we might need to explain for the non-Croatian or non-Balkan reader so we will attempt to give some sketchy information here and perhaps discuss some of it more in the blog here and there.


sevdah, sevdalinka
     Sevdah as a musical genre, is neither Turkish nor Slavic.  It arose where Europe and the Orient met and ground together as a woman grinds grain on the family millstone.  Until recently in fact, this was almost exclusively a women's music. Currently sedah are often also performed by men.  Long ago these were sung without instrumental accompaniment. These days there is often a small orchestra in which there may be an accordian, a violin, a guitar or other string instruments.  Sometimes there will be a flute or clarinet and drums as well.  More and more frequently the accompaniment is provided by an electronic keyboard.
     We may have difficulty providing a formal category for sevdalinka,  Any love song could perhaps be sevdah.  It depends so much on the performer whether it achieves that which is exclusively a sevdalinka.  Important features of the genre are:  excessive second, mixolidic major and harmonic minor, alteration, coloring, wide voice range and phrases requiring a long breath.  
     All said, expect rich harmony full of melancholic emotions with a tempo that is a slow or moderate and varied by the singer throughout the song.  Sevdalinka songs are very elaborate, emotionally charged and are traditionally sung with passion and fervor. The combination of Oriental, European and Sephardic elements make this genre stand out among other types of Balkan folk music. 

uspješnica or šlager 
This genre is much older elsewhere in Europe but first started to make its appearance in the Balkans in the late 1940's and early 1950's.   These are sweet, highly sentimental, ballads frequently centering on love, relationships and feelings.   In Croatia,  Zagrebfest, begun in 1953, influenced the genre greatly. A pioneer of the genre was Ivo Robić.  Born in Bjelovar,  Robić began his career with Rado Zagreb Orchestra while he was a student at the university. Robić was the first artist from the region whose recordings were available internationally. Collaborating with Bert Kaempfert, Robić  hit "Morgan" rose to #13 on American charts in 1959 where the style remained widely popular until the 1970s.  


 bubnjevi = drums
harmonika = accordion
klavijature = keyboard