Georgian Folk Music: A Traditional Sound

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Georgian Folk Music has a traditional sound that is unique to the country. The music is often passed down from generation to generation, and is an important part of the culture.


Georgia has a rich and vibrant culture that is reflected in its music. Georgian folk music is steeped in tradition, and while it has undergone some changes over the years, it still retains its original sound.

The music of Georgia is known for its Polyphonic singing, which is a type of singing that involves two or more people singing different parts of a song at the same time. This technique is thought to have originated in Georgia, and it is still used in Georgian folk music today.

Georgian folk music is also known for its use of unusual instruments, such as the panduri (a stringed instrument) and the duduk (a woodwind instrument). These instruments give Georgian folk music its distinctive sound.

If you are interested in learning more about Georgian folk music, there are several great resources available. The website Georgian Folk Music: A Traditional Sound ( is a good place to start. This website provides an overview of the history of Georgian folk music, as well as information on the different types of instruments used in this type of music.

What is Georgian Folk Music?

Georgian Folk Music is a traditional type of music that is unique to the country of Georgia. This music is typically characterized by its use of Polyphonic singing, which is when three or more people sing simultaneously. Georgian Folk Music often tells stories and is meant to be emotionally expressive. This music has been passed down through the generations, and it continues to be an important part of Georgian culture today.

The Origins of Georgian Folk Music

Georgian folk music is renowned for its rich variety of sounds and styles. centuries of cultural exchange and interaction have resulted in a musical tradition that incorporates influences from a wide range of other folk traditions, from the Middle East to Russia. The result is a unique and distinctive musical culture that has remain largely unchanged for centuries.

Georgian folk music is generally characterized by its use of traditional instruments, such as the duduk (a flute-like instrument), the zurna (a type of oboe), and the Changi (a stringed instrument similar to a lute). Traditional songs often make use of complex polyphony, or the simultaneous use of multiple melodic lines.

The origins of Georgian folk music can be traced back to the medieval period, when Georgia was first united as a kingdom under King David IV. In subsequent centuries, Georgian music continued to develop and evolve, incorporating both new influences and older ones that had been long forgotten. Today, Georgian folk music remains an important part of the country’s cultural heritage, and is widely performed and enjoyed both within Georgia and beyond its borders.

The Instruments of Georgian Folk Music

The Instruments of Georgian Folk Music

Georgian folk music is known for its distinctive sound, which is a product of the country’s diverse musical traditions. A key feature of Georgian folk music is the use of traditional instruments, many of which are unique to the region.

The most important instrument in Georgian folk music is the panduri, a type of three-stringed lute. The panduri is used as both a solo and accompaniment instrument, and plays a central role in Georgian folk music ensembles. Other key instruments include the duduk (a type of woodwind instrument), the zurna (a type of brass horn), and the garmoni (a type of accordion).

While traditional instruments are still widely used in Georgian folk music, contemporary musicians have also begun to experiment with new sounds and styles. This has led to a revival of interest in Georgian folk music, both within the country and abroad.

The Styles of Georgian Folk Music

Georgian folk music is diverse and rich, with four distinct styles that reflect the different regions of the country. The first and most well-known style is Kartuli, which originates from Eastern Georgia and includes the famous Georgian chanters known as Mtkwari. The second style is Lak’a, which comes from the mountains of Georgia’s Svaneti region and is known for its polyphonic singing. The third style, Chokha, is also from Eastern Georgia and characterized by its strong rhythms and war-like lyrics. Finally, there is Oskhoto, a improvisational style that developed in Western Georgia among the Romani people.

Georgian folk music has been passed down through generations of families and has been preserved despite years of political turmoil. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in traditional Georgian music, with many young people learning to play traditional instruments and sing folk songs. Georgian folk music is truly a unique and treasured part of Georgian culture.

The Influence of Georgian Folk Music

Georgian folk music has been passed down through the generations by oral tradition, and has been influenced by the music of neighboring cultures. Although there has been some outside influence, Georgian folk music has maintained its own unique sound.

The three main types of Georgian folk music are religious music, work songs, and wedding songs. Religious music is typically sung in churches or at religious festivals. Work songs were traditionally sung while working in the fields or while performing other manual labor. Wedding songs are sung at wedding ceremonies and celebrations.

Georgian folk music is characterized by its use of harmony, polyphony, and drones. Harmony is created by two or more people singing different notes that sound good together. Polyphony is when two or more people sing different melodies at the same time. Drones are sustained notes that are played in the background to create a feeling of stability.

Georgians have a strong sense of national identity and pride in their culture and traditions. Folk music plays an important role in Georgian culture and is appreciated by both young and old generations.


In conclusion, Georgian folk music is a unique and traditional sound that is definitely worth checking out. This type of music has been around for centuries and has been preserved throughout the years. If you are looking for something different, then this might be the perfect style for you.

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