OF THE POLICE ACADEMY
An element of the rich and diverse culture of
the Georgian people, the traditional songs of Georgia are a
musical chronicle of the country's history. Despite the numerous
incursions of foreign invaders - Arab, Mongolian, Turkish, Persian
- Georgia has preserved its language, both oral and written,
its architecture, its religion and a large number of unique
songs and melodies.
Developed over the centuries, the traditions and styles of performance
have been handed down from generation to generation by outstanding
singers, many of whom founded their own schools and whose memory
lives on in the minds of the Georgian people.
Georgian folk music is one of the most important elements in
the treasure house of Georgian spiritual culture, an aural chronicle
of Georgia's centuries-old history.
The specific geography of Georgia, its historic and social
conditions have brought about the development of a number of
dialects, both linguistic and musical, that are named after
the respective place-names: Kakheti, Kartli, Racha, Svaneti,
Megrelia, Imereti, Guria, Ajaria and others. The musical dialects
of all those regions differ in rhythm, intonation, texture and
harmony, whole sharing one common feature: polyphonic singing.
Georgia folk songs mostly contain three voice-parts. However,
four-part labour songs are encountered in Guria and Ajaria.
In these parts of Western Georgia a distinctive kind of figurative
polyphonic-singing is widespread "krimanchuli" or
"gankivani", a type of yodel.
folk music, featuring complex, three-part, polyphonic harmonies,
has long been a subject of special interest among musicologists.
There are many talented folk groups in Georgia whose common
purpose is to revive and preserve Georgian folk music. The Rustavi
Choir, formed in 1968, is the best known Georgian group performing
a traditional repertoire.
In today's Georgia, folk songs are most frequently sung around
the table. The ceremonial dinner (supra), a frequent occurrence
in Georgian homes, is a highly ritualized event that itself
forms a direct link to Georgia's past. On such occasions, rounds
of standardized and improvised toasts typically extend long
into the night.