“It is better to break the house than the harmony of singing!” It is not often you can hear such a radical statement in relation to the vocal skill, glorifying the song and its performer. However, in Adjara, it is quite relevant. This quotation about singing belongs to one of the famous Adjarian folk song performers - Abdul Bolkvadze. He was a "lotbari" - a leading voice that sets the tone for all the other members of the choir. Due to the fact that Georgian singing is almost always polyphonic, there is always a great responsibility on a lotbari, because the slightest change in intonation can destroy the whole harmony of the song!
Today almost all kinds of folk songs are preserved in Adjara. The most popular of them are labor, wedding, dance, marching and heroic songs. As a rule, all these songs are characterized by polyphonic performance.
In Adjara they sing while working in the field, cleaning the corn, spinning or weaving. Since ancient times, the song has accompanied almost any work, inspired the working man and made his work easier. Those singers who sang during sowing or harvesting enjoyed special honor and love of the people. Such songs created a working mood and filled with energy villagers who had to work all day in the field. The singers themselves did not have to work, it was enough just to sing and inspire the working people. One of the modern folk song performers recalls: “My grandfather sang so well that people would not go out to work in the field without his songs! "
The Adjarian dance song is characterized by the slow start and acceleration of the tempo. While performing a dance, the dancers typically have a smile or joyful look on their face. One of the characteristic features of the Adjarian dance is the competitive moment: as soon as the music starts playing faster, the young dancers pass the baton to the older ones, and the latter go dancing in a circle, accepting the challenge. All these traditions originated in ancient times, were transmitted through the centuries and reached our times in their original form.
Another feature of the Adjarian song is «shairi» - the vocal game of wits, during which men and women exchange ironic and humorous couplets. And there are no winners in this game, there is only real folk art, which today is becoming more and more popular and valuable!
The years passed and the Adjarian folk song had to go through difficult times, but it did not die, but became even more powerful and more popular. Technical progress played a major role in this: voices were recorded at different times on different media and archived. These records helped the younger generation to restore the song and bring it back to the village again! Young people followed in the footsteps of their ancestors, and today there are wonderful folk song performers in the villages of Adjara! Thousands of tourists from different countries come to local villages today to not only hear, but also study Adjarian folklore!
The Adjarian song is a storehouse of popular wisdom, a connection with the ancestors, which never stopped! And today, like hundreds of years ago, it inspires and revives the village!