Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Songs about Kate from North Macedonia and Bulgaria

Kate, Kate, kaleš Kate, ajde Kate da begame!
Dorde v gora šuma ima, em po pole komuniga. 
Bulgarian folk song

The name Kate (pronounced Ka-te) is the shortened form of Katerina. Judging from the number of songs on YouTube, this is a popular name in North Macedonia and Bulgaria. 

Video #1,  Tri Godini Kate, is a dance song from North Macedonia. You can find the old, typewritten notes here. The rhythm is lesnoto 7/8 (galloping-apple-apple).

This is also a popular folk dance on Zoom.


Video #2 is another 7/8 lesnoto dance from Bulgaria: Kate Lichno Devojche.  It is from the southwest (Pirin) region of Bulgaria.  Notice how common the 7/8 lesnoto rhythm is in both North Macedonia and Pirin Bulgaria

Video #3 is Kate Katerino, from the Pirin region of Bulgaria. This is a modern version of a traditional song and it is not the entire song (maybe half of it). This is a fancy version done at a party with a lot of embellishments.

Video #4 is the traditional music with the dance. The instructor is Dimitar (Mitko) Petrov.


Video #5 is another Kate song from the Pirin region, Kate Kate Kalesh Kate.  The group is Cubrica from the Netherlands.  Although there is no dancing in this video, the music is a strong 9/16 (devetorka) rhythm popular in Pirin Bulgaria and North Macedonia.

The quote at the very top of this page is the first stanza of the song.  You can find the translation here:

My daughter has a variant of the name Katerina, her name is Katrina (like the hurricane) and she and her husband recently celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary.  She can run like the wind on an autumn day.

By the way, she didn't marry the teacher (like Kate in the song in Video #3 and Video #4)

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Sunday, September 13, 2020

Serbian Dances that Sound Croatian

I'm not confused, I'm just well mixed.
Robert Frost

This can be a source of confusion sometimes, when one country's music sounds like another's.  Since I enjoy writing about confusion and Balkan dance it was time for another post on that topic.

Serbian music is usually associated with the accordion (some people find this an instrument of torture but the Serbs love it).  Croatian music is usually associated with the tamburitza orchestra.  The tamburitza orchestra includes a number of string instruments that give it its distinctive sound.

One thing I noticed is that Croatian kolo tends to start to the left and Serbian to the right.

Although most people associate tamburitza music with Croatia, it is also popular in Vojvodina, an autonomous province in Serbia.

The first example is the dance Rokoko Kolo.

Video #2  is the dance Keleruj ,also from  Vojvodina, Srem district. This is a performance of a school group. Notice the Hungarian flag in the background.  There is a significant Hungarian minority in Vojvodina.  It's the most diverse region in Serbia.

Vojvodina was ruled in turn by Romans, Slavs, Ottoman Turks, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  When the Austrian Empire broke up in 1918, parts of it became a part of Yugoslavia, a country that no longer exists. After the Yugoslav wars, it split into different countries.

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The "Flavors" of Serbian Kolo

The "Flavors" of Croatian Kolo

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