Međimurska popevka, a folksong from Međimurje


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Inscribed in 2018 (13.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, 2017

Međimurska popevka, a folksong from the Međimurje region, in the north-western part of Croatia, was historically predominantly a soloist vocal genre practised by women. Nowadays, it is performed by individuals and groups, men and women, in vocal, vocal-instrumental, instrumental, monophonic and multipart renditions, as a musical genre or incorporated into the dance. The lyrics are of great importance and establish a basis for the classification into, among others, love, sad-melancholic, humorous and church popevkas. The most active bearers are mostly members of cultural-artistic societies and associations, which have a long history in the country, but individual singers also play a key role as nuanced soloist renditions are typical for popevka. The element is practised in a broad range of social contexts, from solitary music-making to family and community happenings, work gatherings, religious events, and performances within and outside of Međimurje. The average inhabitants have all experienced popevka in numerous situations throughout their lives and are encouraged to join the music-making on such occasions. There are currently around fifty singers regarded as masters of the art for their transmission of classical merits of the genre and their capacity to imbue it with personal expressions, and women often serve as mentors in transmitting the practice to younger generations.