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News / Andromaqi Gjergji no longer among us
« Last post by Cees on July 11, 2015, 04:36:09 PM »
On the 8th of July 2015, Andromaqi Gjergji died at the age of 87.
She was a specialist in the field of folk dress and wrote many publications in the ethnological magazines like "Kultura Popullore".

Her book about the folk dress of Albania through the centuries is much appreciated by scholars as well as her contributions to volumes "Veshje popullore Shqiptare" vol. 1-3.

A great loss for those interested in Albanian folk dress.

See a description of her book here:

General Chat / Re: "new folk" music
« Last post by bz0098 on October 27, 2014, 06:48:57 AM »
very goog.......................... :)
General Chat / A Central Albanian folk music rhythm
« Last post by Dax on November 13, 2011, 12:48:44 PM »
Valle festivale


Another two



Këngë e Bajram Curri


which comprises 4 items of Albanian folk music.

Each of them features a characteristic Central Albanian rhythm. I would maintain that the bars are essentially in 7, but the beats are unequal; in other words, to notate them, beats would last 3, 4 or 5 semiquavers.

The first example is entitled Valle festivale (festive dance) - (3+4) + (4+5) + (3+4+5) and there are a couple of other instrumental numbers which feature the same rhythm. There is also an apparently percussionless song entitled Këngë e Bajram Curri which appears to employ a reversal of that rhythm namely (3+4+5) + (3+4) + (4+5).

The rhythm will be unfamiliar to most and apparently baffling to those hearing it for the first time. In order to work it out, one should of course focus on the percussion. The most readily identifiable part of the rhythm is the final (3+4+5) to which the solution seems clearly to be
and then the rest of the rhythm can be worked out from there.

This rhythm seems not uncommon in Central Albanian music although I've never seen a reference to it in any Albanian publication or anywhere on the internet. Nor have I come across a similar rhythm in my rather limited knowledge of the music of neighbouring countries (Turkey would possibly be the obvious suspect). I've encountered a couple of people who have a view (specifically on Këngë e Bajram Curri) concerning the rhythm which is rather different from my own: - one (a respected ethnomusicologist) points out that it's quite common when identifying such things for different people to come up with varied metrical/rhythmic solutions. This is a wiser opinion than it might seem given that I possess a number of recordings featuring this rhythm, some of which have a subtly different rhythmic "feel".

So here's the problem for any fellow-member who feels able to reply - identify the rhythm! I'd be grateful for your views, whether or not it happens to agree with my own.

Albania / MOVED: New Book about Albanian Traditional Music
« Last post by Cees on May 09, 2011, 06:10:47 PM »
News / New Book about Albanian Traditional Music
« Last post by Ian Price on May 09, 2011, 12:25:10 PM »
A new book in English has just been published by McFarland Press - 'Albanian Traditional Music', written by Dr. Spiro Shetuni. The book also includes 48 songs with transcriptions and lyrics and the songs can be downloaded at: http://www.soundcloud.com/albaniantraditionalmusic/
For those wishing to learn about Albanian Traditional Music; this is an excellent introduction.
General Chat / "new folk" music
« Last post by juhlemann on March 10, 2011, 01:39:30 AM »
I began collecting recorded Albanian music about 30 years ago, both "field recordings" and LPs such as Marcel Cellier's collections.  Some of what I have is commercial recordings directed toward foreigners, and some (such as the cassettes one could buy in markets in Kosovë in the 1980's) recordings meant for local consumption.  My question regards the background of current Albanian music groups that are not "folklore ensembles" or "pop groups" , but who perform in a variant of traditional dress and use older singing styles accompanied by a mixture of traditional and electronic instruments.  (In Latvia this is referred to as "post-folk music" - a term coined by Ilga Reizniece.)  Some of these performers are highly respected singers from the old regime who have updated themselves to fit modern tastes (e.g. Irini Qirjako),  but I am not familiar with the others.  What is one to make of the duet "Bilbilet e Vrionit" (see the YouTube performance of "Xhixhile") - were these also former state-sponsored musicians?  They seem to be popular, but who, exactly, is the target audience?  My personal impression is that it is like American Bluegrass or Country Music - obviously based on older forms, but not really traditional, and that it has a subset of the listening public that connects the music with its own sense of Albanian identity.  I have no direct contact with Albanian culture, however, so I cannot be sure of my impression.
-John Uhlemann
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