stará beskydská muzyka/archaic music from the Beskydy Mountains

What a bright colourfulness in interplay of the violin, bagpipe and dulcimer! The deep tone of the bass pipe makes the sound of ensemble a bit harsh but in a worse case it can be muted. On the chanter the bagpiper plays widely together with violin. The violin player – primáš – decorates the melody floridly; the second violinist – kontráš – supports harmonically and the dulcimer covers the tunes with undamped clang as when an evening mist, sparkling with gold of the setting sun, shades a hill by a hill.

Leoš Janáček (Národní písně v nově nasbírané, 1901)

The folk music band RukyNaDudy plays an archaic form of traditional music of the so called Hukvaldské Beskydy in the northwestern Carpathians. Besides the importance of singing, the typical musical instruments are also shared with other parts of the Carpathian area: the flutes with different number of finger holes, pastoral horns, bagpipes (gajdy), bowed instruments and dulcimers.

The flutes are an archaic basis of this traditional music. They are traditionally associated with mountain pasturage of sheep (salašnictvi) expanded in the Carpathians through ethnically mixed people called Valachians (Valaši). The bagpipe was originally the main instrument for dance parties. Although it was mostly replaced by newer form of traditional music, there has been an unusual revival in recent time in conjunction with other original instruments.

In the locality from which the repertoire of RukyNaDudy comes from, the so called dulcimer band (cimbálová muzika) is nowadays the most typical ensemble for the presentation of traditional music. Despite being of Hungarian origin, the big dulcimer domesticated here (like everywhere else in the very eastern part of the Czech Republic) together with a new style of playing after the World War II. The RukynaDudy band is just by contrast aimed at completely or almost lost musical instruments, ensembles and musical styles of traditional music and is active in the process of their revival and the keeping of regional specifics.