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Suiti singing

Historically, in the Suiti community two different types of singing were practised. The men generally were singing so called long songs with several thematically related couplets. It did not matter, whether the song was composed by a known author or it was a folk song.

Women, on the other hand, were singing in the manner of the vocal drone, which men were not. Singing generally was more a female domain. They were singing a lot, and their songs could be about any imaginable topic.

To perform a female vocal drone song, usually several women are needed. The first (lead) singer starts out alone singing the first two lines. Then she stops and another singer repeats the same text with the same melody once again, while the rest of the group perform the long eeeeeeeeoooo drone sound. Then the whole process starts all over again with the next two lines. Sometimes the first singer was also helping in the repeating part. Good lead singers were highly respected in the community and they were often invited to wedding parties, even if they were not relatives of the newlyweds.

Such singing style at first glance may seem boring and monotonous. But it is not. As the actual performance combines melody, text and also some action, such as movements, facial expressions, gestures, etc. Altogether over 52 thousand folk songs (including variations) have been recorded in the Suiti community. That is a very rich heritage.