PAUL                 BOIZOT - CIRCLE DANCE AND MUSIC

IRREGULAR RHYTHMS

(it has been pointed out to me that is more accurate to say "irregular meters")


 
Web www.paulboizot.co.uk

This is an adaptation of a handout I use for my "Drumming (or Playing) Irregular Rhythms" workshop. It is fairly basic and not comprehensive, e.g. no country of origin of individual dances is given, as it is aimed at helping people play rhythms rather than at giving background information. I am also available to run workshops on beginners' drumming (darabuka or dumbek - not African drumming on djembes).

These assymetric rhythms mostly come from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, with some also from Albania, Greece, Romania and Armenia. The 10/8 is from Armenia and Turkey. In a one-off session for "irregular beginners" I mainly focus on the 7/8 Lesnoto rhythm, with maybe a quick look at the 9/8 Karsilama and the 11/8 Kopanica.

Rhythms with a count of over 13 or maybe 15 are often thought of as composites of 2 shorter rhythms, e.g Sandansko Oro 22/8 is like 9/8 plus 13/8; there are dances in 25/8 made up of 7/8+7/8+11/8.

Please note; the names given are of dances, but the same name can sometimes refer to a piece of music, or the rhythm itself, or all of those! Compare waltz, jig, foxtrot... A dance or rhythm may also have different names in different regions; and some dances are done to more than one rhythm. And some different dances have the same name. Is that clear?

You can use Weird Metronome to programme and play these rhythms on a PC.

 

SPELLINGS some accented Slavic letters may not display properly in all browsers - particularly c with caron or haček (like a little hat on top of the letter, as in "haček"!), pronounced "ch" in English, s with haček, pronounced "sh" and z with haček, pronounced "zh" as in English "leisure". It may depend on your language settings and what fonts you have installed. Or maybe it doesn't...

Transliterations of names from the Cyrillic alphabet, e.g. for Bulgarian, can vary - so Latin spelling is not always consistent.

RHYTHM BREAKS DOWN AS; EXAMPLES
MOST COMMON CURRENTLY IN UK CIRCLE/INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCING
5/16 2+3 Pajduška.

7/8

3+2+2

Lesnoto, Ajde Jano, Baba Djurdja, Makedonsko Devojče, Ivanice, Dobra Nevesto, Kalamatiano, Jovano Jovanke, Tino Mori, Karamfil, Šar Planina, Sarakina Ormena (not 5/8 as previously posted).

7/8 2+2+3 Račenitsa, Geamparalele.
9/8 2+2+2+3 Karsilama, Lalica, Sfarlis, Svornato, Saxofon Kolo, Samokovsko (aka Devetorka, Šareni Čorapi),

10/8 "curcuna"

3+2+2+3

Mombar, Ooseke Gookas, Armenian Shuffle, Basamian Bar, Agir Halay, Yeni Hamam.
11/8 2+2+3+2+2 Gankino Horo, Osogovka, Kopanitsa, Krivo Horo, Krivata.
SOME OTHERS
5/8 3+2 Hora Femeilor
5/8 2+3 Joc la Sînziene

9/8

2+3+2+2

Gul Dali, Fatiše Kolo, Struga.

9/8

2+2+2+1+2

Tamzara

12/8

3+2+2+3+2

Beranče, Levendikos, Kucano, Pusteno.

15/16

(2+2+2+2)+(3+2+2) 

Bučimiš
18/16 (2+2+3+2+2)+(3+2+2) Zelenikovka/Balada Za Angele
22/8 (2+2+2+3)+(2+2+2+3)+2+2 Sandansko Oro
SYNCOPATED REGULAR RHYTHMS
2/4  3+3+2 Basic Čoček rhythm.

Some alternative transliterations or synonyms;

Fatiše Kolo; fatise, fatice (misspellings).
Geamparalele;  Geampara is singular, Geamparale is plural, and the extra "le" on the end in "Geamparalele" is the definite article.
Karsilama; karshilma 
Kopanitsa;  kopanica
Račenitsa; račenica, ručenica, ručenitsa
Sînziene; sinziene, sânziene

LINKS TO OTHER RELEVANT WEBSITES
Asymmetric rhythm dances detailed page on Romanian uneven rhythm dances at the excellent Eliznik site. NEW 04.08.08
Balkan and Middle Eastern Dance Rhythms at Ethnic Dance Chicago. Has a few Real Audio examples. LINK UPDATED 09.04.07
Balkan Rhythms
at the Planet Synteza website. Good basic explanation of the principle behind these rhythms, with some examples of names of rhythms and their associated meter. 
The Bulgarian irregular beats (asymmetric measures) at Vesselka's site. Has a few links to sites where you can hear examples.  LINK NOT WORKING - SITE UNAVAILABLE 01.06.05
A Review of Music and Rhythm (from a belly dancer's point of view) by Roxann (Ann Sabin). Mostly not to do with irregular rhythms, except for the 9/8 Kashlimar (Karshlimar, Karsilama) - but valuable if you do not understand basic musical concepts as it starts with a simple explanation of rhythm and time signatures. NEW 04.08.08
Weird Metronome is a Windows program which beats out time using Midi hardware present in most sound cards. It plays measures of length up to 1000 beats, with totally customizable emphasis of beats. David Johnston wrote it to fill the needs of the eastern European folk music community.

See also my LINKS for general International Folk Dance - including dance notes - and Circle Dance and music sites.

OTHER DANCE AND MUSIC PAGES on this website;
DANCE & MUSIC main page - details of my dance teaching and music playing, what is Circle Dance, list of my dance choreographies and music sources, etc..
EVENTS page for details of local dance groups, dance days, residentials, etc. THE IBERIAN COLLECTION page has details of one of the day workshops which I offer.
MP3 SOUND FILES of Cosmo Kolo and of myself, Helen O and Bob Minney.
LYRICS to some Circle and International Folk dances.
IRREGULAR RHYTHMS
from Eastern Europe, Armenia, Turkey - an adaptation of my  drumming or instumentalists' workshop handout, with beat count and names of some dances for a variety of rhythms for 5/16 to 22/8.
NOTES for some of my circle dance choreographies.
A collection of Circle Dance ARTICLES. Some may be humourous.
LINKS to many Circle and International Folk Dance and related sites, and music sites with lyrics or sound files or general background.
CDs for sale - new CDs by Bob Minney, plus a few secondhand from various genres,, plus some available through Amazon.co.uk, for whom I am an affiliate.
VIDEOS of me demonstrating a few of my choreographies, to which there are also dance notes.

Page last updated 01.12.15

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www.paulboizot.co.uk


My address from 30.04.12 is 14 Holly Bank Grove, York YO24 4EA, U.K.

contact me on: 01904 621510

info@paulboizot.co.uk
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