CHALGA (from ‘chalgia’ – Turkish musical instrument); means also ‘to make
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.
changes in 1989 ‘CHALGA’ transformed into a movement – self-production of pop-folk
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.