Horns

Although horns cannot be considered instruments in the real sense of the word, they did have a significant role in the tradition of our people. Horns cannot play melodies, except in rare cases when there are several holes for playing drilled in the horns, so the player can improvise with one to two tones, or if the horns are long enough, to produce some aliquot sounds. Horns were mostly used by shepherds – to call each other and to signal their positions. However, horns also played a very significant role in some important annual events, such as the feast days of Saint Juraj, Saint John, and carnivals and masquerades (Buše).

Horns were made mostly from the actual horns of domestic animals and from willow bark, pumpkin or wood. They were different sizes and lengths – from short cow horns and the horns of willow bark, to horns made of split wood and wrapped up with skin that were as much as three meters long. Such very long horns were called bušen and were frequently used during carnivals. Horns made of willow bark, pumpkin and ox horns are shown in the photograph above.