Balkan party music in Seattle

Balkan sheet music from Balkanarama

Posted by on Apr 16, 2018 in Balkan Sheet Music | 16 comments

Balkan sheet music from Balkanarama

Music transcribed by Michael Gordon

Starting with the beloved song Makedonsko devojce, here will grow a collection of sheet music for songs from the southern Balkans that I’ve transcribed over the years. Almost all will be from the repertoire of Balkanarama, the Seattle dance band that I helped start in 1997. The sheet music is in high-resolution PDF format and is available to musicians anywhere for free. I’ll add two songs a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, with occasional bonus tunes. Enjoy!

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Ajde red se redat

Posted by on May 22, 2018 in 7/8, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

A lesnoto dance song from Macedonia. The arrangement here is from a performance by the great singer Vaska Ilieva. I remember first hearing the song on an LP by the People’s International Silver String band from the San Francisco Bay area in California.

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Mastika

Posted by on May 18, 2018 in 9/8, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

A great party song in 9/8 whose refrain celebrates the anise-flavored brandy known by many names in the Balkans. It’s a Turkish melody with Serbian lyrics as sung by the great Rom singer Muharem Serbezovski.

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Bubamara

Posted by on May 15, 2018 in 2/4, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

Audiences always like this song from the Emir Kusturica movie “Black Cat White Cat,” a dark comedy about petrol smuggling and a wedding where almost anything can and does happen, including a return from the dead. We do the vocals, but not the same musical arrangement.

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Ako umram il’ zaginam

Posted by on May 11, 2018 in 7/8, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

A Macedonian lesnoto dance song beloved by emigres, often heard later in the evening. We play one of several versions of the instrumental break.

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Dada sali

Posted by on May 8, 2018 in 2/4, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

From the liner notes to this recording by Ferus Mustafov, the superb Macedonian Rom sax and clarinet player: “This is based on an Albanian tune that any traveller in western Macedonia or Albania is guaranteed to hear once a day at least, although rarely in such a jazzy form as this.”

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Snijeg pade

Posted by on May 4, 2018 in 7/8, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

A lovely 7/8 song from Bosnia in the traditional style called sevdalinka. American folk dancers can do a lesnoto to this.

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Liljano mome Liljano

Posted by on May 1, 2018 in 7/8, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

A dance song in 7/8 well known in Bulgaria and Macedonia, about a girl who’s sick in bed but makes a miraculous recovery when her boyfriend shows up at the door. Take it up a step to B minor if you prefer.

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