Balkan party music in Seattle

Posts made in September, 2018

Si la kale bal

Posted by on Sep 21, 2018 in 7/8, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

A song by the legendary Serbian Rom singer Saban Bajramovic, recorded in 1980. It’s played in a Banat-style 7/8 meter (3+2+2, with stress on beats 1, 2, 4 and 6, not 1, 3, 4 and 6 as commonly heard in the Balkans). We play it for listening, though dancers sometimes do a Romanian dance to it. The instrumental melody is usually highly elaborated by a soloist; the transcription shows only a basic melody, so listen to lots of performances on YouTube and take it from there.

We’ve heard several versions of the lyrics and use those from the Galbeno Songbook here. These include “Si la” in the title and lyrics, not “Sila” as seen almost everywhere else for this song. Our compact Romany dictionary translates “Si la kale bal” word for word as “is her black hair” (“her hair is black”, “she has black hair”), whereas it has no entry for “sila.” Sounds the same either way.

 

Sila kale bal

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Sve se osim tuge deli

Posted by on Sep 18, 2018 in 2/4, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

This folk-flavored popular song of lost love was a hit circa 2001 for Ljubisa Stojanovic, the Serbian singer better known as Louis. (He adopted his stage name at the age of 9, when he performed the songs of Louis Armstrong.) Jasmina Jaksic wrote the music, and Milenko Jaksic wrote the lyrics. We play it as a cocek.

 

Sve se osim tuge deli

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Sve se osim tuge deli lyrics

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Song video (it won’t embed, for some reason): https://youtu.be/0Dk_TARDpz4

 

 

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Vranjanski cocek

Posted by on Sep 14, 2018 in 9/8, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

An instrumental cocek dance melody in 9/8 meter from southern Serbia, played by an orchestra led by folk music composer and arranger Zarko Milanovic. The tempo slowly accelerates throughout.

 

Vranjanski cocek

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The original recording isn’t available on YouTube, but here’s a nice version of the same melody by Duo Moderato from Beograd.

 

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Ah ya bibi

Posted by on Sep 11, 2018 in 2/4 | 0 comments

A hot dance tune from Fanfare Ciocarlia, the internationally popular Rom brass band from northeast Romania, on their 1998 debut CD Radio Prascani. I wonder if the name is related to the Arabic word habibi, “beloved one.”

 

Ah ya bibi

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Song for Baba Nedelya

Posted by on Sep 7, 2018 in Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

Here is a pravo horo dance song from Thrace, Bulgaria, recorded in 1991 by singer Maria Karafizieva, accompanied by her husband, Ivo Papazov, and his legendary Bulgarian Rom wedding band. This simple transcription shows only the basic instrumental and vocal melodies – listen to the recording for its vocal and instrumental ornamentation, rhythmic inventiveness and mind-boggling clarinet solo.

 

Baba Nedelya

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Baba Nedelya lyrics

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(The video graphics are a mystery.)

 

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