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Folk songs of the Beás Gypsies

5 comments on Folk songs of the Beás Gypsies

I mostly care because it results in people wanting to beat me up, and not hypothetically. :( Not that my actual ethnicity doesn't result in people wanting to beat me up. *sigh* But the less of that, the better.

Wow, I love all your mixes... I picked this one to comment because It's ages since I listened to Hungarian Folk, and this was all fantastic. Keep up the ridiculously good work!

This is excellent! And thanks for the paragraphs; I have a basic knowledge of certain groups of Gypsies but I was unaware of the Beas. You have the most wonderful, culturally interesting mixes.

Since this ethnic group is pretty much unknown in the English-speaking world, I decided to write a few rambling paragraphs to inform you... I'm not an expert, I hope I didn't get anything hopelessly mixed up :O

Beás (Bayash, Boyash, etc.) Gypsies live in Central/Eastern Europe, most of them in Hungary or Romania, though there are also groups in Croatia, Serbia, etc.

They speak a language distinct from Romani - it does not even belong to the same language family and the two languages have *zero* mutual intelligibility, despite what you might read on various websites - and related to Romanian. They might take offense at being called "Roma", so it's probably a good idea to avoid that. (I was in that situation *once*, I really really don't want it to happen again, it was *so* embarrassing! Remember, no one likes it if you get their ethnicity wrong... myself included! :O )

Beás folk music shows Romanian influences and it is primarily vocal. Today's folk performers use Romani folk instruments, this is a relatively new development that has its roots in the Romani folk music revival in Hungary in the 1980s-1990s. The popular Romani band Kalyi Jag was a large influence, especially considering they were one of the very few Roma who recorded Beás songs themselves (you'll find one in this compilation too).

There are very few Beás folk bands in Hungary today, and even the ones that do exist often perform Romani songs because these are more popular... while the reverse, Roma playing Beás music is very uncommon. So there wasn't too much to choose from for this selection... I have lots of music, but most of it by the same performers, and 8tracks has a two tracks per artist limit (SIGH!).

Google the bands, many of them have at least some online presence. There are also cool videos on Youtube, etc.

If you read Hungarian, you might want to check out this article about Beás culture: