Szászcsávás (Romania, Transylvania)

 

Szászcsávás is a small village located in the valley of the river Kis-Küküllõ (Tîrnava Mica) in Transylvania, Romania. Most of the 900 inhabitants of the village are Hungarian, 20% of whom are Gypsies. Szászcsávás is an exception on the music map of Hungary. This village is probably the only place in Hungary where we meet with polyphonic singing - unheard of in Hungarian folklore dominated by single-voice singing. The tradition of Transylvania was the musical setting of weddings and other festivities by Gypsies, and before the Second World War also by Jews. For generations, the fame of gypsy musicians from Szászcsávás spread throughout the region. Although they have no experience in choral singing, they know both the songs themselves and the style in which they are sung. The residents of Szászcsávás are an auditorium with higher than average requirements - bad musicians are not tolerated here. Gypsies live here on the edge of the village, which, according to the standards prevailing in Transylvania, is quite rich. They earn their living by doing seasonal field work and producing bricks in the villages of the entire region. Considering more than poor living conditions, playing music has become the only way to improve them. Among Gypsies, the percentage of people who can play an instrument is astounding - most of them are string instruments, but recently also harmony, drums, saxophone and electric organs. The repertoire of musicians from Szászcsávás is extremely wide, because it is played there for Hungarians, Romanians and Gypsies.

 

Concert as part of the festival: 20 July 2002, 7:30 PM, Main Square