CHALGA (from ‘chalgia’ – Turkish musical instrument); means also ‘to make music’.
Some 30 years ago the meaning was most close to the definition ‘to remake some pop-folk music by ear’. During the communist period the “pop-folk” music in Bulgaria was considered as decadent, thus forbidden. The self-production was sporadic. Illegally in many pubs in Bulgaria Serbian, Gypsy and Greek pop-folk songs used to be interpreted mainly by ear, which put the beginning of the concept ‘CHALGA’, also as some collective noun for the entire music gender.
After the democratic changes in 1989 ‘CHALGA’ transformed into a movement – self-production of pop-folk music, based on Balkan (Turkish mainly) patterns of the kind, Gypsy motives and rhythmic, Bulgarian dirty urban songs, and authentic folklore.
Except the rhythm, provoking to manifest some carnal intentions (usually after a couple of drinks) the kernel of any pop-folk song is the “key-phrase” of the text (usually mentioned several times), for example: “wake me at 2 o’clock in morning with no reason”, “kiss me allover and everywhere, because you know the best where to kiss”, “write down your name with your finger on my back”, “why having a lot of money when no friends around”, “show me yours, and I’ll show you mine”, etc.
Nevertheless, nowadays ‘CHALGA’ seems to be quite steady and resisting musical gender with its own motley dressing, heavy makeup, striking jewelry style, all accessories, which could be embellished, fancy lifestyle, vehicle preferences etc.
The bad news is ‘CHALGA’ possesses certain characteristics of pestilence.
On the other hand the good news is that it has defined finally the area of its diffusion, which is (lucky to say) not the best part of the nation.
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