Ismet Alajbegović Šerbo was a Bosnian accordionist, composer, song writer and a greater researcher of Sevdalinka.
After years spend playing in Sarajevo Cafe Bars and at various gatherings, Šerbo became one of the leading musicians at Radio Sarajevo.
Along with Zaim Imamović he played in a duet Alajbegović-Imamović, which lead to Imamović becoming a leading singer at Radio Sarajevo, while Alajbegović become ensemble leader, arranger and author.
As one of the leading researchers of Sevdalinka, a claim agreed by Safet Isović in one of the interviews, Alajbegović has done much within the harmonisation of this type of song.
He build a specific performance style on accordion, without virtuosic passages and mind bending kolo performances, which had later built the names of accordionists such as Jovica Petković.
Dr. Šerbo’s style (it can be argued) was much more suited to Sevdalinka, as it was performed by older singers, linearly, effortlessly, always falling back onto the melody as the main backbone for improvisation.
It could even be argued that Šerbo’s playing (if we ignore the harmonic nature of accordion as an instrument) best reflects the Saz accompaniments out of all accordionists.
Šerbo’s accordion was not a noisy bellow because of which the singer would have to scream.
That type of playing was simply not recorded before Šerbo.
Motivated by the success of Jozo Penava, Jovica Petković i Zaim Imamović, Šerbo had also composed Sevdalinkas of his own.
Some of them have been made in haste, for various folk music festivals.
Some of them, however, have become massively successful creations, stylistically very close to traditional Sevdalinkas.
Šerbo’s speciality, however, was the harmony and finding new harmonic solutions to songs which preserved the soft Bosnian folk melody defined by Sevdah.
Published on 1st September 2009