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Accordion comedy

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maugein96

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I listen to Balkan accordion quite a bit, and found this clip. Listened to it several times over a period of weeks, but something just didnt ring true. The tune is very well known in Balkan music, but this version was just different. Never thought any more about it, but tonight I was looking at some Serbian and Bosnian sevdah guitarists and the clip came to light again.

I watched the guys face during the playing and realised he was making fun of the whole show. I decided to look him up and discovered he is a Dutch comedian/musician who dabbles in all sorts of music from all over the globe, always in a light hearted take. He (almost) got me, but his cover was blown. 



Also, youll have heard me ranting on about fake Paris cafe accordion, and it turns out that he and a colleague are pretty adept at it. If you cant wait to see why Ive posted the second clip go to about 12.10, and youll see what I mean. Sums up what I think about that music played by foreign impostors. For Seine read Maas. 

There are some other funnies on his You Tube channel, including an authentic French backdrop with Italian buildings and shop fronts, with clips of Mafiosi in the background. 

This guy is the King of Spoof. 

 

debra

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Especially the second one, featuring also Jo Brunenberg, is funny.
I know Jo's videos well, always filmed with a fake backdrop. Always played nicely (he became an accordion fanatic after retiring from his day job), and he makes nice videos out of his performances (unlike me, I only use a picture as background).

That Balkan music has been taken up by many. Adolf Götz made a medley of such songs, called "Dalamatinische Tänze" for accordion orchestra, and Motion Trio also plays Jovano Jovanka in their typical style...
 

Eddy Yates

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Both are pretty funny!
I know little about Balkan music, but at the risk of offending a lot of people, this one sounds more like Wankan music to me:
 
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maugein96

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Eddy,

I would agree that the guy in the demo wasnt the best of players. The various Balkan genres tend to be separated from the mainstream western European music by virtue of the Turkish influence, but there are a lot of fantastic musicians, particularly in the former Yugoslavia. This is fairly typical of what it has developed into in recent times in an effort to become modern. Probably doesnt really work for western ears, but I got a taste for the general style in Bosnia and Turkey, and my sister lives in Greece, where Balkan music is heard every day on the radio. I do prefer it when the ladies chant in silence, but this clip is a demo.


The area abounds with very talented musicians, most of whom weve never heard of.

IMHO very few gypsy guitarists could hold a candle to this guy, Zoran Starcevic. His normal offerings are jazzed up versions of Balkan tunes.

 

Eddy Yates

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Yeah, wonderful. What I meant about not knowing much is that I certainly can’t play the style, but admire it very much and there seem to be many great players. I’d like to study it. Know of any online Balkan teachers, or even a DVD?
 
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maugein96

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Eddy Yates pid=64532 dateline=1553571950 said:
Yeah, wonderful. What I meant about not knowing much is that I certainly can’t play the style, but admire it very much and there seem to be many great players. I’d like to study it. Know of any online Balkan teachers, or even a DVD?

Eddy,

Here is a link to a discussion that goes some way to try and explain how it works (by members of an Irish forum!). I wouldnt pay too much attention to the comments about the music being for dancers. The tunes do tend to be played in old fashioned dance tempo, but as often as not the audiences are seated. 

https://thesession.org/discussions/20135 

The final comment in the thread expresses frustration that members have devoted it to something which is well off topic. I would never go off topic, would I? 

Youll see a plug by a Romanian guy named Paul Stanga, who offers Skype lessons on aspects of Balkan music. However, he is probably the most famous contemporary Romanian accordionist and I doubt whether hed be very cheap. Also, Romanian music is not really all that Balkan sounding, or rather it is a distinct version of it. 

The countries most associated with the real Balkan accordion sound are Serbia, Bosnia and Hercegovina, and Macedonia, where there has been more Turkish influence in the mix. There are certain religious connotations with some of the music, but it is only in Bosnia where there is a very slight muslim majority, that it becomes noticeable. They have created a distinct brand of Balkan music known as Sevdalinka and some of the titles in that genre make reference to Istanbul and the old Turkish regime. Accordions do not feature much in Sevdalinka, although some bands do use them.   

Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Hungary, Greece, and the European part of Turkey all lay claim to being Balkan, and some of their music reflects that. It is all rather complicated but when I talk about Balkan accordion, Im specifically referring to Serbia, Bosnia, and Macedonia. The music of the other states of the former Yugoslavia, whilst also technically Balkan, is more western in its nature. Youll probably be aware of the Germanic Slovenian polkas, and the accordion music of Croatia has a strong Italian influence. The music of Montenegro and Kosovo is beyond my knowledge altogether. 

My wife has Croatian relatives but none of them is interested in the accordion. Most popular instrument there is the tamburitza, a mandolin type instrument which comes in various sizes, and there is also a very strong vocal tradition. They learn it by listening to others, which seems to be the norm in that part of the world.
 

Eddy Yates

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Thanks. One of the reasons I’m interested in that style is that I’m writing music for an opera about Butte, Montana placed about a century ago. Miners from all over came to work at what was the biggest copper lode in the world. I’m using the accordion as a central sound to tie the cultures together. Latvian and Manx traditions are turning out to be tough to research.
 

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