Czech Music: A Folk Revival

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

Czech music has undergone a folk revival in recent years, with new bands and artists emerging and bringing the traditional sound to a whole new audience. This blog will explore the best of Czech folk music, from the old classics to the new stars on the scene.

Overview of the Czech music scene

Czech music is a rich tapestry of sounds and styles, woven together from the country’s diverse history and cultural influences. Traditional folk music and dance are an integral part of Czech life, and have been experiencing a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

Classical music is also highly respected and admired in the Czech Republic, with Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana two of the most famous and celebrated composers to hail from this small Central European nation. Jazz, pop, rock and hip-hop are also popular genres in the Czech Republic, with a number of hugely successful Czech musicians making a name for themselves on the international stage in recent years.

The folk revival in Czech music

The folk revival in Czech music began in the 19th century with the publication of songs by Karel Jaromír Erben and continued throughout the 20th century. Folk music was an important part of Czech identity and helped to define what it meant to be Czech. The folk revival helped to preserve Czech culture and preserve the traditions of Czech music.

The origins of the folk revival

In the early part of the 20th century, a new generation of Czech musicians began to take an interest in the traditional music of their country. This was part of a general trend across Europe at the time, as people began to look to their own heritage for inspiration. The Czech folk revival was particularly strong, and it had a lasting impact on the development of Czech music.

One of the key figures in the early days of the revival was Václav Holý, a musicologist and violinist who did much to collect and preserve traditional folk tunes. He alsoarranged many of these tunes for orchestra, and his work helped to bring folk music to a wider audience. Another important figure was Antonín Dvořák, who incorporated elements of Czech folk music into his own compositions. Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 (‘From the New World’) is probably the best-known example of this, but he also used folk themes in his operas and other works.

The folk revival continued throughout the twentieth century, with various composers and performers finding new ways to incorporate traditional folk music into their own work. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in Czech folk music, both in its traditional form and in how it has been used by later generations of musicians.

The key figures in the folk revival

The folk revival in Czech music can be traced back to the early 20th century, when a number of key figures began to collect and record traditional folk songs. One of the most important of these was František Sušil, who travelled around the country collecting songs and dances from different regions.

Other important figures in the revival include composers Leoš Janáček and Antonín Dvořák, who both used traditional folk tunes in their work. Janáček was particularly interested in Moravian folk music, while Dvořák drew on Czech and Slovak folk music for his compositions.

The folk revival culminated in the establishment of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in 1896, which helped to bring Czech music to a wider audience. The Orchestra gave its first performance at the Prague Spring Festival in 1897, and has continued to perform at the festival ever since.

The influence of the folk revival

Czech music underwent a major transformation in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A new national consciousness emerged, and with it, a new interest in the country’s folk traditions. This “folk revival” movement led to the development of a distinctive style of Czech music, characterized by its use of folk melodies and rhythms.

The folk revival had a profound impact on all aspects of Czech music, from composition and performance to music education and publishing. It also played an important role in the formation of modern Czech identity. Today, the folk revival is often seen as one of the most significant movements in Czech history.

The contemporary Czech music scene

The contemporary Czech music scene has been shaped by a long and turbulent history, with many different influences and styles coming together to create a unique and vibrant musical culture. Today, Czech music is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, with a new generation of musicians and fans rediscovering the rich tradition of Czech folk music.

The mainstream music scene

The mainstream music scene in the Czech Republic is primarily made up of pop and rock bands, with a strong preference for English-language lyrics. However, there are also a number of Czech-language bands that have gained popularity in recent years. The most popular genres are probably metal and alternative rock, but there is also a healthy underground scene that includes a variety of styles like punk, hip hop and electronic music.

Some of the most popular bands on the Czech music scene include Tata Bojs, Nosek & Nosek (a father-son duo), Kryštof, Chinaski and Horkýže Slíže (a punk band). There are also a number of well-known DJs, including Pavel Bidlo and DJ Wich.

The underground music scene

The contemporary Czech music scene is a thriving and eclectic mix of genres and styles, with a particular focus on folk music. The underground music scene in particular has been a hotbed of activity in recent years, with a number of small independent labels and clubs springing up to cater to the growing demand for new and innovative music.

One of the most exciting new developments on the Czech music scene is the rise of bands who are re-interpreting traditional folk songs and giving them a modern twist. This trend has been led by the likes of Vimor, Psarela and Lojzo, who have become hugely popular in their home country. With their mix of clever lyrics, catchy melodies and folk-inspired instrumentation, these bands are helping to revive interest in traditional Czech music and giving it a fresh lease of life.

If you’re looking for something truly unique, then the Czech underground music scene is definitely worth exploring. With its vibrant energy and creative spirit, it’s sure to leave you feeling inspired.


The Czech music scene has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, with a particular focus on folk and traditional music. This revival is largely due to the efforts of a new generation of Czech musicians who are passionate about their musical heritage and keen to preserve it for future generations.

This revival has been helped by the availability of online resources and social media, which have made it easier for people to connect with each other and share information about Czech music. It is also due to the increasing popularity of festivals and events which showcase Czech music, such as the annual Prague Folk Fest.

The future of Czech music looks bright, thanks to the efforts of these passionate young musicians. They are ensuring that the rich musical heritage of the Czech Republic is not forgotten and that it continues to thrive into the future.

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