During the period of my field work in Romania in 1977, in addition to making numerous field recordings, I also collected a number of commercially produced Lp recordings, made by the state recording company, Electrecord. Most of these recordings are no longer available in Romania nor anywhere else. I have transferred some of these to Mp3 files in order to be able to hear them more easily. I am now sharing this wealth here for those who might be interested. I shall continue to add to this collection as time permits.
In addition to much music of the state supported neo folk music that comprised the Electrecord catalog, there were a number of excellent recordings of local and regional ensembles. Under the socialist system in place at that time, if a person could pass an examination to show that he was a competent folk musician, he or she would be hired into the local House of Culture orchestra. If not, since everyone was required to have employment, (100% employment was the social ideal and very near the reality) those who could not had to find other work, often as common laborers. Most of these ensembles had excellent musicians, most or at least many of them, being Roma, or Gypsies. Some of these ensembles were allowed to play good examples of the local folk music and these are what I have selected here.
In addition, from time to time, a particular soloist might be spotlighted with a solo CD. Many of these were also very good performances.
I should further explain that the supply and demand system in those days left much to be desired. It was decreed that music was a suitable form of entertainment and education for the masses and music shops were scattered over most towns and cities. However, there was no adequate way of knowing just what might be available. These records were collected by searching every record store I could find, always on the lookout for something I had not heard before.
The western most regions of Transylvania are comprised of Arad, Salaj, Bihor and Maramures in the north. This is a region of string ensembles. In Salaj and Bihor usually one or two violins, with cellos or double basses and a drum. The music forms part of the great sphere of string orchestras that spread from Southern Poland, through Slovakia,the Czech Republic, Hungary and most of the Transylvanian region of Romania. These are the roots of the Western string orchestra, having gradually replaced the local bagpipes in providing local village dance music, but that's another story. The remnants of bagpipe style ca still be heard in the melodies of these regions and in particular the use of the broad open stringed notes bowed stridently at the ends of many phrases.
The Moldavian violinist, Mihai Botofei. From Neamt Judet, this excellent violinist plays the local regional folk music of the area.
Simion Stanciu is one of the great nai, or pan-pipe players of Romania. A long standing ensemble musician with the big state ensembles of the 1970s, he was also allowed by the state to make a few solo records. This one is one of the very few in existence.
Two brothers, Tudor and Iocovache Pana, from Bucuresti. This EP disc came out in 1975 just after I had met Tudor in Rangoon. It is in the Bucharest Urban Rom Style, Musica Lautareasca, but tinged with a bit of the Romanian Socialist Idealist neo folk style.
One of the great Lautari a musician from Craiova
Two brothers, Aurel and Victor Gore, formerly accompanists to Romica Puceanu, here each recorded on his own 45 Ep on violin and accordion respectively.
Ion Petre Stoican
An excellent Bucharest musician who plays in the Lautareasca style.
Recently Electrecord Records in Romania has rereleased recordings of Stoican. They are available through
So I am removing the recordings from this site.
A cobza player who plays in the lautareasca style
Also please note that I am putting up my own field recordings from Romania made in 1977. Romania-1977
Department of Anthropology