Rusyn Folk Music: A Unique Sound

Rusyn folk music is a unique and underappreciated genre. This blog will explore the history and sound of Rusyn folk music, as well as its current popularity.

Introduction to Rusyn Folk Music

Rusyn folk music is a type of music that is unique to the Rusyn people. The Rusyn people are a Slavic people who have their own language and culture. They are spread out across several countries, including Ukraine, Slovakia, Poland, and Romania. While the Rusyn people have their own folklore and music, it is also influenced by the music of their neighboring cultures. This results in a unique sound that is unlike any other type of folk music.

The Origins of Rusyn Folk Music

Rusyn folk music has its roots in the music of ancient Slavic people. Over time, as the Slavic peoples migrated to different parts of Europe, they took their music with them, and it eventually developed into the various folk traditions we know today. Rusyn folk music is unique in that it retains many of the original features of Slavic music, while also incorporating elements from other traditions. This makes for a rich and distinctive sound that is unlike anything else you will hear.

One of the most important aspects of Rusyn folk music is the role of the village bandurist. The bandura is a type of Ukrainian lute that is central to Rusyn folk music. The village bandurist was usually a man who knew how to play the bandura and led the other musicians in playing traditional songs. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in Rusyn folk music, and bands composed entirely of women are now becoming more common.

If you are interested in hearing Rusyn folk music for yourself, there are a few ways to go about it. There are several recordings available, both commercial and traditional ones made by amateur enthusiasts. You can also find videos online that will give you a taste of what this unique form of music sounds like.

The Characteristics of Rusyn Folk Music

Rusyn folk music is unique in several ways. One of the most notable characteristics is its use of minor scales. This gives the music a plaintive, melancholic quality that is distinctive from the major-key sound of most other European folk music. Another unusual feature is the use of drone notes, which are sustained notes that provide a background harmonic foundation for the melody. Rusyn folk music also often features complex rhythms, which can be challenging to dance to.

The Instruments Used in Rusyn Folk Music

Rusyn folk music is known for its unique sound, which is a result of the combination of the various instruments used. These instruments include the trembita, a type of wooden horn; the dentsivka, a flute-like instrument; the tamburitza, a string instrument; and the viola, a bowed string instrument.

The Influence of Rusyn Folk Music

Rusyn folk music is a type of music that is traditional to the Rusyn people. It is a mix of Slavic, Hungarian, and Romanian elements. The music is typically played on traditional Rusyn instruments, such as the kobza and the dulcimer. Rusyn folk music has a unique sound that is different from other types of folk music from around the world.

The influences of Rusyn folk music can be heard in the music of other cultures, such as in the music of Slovakia and Romania. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in Rusyn folk music, and it is now being performed by musicians from all over the world.

The Popularity of Rusyn Folk Music

Rusyn folk music is a unique and distinct genre that has gained popularity in recent years. This type of music is characterized by its use of traditional instruments, such as the tamburitza, as well as its focus on storytelling. Rusyn folk music often tells stories of the people’s history and culture, and these songs often have a moral message. Because Rusyn folk music is so closely tied to the people’s culture and history, it has become an important part of their identity.


In conclusion, Rusyn folk music is a unique and interesting genre that is definitely worth investigating further. If you are a fan of folk music, or simply want to broaden your musical horizons, then we urge you to give Rusyn folk music a try. You may be surprised at just how much you enjoy it!

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