Music of Terchová

Inscribed in 2013 (8.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Country(ies): Slovakia



Music of Terchová

The village of Terchová in north-west Slovakia is renowned for its collective vocal and instrumental music, performed by three-, four- or five-member string ensembles with a small two-string bass or diatonic button accordion. It is often accompanied by polyphonic singing and combined with folk dances. The musical tradition of Terchová also includes solo instrumental performances on shepherds’ fifes. Performances take place at a variety of cyclical and occasional events, both religious and secular, including anniversaries, festivals, exhibition openings, symposia and, most importantly, the Jánošík’s Days International Festival. The traditional musical culture, which is transmitted orally, is a matter of pride and a marker of identity among the inhabitants of the village of Terchová and the surrounding areas. It encompasses instrumental and vocal music, dance, and a knowledge of the musical tradition of Terchová and the skills related to making musical instruments. There are over twenty professional musical ensembles in Terchová, while amateur ensembles perform at family, traditional and other events.


Decision 8.COM 8.26

The Committee (…) decides that [this element] satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as follows:

  • R.1: Handed down orally from generation to generation, the music of Terchová has adapted over the years to changing social circumstances; it serves as a marker of identity and continuity for the residents of Terchová;
  • R.2: Inscription of the music of Terchová on the Representative List could contribute to appreciation for cultural diversity and creativity particularly through attention to traditional music;
  • R.3: Past and on-going efforts as well as proposed measures to safeguard and promote music of Terchová include inventorying, acquisition of equipment and promotion; the community and national authorities are committed to ensure the viability of the tradition;
  • R.4: The nomination was elaborated with the participation of communities, cultural associations and local authorities and the communities provided their free, prior and informed consent;
  • R.5: Music of Terchová was included in 2011 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Slovakia, maintained by the Ministry of Culture, following the involvement of the community and its free, prior and informed consent.

Recalls the importance of using appropriate vocabulary and avoiding expressions such as ‘authentic’ and ‘purity’.



© 1952 by National Film Archives of the slovak Film Institute in Bratislava / 2012 by Radio and Television in Slovakia

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