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Lithuanian Music -- Music of the Last Pagans

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posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 12:38 AM
Lithuanian Music -- The Music of the “Last Pagans”

Lithuania is a small country on the shores of the Baltic Sea. The largest of the three, so called, ”Baltic States” ( which also include Latvia and Estonia ), Lithuania is an ancient land with a relatively obscure history even though Lithuania was the largest country in Europe in the 14th Century. Lithuania is also remarkable in that, along with Latvia, it is part of a distinct Indo European language and ethno-cultural family called “the Balts” (the better known Prussians were also Balts).

The Baltic languages are exceptionally ancient languages and are of particular interest to linguistic scholars in that find that

Lithuanian still retains many of the original features of the nominal morphology found in the common ancestors of the Indo-European languages, and has therefore been the focus of much study in the area of Indo-European linguistics. Studies in the field of comparative linguistics have shown it to be the most conservative living Indo-European language. source

There is a quotation by the renowned French linguist, Antoine Meillet that certainly captures the reason why linguists might find Lithuanian of interest: “Anyone wishing to hear how Indo-Europeans spoke should come and listen to a Lithuanian peasant. “ .

There are also some unusually striking similarities between Lithuanian and Sanskrit!

Scholars have concluded that Lithuanian language also bears some resemblances to Sanskrit, which seems difficult to fathom considering how drastically separated the two languages are, geographically and otherwise. source

Another particularly curious feature of Lithuanian history, that is certainly expressed in the culture and music of Lithuania, is the fact that Lithuania is the last country in Europe to accept Christianity which it did in 1386. Lithuania's Ruler, Jogaila married a Polish Princess, Jadwiga – bartering a deal to form a Great Polish-Lithuanian Empire as a King – on condition that he convert to Catholicism and that the pagan Lithuanian tribes similarly convert. Lithuanians are a religiously tolerant people. They seem to readily accept different faiths. Besides, this did seem like a “no brainer”. Whether this was a genuine conversion? Perhaps. Today Lithuania is a predominantly Catholic country with strong pagan customs and rituals that persist to this day – often along side the Church without perceived contradiction. Lithuanians are fiercely proud of their pagan roots, customs and beliefs.
Music often reflects the intangible in a people – the soul. This is no less true of the Lithuanians and their music. From their ancient folk melodies, to more modern “takes” on those ancient themes, the warrior spirit, the connection to the earth, the connection to the spirit is prominent and readily felt......

This is the thread to post your own particular favorite pieces of Lithuanian Pagan Music...... some of my own are:

Oi, tu, bijun, bijuneli by traditional Lithuanian pagan folk group “ “Kulgrinda”

[edit on 12/3/2009 by benevolent tyrant]

posted on Dec, 3 2009 @ 12:40 AM
There's a lot of this sort of music to be found .... a lot. Latvia, Lithuania's neighbor, is said to have a “songbook” dainos with nearly two million songs! Lithuania is comparable. Traditional pagan music abounds.

“Bite lingo” by Lithuanian Pagan NeoFolk musiciansDonis and Rasa Serris

The most curious development in Lithuanian pagan music is probably the merger between Kulgrinda .... (the first video) and the Lithuanian black metal band , Ugnelakis

”Tirpsmas” (instrumental) by Lithuanian black metal band Ugnelakis
(incidentally, these guys have a great guitarist...he makes it seem effortless and he is creative and, as you will see in subsequent videos, versatile. )

When black metal band Ugnelakis teamed up with Kulgrinda to play traditional Lithuanian pagan melodies, it must have been apparent that they had “something”.
”Skauda Galveli, Negaliu” by Ugnelakis and Kulgrinda

Ugnelakis and Kulgrinda followed this CD by merging and creating a new band called Zalvarinis.....I find that merging the traditional sounds of an ancient choral tradition with the driving rock rythmms quite enticing and more than “just pleasing”.... again...note the lead guitarist..... In my opinion, I think that he “just rocks” and is quite imaginative....”nice” stuff

”Krapas by Zalvarinis

”Sermuonelis by Zalvarinis

Of course, the music does tend to get, well, “harder”. As the music tends to lean toward some of the “darker” genres of todays' music.
Case in point.....Obtest....Lithuania's “pagan-metal heroes”
”Auka Seniems Dievams”

”Sviesa” (“Light”) by Obtest

Kur Lygus Laukai (Where the land is level) by Eudine Seythe
from a poem, “Milzinu Kapai” by the Lithuanian poet, Maironis which relates the epic battle between the pagan forces of Lithuania against the Christian Crusaders – the German Teutonic Knights – at The Battle of Grunwald (1410)

[edit on 12/3/2009 by benevolent tyrant]

posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 02:02 AM
Zpoan Vtenz - Milzinu Sugrizimas
This Lithuanian pagan metal band takes it's name from the Prussian (a Baltic dialect) meaning the victories of Vytis .

Zpoan Vtenz was formed by Lithuanian metal guitarist, Ramūnas Peršonis, a former member of two other pagan metal bands, Poccollus and Ha Lela. This album, "Gime Nugalet" (Born to Victory) was the bands lone release.

Zpoan Vtenz - Gime Nugalet

Zpoan Vtenz - Negriza Bernelis

[edit on 1/19/2010 by benevolent tyrant]

posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 03:17 AM
The most poignant aspect of Lithuanian pagan or folk metal is the language of the lyrics. Keep in mind that Lithuanian is considered by linguists to be one of the most archaic Indo European languages. That is, Lithuanian has not changed considerably over the centuries. The language you hear spoken (or, in this case, sung) would be readily understood by a Lithuanian of the Middle Ages.

Anyone wishing to hear how Indo-Europeans spoke should come and listen to a Lithuanian peasant.
—Antoine Meillet source

Ha Lela - Sidabrines Saules Simbolis / Symbol of the Silver Sun

(featuring Ramūnas Peršonis, guitarist. He formed Zpoan Vtenz ).

Ha Lela - Audros Sirdis ir Kraujas / Heart and Blood of Storm

Ha Lela - Pabudimas / Awakening

posted on Mar, 17 2010 @ 11:30 AM
Ain't no rap like west coast lithuanian rap!


posted on Mar, 17 2010 @ 11:40 AM
I wonder if there's a big rivalry in Lithuania between "rap crews" much like we might find in the U.S. ? Are there geographic rivalries? Kaunas or Klaipeda crews against Vilnius crews?

Regardless, it's interesting to see how music really knows no borders, no cultural lines..... it's universal.

posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 05:15 AM
Saulės laikrodis - Rūkas niekad nesibaigs - (1983)

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