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STARY OLSA: Belarusian medieval music

Author: Lida added 3-01-2013, 17:30
STARY OLSA: Belarusian medieval musicWe continue publishing the series of articles dedicated to the musical tradition and culture of Belarus. In this article we will focus our attention on a group of artists and reenactors of Belarusian medieval music Stary Olsa.

STARY OLSA was founded in 1999 by its present leader Zmicier Sasnouski and now consists of six musicians. It takes its name from a brook in the west part of Mahilou Region (Belarus).

The band's repertoire includes Belarusian folk balladry and martial songs, Belarusian national dances, works of Belarusian Renaissance composers, compositions from Belarusian aulic music collections (e.g. Polacak Adversaria, Vilnia Adversaria), Belarusian canticles of the 16th - early 17th centuries, as well as European popular melodies of the Middle Ages and Renascence.

In the inn

STARY OLSA cooperates with many knightly clubs from Belarus and Europe, museums and research centres, masters of early instruments, bands of folk, aulic, sacred and city avital music, as well as with solo performers using old instruments.

The band's music makes it possible to restore sounds of many forgotten instruments. STARY OLSA uses for its performances maximally exact (in appearance, technology and materials) copies of age-old Belarusian instruments such as duda (Belarusian bagpipe), lyre, husli (psaltery), svirel (reed pipe), jew's-harp, ocarina, Belarusian trumpet, birch bark trumpet, hudok (Belarusian rebec) and drums.

Dance from Polacak Adversaria

The purpose is to reconstruct completely (whenever possible) musical traditions of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania where Belarus was the basic cultural and geopolitical part in the 13th - 18th centuries, and where there was a unique synthesis of Belarusian folk and aulic music with European musical achievements of that time. In order to revive this cultural feature the band's members mix early Belarusian instruments' sounding with all-European mediaeval instruments such as lute, rebec and flute.

Rose flower

Besides its own theatricalized concerts, the band performs at mediaeval culture festivals, spear-runnings and folklore festivals.

The STARY OLSA band has recorded eight albums and one musical project. The band's music is included into seven collections of old melodies performers.

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Stary Olsa, medieval music