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Bulgarian Folk Music

DigiTrad:
A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD
BRAHMS' LULLABY
BUMM! BUMM!! BUMM!!!
CORPORAL SCHNAPPS
DIE GEDANKEN SIND FREI
DIE GUTE KAMERAD
DIE LAPPEN HOCH
DIE MOORSOLDATEN
EDELWEISS
GORCH FOCK LIED
HANS BEIMLER
HEISE, ALL
LILI MARLEEN
MARIA DURCH EIN DORNWALD GING
ODE TO JOY (GERMAN)
YAW, YAW, YAW


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blind will 10 Sep 07 - 09:16 PM
GUEST,Gerry 11 Sep 07 - 12:08 AM
Rowan 11 Sep 07 - 01:01 AM
M.Ted 11 Sep 07 - 01:11 AM
treewind 11 Sep 07 - 04:23 AM
Fred McCormick 11 Sep 07 - 04:36 AM
folk_radio_uk 11 Sep 07 - 05:59 AM
M.Ted 11 Sep 07 - 12:29 PM
Linda Kelly 11 Sep 07 - 03:08 PM
Irene M 11 Sep 07 - 03:17 PM
Folkiedave 11 Sep 07 - 05:00 PM
blind will 11 Sep 07 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,Fogie 12 Sep 07 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 12 Sep 07 - 06:50 AM
Fred McCormick 12 Sep 07 - 11:41 AM
Jack Blandiver 12 Sep 07 - 12:02 PM
artbrooks 12 Sep 07 - 12:27 PM
Fred McCormick 13 Sep 07 - 04:21 AM
artbrooks 13 Sep 07 - 08:29 AM
Susan A-R 13 Sep 07 - 09:44 AM
M.Ted 13 Sep 07 - 11:37 AM
chrisr18 13 Sep 07 - 07:16 PM
GUEST,Jim Martin 13 Sep 07 - 10:32 PM
M.Ted 14 Sep 07 - 08:02 AM
Fred McCormick 14 Sep 07 - 08:54 AM
GUEST,Jim Martin 15 Sep 07 - 07:55 AM
M.Ted 15 Sep 07 - 12:42 PM
Fred McCormick 15 Sep 07 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Nicholas Waller 15 Sep 07 - 02:05 PM
Mary Humphreys 15 Sep 07 - 02:13 PM
Fred McCormick 16 Sep 07 - 03:05 PM
blind will 16 Sep 07 - 11:13 PM
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Subject: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: blind will
Date: 10 Sep 07 - 09:16 PM

I've been thinking of adding some Bulgarian folk music to my own selection.Does anyone have any good suggestions? What is the best of the best in this genre?

Three or Four years ago on vacation, I remember going to some lantern festival in Victoria (Vancouver Island).There was folk singers in different parts of the park and my favourite was these young Bulgarian women who sang a cappella.They sang a very interesting vocal harmony, sounding both melodically pleasing and wild.It contained a droning quality that reminded me of bagpipes, with hints of the middle east.I've heard this type of music before with The Bulgarian State Radio and Television Female Choir, though the singing was probably less polished.

I know there's more to Bulgarian folk than just women singers or a cappela, though that is my exposure so far and I defenitely want to hear more of that particular sound! Any suggestions of more modern takes on traditional Bulgarian are also welcome.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 12:08 AM

Get yourself the CD Song of the Crooked Dance. It's a compilation taken from Bulgarian vinyl from 1925 to 1942 - sort of like Bulgaria's answer to the Harry Smith Anthology - put together very nicely by Lauren Brody, and it's on the Yazoo label.

The Australian band Mara! does modern takes on traditional Bulgarian on most of their albums. The albums I'm most familiar with are Don't Even Think and Ruino Vino. I'm not sure how easy it is to get these outside of Australia. Australia also has a woman's a cappella outfit called the Martenitsa Choir - I think they are on the Tall Poppies label.

Some more Australians: Silvia Entcheva was in one of the top choirs in Bulgaria, but now she lives in Australia, and has put out a couple of albums. She has a superb voice.

