Keywords: Multiculturalism, Thrace Region, folk music, rhythm, drum


The Thracian region folk music has rich elements for musicologists. Bulgarian-Greek-Slavic-Albanian-Romanian-Turkish-Gypsy societies displayed a multicultural structure by co-existing with the society and by leading a life within themselves for 700 years until the beginning of the 20th century. Together with the independence movements and the dissolution period of the Ottoman Empire since the late 19th century, different states have been formed according to the newly drawn borders, and as a result, each society has migrated to the borders of its own state. The cities of Eastern Thrace remaining within the boundaries of Turkey, are Edirne, Kırklareli, Tekirdağ and a part of Istanbul. The population of the region is of Turks and Gypsies who has immigrated from the Balkans.

Thracian societies, in terms of music culture developed similar elements in the instruments, melodies, rhythms and language, on the other hand, they have preserved their identities. Generally, each society lived together on a town basis. What united societies was their social activities such as inter-town trade and weddings. The musicians moved from one town to another and played in each other’s events, so they both learned the other music and transferred their own music. For this reason, music has been one of the most effective tools for creating a cross-community culture. In terms of rhythm knowledge, the most characteristic feature of the region is “odd” meters. 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15-time rhythmic patterns are played in this geography with the most advanced variations. In Eastern Thrace, 5, 10 and 9-time meters stand out, and in Western Thrace, 7, 9, 11 and above times attract attention. As instruments drum-zurna duo are representatives of the musical instruments. Therefore, horo and karşılama dance music form the basis of the repertoire.

In folk music compilations, majority of the research is based on the transformation of tunes into note forms. In contrast knowledge regarding rhythm is generally limited to the writing of tempo and meters. Rhythmic patterns, depending on the tempo and meters, can be played very plainly as well as variously depending on the local attitudes and the creativity of the drummer. In this context, it may be more complex than it seems to determine the local characteristics of rhythms. The aim of the study is to contribute to the regional folk music by compiling knowledge on the rhythmic patterns which are played in the horo and chosen from the karşılama repertoire of the folk music of Edirne, Kırklareli and Tekirdağ in Eastern Thrace. Rhythmic patterns whose notes are written, were chosen among the most frequently played throughout the work. Other executive investigations conducted and to be carried out on the same repertoire are important for determining local characteristics. It would be useful to conduct a similar reaseach in other countries other than Turkey in order to create a general map of Thracian cultural heritage in terms of rhythmic structure.