Bulgarian Choral Traditions:Music and Vocal Techniques Influenced byReligion, Education and the Singing Community Leanna Cooper and Akiko Minaga
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A tumultuous history is the cause of a rich cultural identity and unity that has enhanced music, particularly choral singing, in Bulgaria. Through religious, educational and community-based institutions, choral music has evolved into a treasured practice, one that has preserved Bulgarian language, history and national identity. Through extensive interviews and participation in various choirs, we will learn the uniquely distinct vocal technique of Bulgarian singing and understand the personal, national and cultural impact choral music has on Bulgaria and its people. Our individual research components will be divided into two portions. One will focus on the Bulgarian aesthetic of beauty in sound. Analyses will be made of what musical sounds are considered pleasing to the ear.Various influences from other cultures will also be studied, as well as the effects on continuity of style in Bulgarian choral music. The other component of individual research will be focus on the recognition and personal significance of traditional folk songs within the Bulgarian population. Through this study, a more personal perspective can be gathered on Bulgarian history, nationalism and oral tradition.