For sheer energy, it's hard to beat Xenos. Their albums usually have a mix of music from various parts of the Balkans/Eastern Mediterranean, with a lot of Rom and/or Macedonian. They're also Australian, and again I don't know how easy it is to get their albums elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: Rowan
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 01:01 AM

Three earlier CDs you could check out are:
Folk Music of Bulgaria; collected & edited by AL Lloyd 1966
Topic Records, World Series        1966        TSCD905                1994

Folk Music of Albania; collected & edited by AL Lloyd 1964-66
Topic Records, World Series        1966        TSCD904                1994

Folk Music of Yugoslavia; collected & edited by Wolf Dietrich 1973
Topic Records, World Series        1973        TSCD906                1994

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: M.Ted
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 01:11 AM

Do you want to do Bulgarian songs, or just play some instrumentals? There are a lot of folks who do Balkan dancing and singing, and for good or ill, there is a relatively small repertoire of tunes that have been used for dancing and singing for years. Does it have to be Bulgarian, or are you open to some Serbo-Croatian and Macedonian?


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: treewind
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 04:23 AM

If you like Macedonian dance music (and there is some overlap with Bulgarian in Dance names and rhythms, if not in the exact steps)
try Linsey Pollaks's CD or Book (the bright red one) of Macedonian Folk Music.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 04:36 AM

Check out Passion Music at http://www.passiondiscs.co.uk/ . They are a British based firm who specialise in imports from the Balkans and carry a huge stock.

I'd definitely start with the Topic Bulgarian CD. It's an excellent sampler of the country's musical traditions in general. Indeed, I'd take a look at Topic's entire World Music catalogue. Some very interesting stuff there.

Two very good regional anthologies you should know about are:
Anthologie de la Musique Bulgare Vos 1 - 5 on the Chante du Monde label.

Beyond the Mystery; Village Music of Bulgaria. Vols 1 to 3 on the BMA label BMA 1001 - 1003. The Passion Music magazine is currently running an interview with Yves Moreau, who collected the material for the series. http://www.passiondiscs.co.uk/articles/yves_moreau.htm

The Chante du Monde was released many years ago and could well have been deleted by now, but the BMA is pretty new and is carried by Passion Music.

Nonesuch released a couple of scorching LPs of Bulgarian music in the 1970s. These may well have been condensed onto a single CD.

Saydisc have a small but interesting ethnic catalogue and their Vocal Traditions of Bulgaria Saydisc CD-SDL 396 is worth anyone's money.

Finally, the state record company, Balkanton, used to carry quite a reasonable catalogue which was well worth looking into. I don't know if they're still in business and the only link I was able to find for them wasn't working. www.balkanfolk.com/balkanton-folk-cds.php .

Well, not quite finally. The Bulgarian women singers you mentioned might possibly have been the Bisserov singers;

Pirin Wedding and Ritual Songs. Pan. 7005 CD.

And of course it's important to rememember that Bulgaria is just one tiny part of eastern Europe. There's also the former Yugoslavia, Albania, Greece, Romania, Hungary Ukraine, Poland, the Czech and Slovak republics. There's a lot of cracking stuff out there.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: folk_radio_uk
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 05:59 AM

On Topic Label:

Blowers From the Balkans - Classic Historic Recordings of Wind Instruments

There are a few albums on the Calabash music site you can download(a music fairtrade site).

here: http://music.calabashmusic.com/world/europe/bulgaria

You can sample the tracks as well. They are one minute samples so should give you a good idea if it's what you're after.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: M.Ted
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 12:29 PM

Some nice things listed above, but I think this will give you more of what you want: Two Girls Started to Sing They are recordings of Bulgarian Women's singing groups, recorded in the field by Martha Forsyth, who has been involved in teaching and performing Bulgarian Women's singing in the US for a long time.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 03:08 PM

Musique aux voix du Bulgare -or something stunning open throat singing.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: Irene M
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 03:17 PM

Trio Bulgarka?


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 05:00 PM

In 2004 I was lucky enough to be in Hungary at the International Folkloriade. Whilst waiting for lunch in Pecs four Bulgarian women sang in these complex harmonies.

I can still hear them In forty years of enjoying folk music that is one of the highlights.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: blind will
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 08:35 PM

Thanks for all your replys! It will defenitely keep me busy checking out all the music suggestions.

M.Ted, to answer your questions, I imagine I would be open to some Serbo-Croation & Macedonian material as well.Basically whatever happens to appeal to my ear.I'm particularily looking for the singing based Bulgarian at this time.

Bed is calling me (had a late night last night).Hope I hear some Bulgarian harmonies in my sleep! Thanks in advance to any more comments!


