Film, Video Folk Music from the Slovak Mountains

Transcript: TEXT

About this Item


  • Folk Music from the Slovak Mountains


  • The fujara is the largest member of the overtone flute family. It developed in the seclusion of the Slovakian mountains, and, until recently, was barely known outside Slovakia. Even today, only a small number of traditional musicians play the instrument, and only a handful of craftsmen know how to make it. However, since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the fujara has been "discovered" by the rest of the music world, and an increasing number of musicians and listeners are embracing this magnificent "Queen of the flutes." The fujara's imposing size, (up to six feet long), and the intricate decorations on the flute's surface draw immediate attention, but listeners only begin to understand the true uniqueness of the fujara after hearing the first tones of its editative, soulful, and overtone-rich voice. The fujara was originally developed and played by Slovak shepherds. Its unique voice was used to play slow, lyrical, melancholic folk melodies, which the fujarist played in alternation with sung lyrics about various topics: shepherds' daily routines and hard lives; love; the beauty of nature; and the adventures, capture, and execution of forest outlaws. In this presentation, Bob Rychlik will demonstrate the fujara's versatility by playing examples from the traditional repertoire as well as classical and contemporary music, including several of his own compositions. This lecture/performance was presented by Bob Rychlik in conjunction with the American Musical Instrument Society Annual Meeting and in cooperation with the Music Division, Library of Congress.

Event Date

  • May 27, 2010


  • -  Multi-instrumentalist Bohuslav "Bob" Rychlik was born in Czechoslovakia, where he fell in love with the acoustic guitar, and later, the 5-string banjo. He taught classical guitar, studied various folk and blues finger-picking guitar styles, established several country and bluegrass groups, and organized musical gatherings and festivals even prior to moving to America in 1984. He received his first fujara as a gift from Slovak friends in 1999. After mastering the instrument, he started sharing its beauty with others. He has played the fujara with the modern dance troupe CityDance, and has given over 70 fujara and overtone flute performances at folk festivals and Czech and Slovak events. Bob became the first foreign member of the exclusive "Fujarasi" guild in Slovakia, recorded his first CD, Ideas with Fujara, and was featured on Czech and American TV and Czech and Slovak radio.

Running Time

  • 63 minutes

Online Format

  • video
  • image
  • online text

Rights & Access

While the Library of Congress created most of the videos in this collection, they include copyrighted materials that the Library has permission from rightsholders to present.  Rights assessment is your responsibility.  The written permission of the copyright owners in materials not in the public domain is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. There may also be content that is protected under the copyright or neighboring-rights laws of other nations.  Permissions may additionally be required from holders of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights). Whenever possible, we provide information that we have about copyright owners and related matters in the catalog records, finding aids and other texts that accompany collections. However, the information we have may not be accurate or complete.

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Credit Line: Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Folk Music from the Slovak Mountains. 2010. Video.

APA citation style:

(2010) Folk Music from the Slovak Mountains. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Folk Music from the Slovak Mountains. 2010. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.