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, I am growing 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 after many years in the L.A. Balkan scene. 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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Albanski cocek

Posted by on Aug 17, 2018 in Balkan Sheet Music, Cocek | 0 comments

A sexy instrumental dance number recorded, and possibly written, by Ferus Mustafov in 2013. He plays a brief free-meter solo intro that isn’t transcribed below. I’ve heard bands play this tune without phrase 4.

 

Albanski cocek

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Eleno kerko Eleno

Posted by on Aug 14, 2018 in 7/8, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

A lovely Macedonian lesnoto dance melody in 7/8, about a girl trying to talk her boyfriend into buying her an expensive new hat.

 

Eleno kerko Eleno 2

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Eleno kerko Eleno lyrics

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Sung by Selimova Zelceski:

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Danubian dajcovo horo

Posted by on Aug 10, 2018 in 9/8, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

A lively instrumental in 9/8 by the Horo Orchestra from Ruse on the Danube River in northern Bulgaria. Original recording arranged and conducted by Vasil Purvanov. Played in Seattle for the Bulgarian line dance dajcovo horo by our band and Orkestar RTW (Radio-Televizija Woodinville). This 2-page chart is slightly improved from an older transcription.

 

Danubian dajcovo horo

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Kazuj krcmo dzerimo

Posted by on Aug 7, 2018 in 9/8, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

 

“Where did my love disappear? Why did he take my heart away?” A traditional melody in 9/8 recorded in 1982 by Usnija Redzepova with lyrics by R. Todorovic and music arranged by Bakija Bakic. We learned it from Carol Silverman.

 

Kazuj krcmo

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With a different instrumental break:

 

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Majstore majstore

Posted by on Aug 3, 2018 in Balkan Sheet Music, Cocek | 0 comments

This song, heard in Northern Macedonia and in Bulgaria, was first performed by Petranka Kostadinova at the Valandovo Folk Fest in southeast Macedonia in 1990. We play it as a cocek dance. “Majstore” (literally “master”) refers to a master of a particular craft or trade. This one, hmm, perhaps he is very skilled with his big, strong hands…

There are two versions of the lyrics: the original Macedonian lyrics and a Bulgarian version that we learned from Mary Sherhart in Seattle.

Majstore majstore

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Macedonian lyrics:

Majstore majstore lyrics

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Bulgarian lyrics:

Majstore majstore lyrics 2

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Performed in Macedonian by Petranka Kostadinova at Valandovo in 1990:

 

Performed in Macedonian by Aneta Micevska at Valandovo in 2017:

(The accordion player needs to lighten up…)

 

Performed in Bulgarian by Toni Dacheva with Kristal in 1991 or 1992:

 

 

 

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Aj mene majka jednu ima

Posted by on Jul 31, 2018 in 9/8, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

A song in 9/8 from southern Serbia recorded by singer/songwriter Zorica Brunclik in 1977, one of many songs in which the girl wants the bad boy (bekrija), not the safe one favored by her parents.

 

Aj mene majka jednu ima

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Bugarsko K4 Oro

Posted by on Jul 27, 2018 in Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

A Thracian-style dance instrumental by Ferus Mustafov, the great Macedonian Rom sax and clarinet player. (K4 refers to Klub K4 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.) The transcription below shows only the first six phrases of a longer melody, a chunk that we think makes a nice one-page chart for a Bulgarian pravo horo. We often play this after the Thracian dance song Edru na oder lezase.

 

Bugarsko K4 Oro

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The chart shows the first 1:40 of this. The rest is left as an exercise for the student.

 

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