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: GUEST,Fogie
Date: 12 Sep 07 - 05:08 AM

I was talking about eastern European music at a Breton/ French dance in Bideford festival last month and was advised to read "travel with Gypsies- Princes among men" for the musical anthology of this sort of music. I got so enthusiastic I managed to order 2 copies by mistake - must get round to readibg one!


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 12 Sep 07 - 06:50 AM

I've got a CD which seems to combine two previous recordings: 'A Harvest, a Shepherd, a Bride: Village Music of Bulgaria' and 'In the Shadow of the Mountain: Bulgarian Folk Music' (Elektra/Nonesuch CD 979 195-2). I've no idea if this is still available.

Anyway, this CD contains one of the greatest vocal performances of all time, the song 'Izlel je Delyo hajdutin' sung by Valya Balkanska accompanied by Lazar Kanevski and Stephan Zahmanov on kaba gaidas (great bagpipes). Valya Balkanska is from Rodopi Mountains (Rhodopes) in Southern Bulgaria and her incredible, open-throated voice soars above the wild, wailing bagpipes.

I once visited the Rhodopes and had the privilege of hearing a local singer sing this song (with kaba gaida accompaniment); an awesome and totally unforgettable experience!


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 12 Sep 07 - 11:41 AM

"I was talking about eastern European music at a Breton/ French dance in Bideford festival last month and was advised to read "travel with Gypsies- Princes among men" for the musical anthology of this sort of music. I got so enthusiastic I managed to order 2 copies by mistake - must get round to readibg one!"

I don't know this book, although reading the Amazon blurb didn't altogether endear me to it. There is a superb book by Tim Rice (not the composer) called May It Fill Your Soul, which not only gives a very cogent impression of Bulgarian music, but raises issues which relate to traditional music generally. I'd recommend it to anyone.

"I've got a CD which seems to combine two previous recordings: 'A Harvest, a Shepherd, a Bride: Village Music of Bulgaria' and 'In the Shadow of the Mountain: Bulgarian Folk Music' (Elektra/Nonesuch CD 979 195-2)."

That was the CD I was thinking of when I mentioned Nonesuch. It probably won't have all the tracks from the original LPs, but thank God they've included the Valya Balanska. As you say it belongs right up there as one of the greatest pieces of singing ever recorded. It was one of the pieces of music which was included in the human lifepack in the Voyager Spacecraft - in case Voyager might run into alien civilisations.

No little green men been reported in Bulgaria as yet.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 12 Sep 07 - 12:02 PM

"It probably won't have all the tracks from the original LPs"

It does; I've got the original vinyl too which is a little over 15 minutes aside.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: artbrooks
Date: 12 Sep 07 - 12:27 PM

Bulgarian instrumental music, or at least dance music, is very heavy on gajda (Balkan pipes-very vaguely like an ullian pipe) and drums. If that is what interests you, Yves Moreau from Quebec is one of the best Bulgarian dance teachers around, and he has several CDs with the music to the dances he teaches as well as gleanings from Bulgarian ethnographic trips. There are still CDs available from the Balkan dance band Nama, even though the band and its associated dance performance group Aman have been defunct for about 20 years. These have a lot of what folk dancers would call "classic" Bulgarian dance tunes on them, and are available from David Owens.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 13 Sep 07 - 04:21 AM

Actually, it's difficult to think of two members of the bagpipe family that are more unlike each other. the Bulgarian bagpipe is tonally very different to the uilleann pipes, it is mouth blown, has a single drone and the bag is made from an entire sheep's carcase. Also the Bulgarian pipe has no regulators.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: artbrooks
Date: 13 Sep 07 - 08:29 AM

Certainly all very true, Fred. But, for someone who knows nothing much about Balkan music, it seemed easier to compare it to the ullian pipes (and I did say very vaguely, after all) than, say, to describe how it differs from the Scots pipe that is most familiar to non-pipers.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: Susan A-R
Date: 13 Sep 07 - 09:44 AM

If you are really drawn to this stuff, Village Harmony also runs some mixed Adult/Teen camps internationally, and Bulgaria's on the list. (They also do Republic of Georgia, sometimes Italy, Once South Africa) It's an interesting way to visit a country and sing your little heart out. I'm pretty sure you can find out more by simply searching for Village Harmony on the web.

