Hungarian Gypsy Music.. Turkish Gypsy Music… Flamenco… Gypsy Jazz…Because the Roma have lived and played in such diverse lands, a bewilderingly wide assortment of music can all be lumped into the generic category of “Gypsy Music.” Throughout European history, generations of now-forgotten gypsy musicians exerted a powerful fascination on great composers from Biber and Telemann in the 17th century to Ravel in the 20th. Rule-free and unbounded creativity made these musicians in this race of persecuted social outcasts a valued social commodity for centuries. Here are a few videos to give you a taste of the diverse heritage of “Gypsy Music”.

Il Suonar Parlante Orchestra and Vittorio Ghielmi

Vittorio Ghielmi visits Transylvania in search of the gypsy music of the eighteenth century that was played on the frontiers of the Ottoman and Austrian Empires – music that influenced composers like Mozart and Haydn for their famous ‘Janissary’ pieces.

Perhaps the most important and influential of all Roma musicians in this century was Django Reinhardt, a Sinto. (In France these are also known as “Manouche.”) His collaborations with violinist Stephane Grapelli in the Hot Club of France produced some of the most elegant and enduring jazz of the time, and created an entire genre of music which is still played by the Roma of France, “Gypsy Jazz.”

Django Rheinhardt’s “Minor Swing”

More Gypsy music to discover…

The Gipsy Kings, playing “Bamboléo” below, are probably the most famous Roma group in the world today.

For a more sinuous and hypnotically gorgeous Balkan music, check out Laver Bariu – beautifully hypnotic Gypsy music of the Balkans

And more Roma music from Turkey and the Istanbul Oriental Ensemble


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