Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Accordion in Bulgarian Folk Music (another instrument some people love to hate....)

The accordion, along with the bagpipe, is another musical instrument that people either love or hate. No one is sure if it was Damian in Vienna or Buschmann in Berlin who invented it, although its idea was most likely conceived in a German-speaking nation. Musicians have been using it as an "instrument of torture" ever since.

Much of the folk music around the world is played on the accordion. It is a multiculturally friendly instrument, popular in the United States, Germany, Poland, Serbia, Bulgaria, France, some countries in Latin America, among others.

By the way, if you hate the accordion, you should not even be here, because these videos will want to make you want to jump off the nearest bridge :)

This is the kind of music most commonly associated with the accordion. Here is one of the strangest polkas I've found, it's a Austrian gem called the "Sauerkraut Polka." I have never seen polka musicians wearing kilts, and two of them have bagpipes! With instruments of torture such as these, they can easily take over the world... (by the way if you want to know more about bagpipe music, click here )

There are people I know who detest both polka music and sauerkraut. This is for them :)

The reason the accordion is so popular, especially with folk musicians, is that it's easily portable and loud enough to be heard in a large room full of dancers, despite a lot of background noise.

Boris Karlov was a Bulgarian musician of Roma descent. Unfortunately he departed this world at the age of 40, in 1964. He was a virtuoso of the accordion. Folk music was his specialty, and his recordings are still popular at dances many years later. Here's his version of the Kyustendilska Rachenitsa:

Just about every folk dance group has this Karlov recording. This is a tune from the Shope region of Bulgaria.

One of my favorite musicians on YouTube is a lady from Holland (who must have lived in Bulgaria in a previous lifetime, she plays this music so well.) This is a dance tune from Dobrudja.

By the way, I happen to like accordion music, but don't worry, I will not take it up, since my dexterity is terrible, and my family would probably evict me. They nearly threw a fit when I mentioned taking up the clarinet again( which was the instrument I played in 7th and 8th grades). With winter just around the corner, that would not be a good idea....

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1 comment:

  1. Hi such a nice post i have some great thought about music want to discuss Acoustic Guitar