Trumpet in the Hands of the Woman in Contemporary Serbian Popular Music

The case of the “Danijela” trumpet orchestra from Arilje

  • Jelena Joković University of Arts in Belgrade, Faculty of Music, Department of Ethnomusicology
Keywords: The “Danijela” trumpet orchestra, a woman as the leader, trumpet orchestra, theory of gender, media, the relation between traditional, artistic and popular music


The “Danijela” trumpet orchestra from Arilje is the first ensemble in Serbia whose ‘first trumpet’ and leader, in every sense, is Danijela Veselinović (1993). Apart of Danijela, there are men in the orchestra; they are Danijela’s brothers, cousins and colleagues from the University. Such orchestras (of the family type), in which women play, or in which the leader is a woman in the ensemble, are not unknown in the world as they even existed in the 19th century. This paper analyses the relationship between men and women regarding theory of gender and the way it is covered by the media and in other ways. Through this theory, I examine Danijela’s approach to the trumpet in every detail, as an instrument that is considered as a ‘male’ instrument in Serbia today. This is based upon my personal interview with Danijela Veselinović. This consideration of the trumpet as a male instrument is not unusual, bearing in mind its historical background and its role in society. Through an ethnomusicological comparative analysis of three interpretation, I shall to try to conclude whether, as regards performance, it is a ‘copy’ of the male trumpet orchestra or whether it just leaves a personal touch, and also, whether that touch comes from the gender viewpoint, or, simply said, whether it is a question of the influence of the formal musical education which Danijela’s trumpet orchestra possesses.

Author Biography

Jelena Joković, University of Arts in Belgrade, Faculty of Music, Department of Ethnomusicology

Student of the Doctoral Programme in Etnomusicology at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade. Currently, she is employed at the same faculty as a junior researcher on a project of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia, entitled Music and dance tradition of multiethnic and multicultural Serbia. Within this project and for her doctoral dissertation, she is dealing with the diachronical and the synchronical aspect of the development of the performing apparatus, style and repertoire of the trumpet orchestras of West Serbia.