FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Awaiting wedding guests with bread

Here are the answers to some of the frequently asked questions related to Pesna.org. Click the question to expand the answer. If your question is not answered here, please feel free to send me an email.

Pesna.org aims to globally promote the traditional ethnic Macedonian folk songs by publishing lyrics and translations of lyrics, as well as offering audio samples, preferably from multiple performers and in different musical styles. This is a non-profit project for the preservation of Macedonian cultural heritage.
Yes, "pesna" („песна“) means "a song" in Macedonian language. The plural of the word is "pesni".
The original online version of this collection was first published in 2005, under a different domain and platform. The site lives at the current domain (Pesna.org) from 2009.
This is a non-profit project and the entire collection is free for every visitor of this site. Regarding the copyrights and ownership: the lyrics and the melodies of the folk songs are in public domain. The lyrics are either translated in-house, or translations were sent by a translator with permission to publish, as noted for each translation. The audio samples are subject to copyright, and that's why all* audio samples published on Pesna.org are downgraded to "preview quality" (i.e. they are in MP3 format, encoded with less than 40 kbps). This low quality is enough for people to listen to the melodies and renditions of the songs, but they are not appropriate for everyday listening. The intention here is to follow the principles of the so-called "Fair Use" doctrine. Moreover, Pesna.org encourages every visitor to support the authors by purchasing the songs through content distribution channels, in the form of physical media like CD or DVD, or digital downloads, or via a streaming service. The names of the performers are clearly noted for each audio sample.
* Some performers gave explicit permission to publish their renditions in high quality.
All audio samples are encoded in MP3 format and with less than 40 kbps quality. Some performers gave me explicit permissions for their recordings to be included in high quality.
Audio samples are downgraded to "preview quality" according to the "fair use" principles. The idea is to allow visitors to listen to the song, but without violating the ownership rights of the performers who produced that rendition. It also promotes their take on that song and invites the visitors to purchase the recording via regular content distribution channels.
You may help, thanks for asking. If you have lyrics or audio recordings of a traditional Macedonian folk song which is not published here, please send them to [email protected] and I will publish them with pleasure. You can also send me your translations of lyrics, in which case I will add you as a translator and credit you on all your translations.
You may, as long as you also follow the principles of the "Fair Use" and are not commercially exploiting my effort. All materials published in Pesna.org are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license. In other words, you can copy some lyrics or translations, provided that you put a link back to Pesna.org. Do not reproduce and sell this content without asking for an explicit permission from Pesna.org.
Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping letters (thus trans- + liter-) in predictable ways (such as α → a, д → d, χ → ch, ն → n or æ → ae).
On this website, we are using the MJMS/SSO standard, as noted in this Wikipedia article: Romanization of Macedonian. All Cyrillic characters are straightforwardly matched with their Latin counterparts, with the exception of the following characters:
ѓ = gj
ж = zh
ѕ = dz
љ = lj
њ = nj
ќ = kj
ч = ch
џ = dzh
ш = sh
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I am Zoran Stalevski, a software developer by vocation. My interest in arts and music merged with my passion for collecting lyrics of traditional Macedonian folk music, and this site was born. It also came out of necessity, because there wasn't any similar collection published online at the time. I am not a musician or ethnologist, therefore I am not contributing to our cultural heritage, just humbly publishing it in collaboration with many others that send me audio samples or translations.
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