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Origins and History of Gabor Gypsy Music and the impact of Gabor gypsy music on Balkan music

Gabor gypsy music has a rich and unique tradition that combines elements of Oriental,  Hungarian and Roma music. Despite facing discrimination and marginalization, Gabor gypsy musicians have kept their culture alive through their music. In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in Gabor gypsy music, both in Hungary + Transylvania and internationally. This article will explore the history and significance of Gabor gypsy music, its cultural impact, and the musicians who are carrying on this tradition today.

The origins of the Gabor gypsies are somewhat unclear, but it is believed that they migrated to Hungary from India in the 14th or 15th century. They are known for their skilled craftsmanship, particularly in metalworking and woodworking, and their traditional dress includes brightly colored fabrics and ornate jewelry.
One of the most notable aspects of Gabor gypsy culture is their music. They have a unique musical tradition that combines elements of Oriental music with Roma musical styles. Gabor gypsy music is characterized by its use of the cimbalom, a hammered dulcimer, and the violin, as well as complex rhythms and improvisation.
Despite their contributions to European culture, the Gabor gypsies have long faced discrimination and persecution. During World War II, many were sent to concentration camps, and in the years since, they have continued to face discrimination in housing, employment, and education.

Gabor gypsy music has had a significant impact on Hungarian culture, and many Hungarian musicians have been influenced by their style. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in Gabor gypsy music, both in Hungary, Transylvania and internationally. Musicians such as Kálmán Balogh and Parno Graszt have gained popularity, and there are now festivals and concerts dedicated to celebrating Gabor gypsy music.

Despite the challenges they face, the Gabor gypsies have a rich and vibrant culture that continues to thrive. Their music, craftsmanship, and traditional dress are an important part of European culture, and it is important to acknowledge and celebrate their contributions.