learning many instruments

To discuss / ask questions about learning methods/styles/teachers/techniques etc.
donn
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Re: learning many instruments

Post by donn » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:41 pm

I have learned only a couple of relatively easy pieces of Balkan origin, on the accordion, but it seems to me a fine instrument for that genre in general. Of course you won't be able to depart from the ordinary scale, with a free reed instrument like the accordion, but that isn't a serious problem with typical Balkan styles - as demonstrated by the widespread use of accordions. Often B griff chromatics, I gather. I use a C chromatic, which I think to some degree benefits from the same thing, the layout might facilitate the characteristic very fast ornamented playing, and the very accessible minor third intervals doesn't hurt either. But many great players on piano accordion as well.

Anyway, maybe the accordion will help open the door to any kind of music that lines up with the Stradella bass system, which is practically all of traditional Western music, simply because it supports that kind of harmony/melody structure - but maybe I overestimate the difficulty of that on the piano, as I never really learned to play piano.

The main thing may be that the accordion is more like the human voice, than the piano which is a tonal percussion instrument. That makes it more natural with traditional music that is often based on singing. That in general is one of the attractions of multiple instruments, the broader range of musical expression that allows you to put down roots in more diverse styles.

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Re: learning many instruments

Post by Tom » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:55 pm

Hi guys! I think Balkan music is interesting, although I have never tried to play it. Can you give us an example or two of what you like? I also play "at" several instruments but have never tried piano although I may now that I know more about accordion. It's weird, I pretty much only watch traditional and dance music. I respect the classical accordion players but don't really take to them.

maugein96
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Re: learning many instruments

Post by maugein96 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:51 pm

Problem with "Balkan" is there are quite a few localised versions of it, and perhaps a good intro would be to listen to this Jewish PA player who plays the same tune in various national styles.

Romanian and Bulgarian are quite distinctive once you get an ear for them, but the others often blend into each other, and can be difficult to separate unless Balkan music is your speciality.

The Greeks (in the Balkan part of northern Greece), Bosnians, Croatians, Hungarians, Albanians, and Montenegrins all have their own versions, in addition to the ones played in the clip. However, Croatian music has more of a western sound to it, and in some of the countries concerned the old Turkish scales play their part to various degrees, which may be apparent, particularly in the Serbian and Bosnian styles. .

The instrument of choice is usually a big very heavy 4 voice LMMH PA with straight "piccolo" tuning, and these often have 140 basses in 7 rows. The Serbs(and some Bosnians) use a special 6 row B system CBA, 140 bass, with the treble keyboard usually being referred to as "dugmetara". The 6 rows lie flat on the keyboard and are not "stepped" like conventional CBAs.

Here is the clip concerned, and hopefully it will be of interest to some. In the time I've been on the forum I've found that Balkan music is not really great listening material for most members, but I suppose it takes all sorts. Personally speaking I like it very much, but given the virtuosity of most of the players you hear on You Tube, then I tend to leave the playing to them. Music involving any of the oriental scales can be very challenging for western players, as to play it properly often requires what I can best describe as disciplining oneself to play a note or notes which simply do not exist in any of the standard western scales.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t17BI-tHI-4

maugein96
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Re: learning many instruments

Post by maugein96 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:03 pm

Here is also a Greek style with a Balkan influence.

Forget bouzoukis and Zorba. This music has Turkish roots, and comes from Central Greece. The Greek Macedonians from Halkidiki have a similar style.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfSHDOKc9cs

Bosnia (Sarajevo)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ek5sHQpdvHA

Albanian

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRqSkwYIa3c

Croatian (which I don't really consider "Balkan", but the influence creeps in occasionally)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaMWGIWR3-4
Last edited by maugein96 on Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

donn
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Re: learning many instruments

Post by donn » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:13 pm

Zalna Majka - sweet little tune, example of 7/8 meter. 7 and 9 are quite common, in the Macedonian and Serbian stuff anyway - Romanian not so much.

Bugarska Oro - example of characteristic ornamentation and the common frenetic quality.

maugein96
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Re: learning many instruments

Post by maugein96 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:30 pm

Donn,

First video not available (in UK). Second one nice clip, thanks.

I couldn't find any Balkan stuff from Hungary, but it definitely exists, and the Montenegro clips on YT were all of guest players at concerts there. I'm hopefully going there next year, but I don't believe the accordion music is very exciting at all.

maugein96
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Re: learning many instruments

Post by maugein96 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:18 pm

Here's a clip of a guy playing a dugmetara keyboard. The tune is about old Mostar, a beautiful old town in Herzegovina, that was almost blown completely to bits by the Croatians during the recent civil war. There are blocks of flats on the outskirts which have not yet been rebuilt since the conflict.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPRI1EJsUG8

Mostar before:-
Mostar-Bridge-TwoUpRiders.jpg
and after:-
mostar_bridge1.jpg

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Re: learning many instruments

Post by maugein96 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:11 pm

https://chordify.net/chords/milos-radov ... milosmicke

Above is a link to one of the easier Serbian Kolos which shows the (probable) chords involved and also shows a link to the player on the accompanying You Tube video. Guitar chords, but it should be easy to "convert" to accordion.

Chordify has possibly simplified the chords, as they are prone to do on the free version, and I haven't tried it out yet, but they seem feasible.

Just seven easy chords, if chordify have got it right, but don't be afraid to substitute a minor for a major if things don't sound right. Serbian Kolos are open to variation by the player.

Here's a tutorial for PA for the same tune, Gocino Kolo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1p8cNAcf7s

See under "European Music" for more of the same, as this Balkan topic is in danger of getting lost in this thread.

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