Description of the element:
Singing to the accompaniment of the gusle is a performing practice that includes solo singing of folk epic decasyllabic poems, performed by a singer to the accompaniment of the gusle, a one-stringed (exceptionally two-stringed) bowed string instrument. In the past, both the poetic texts and the musical component of guslar songs were transmitted orally, whereas today, the presented texts mostly include the well-known, written ones, while the musical component is shaped through improvisation. This archaic form of folk art promotes the highest ethical values, the importance of kinship and the homogeneity of the community, and it is also a blend of the community’s historical memory and traditional music skills. The communities that practice it consider it the most representative element of their identity.
Singing to the accompaniment of the gusle, as part of both performing arts and oral tradition, is present in the entire territory of Serbia. However, its practice is more pronounced in the western and central parts of Serbia and in Vojvodina.