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Author: joshucohen 
Date:   2001-04-14 00:01

I am new to the clarinet I am interested in learning Balkan and Klezmer music. I am going to the Balkans (probably Greece and Turkey) this summer. Does anyone have any tips for finding clarinet music over there... or know of a way to find good teacher? Or have any information/advice on playing these styles? I am starting from scratch with a relative's clarinet, a tattered band-instrument manual, and some recordings of balkan and klezmer music.
I've been playing guitar for 14 years but I would rather play the clarinet.
Any information would be greatly appreciated!

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Author: Steve Epstein 
Date:   2001-04-14 06:22

Check out www.eefc.org

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Author: Christoffer 
Date:   2001-04-19 18:55

The Museum of Folk Music Instruments in Athens have courses in traditional greek music, including clarinet. They have a website at http://www.culture.gr/4/42/421/42109/e4210901.html

I don't know much about these courses, however - never tried myself. In central Athens, in the flea market district near Avissinias square, is a music store with at notice board where lessons are offered. There might be some for clarinet.

I'm also pretty new to the clarinet and would like to play balkan stuff. In Greece, the clarinet is mostly connected with the music of the Epirus region on the mainland - a beautiful and unspoiled place, by the way. The Chalkias family is famous (may also be spelled Halkias or Khalkias), especially Tassos and Petro-Loukas. Excellent recordings with those are widely available. Another famous clarinettist is Nikos Karakostas. These people play by ear, so sheet music is sparse.

I have a CD with greek singer Alkistis Protopsalti - the title is "Paradekhtika". She sings songs composed by yugoslav composer Goran Bregovic, who drags heavily on the local folk tradition. Many of these songs are pretty simple, and I have learned to play them on clarinet by listening. On the record, she is accompanied by a faboulous clarinet- and sax-player, Ferus Mustafov. He is a gypsy from Macedonia and plays a metal clarinet, like it is often done in Turkey.

I have never been to Turkey, but I have lived for six months in Athens, so if you have questions about Greece, clarinet related or otherwise, feel free to e-mail me.

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Author: Lina Belia 
Date:   2001-05-30 21:48

Hi there, I recently acquired a set of thracian bagpipes - in the process of doing so I travelled to Thessaloniki, where both traditional clarinet and gaida music are thriving. I have contacted the maker of my pipes and asked for info - as soon as he responds I will forward it to you.
I have actually also after years of classical guitar playing picked up a clarinet and with tapes tried to learn some klezmer and traditional Greek / Turkish stuff. As a Greek living abroad I find myself being drawn to the music.

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Author: Katrina Mundinger 
Date:   2001-06-20 06:18

I'm afraid I'm in the same boat as you regarding finding overseas Balkan clarinet help. However, I've played various Balkan and international music for the past 7 years in Minnesota. I started with a band, and now perform with the folk orchestra for the local professional ethnic dance troupe. Keep listening to the recordings. There are a lot of nuances, particularly regarding intonation, that you will continue to discover.

As mentioned above, the eefc (East European Folklife Center) is fantastic. I went to one of their workshops last year and highly recommend it for learning pretty much any Balkan music (although their focus can be different from year to year).

The other question I have is: where are you? There may be an immigrant in your area who can teach you tunes and styles. The hotbeds that come to mind are New York City and Chicago, but there may be someone else somewhere else too.

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Author: Mark Pinner 
Date:   2001-11-22 12:36

This is primarily "ear" music. You just have to play along and get tips from those who already play. Practise minor Mixolydian modes bending up the seventh and down on the sixth to get the tonality to start happening. Think rhythm which is paramount the scales are secondary.

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