World experts probe into Roma music at the turn of the millenium


The World Roma Festival, Khamoro 2003 is almost at an end and this year, as in the previous four years, it had several highlights. In today's Arts, I'll be looking at just one, a seminar held this week to explore something that the Roma are mostly associated with - their music. While some of you may believe there is little to discuss, just think of three names - the Gypsy Kings, Django Reinhardt, and the Czech Republic's Vera Bila. All three are known as Roma musicians but their music differs greatly. So, what exactly is Roma music? How can it be identified? Is there such a thing as a traditional Roma song? Zuzana Jurkova is the head of the ethno-musicological programme at Charles University's Faculty of Social Studies. I spoke to her after the seminar: