Omis is famous for its Festival of Dalmatian Klapas. Estabilished in 1967, it soon became the central meeting place of Dalmatia's musical heritage and has grown into a cultural institution of great importance and reputation.
So called Dalmatian "klapa" songs are at the core of this music. "Klapa" in Dalmatian dialect means company or group, while in musical terms it refers to five-to-eight member ensembles. Its basic characteristic and distinction are, and remain, solely vocal harmony-singing, only rarely discreetly and quietly accompanied by instruments.
The klapa singing has very long tradition derived from medieval church songs. Sang by fishermen and peasants, it leaves the listeners astonished by the beauty and gentleness of their voices, expressing the true heart and soul of Dalmatian people.
The motifs in general celebrate love, wine (grapes), country (homeland) and sea. In 2012 klapa was inscribed in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Backed by a dramatic canyon and straddling the mouth of the Cetina river, medieval Omiš has one of the Croatian coast’s most jaw-dropping settings. It’s a suitable backdrop for the evocative klapa music festival.
Competing groups of singers perform this highly expressive a cappella, multipart style of singing in the town’s St Mihovil and Stjepan Radić squares every few days until one group is declared the winner. These songs of love and longing are some of the most beautifully haunting sounds of the Adriatic.
There are no words to describe these marvelous sound echoing on the small square in Omis, the St. Michael's square. Those who have not experienced it can hardly imagine it. The Festival of Dalmatian Klapas is truly special and unique event and it is no wonder that Omis has been chosen to host it. With it's beauty, heritage and soul, Omis makes Klapas feel at home.
According to omisinfo.com