Folk dance Music of Bulgaria
Bulgaria is a relatively small country but it contains a wide diversity of folk dance styles. I believe this is the main reason why Bulgarian dances are so popular among international folk dancers. Bulgaria is located in south-eastern Europe and surrounded by Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. First, we will have a brief introduction of Bulgaria and its folklore regions, then will introduce some folk instruments and describe each folklore region one by one.
Bulgaria has a population of 7.4 million people and occupied around 42,800 square meter. Back to 1218, it was one of the largest country in Europe under Ivan Asen II which named the second Bulgarian Empire. However, the decline of the Empire result in the loss of independent of Bulgaria and became a state of the Ottoman Empire. By the help of the Soviet Union, it became independent again at 1908. Until 1989, it gave up communism and applied parliamentary democracy. Bulgaria folk music is a significant part of Bulgarian culture. There are six folklore regions – Dobrudja, Thrace, Pirin, Sofia Region- Shopluk, the Rhodopes and North Bulgaria- Moesia.
Folk music is used to celebrate holidays like Christmas, New Year’s Day, midsummer m, and the Feast of St. Lazarus. It is also a part of personal celebrations such as wedding. Songs sung by women at work parties such as sedenka, betrothal ceremonies are also folk music. Bulgarian folk music featured “asymmetrical” rhythms, which is the combination of quick and slow beats. Each basic folk dance type use a distinct combination of rhythmic units but it varies across regions.
Gaida is a kind of aerophone with goat-skin bagpipe. There are two types of gaida- Thracian gaida and Rhodopi gaida, the later one is larger and has a deeper sound. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Kli_4cXEi4)
Kaval is also a kind of aerophone, which is an end-blown flute and very similar to Arabic Ney.
Gadulka is a kind of chordophones, a bowed string instrument, commonly played in the context of dance music. It can have three main strings with up to sixteen sympathetic resonating strings underneath.
Tambura is has doubled steel strings and is played with a plectrum, same as a mandolin. It is used for both solo or group performance.
Below we will introduce the folklore regions one by one:
It covers the northeastern part of Bulgaria. Dorbrujans usually dance with their knee bent and backs hollow. Their dances and music show the hard living for a farmer who has to fight with the nature. The group dancers usually have their hands joined cross in front, in belt hold. Ruka, which means hands, is one of the characteristics dances in this area. The second video is the performance of the rachenitsa, which is the national dance of Bulgaria. The rhythmic...