Balkan Folk Dance Music Rhythms

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Ethnic Dance Chicago (EDC)
Dancing As a Second Language
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Balkan and Middle Eastern Dance/Music Rhythm Gallery
Rhythm GalleryClick the Juke Box on the left to play all music selections here!

Enjoy learning about Balkan & Middle Eastern Dance/Music Rhythms and listening to some unusual ethnic folk music while you’re visiting www,ethnicdance.net or surfing elsewhere on the web!

Some of these examples of rhythms are linked to music clips on this site.  Over time, we’ll get all the examples online.  Why not listen to and learn about this exciting music while you’re reading this page or surfing the web.

Contributors: Paul Collins, Dennis Boxell

Your options are:

  1. Click an individual song name (below) to play it or,
  2. Click the jukebox (left) to play the entire playlist.
  3. Click this icon Click Button for Lyrics and Sing-Alongfor pop-up windows with lyrics. Sing-along!
  4. Click this icon Click Button for Lyrics and Sing-Along for pop-up windows with information.

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GROUP 1
[Q = 1/2 beat = &,        S = 1 full beat = 1]         (Q=Quick, S=Slow)
Meter
Counting Method 1
Counting Method 2
Examples
2/4
SQQ
(Mixed Pickles)
1-2& U Sest (Serbia), Syrtos (Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria), Sirto (Bulgaria), Pravoto or Lesnoto Oro (Macedonia), Kjucek (Bulgaria), Cocek (Serbia)
QQS 1&-2 Kokonjeste Kolo (Serbia), Kukunjesko Horo (Bulgaria), Crnogorka (Macedonia)
  1&-2 Ovcepolska Potrculka (Macedonia), Kopacka (Macedonia)
  1&-2& Sopsko Horo 2/4 (Bulgaria)
  1&-2& Trite Puti 2/4 (Bulgaria)
  1&-2& Pravo Trakijsko 2/4 (Bulgaria)
3/8
SSS 1-2-3 Zikino Kolo (Serbia)
5/4
SQQSSQQ 1-2&-3-4-5& Zagorisios (Epirus, Greece)
6/8
SSSSSS 1-2-3-4-5-6 Zikino Kolo (Serbia, sometimes also played 7/8), Bojerka (Bosnia), Hora Mare Moldovaneasc (Romania)
Tsamikos (Greece)
8/8
SQSQS
(Get Your Papers Here)
1&-2-3&-4-5& Invirtita (Transylvania, Romania), Sokacko Malo Kolo (Banat)
QSQSS 1-2&-3-4&-5& Ca La Breaza (Romania)
GROUP 2
[Q = 2 beats = 12        S = 3 beats = 123]        (Q=Quick, S=Slow)
Meter
Counting Method 1
Counting Method 2
Examples
5/8
QS 12-123 Mori Odajo (Macedonia), Sarakina (Agean Macedonia)
Dragaicuta (Romania)
5/16
QS 12-123 Pajdusko (Macedonia, Bulgaria), Baiduska (Greece), Rustemul, Paidusca, Cimpoi (Romania)
7/4
1-2-3-4-5-6-7 123-12-12 Maskoto (Macedonia), Tris Fores (Agean Macedonia)
7/8
SQQ 123-12-12 Pravoto or Lesnoto Oro (Macedonia),Click This Button for the Lyrics (in a Popup Window) and Sing-Along!Cupurlika (Macedonia), Kupurlika (Bulgaria), Syrtos Kalamatianos (Greece), Cupi Kosturcanki (Macedonia), Sirto (Bulgaria),Click This Button for the Lyrics (in a Popup Window) and Sing-Along!
7/16
1-2-3-4-5-6-7 12-12-123 Eleno Mome (Bulgaria, Macedonia)
QQS 12-12-123 Racenica (Bulgaria), Katanka (East Serbia, Bulgaria), Potrcano (Macedonia), Cigancica (Macedoina, East Serbia)
SQQ 123-12-12 Cetvorno Horo , Panagyursko,  Dobro Nevesto, Ripna Maca (Bulgaria), Momirul (Romania)
9/4
QQQS 12-12-12-123 Kumovo Oro (Macedonia)
9/8
QQQS 12-12-12-123 Devetorka (Macedonia, Bulgaria), Niska Banja (Serbia), Karsilimas (Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey), Kjucek (Bulgaria)
Varnensko (Bulgaria)
, Sareni Corapi (Macedonia}, Dzangruica (Pirin, Bulgaria)
QSQQ 12-123-12-12 Fatise Kolo (Serbia-Vranja), Devojce, Devojce (Macedonia)
Sto Me Je Milo (Serbia)
, Katuse Mome, Katuse (Macedonia)
9/16
QQQS 12-12-12-123 Dajcovo Horo , Lilka (Bulgaria), Lile, Lile (Serbia)
QSQQ 12-123-12-12 Grancarsko Horo (Bulgaria)
11/16
QQSQQ 12-12-123-12-12 Kopanica , Gankino Horo (Bulgaria), Osagovka (Macedonia), Ovcepolsko Oro (Macedonia), Stankino (Agean Maedonia)
Marina (Agean Maedonia)
SQQQQ 123-12-12-12-12 Patrunino (Agean Macedonia), Acano Mlada Nevesto (Maedonia)
QQQQS 12-12-12-12-123 Neda Voda Nalivala (Bulgaria)
12/16
SQQSQ 123-12-12-123-12 Berance, Bajrace, Pusceno,Click This Button for the Lyrics (in a Popup Window) and Sing-Along! Pusteno, Kucano (Macedonia), Leventikos, Click This Button for the Lyrics (in a Popup Window) and Sing-Along!Pouscheno, Beratiko, Litos (Greece), Neso, Berace (Kosovo, Albania)
QQSQS 12-12-123-12-123 Dolgoto (Macedonia), Gajda Preshevare (Kosovo)
QQQSS 12-12-12-123-123 Topansko (Macedonia)
13/16
QQQQQS 12-12-12-12-12-123 Petrunino (Bulgaria)
SQQQQQ 123-12-12-12-12-12 Elenino Horo (Bulgaria)
QQQSQQ 12-12-12-123-12-12 Krivo Sadovsko Horo (Bulgaria), Zensko Krsteno (Macedonia), Postupano (Macedonia)
14/16
QQQSQS 12-12-12-123-12-123 Bicak (Bulgaria)
15/16
QQQQSQQ 12-12-12-12-123-12-12 Bucimis (Bulgaria)
GROUP 3 Special Combos – [Q = 2 beats = 12  / S = 3 beats = 123]  /  (Q=Quick, S=Slow)
Meter
Counting Method 1
Counting Method 2
Examples
(7/16 + 11/16 Combo)

