(it has been pointed out to me that is more
accurate to say "irregular meters")
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.
COMMON CURRENTLY IN UK CIRCLE/INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCING
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
||Karsilama, Lalica, Sfarlis,
Svornato, Saxofon Kolo, Samokovsko (aka Devetorka,
|Mombar, Ooseke Gookas,
Armenian Shuffle, Basamian Bar, Agir Halay, Yeni Hamam.
||Gankino Horo, Osogovka,
Kopanitsa, Krivo Horo, Krivata.
||Joc la Sînziene
|Gul Dali, Fatiše Kolo, Struga.
|Beranče, Levendikos, Kucano,
||Zelenikovka/Balada Za Angele
||Basic Čoček rhythm.
BACK TO TOP
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
Račenitsa; račenica, ručenica, ručenitsa
Sînziene; sinziene, sânziene
LINKS TO OTHER RELEVANT WEBSITES
rhythm dances detailed page on Romanian uneven rhythm
dances at the excellent Eliznik
site. NEW 04.08.08
and Middle Eastern Dance Rhythms at Ethnic Dance Chicago.
Has a few Real Audio examples. LINK UPDATED
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.
Bulgarian irregular beats (asymmetric measures) at
Vesselka's site. Has a few links to sites where you can hear
examples. LINK NOT WORKING - SITE
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.
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
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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or in HTML. Use without permission for commercial gain is not
My address from 30.04.12 is 14 Holly Bank Grove,
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contact me on: 01904
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