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Bulgarian folk lesson

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maugein96

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Any of you PA guys fancy trying something different that requires a bit of technique, then try this:-

 

hais1273

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Interesting clip. Thankyou Liberty Bellows in the US also have a number of clips about how to play Balkan music . I've been working on 7/8 time with my accordion teacher, I'm not sure the right hand fingering is any better or worse that any other demanding "Folky" piece, but what I find very difficult is the uneven rhythm 123 12 12 or 1*3 1* 1* . ( Asterix = a rest) A the moment my attempt at Jovano Jovanke and Ajde Jano just sound like loads of notes in a row and not much like music at all. Oh well, more practice.
 
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maugein96

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maugein96 pid=69571 dateline=1579897722 said:
Any of you PA guys fancy trying something different that doesnt need a CBA, try this:-


Bulgarians dont use CBA at all but still manage to get some complicated stuff on the right hand.

No takers? It was a bit tongue in cheek anyway. I used to post clips of stuff from all over the globe regularly until it dawned on me that this is an English speaking forum, with most members concentrating on learning tunes they are familiar with. 

We all know that listening to unfamiliar folk music is one thing, but attempting to play it for anybody else who would be prepared to listen is another. Alien beats and scales are just that to those who have no interest in what you think might be good listening. If neither you nor your audience is of the culture from where the music originates, a paper and comb would probably be the safest instrument to try out anything unusual. 

Some of us marvel at the antics the Brazilian Tostao gets up to when hes playing, but Id bet very few of us would commit any of his tunes to memory. Probably one of the most accomplished accordionists in the world, but we watch him for the comedy and novelty value. The music just happens to be there as a sort of side show. 

Why did I put the post on at all, if that is my take on it? Ill probably never know, but I keep doing things like that!
 
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maugein96

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hais1273 said:
Interesting clip. Thankyou   Liberty Bellows in the US also have a number of clips about how to play Balkan music . I've been working on 7/8 time with my accordion teacher, I'm not sure the right hand fingering is any better or worse that any other demanding "Folky" piece, but what I  find very difficult is the uneven rhythm  123 12 12 or 1*3 1* 1* . ( Asterix = a rest) A the moment my attempt at Jovano Jovanke and Ajde Jano  just sound like loads of notes in a row and not much like music at all. Oh well, more practice.

Hi hais,

You'll see from my last post that I had jumped the gun and presumed that nobody would be interested. There is an error issue with the player's website and it would probably be best not to try and visit it. 

There is no way in this world I could learn timings and rhythms from a teacher. I'm happy enough with approximations but in my experience teachers want it precisely as it's written down, and I haven't got the patience for that. 

As ever with accordion I always have problems with the left hand. 

I don't really bother with what the time signatures are, as I can tell by ear whether I'm on the ball, or miles off it. 

I dabbled with Greek bouzouki and you sort of get a feel for those "oriental" aspects of Bulgarian and other Balkan music. I opine that only one person in a million would be able to play that sort of music to a professional standard without having been brought up listening to it from a very young age. 

I love all sorts of Balkan music, although when I tried to learn it from the scores in a Hal Leonard book it just never worked for me. The player in the accompanying CD kept adding grace notes that weren't in the score, and being mainly an ear player I just couldn't work it all out. The scores were effectively over simplified.

As you say, practice would appear to be the key, although a native Bulgarian teacher would probably make a huge difference. Fine if you want to invest a lot of time and effort into learning that particular sort of music, but most of us like to vary it a bit, so we don't get into any one particular style enough to make a real job of it.

It is probably better to persevere with a few tunes that you gradually get to know, like the two you mention, otherwise you end up all over the place with bits of this and that, like I frequently do. 

I've started off on many musical adventures with the accordion and got nowhere with the vast majority of them, largely because they are too far away from the styles that have become natural to me.
 

Eddy Yates

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maugein96 pid=69571 dateline=1579897722 said:
Any of you PA guys fancy trying something different that doesnt need a CBA, try this:-


Bulgarians dont use CBA at all but still manage to get some complicated stuff on the right hand.

I thought you were kidding about CBA having some kind of magical deal making you able to play more “complicated” than PA. Maybe Bulgarians use PA because it’s easier to do the ornaments. I know that blues players use PA because it’s easier to play blues notes, slides, glisses , etc.
I’m working on some Bulgarian tunes because I love the expressiveness that the ornaments give, just the same way that I love the expressiveness that blues notes give. I think that a LOT of listening to the genres really helps. Even though one can sort of get to the sound by copying the way ornaments are played, you don’t really get to it unless you feel it. Part of that is understanding the history of the cultures and having empathy for the people.
 
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maugein96

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Eddy Yates pid=69594 dateline=1580057534 said:
maugein96 pid=69571 dateline=1579897722 said:
Any of you PA guys fancy trying something different that doesnt need a CBA, try this:-


Bulgarians dont use CBA at all but still manage to get some complicated stuff on the right hand.

I thought you were kidding about CBA having some kind of magical deal making you able to play more “complicated” than PA. Maybe Bulgarians use PA because it’s easier to do the ornaments. I know that blues players use PA because it’s easier to play blues notes, slides, glisses , etc.
I’m working on some Bulgarian tunes because I love the expressiveness that the ornaments give, just the same way that I love the expressiveness that blues notes give. I think that a LOT of listening to the genres really helps. Even though one can sort of get to the sound by copying the way ornaments are played, you don’t really get to it unless you feel it. Part of that is understanding the history of the cultures and having empathy for the people.

Eddy,


I was encouraging PA players to have a go, as Ive never seen or heard a CBA player attempt Bulgarian music in earnest. As you say, certain styles probably suit a piano keyboard better, the same as French musette and Russian folk fall more naturally to the respective CBA systems used in those countries. 

I do acknowledge that listening is the best way to get a feel for what you are trying to achieve, but IMHO I play the wrong sort of keyboard for Bulgarian, and all of the other Balkan styles. Serbian B system with its 6 rows is also hard to emulate on a C system.

That being the case the words Bulgarian and C system dont belong in the same sentence so Ive deleted the one in the OP.
 

kool kid

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The chromatic button accordion isnt often used for bulgarian music, but it is used almost everywhere in other balkan music especially in yugoslav countries. The type of CBA they use is a six-row one with stradella bass called "dugmetra". I'm turkish but even I cannot dare to play serbian music other than some slow 7/8 stuff :D
 

Eddy Yates

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kool kid said:
The chromatic button accordion isnt often used for bulgarian music, but it is used almost everywhere in other balkan music especially in yugoslav countries. The type of CBA they use is a six-row one with stradella bass called "dugmetra". I'm turkish but even I cannot dare to play serbian music other than some slow 7/8 stuff :D

Thanks, Kid. 
The first time I heard any Balkan music Live was in a an accordion shop in Berkeley. I just shook my head because I could not begin to understand how he did it. It was on a P.A.
Now, you can slow down YouTube videos and use an app like Anytune Pro+. It is a little more understandable to me because of that but I know it’ll take years before I will dare to play what I’m learning.  To me, the blues is a similar expressive language because of the ornaments.
 

kool kid

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the most distinctive difference of the music from the balkans is I'd say the limping/aksak time signatures that doesnt divide evenly, I worked with a german choir this year and they were supposed to sing a turkish song which is in 9/8(2+2+2+3) and it took them quite a time to get used to the rhythm :D Balkan music is rather unforgiving when it comes to foreigners but it is like a language that anyone from croatia to turkey can understand
 

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