1 “Cetvorno” +
1 “Gankino”

 

SQQ +
QQSQQ

 

123-12-12 + 
12-12-123-12-12

Jove Male Mome (Bulgaria), Janino Oro (Macedonia)
(7/16 + 11/16 Combo)

2 “Cetvornos” +
1 “Gankino”

 

SQQ +
SQQ +
QQSQQ

 

123-12-12 + 
123-12-12 + 

12-12-123-12-12

Sedi Donka (East Serbia, Bulgaria, style #1), Sedi Donka (East Serbia, Bulgaria, style #2)
(9/16 + 13/16 Combo)

2 “Dajcovos” +
2 quicks

or

1 “Dajcovo” + 1 “Krivo”

 

QQQS +
QQQS +
QQ
or

QQQS +
QQQSQQ

12-12-12-123 +
12-12-12-123 +
12-12or

12-12-12-123 +
12-12-12-123-12-12

Sandansko Horo (Pirin, Bulgaria)
(9/16 + 13/16 Combo)

1 “Dajcovo” +
1 “Dajcovo” +
1 “Dajcovo” +
1 “Dajcovo” +
1 “Dajcovo” +
1 “Dajcovo” +
1 “Dajcovo” +
1 “Dajcovo” +
1 “13/16” +
1 “13/16” +
1 “13/16” +
1 “13/16


QQQS +
QQQS +
QQQS +
QQQS +
QQQS +
QQQS +
QQQS +
QQQS +
QQQQQS +
QQQQQS +
QQQQQS +
QQQQQS
 

12-12-12-123 +
12-12-12-123 + 

12-12-12-123 +

12-12-12-123 +

12-12-12-123 +

12-12-12-123 +

12-12-12-123 +

12-12-12-123 +

12-12-12-12-123 +
12-12-12-12-123 +

12-12-12-12-123 +
12-12-12-12-123
Sokuc (Serbian, Vlach)
(9/16 + 13/16 Combo)

1 “Dajcovo” +
1 “Dajcovo” +
1 “Dajcovo” + 1 “13/16” +
1 “Dajcovo” + 1 “13/16” +
1 “Dajcovo” + 1 “13/16

 


QQQS +
QQQS +
QQQS + QQQQQS +

QQQS + QQQQQS +
QQQS + QQQQQS
 

12-12-12-123 +
12-12-12-123 + 
12-12-12-123 + 12-12-12-12-12-123 +
12-12-12-123 + 12-12-12-12-12-123 + 12-12-12-123 + 12-12-12-12-12-123
Pop Marinko (Serbian, Vlach)

NOTE: The 11/16 part has been counted as SSQS. While this is convenient for dancing, it ts also somewhat misleading as te first two S counts are really 4 beats each and the last S count is a 3 beats which would be rendered as 1234-1234-12-123.

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