Of all the countries I visited, Romania is geographically and culturally the farthest from the U.S. Much of the country lives in poverty and has little communication with our world. The distance means that their music is not at all what we’re used to, involving meters and scales that sound exotic, and sometimes “off”, to our ears. In my aural research, I found that Romanian music reminded me at times of German music, Klezmer, and music of the Middle East. It makes sense, if you think of the countries location and what other countries it has had a lot of contact with.
These qualities are carried over to Romania’s rather small choral tradition. Here’s an example of several different styles that are typical of Romania http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqDFnVyV41M
This music has been providing a formidable challenge as I’ve had trouble reconciling some of the foreign elements of Romanian music with my composition style which is completely based on our western choral tradition, specifically modern choral music. As of now, I haven’t come up with anything that I feel satisfactorily fits into my style as well as represents the Romanian tradition but I am continuing to learn and experiment and I’m getting closer.