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Lautări are traditional Romanian Gypsy musicians. They play an important part in rural Romanian culture, playing music at peasant social occasions, especially the wedding celebrations that typically last from Saturday afternoon to mid-day Monday.

Lautări generally live in the countryside and are, to some degree, peasants. As performers, they are usually loosely organized into a group known as a taraf, which often consists largely of the males of an extended family. (There are female lautări, mostly vocalists, but they are far outnumbered by the men.) Each taraf is led by a primaş, a primary soloist.

The music of the lautări establishes the structure of the elaborate Romanian peasant weddings, as well as providing entertainment (not only music, but magic tricks, stories, etc.) during the less eventful parts of the ritual. The lautări also function as guides through the wedding rituals and moderate any conflicts that may arise during what can be a long, alcohol-fueled party. Over a period of nearly 48 hours, this can be very physically strenuous.

Following custom almost certainly dating back at least to the Middle Ages, most lautări rapidly spend the fees from these wedding ceremonies on extended banquets for their friends and families over the days immediately following the wedding.

Since the early nineteenth century, and especially in the days before sound recording, lautări kept alive various genres of Romanian music, not all of them of Gypsy origin, that might otherwise have been lost. Most of their songs have lyrics in Romanian, but some have all or part of their lyrics in Romany, a language specific to the Gypsies.

For discussion of the music of the lautări, see Gypsy music.