By Nicky Rea
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Extra resources for A Guide to Transylvania
The laiesi Gypsies engage in horse trading, tinkering, fiddle playing, fortune telling and other, less legal pursuits such as stealing, smuggling, and swindles. They have remained mobile, moving from town to town in their colorful, ponderous wagons and living on the outskirts for a time before moving on again. The Gypsies, or Rorn, as they have come to be called, have no belief in private property, nor do they wish the burden of a house or possessions. They do, however, enjoy utilizing such possessions for a short period of time before trading them for something else.
Other songs celebrating the harvest, midsummer’s day, and marriages also belong in this group. iwch of the unique character of Transylvanian music comes from the instruments used, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. The bucium (alphom), cirnpoi (Transylvanian bagpipe), cobza (pear-shaped lute with 8-12 strings), samba/(dulcimer) and nai (a pan-pipe with 20 cane tubes) are the best known of these. Ocarina (ceramic flutes with three finger holes) and tilinca (a flute with no finger holes) are also frequently used.
Later, it became one of the seven Saxon fortress cities built around a massive citadel. The fourteenth century saw the city's rise a s a free town under the governance of craft guilds, whose bastions provided additional protection and defense to the Saxon and Magyar burghers of the city. Above the main gateway of the citadel looms the Clock Tower, where a procession of wooden figures (one for each day of the week) emerge from the belfry each midnight to mark the inexorable passage of the hours.