|THE TERM "CLAPA"
The word "clapa" originates from a slang spoken in Trieste (Italy). In a dialect spoken in Trieste, the clapa means a group, a bunch, a gathering of people linked by a group, certain mutual relationships, primarily by friendship. In Dalmatian dialects, the word clapa appeared in the 19th century, a period when substantial trade was developed between Trieste and the Croatian coast. Today, the world clapa is synonymous for a determined folk music phenomenon in a definite geographical region (the urban and mixed rural-urban milieus of the coastal part of Dalmatia and its islands). The clapa as a folk phenomenon appeared at the end od the first half and the beginning of the second half of the 19th century, and the term is used to describe a certain number of singers singing homphonous songs, with, as a rule, one first tenor.
The term "clapa songs" (Dalmatian close-harmony singing) is quite new. It has come into more frequent use in folk music terminology after 1967, the year in which the Festival of Dalmatian Clapas was founded in Omis. The term clapa songs derives from the fact that the songs are performed by groups of singers, the so-called clapas. Clapa songs are primarily homphonous tunes and they are recognizable by virtue of their inner musical structure, the movement of both the melodic line of the lead vocal and that of the other vocals, the harmonic construction and the content of lyrics (they are mainly love songs ranging from those with a pronounced poetic tone, those with cheerful, optimistic, somewhat jocular tone, to those with forced, insincire and unnatural sentimentalism). They are compositions in major keys and one of the most recognizable characteristics of clapa songs is the fact that they are performed a cappella. However, this essential characteristic has in our time gradually given way to the albeit discrete charm of the guitar and less frequently to the mandolin or the blatant use of the accordion in the accompaniment of clapa songs.WHO SINGS IN CLAPA?
The singers in clapas are man with a certain musicality, a gift and sensibility for transforming a spiritual mood into a spontaneous homophonous expression. And even female clapas were formed. The number of singers in clapa is not limited by any particular rule. However, in practice there are usually five to ten singers.
HOW CLAPA SINGS?
They always sing spontaneously and the main aim of the singers is to achieve the best possible fusion of chords, and this is of the utmost importance for the prestige of the clapa in friendly
competitions and for winning the sympathy of the audience. An important feature of true folk clapa singers is that it is sometimes necessary that only the leading voice (the first tenor) knows the melody and the lyrics of the song for the clapa to start singing. The second voice (second tenor) immediately joins in a third below it ("seconds it"), the baritone completes the triad ("gives body to the song"), while the bass, marking out the harmonic functions of the tonic, dominant and subdominant, proves himself in "profondo" singing, so that the song unfolds in the harmonous ringing of chords as if all the singers are well-acquainted with the melody and the lyrics of the song.
Source: Festival of Dalmatian clapas in Omiš
ABOUT THE "NA KLAPSKI NACIN" WEBSITE
This website was founded by Iva Vianello on December 2003. with the name "Na klapski način" (in clapa's way). The first version of the website consisted of clapa songs' lyrics and and a few photographs while today it has hundreds of photographs and textual pages and the latest news service about clapa and clapa events. The "naklapskinacin.com" domain was bought in March 2004. and since then it has been trademark for the first and the only clapa portal on the internet. It averages 500 visitors per day with over 650 MB daily bandwith. The website supported many clapa concerts and festivals around the country including "Bascinski glasi", "Klapski pozdrav Gospi Trsatskoj", "Ne damo te pismo nasa", "Klape u Areni" etc. which serve to the website's primarily goal – to promote the beauty of clapa singing in Croatia and around the world.