Macedonian Folk Music – Album


Album Download (Zipped M4a files)

The Performers:

Linsey Pollak: Gaida, Šupelka, Zurna, Clarinet, Saxophones, Gaidanet, Jawharp

Philip Griffin: Tambura, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar

Fuat Sazimanovski: Tapan, Darabukha, Bongos and Snare drum

Listen to mp3 tracks from the CD

1: Tropnalo oro   Tropnalo oro

4: Stipski-Cocek  Štipski Cocek

5: Osogovka/Kumanovsko oro   Osogovka / Kumanovsko oro

Read “A Personal Journey” by Linsey Pollak (pdf format)

See companion book of music Macedonian Folk Music

The Music:
1.    Tropnalo oro    3’00”

2.    Eleno Mome    2’22”

3.    Štipski Cocek    2’50”

4.    A bre ludo adzamija    4’35”

5.    Osogovka/Kumanovsko oro    4’21”

6.    Šar Planina/Stefano Pile/Done Donke    4’18”

7.    Ciganšitsa/Veligdensko oro    3’40”

8.    Majsko oro/Janino    3’48”

9.    Tresenitsa    4’29”

10.    Postupano    3’38”

11.    Staro oro    2’40”

12.    Devetka    3’49”

13.    Zletovsko oro    3’38”

14.    Berance    3’12”

15.    Sitna Lisa    3’31”

16.    Tsrnogorka/Seniv se u popa    3’43”

17.    Pajduška    3’25”

18.    Šaneno    2’31”

About Macedonian Music

Macedonian music is often described as being a product of its unique geographical position, “a crossroads between East and West”. Although slightly cliched, this description is nevertheless quite appropriate. Situated towards the Eastern edge of Europe it was also under Turkish domination for 500 years until the beginning of this century and that influence is strongly felt in Macedonia’s rich and varied musical traditions.

The closest other National style would be the music from the bordering country of Bulgaria, particularly that from the Pirin region. Music of course does not obey politically imposed boundaries, and so the music of Eastern Macedonia and Western Bulgaria is very similar. A distinctive aspect of the music is the of time signatures and internal groupings such as 7/8, 9/8, 11/8, 5/8, 12/8, 13/8, 18/8, etc. Particularly 7/8 is very commonly used.

Macedonian music is a modal drone-based music, however with the introduction of instruments such as accordion and guitar, and the influence of Western music the same melodies have been given a more harmonic backdrop. This Western harmonic approach has been an accepted practice for sometime. (Some of the tracks on the album use this more commonly heard contemporary approach but the majority of tracks use traditional instruments and are drone based.)

The use of more traditional Macedonian instruments such as gaida (Macedonian bagpipe), kaval (end-blown flute), tapan (double-headed bass drum) and tambura (long-necked lute) is becoming rarer, however it is still possible to find among the older men in the community a small number who can play the gaida. This is not to say that there is no interest in the traditional instruments which are now mainly found in the villages, but they have gradually been replaced by modern instruments. The music is intrinsically linked with dance as there has always been a strong folk dance tradition, and much of the music accompanies these folk dances (as does all the music on this album). This tradition of community participative dancing is still strong and very much alive. There is also a rich vocal tradition not covered by this album, though here we play some songs in instrumental versions.

Macedonian music has been passed on by means of a strong oral tradition and this album is one small link in that chain.