Sample Excerpt of the Gypsy Fiddle Collection
(not in original design and lay-out)
Dear Gypsy fiddle players,
to the rich world of Eastern European and Balkan music here in the Gypsy
Fiddle Collection. I have created this book to share my favourite Gypsy and
folk pieces from
I didnt make a big effort to classify what is Gypsy and what is folk because often it is very difficult to trace a tune back to its roots is it Gypsies playing folk tunes or folk musicians playing Gypsy tunes?
I did make a big effort, though, to notate the music as close to the interpretation as possible but I find it impossible to communicate the real feeling and phrasing with classical notation. The tradition is to pass on the knowledge from generation to generation by ear. Also, Roma dont trust books, because, as they say, how do you know it is true what is written in there??? I certainly dont
To give you the opportunity to follow tradition combined with modern learning this book is accompanied by a CD you can learn the notes quickly by reading, and then spend time listening to pick up the mood of the piece, and not just the mood, but the precise phrasing, the timing and accentuation of the ornamentation. Especially in the rubato pieces, it would make it very hard to learn the piece, if I attempted to write down all notes as I play them. Mostly you will find a skeleton melody line and the recording is at hand to give you the inspiration to use your own creativity.
You will find a short paragraph about the music of each country. This is as much based on fact as it is on my own experience of learning the music from mostly traditional sources and performing it.
I hope you have as much fun as I do learning, exploring and performing these pieces!
There are a few people I would like to acknowledge here:
First of all the great artist and my lovely friend Rima who created this amazing cover image and was in other ways very supportive
Then there are various Roma musician friends and acquaintances who taught me various tunes: Caliu from Taraf de Haidouks, Tcha Limberger and Stano to mention but a few.
very good friend is Melissa who has spent time with Gypsies in
More thoughts go to ivorad who proofread all the music and made a lot of effort to record all those tunes with me, to Pawlina, who also did a lot of proofreading and was a big help in getting this project published, and to Egemen, who is a big fan of Balkan music and was great support in finishing the project.
A big Thank You to all of you!
Collection, notation, arrangement and layout by Gundula Gruen
Cover painting by
All rights reserved © 2005
Unauthorised copying prohibited!
me a people with more songs (quote by N.V. Gogol, little
folk and Gypsy music is very passionate and colourful, outgoing in its
expressions accompanying all situations that life might confront you with.
Lyrics tell of love, weddings and harvests and of vodka and horse carriage
trips and parties.
Russian instrumental music is rich in colourful sounds, virtuoso runs and expressive articulation; the violin cries, laughs, moans, argues angrily or dances like the devil .
Apart from trills, slides and runs theres not so much ornamentation, the tune itself contains it all.
The notated ornamentation in this culture can be quite similarly interpreted as in classical music. It is very common to link phrases by adding runs, slides, arpeggios, or play around even notes. Example:
Fast tunes sometimes speed up at the end and mostly finish with powerful chords.
Much of Russian Gypsy music is in minor keys, generally harmonic minor, giving it a slightly exotic feel.
oldest and most soulful instruments in
The most famous instrument is probably the bayan the button accordion; there are many virtuoso players. The lead instrument in contemporary performances is the violin, often accompanied by bayan, guitar and double bass.
Petyorshka = a fiver. This is an old Russian song about a man who hires a carriage and three horses with his last five rubles. Quickly he rushes to reach his beloved girl. But she refuses him and so he decides to go to the Gypsies instead where he finds pretty girls, music and vodka.