Aklapela: Dalmatian Songs Can Melt Any Heart!

Last weekend was a wonderful weekend in sunny Dubrovnik; klapa songs echoed from every corner of the city from the early morning. People enjoyed at the 4th Aklapela Festival, which was held at the Marin Drzic theater and in the church of St. Dominic.
During the festival, vocal groups (klapa) held many spectacular concerts. On Sunday, eight klapa groups – Armorin, Mriza, Neverin, Subrenum, Petrada, Venutula, Narenta and Kaleta closed the festival with a free concert for the people of Dubrovnik.

The klapa and klapa song tradition that we know today was formed in the mid 19th century, at a time when Croatia’s cultural and musical identities of small Mediterranean coastal towns and islands of Dalmatia were being defined. The recognizable way of singing, a tradition of urban Dalmatia, developed when Dalmatian cities and townlets were growing, was influenced by the organized music of Croatian national revival. It is a time when the first organized church and profane singing choirs came to being, as well as city brass bands (a legacy from Napoleon’s time) and tamboura bands and orchestras. The above-mentioned musical phenomena have directly influenced the development and popularization of polyphonic, traditional, and urban singing.