Traditional Croatian Klapa Singing

About Klapa Music

More than 100 miles east of Italy is the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. It is typically Mediterranean, and very mountainous. The crystal-clear Adriatic washes along the hundreds of miles of coastline. The precipitous Dinaric Alps rise thousands of feet above the coast.

The Klapa tradition has been developing for hundreds of years. Originally, groups of men would join together in their villages and sing folk songs based on love, fishing, and the sea. A unique style developed, and it was a mix of local dialect, Slavic sentiment, far eastern sound, and Italian harmonic organization.

The music exhibits tremendous emotion and feel. All the standard and theoretical elements of music can be heard; complex and free rhythms, folk and Italianate harmonies, dynamics, song and verse. It is joyous and romantic; a way to be released from the cares of the world.

In a world far away, imagine, then, hearing voices emanating from a nearby square. As you approach, the strains become louder, but not in volume; instead in intensity. Men are organized in a circle in the center of a plaza; the plaza, in turn, overlooks a reflected moon on the surface of the Adriatic sea. A warm breeze blows through, and on the edges of the stone courtyard, people are seated or standing, quietly listening to lovely, lovely music.

We have been to such a place and experienced this warm breeze and the view of the glistening sea while singing Klapa songs. We would like to take you there through listening to our CDs or enjoying a live performance.