Folk Music and Instruments in Dubrovnik: Linđo And Lijerica

The energetic beat of lijerica

Lijerica is a small, pear-shaped, three-string music instrument, played with a bow. Instruments like it were popular across the Eastern Mediterranean until the late 18th century, but today you will find it mostly in the Dubrovnik region. The lijerica’s name comes from the lyre, the bowed instrument of the Byzantine Empire because lijerica probably evolved from it. It was played to accompany a dance on the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and Asia Minor. It is perfect for creating energetic dance music, like the temperamental Dubrovnik dance called Linđo. While it became forgotten in most of the former areas, it still exists in Dubrovnik.

It’s not easy to play. The player holds the instrument vertically on his left knee, holding a fiddle bow in his right hand, while with the right foot he strikes the rhythm.

Today you’ll find a lijerica player wearing a folk costume, sitting by the Big Onofrio’s fountain in the Old City of Dubrovnik.

It is easy to get dizzy both dancing and watching Linđo

Linđo is the folk dance from the Dubrovnik region, powered by a lijerica instrument.

The lijerica player sits in the center. A dance master, who leads the dance, shouting commands, accompanies him. Dancers move in a circle around them. The master dictates the change of dance figures, thus the rhythm of the dance, the switch of dancing partners, and encourages the dancers to compete in improvisation. Occasionally he joins the dancers, joining one of the females, forcing her partner to step away. The dance is fast, with a lot of different figures, spins, and lifting of the female dancers. Commands are in rhymes, humorous, witty, and mostly with double meanings like “Drop her on the ground, let her knickers fall down!”

You can attend the weekly folk performances where Linđo is played also, every Sunday morning in the Konavle region, in a village called Čilipi. Join me on an excursion to Konavle, and enjoy this impressive performance.

Lijerica player in folk costume on the Big Onofrio’s fountain

Folk Music and Instruments in Dubrovnik: Linđo And Lijerica

The energetic beat of lijerica

Lijerica is a small, pear-shaped, three-string music instrument, played with a bow. Instruments like it were popular across the Eastern Mediterranean until the late 18th century, but today you will find it mostly in the Dubrovnik region. The lijerica’s name comes from the lyre, the bowed instrument of the Byzantine Empire because lijerica probably evolved from it. It was played to accompany a dance on the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and Asia Minor. It is perfect for creating energetic dance music, like the temperamental Dubrovnik dance called Linđo. While it became forgotten in most of the former areas, it still exists in Dubrovnik.

It’s not easy to play. The player holds the instrument vertically on his left knee, holding a fiddle bow in his right hand, while with the right foot he strikes the rhythm.

Today you’ll find a lijerica player wearing a folk costume, sitting by the Big Onofrio’s fountain in the Old City of Dubrovnik.

It is easy to get dizzy both dancing and watching Linđo

Linđo is the folk dance from the Dubrovnik region, powered by a lijerica instrument.

The lijerica player sits in the center. A dance master, who leads the dance, shouting commands, accompanies him. Dancers move in a circle around them. The master dictates the change of dance figures, thus the rhythm of the dance, the switch of dancing partners, and encourages the dancers to compete in improvisation. Occasionally he joins the dancers, joining one of the females, forcing her partner to step away. The dance is fast, with a lot of different figures, spins, and lifting of the female dancers. Commands are in rhymes, humorous, witty, and mostly with double meanings like “Drop her on the ground, let her knickers fall down!”

You can attend the weekly folk performances where Linđo is played also, every Sunday morning in the Konavle region, in a village called Čilipi. Join me on an excursion to Konavle, and enjoy this impressive performance.

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