Attacks on Serbian melody exposes Bosnian Muslims to scrutiny of their own musical heritage

Serbia’s WWI marching song that delivered the first Allied victory was recently attacked by the Bosnian Muslim envoys at the UN, claiming that the music is offensive to them and that it should not have been played. By launching an attack on such an important song, Bosnian Muslims and their allies in the large-box Western media, have implicitly made two claims: first is that it is the Bosnian Muslims, and not the Serbs, who hold moral superiority in the world and second, it is the Bosnian Muslim music heritage, rather than the Serb one, that is aesthetically superior.

As for the moral-superiority part of the claim, we already noted in this blog that it is rather ironic that the grandsons of soldiers of the WWI Axis powers are growling at the UN against a song that moved the Serbian army into battle that delivered the first and crucial victory for the Allies. After that victory, of course, the Axis and the Bosnian Muslims who volunteered to fight for them, were toast.

As for the aesthetics part, Carl Savich has just published an analysis of the Marching song that examines very that.

Savich notes that the Drina March, the music composition that the Bosnian Muslims are attacking, is in fact “an international standard, a musical work that is an integral part of world music. The song has had a major impact on Western music and world music.”

Depicts Savich but one instance:

“The song created a sensation in Sweden in 1963 when it was played on a television program on Yugoslavia. As reported in Billboard on September 14, 1963, in the story ‘TV Tune Sets Phones Ringing’ by Henry Fox, the music was instantly popular: ‘The telephones went hot following a TV program about Yugoslavia to find out the name of the tune played on that program. People phoned from all over the country, and only a short time later “Marchen Til Drina” (The March to Drina) was on the top lists.”

As his text notes, the Drina March has attracted the attention in other countries clearly showing its multi-cultural appeal across the spectrum of the European ethnic ears.

By attacking this Serbian melody, and after reading Savich’ piece, the Bosnian Muslims have placed their own music into the aesthetic focus because if Bosnian Muslims claim that the Serbian song is no good than, by implication, they claim that their music is aesthetically superior.

Now, one place where we could go for some insight into the Bosnian Muslim musical legacy in the region is Ivo Andric, a Nobel-Prized author whose literary theme has been dominated by the ironicially-sad Bosnian society that is, as he described in his writing, made up of “torturers and the tortured”.

In Travnik Chronicle (Travnicka Hronika), the first sequel to Andric’s capital work, the author uses various European “Consuls” to speak through them about the various aspects of the Bosnian Muslim culture, a culture that is foisted on Serbs and Croats by the threat of torture.

In one of the passages of Travnik Chronicle (aka Bosnian Chronicle) Andric uses a European intelligence gathering officer, Daville, who just sat down at home to write a report on events he saw in the day when he ran into certain Bosnian Muslims named Karahodja and Musa the Singer.

Writes Andric:

“I have listened to these people sing… and found that their songs too show the same morbid, barbarian frenzy which is to be found in every other activity of their minds and bodies. I have read somewhere in a travel account of a Frenchman who visited these parts and heard these natives more than a hundred years ago, how their singing is more akin to howling of dogs than to human song… I have noticed how they roll their eyes whilst singing, and gnash their teeth and pummel the wall with their fists, so it is hard to tell if they are unhinged… or simply venting a deep-seated primeval urge to yowl, wallow in self-misery, and flail about them blindly. And I have come to the conclusion that none of it has any connection either with music or singing, as this is understood by other peoples, but happens simply to be one of the ways in which they express their hidden passions and evil lusts, which otherwise, for all their wantonness, in the nature of things, they would not be able to articulate. I have also discussed this with the Austrian Consul General…”

Of course, no comments are needed… except an ironic note that days-ago, it has been reported, Andric’s original manuscripts have “vanished” from the Bosnian Muslim “museum” in Sarajevo.

1 comment for “Attacks on Serbian melody exposes Bosnian Muslims to scrutiny of their own musical heritage

  1. Milos
    February 14, 2013 at 7:59 am

    The Bosnian “Ganga” music sounds indeed like the howling of dogs. Worse in fact. Ovo je mucenje!

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