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Ramadan Sokoli, an Albanian ethnomusicologist, musician, composer and writer

  • 3/30/2021 8:34 AM
Ramadan Sokoli, an Albanian ethnomusicologist, musician, composer and writer

Ramadan Sokoli was an Albanian ethnomusicologist, musician, composer and writer. He is regarded as one of the most distinguished scholars of the Albanian and Balkan music.

Ramadan Sokoli was born on June 14, 1920 in Shkodër. He graduated the elementary and high school in Shkodër before moving to Florence to study musicology. After World War II he created and became the head of the department of musical folklore. Sokoli is considered to be a pioneer of Albanian ethnomusicology. His work on Ottoman music modes and practices in Balkan music has been regarded as one of the most important ones.

Despite the difficulties before him for more than half a century (especially the psychological ones), he managed to discover through the dense fog of our history, prominent but completely unknown Arberia figures (eg Niket Dardani), thus performing a very special service to the Albanian world, especially the ethnomusicology of our country, one of the main founders of which he was. He is also the author of over 20 different publications of a scientific nature (eg "Skanderbeg's figure in music") and educational ("20 piano miniatures"), quite valid for researchers, teachers and students of music schools.

During his work as a teacher at the Artistic High School in Tirana, he has taught several subjects, such as folklore, flute, harmony, music history, solfeggio theory, etc. Professor Ramadani had also led international exploratory expeditions for folk music in Albania (eg with German and Romanian scientists), especially in the province of Chameria. He participated in several international congresses and symposia on Albanian ethnomusicology, speaking with sharp convincing facts and arguments. Professor Ramadani was one of the founders of the organization of the national folklore festivals and leader of those in Berat and Gjirokastra after 1992. After the early '90s, professor Ramadani has given lectures on Albanian ethnomusicology, invited to several foreign universities (Rome, Istanbul, Athens, Bologna, Bratislava, etc.). Several documentaries have been shot with cognitive and study character of Film Studio "Shqipëria e Re" about the life and activity of two early composers, Jan Kukuzeli and Niket Dardani, of the Arbëresh Lorenzo Tardo distinguished in church music as well as the musician from Shkodra, Gjon Kujxhia.

He is also remembered for a scientific study of Albanian folk music, perhaps the first of its kind in our history, published in 1944, in two parts. The composition was also one of the very original creative activities of the professor; he was the author of several pieces for chamber music and the famous song "Turtle dove".

With all his multifaceted activity, Professor Ramadan Sokoli remains a Historical Patriarch of Albanian Culture. Ramadan Sokoli passed awaiy in March 2008.

/Klara Ruci/