Balkan party music in Seattle

Balkan Sheet Music

Kceri moja Aliji

Posted by on Oct 17, 2018 in 2/4, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

Popular in much of former Yugoslavia, this traditional song is said to be Turkish in origin. It’s one of several songs in which the daughter says she doesn’t want to marry any of the village worthies that her father proposes – oh no, she wants to marry a bekrija, a bad boy who likes to party. The stong is often performed with a man singing the father’s lyrics, a woman singing the daughter’s lyrics, and both singing the chorus.

 

Kceri moja Aliji

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Kceri moja Aliji lyrics

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Usnija Redzepova, 1988 (similar to chart above:

 

Nenad Jovanovic, 1975 (less similar to chart above):

 

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Dobrolushko horo

Posted by on Oct 9, 2018 in 2/4, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

A lively pravo horo instrumental dance tune from the region of Thrace in Bulgaria, recorded by the Prvomaiskata Grupa (May 1 Group). This 2-page chart is based on a transcription by Stewart Mennin and Stuart Brotman.

 

Dobrolusko horo

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Also, here’s an audio recording.

 

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Phirava daje

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

Phirava daje is a Rom song heard in Bulgaria, Macedonia and Kosovo that tells a charming love story. We learned it from Carol Silverman at balkanalia!, the dance and music camp held near Portland every summer. We play it with a Bo Diddley beat, to which people often do the dance cocek.

(Ph = hard p + h, not f. Kh = hard k + h, not Scots loch.)

 

Phirava daje

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Our source recording isn’t online, but here’s a version sung by Safet Ibrahimi with a slightly different break:

 

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Serbian racenica

Posted by on Sep 28, 2018 in 7/8, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

Krivo Drom, a band from New Orleans, plays a melody in the Bulgarian meter called racenica (7/8, 2+2+3) that members of the band learned from unnamed Serbian Rom musicians. A pretty little three-phrase melody that can cycle endlessly. We transposed the original up a fifth – play it in any key you like.

(This happens to be the 50th chart I’ve uploaded to this site.)

 

Serbian racenica

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Video won’t embed, so just a link, sorry: youtube.com/watch?v=DxcZOTHBtJE

 

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Free sheet music for Balkan songs

Posted by on Sep 28, 2018 in Balkan Sheet Music | 18 comments

Free sheet music for Balkan songs

Music transcribed by Michael Gordon

Here’s a collection of sheet music and lyrics for songs from the southern Balkans that I’ve transcribed over the years. Most are from the repertoire of Balkanarama, the Seattle dance band I helped start in 1997. The music is in high-resolution PDF format and includes lyrics and translations, with links to hear the songs on YouTube. It is available to musicians anywhere for free. I’ve posted more than 50 songs and aim to add another song per week. Enjoy!

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Phiravelman kalyi phuv

Posted by on Sep 25, 2018 in 2/4, Balkan Sheet Music | 0 comments

We like this recording by the Hungarian Rom band Romanyi Rota because its lyrics are a stark prayer to God for strength to be good in hard circumstances. We play it as a relaxed cocek.

The song is similar to, though not the same as, the Serbian brass band melody “Kako kolan da se videm,” with lyrics by R. Todorovic. Two songs for the price on one!

 

Phiravelman kalyi phuv

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Phiravelman kalyi phuv lyrics

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Kako kolan da se vijem

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Kako kolan da se vijem lyrics

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Phiravelman kalyi phuv, starting at 50:38:

 

Kako kolan da se videm, by Usnija Redzepova:

And by Zlatne Uste, from New York:

 

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