Sunday, May 20, 2007


Ciocarlia is Romanian for "skylark." It's also the name of a wildly popular Romanian folk tune associated with gypsies. In all performances the middle features instrumental bird song imitations. That accounts for much of my love for Ciocarlia.

Classical music fans know Ciocarlia as a major portion of George Enescu's Romanian Rhapsody in A Major, Opus 11, No. 1. Here's an odd cinematic version featuring a harmonica player.

Here's a version, said to be due to Grigoras Dinicu, in which the bird song is provided by violin, which is more customary. The basic melody predates Grigoras Dinicu.

But guitarists do it, too.

Electronic guitarists do it, Turkishly.

Electronic organists in restaurants do it.

Even tourism promoters do it!

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