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European countries around the Black Sea feature a bit of the East in their musical heritage: listen for strains of irresistible folk music and choose among dozens of international festivals when you travel to the inland sea of Europe.
Turkey‘s music is influenced, as is the rest of its culture, by a rich combination of diverse cultures and its position at the axis of the cultures of the East, the West, the Middle Eastern, the Mediterranean and Islam. This colorful portrait holds just as true for Turkey's music. Listen for Turkish folk music, Turkey’s own brand of classical music, based on traditional Turkish music interpreted with the values of Western classical tradition. You’ll hear warm sounds and infectious rhythms that will make you want to get up and dance. Classical, pop and contemporary music are alive and well in Turkey, particularly in Istanbul.
One of the most outstanding musical aspects of Bulgaria is the Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir, a name which is inversely proportionate to the haunting, otherworldly sound of the strong, clear voices singing dissonant but bewitching songs. Folk music is played on a variety of stringed instruments, flutes and bagpipe analogs and drums; you can find it without too much trouble in smaller towns. Expect your toes to tap; dancing is an important part of folk tradition so the music is meant to get you up and on the floor. Sofia attracts loads of contemporary artists for concerts and club dates.
When you visit Romania, be sure to attend one of its many festivals celebrating all aspects of folk culture to hear folk music in addition to enjoying traditional crafts and dancing. The National Radio Orchestra, one of the best in the country, presents frequent classical chamber music performances at the music hall in the radio building.
Tourism is flourishing in the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
The Pyrenees Mountains straddle the border between Spain and France.
Central Europe is eager to welcome you to discover its treasures!