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Music of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Title: Music of Bosnia and Herzegovina  
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Subject: Music of Montenegro, Music of the Republic of Macedonia, Music of Romania, Music of Turkey, Music of Greece
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Music of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnian music continues despite the nation's sometimes-troubled history.

Like the surrounding Balkan countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina has had a turbulent past marked by frequent foreign invasions and occupation. As a result, Bosnian music is now a mixture of the national Slavic folklore with some Turkish influences along with influences from the western part of the world.


During its period as a part of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina was covered in state-supported amateur musical ensembles called Cultural-Artistic Societies (Kulturno-Umjetnička Društva, KUDs) which played Bosnian root music and released a few recordings on local labels.

Traditional music

Original Bosnian music

Rural folk traditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina include the shouted, Živinice together with his artists brought this kind of music to perfection at the end 20th century. With its entirely new form of modernity, it is most common in the Tuzla Canton and the cradle of this music city Živinice was named Bosnian town of original music. Songs are performed preferably in a diphthong, the first and second voice which is a special secret performance of this music and some performers sing in troglasju as they do Kalesijski triple that was recorded in 1968, as the first written record of the tone on the album, along with Higurashi no naku.


Probably the most distinctive and identifiably "Bosnian" of music, Sevdalinka is a kind of emotional, melancholic folk song that often describes sad subjects such as love and loss, the death of a dear person or heartbreak. Sevdalinkas were traditionally performed with a saz, a Turkish string instrument, which was later replaced by the accordion. However the more modern arrangement, to the derision of some purists, is typically a vocalist accompanied by the accordion along with snare drums, upright bass, guitars, clarinets and violins. Sevdalinkas are unique to Bosnia and Herzegovina. They arose in Ottoman Bosnia as urban Bosnian music with often oriental and sometimes Sefardi influences. Examples are "Kad ja pođoh na Benbašu", the unofficial anthem of the city of Sarajevo, and "Kraj Tanana Sadrvana". Though not as common as it once was, traditional Sevdalinka singers like Kadir Kurtagić, Emina Ahmedhodžić, Hašim Muharemović and Muhamed Mešanović-Hamić are still popular to the extent that their recordings are available.

More modern performers Beba Selimović, Zehra Deović, Silvana Armenulić, Safet Isović, Himzo Polovina, Zaim Imamović and Hanka Paldum have used non-native instruments, including the accordion, clarinet, violin and guitar.

Ilahije i Kaside (Religious Songs)

Ilahije (Anasheed) are religious songs that came after or before sevdalinkas. These songs usually deal with religion, but some of them tell tales of how two lovers (male and female) come together.

Modern folk

"Modern" folk was referred to as "novokomponovana narodna muzika" ("newcomposed music") for a while, although the term went out of use in favor of simply "narodna" or "folk". It is based on various influences, sevdah stories with music of Serbia and/or Turkey often with incorporated elements of pop music. During the time of former Yugoslavia, the genre developed jointly in Bosnia and Serbia, and performers from both sides of today's borders still enjoy certain popularity on the other side.

See also

Classical music

BH composers of European classical music include Dino Zonić, Mirsad (Giga) Jelešković, Ališer Sijarić, Igor Karača, Dino Rešidbegović, Anđelka Bego-Šimunić, etc.

Film music

Bosnian composers of film scores include Saša Lošić

Pop and rock

Rock music has been very popular in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the mid-20th century. Popular and influential rock bands and artists have included Indexi, Bijelo dugme, Divlje jagode, Plavi orkestar, Crvena jabuka, Zabranjeno pušenje, Hari Mata Hari and others from the Sarajevo school of pop rock

see also:

Metal and hardcore

Heavy metal music is fairly underground within the musical scene in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the mid '80s, two metal bands were formed in capital Sarajevo: Bombarder and Parasite from which D.throne emerged as next generation in 1991. One of the pioneer trash metal bands Monolit was founded in Mostar also during the '80s. Modern extreme metal scene originate from city of Tuzla.

Some notable acts include:

  • Acronian
  • Aesthetic Empathy
  • After Oblivion
  • Aggressor
  • Agonize
  • Aiqëhahirit
  • Anemija
  • Arjen
  • Bestias
  • Bombarder
  • Cadaver
  • Cave Ritual
  • Contusio
  • Corbansick
  • D.Throne
  • Deathcircle
  • Doberman
  • Festival of Mutilation
  • Flatline
  • Forensic Clinic
  • Gnu
  • Hetrem
  • Hobson Choice
  • Kaos
  • Kontra
  • Korov
  • Krv
  • Kursk
  • Maichinery
  • Mavet
  • Mephistos
  • Monolit
  • Mortipher
  • Motherpig
  • Nigrum Ignis Circuli
  • Niteris
  • Odar
  • Ofsajd
  • Parasite
  • Parricide
  • Sadismo
  • Silent Kingdom
  • Tanker
  • Terra Slaves
  • Tmärrdhë
  • Toxicdeath
  • Vetëvrakh

Electronic music

Bosnian electronic/dance music has also been very popular in Bosnia and Herzegovina since the mid-20th century. Popular producers and artists include Adi Lukovac (Adi Lukovac & The Ornaments), Mirza (Mizi) Čaušević (mentalEscape), Dr Mladen Milicevic, Dr. Igor Karača, Axa, Basheskia, Meldeen (trance metal), Vuneny, Velahavle, Billain and dZihan & Kamien. Such producers and artists are responsible for various styles of electronic music such as drum'n'bass/Neurofunk, trance music, breakbeat and industrial.

New generation of electronic music producers in Bosnia includes names such as Arnej, Siniša Tamamović, Mladen Tomić, Mr Inessential, DJ Mika, Narcis Jr. aka Monophonic/Mashala, Cycle Six, Chipi, Nadix, LudDogg, and many more.

See also:

Hip hop

Hip hop music is new to Bosnia and Herzegovina, but became very popular throughout the urban public with the famous rapper Edo Maajka, who is the most popular rapper in Bosnia-Herzegovina and most famous throughout the rest of the former Yugoslavia.

See also:

World music

Lately, Bosnian world music scene (mostly Balkan influenced music) is growing bigger. Some of the bands are:


  • Burton, Kim. "Sad Songs of Sarajevo". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.). "World Music Volume 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East", pp 31–35. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0.

See also

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