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!

Read More

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.

Read More


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.

Read More


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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.”

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More