by Milan Opacich
Tamburitza America is the story
of an Old-World music tradition, the tamburitza of the South Slavs,
which came to America with the immigrants in the late 1800’s and early
1900’s. It has flourished through several American-born generations.
Milan Opacich documents the history of the instrument, its origin and development, and features the fine musicians and orchestras, applauding their major contributions both to tamburitza and to American music.
Other traditional instruments—the flute or frula, the bagpipes or gajde, and the gusle—are spotlighted in one chapter along with the violin, a relative newcomer to the tamburitza tradition but an integral part of some of the most popular orchestras.
Tamburitza America is also a historic journey through America to the origins of the tamburitza tradition in the country’s industrial towns where work once revolved around mines, mills, and factories. It recalls the vibrant communities where tamburitza music was heard, first in the boarding houses, pool halls, and saloons and, later, in the taverns, church halls, night clubs, restaurants, and ballrooms.
Today, musicians and fans gather throughout the country to hear the bright and happy sound of the tamburitza, and the delightful music also accompanies banquets and picnics as well as baptisms, weddings, anniversaries, and holidays.
Tamburitza America celebrates this rich musical heritage of the South Slavs in America.
|About the Author
Milan Opacich was born in 1928 in the
heart of Gary, Indiana, the great steel city which was home to one of America’s
largest Slavic communities. Today he lives just a few miles away, in Schererville.