© Albin Olsson
A typical klapa ensemble includes a first tenor, a second tenor, a baritone, and a bass. While all voice parts can be doubled, the first tenor remains singular. These groups usually feature up to twelve male singers. Although female klapa groups have gained popularity recently, groups traditionally remain either all-male or all-female without mixing.
While klapa traditionally is a cappella, sometimes a soft guitar or mandolin, which resembles a tamburitza in look and sound, complements the singers. Additionally, synthesizer keyboards mimicking percussion instruments can occasionally accompany the ensemble.
Klapa music remains a vibrant tradition with new compositions emerging and dedicated festivals celebrating it. Notably, the Dalmatian Klapas Festival in Omiš stands out as a premier event with deep roots in Klapa music. In recent years, Klapa Šufit has made a mark there, clinching the top spot for three consecutive years from 2006 to 2008. Klapa holds a special place in the hearts of Dalmatian youth who often indulge in this musical tradition during outings for meals or drinks. It’s common to encounter impromptu klapa performances in the evenings, set against a backdrop of food and wine on the streets.