In his seminal comprehensive history of music(s) in the Balkan region, Jim Samson avoided the term “Balkan music” in favor of the less-binding title Music in the Balkans
(Leiden: Brill, 2013). This, however, should not hinder us from probing the term “Balkan music” and its many connotations. In this editorial article for the Special Issue Balkan Music: Past, Present, Future,
I aim to dissect the umbrella term “Balkan music” and its actual and presumed meanings and implications, while overviewing many different music traditions and styles that this term encompasses. I will also make a case for the establishment of Balkan Music Studies as a discipline and attempt to outline its scope and outreach.
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