Susan


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: M.Ted
Date: 13 Sep 07 - 11:37 AM

If you are really drawn to this stuff, you can go to Balkan Music Camp. Everyone who is anyone in the world of Balkan folk music has been or will be there--so actually, probably, if you are really drawn to this stuff, you've already been--Balkan folkies are a small but tenacious part of the folkie world--


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: chrisr18
Date: 13 Sep 07 - 07:16 PM

Coincidentally, I just picked up a copy of the Nonesuch Explorer album "In The Shadow of The Mountain" at a used vinyl store the other day not knowing much about it and I can certainly vouch for its awesome-ness. It has several selections which seem to fit the description of the singing style you mention.

Also, another great album from the Explorer series that I can recommend, collected and produced by the same man, Martin Koenig, is "Village Music of Yugoslavia." They're both great albums with some wonderful music on them and have got me very interested in music from that region of the world.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 13 Sep 07 - 10:32 PM

When I was in Koprivshtitsa for the 2005 festival there, I purchased an excellent 7 CD box set "Legends from Bulgaria" (M.Sound. Sofia, Bulgaria, 52, Hristo Botev Blvd tel +359 2 981 0408). It covers a different region on each CD and includes 2 very informative booklets, one in English & one in Bulgarian, cost about £10, a bargain!

http://www.balkanfolk.com


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 08:02 AM

Thanks for the link, Jim. In addition to the CDs, they have musical instruments available. One of these days, I'm going to buy a tambura--


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 14 Sep 07 - 08:54 AM

Thanks for passing on the information about Balkanfolk. There's some very interesting stuff there, at very affordable prices. What I can't work out from their site information is what the shipping and import costs are likely to be to the UK. Also, indeed, whether they ship to the UK, and whether they accept Visa.

Can anybody help?


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: GUEST,Jim Martin
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 07:55 AM

Fred, all that should come up when you go through the on-line ordering process?


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: M.Ted
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 12:42 PM

I think you need to register for the site in order to actually get to the ordering details. Bulgarian is now in the EU,so I believe there are no import costs anymore.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 01:32 PM

Thanks lads. I did see the site registration but didn't realise that was how you got the shipping info. perhaps I should have just gone ahead and registered.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: GUEST,Nicholas Waller
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 02:05 PM

The (Bulgarian) Bisserov Sisters get about a bit. They've been performing nearly 30 years now; see this interview with Lyubimka Bisserov, who lives (or did in 2003 anyway) in the UK:

http://www.passiondiscs.co.uk/articles/lyubimka_bisserov_part_1.htm
http://www.passiondiscs.co.uk/articles/lyubimka_bisserov_part_2.htm

They have toured in Canada and the US and elsewhere. I imagine they mostly go to fairly big venues/festivals, esp when with a bunch of musicians and other family, but in their 2005 UK they (just three of them) went to smallish venues like The Topic folk club in Bradford.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 15 Sep 07 - 02:13 PM

Balkan Folk run week-long courses in Bulgaria at a very reasonable cost, where you can learn to play gaida, tambura, kaval, gudulka, tapan and also learn the dances that go with the tunes.
It is a fantastic experience and truly multi-national. You can also buy the instruments there at a very reasonable price, once you know that you have a vague idea of how to play them.
I went in 2000 and would recommend it to anyone.
Mary


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 03:05 PM

Just got round to searching the Balkfolk site. There seems to be an awful lot of folk orchestra stuff in there, but look what I found on Page 9.

160800 - Voice from Eternity
Artist: Valia Balkanska
Label: SPK Shipka

"The CD `Voice from Eternity` (Glas ot vechostta) consists of 14 folklore songs performed by the great Bulgarian folklore singer Valia Balkanska. The song 'Delyu Became a Haidouk' (Izlel e Delyu haidutin) performed by Valia Balkanska is included in the gold-plated gramophone record sent by astronomers as a message to space containing the voices, whispers, songs and music pieces of our planet."

That has got to be worth 10 euros of anyone's money, and a damned sight more besides.


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Subject: RE: Bulgarian Folk Music
From: blind will
Date: 16 Sep 07 - 11:13 PM

Tonight I heard some music clips from the double cd that was mentioned, and was pretty impressed by what I heard.(Village & Folk Music of Bulgaria, which includes Valya Balkanska).I found some copys of the album on amazon.com for little over $6 US/Canadian (maybe 3 euros?), but that was only after I bought it for around $13.


PS. I usually avoid buying anything from British sites due to the big difference in currency.For every euro I probably have to pay about double extra.Anyway, thanks everyone!


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