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 Bulgarien Clarinet
Author: Emil 
Date:   2005-06-19 23:27


Ive been playing klezmer for quite som time, but want to learn more about the bulgarien/balkan music. Ive been listening to Ivo Papasov and tried to figure out some of the ornamentations. My problem is that i cant get the sound right. I dont know exactly how to explain the ornamentations, but i hope that someone can help me???


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 Re: Bulgarien Clarinet
Author: Katrina 
Date:   2005-06-19 23:47

Well, Emil,

I've been playing Bulgarian clarinet for about 10-12 years now, and only in the last 5 have really begun to learn the ornamentation.

I'm not sure what your reference to "sound" is, because they actually also use a slightly different tone quality than most classical and jazz players use, in addition to the ornaments.

The main ornament used is an INVERTED mordent. Usually it's played at the interval of a half step (i.e. on an ornament from B, you'd go up to the C for the ornament). The other component of this is the rhythm of the ornament. In Bulgarian music, they rigorously subdivide anything longer than a 16th or an 8th (depending on the meter). There are other ornaments used on certain long notes, but this is the basic place to begin.

The area of Bulgarian ornamentation is very rich...start here, and see what else you find! :)

Let me know if you have any other questions!


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 Re: Bulgarien Clarinet
Author: Emil 
Date:   2005-06-20 11:57

Thank you, Katrina

What i meant with "sound" was that i couldn't get the ornamentations right. It seems to me that in some phrases they use double staccato on each note, but bend it or ??? I don't know if this make sense, but this is the most simple way for me to explain it.
Do you know the scales they are using for impro??

I would also like to know som other great musicians to listen to??

Thanks Emil

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 Re: Bulgarien Clarinet
Author: Katrina 
Date:   2005-06-20 16:50

Hmm...I don't think I understand what you mean. I suspect it might be the way they use the mordent on a longer note...sometimes I think it sounds like they play it "twice" but really all they did was lift a finger and replace it.

One of my Bulgarian friends here who plays gadulka keeps telling me to make my fingers more "percussive" so that I wouldn't have to tongue as much...I'm still working on that one!

Other musicians: Yuri Yunakov (sax player with Ivo) has 3 cds out, Yasko Argirov has a good cd, Petko Radev is another, and then there's Georgi Koev, who recorded about 50 years ago and is one of the first to make a name in Bulgaria on clarinet...

The scales for improv/taxim are typically modes related to Greek/Turkish modes which are drawn from Arabic modes. The most common one I use is called hejaz, and is this:
D Eb F# G A Bb C D

That's the concert pitch I usually end up playing it in, but it can be transposed too.


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