Bistritsa Babi (Bulgarian: Бистришките баби, "The Bistritsa Grannies") are an elderly/multi-generational female vocal ensemble carrying on the traditional dances and polyphonic singing of the Shopluk region of Bulgaria. Founded in 1939, the group won the European Folk Art Award in 1978, and it was declared a Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005. Performing three-part polyphony with features "retained from the pre-Christian times," the group has toured Europe and the US. They are known for their use of Shopi polyphony, costuming, dancing in a ring (horo), and performing the lazarouvane (the girls' springtime initiation ritual). In 2005 they were included in UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage elements in Eastern Europe.
The Shopi genre is characterized by diaphony and parallel voicing. "Diaphony" is a type of polyphony where the melody is performed by one or two soloists, consisting of izvikava and buchi krivo or "to shout out" and "crooked rumbled roars", while the ensemble holds a doubled or trebled drone. Dance and music are asynchronous.
The group was formed by pairs of women recruited as vocal accompanists to the Bistritsa Chetvorka (Bulgarian: Bistritsa Foursome/Quartet), founded around 1935.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bistritsa Babi.|
- List of Intangible Cultural Heritage elements in Eastern Europe
- Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir
- "The Bistritsa Grannies and their Grand-Daughters". Gega New. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "The Bistritsa Babi". Bulgarian National Commission for UNESCO. Archived from the original on 9 March 2014.
- "The Bistritsa Babi: Archaic Polyphony, Dances and Ritual Practices from the Shoplouk Region", UNESCO.org.
- Buchanan, Donna A. (2006). Performing Democracy: Bulgarian Music and Musicians in Transition, p.122. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226078267.
- "Bistritsa Babi", BalkanTrafik.com
- Listen, Daughter, and Remember Well... / Слушай, щерко, и добре запомни... The Songs and Life of Línka Gékova Gérgova from the Village of Bístritsa (Sofia Region), Bulgaria