BFM – Different Types of Interpretation
BFM is a separate genre and as many other music styles offers the possibility for a different ways of interpretation of a same melodies or songs. It is all up to you what kind of interpretation you are going to choose, according to your personal necessities. Let us talk about few certain aspects.
- Individual performing
When we talk about music, usually the education process starts with individual performing. If you want to learn how to play a certain instrument or how to sing, before you step forward to collective work you should beguine with personal training. This is quite usual for BFM too. We should notice that this is an old and even ancient manner of making music so individual performing is the most natural way. In that case, BFM has the feature to sound good even performed in a solo, without to give the feeling that something is missing – accompaniment, or harmony, or some other additives. You can just play a melody on a certain instrument, or sing a song and that will be quite enough to present all the specifics of this traditional art, as well as your own personal level of technical skills and inner sense about the local style. To enjoy a solo performing of BFM you don’t need a huge hall with good acoustic, or professional sound system, or large and hard-portable instruments. That makes it easy to practice at many different places and improvised scenes. It makes it quite accessible for a different kind of audience.
- Collective performing
That kind of interpretation fundamentally is not so typical for BFM. I should specify that for a collective performing we may take for example the antiphon singing of Bulgarian folk songs by two groups of female singers. This is an old tradition that we couldn’t find in our days, except in cases when authentic folklore is performed on stage, just to show the audience how it has been played a century ago. BFM is mostly one voice music. Two voices we can find just in few certain regions of the country and I should notice that this is a special way of singing and playing, having its own rules and characteristics. Here I want to point out that this is not the typical shape of BFM and we should clearly separate our thinking about the old authentic folk tradition and the new one (which is accepting some outer influence also) that has been approved since the middle of the last century. The collective performing in BFM is quite new occurrence and here I will mention just the basic options without to give details about when and how these practices has been start and approve.
In general, the collective performing is happening in few ways.
- A solo performing with an accompaniment:
- Vocal music, as the accompaniment may be performed by one or more instruments /Комня Стоянова и Иван Богоев – “В петък се Радка потурчи“, Петя Панева – “Ивано, Иванке”/. I’m writing the titles in Bulgarian in case if you need to search more records of these performers in the net;
- Instrumental music with accompaniment by one or more instruments /Данчо Радулов – Бавна мелодия; Атанас Вълчев – “Кюстендилско хоро”.
- A group performing:
- Vocal music – duets, /Елена Божкова и Димитрина Ганчовска – “Два шопски дуета”/, trios /Трио Вечерница – “Кожильо”/, quartets /Ева квартет – “Седенки”/, folk choirs /Мистерията на българските гласове – “Калиманку Денку”, Нели Андреева и хор на Ф. Кутев – “Малка мома”/;
- Instrumental music – duets, trios, chamber groups /Група майстори – “Абдай”/, folk orchestras /ОНМ – “Мешаница”/. All these groups are presenting an aforetime prepared and developed music material, which may have some solo or improvisation sections for certain instrument, but we cannot say that this is a solo playing with an accompaniment because in that case this is not actually basic approach.
- Ensemble performing:
This is a new way of interpretation of BFM, approved with the creating of a few national folk ensembles in the middle of the last century and the next few decades. These ensembles /on the order of classic music/ has the purpose to present a syncretic art on scene, but built up with the elements of Bulgarian folklore. They are incorporating vocal, instrumental and dance art. /“A suite from Shopski region” – ensemble “Philip Kutev” – Sofia/Bulgaria./
- Authentic folklore
Decades ago BFM got out of the traditional manners and now it has a different purpose – as a performing on concerts or celebrations. Nowadays, groups for authentic folklore still exists, presenting this traditional art in its older forms on scene. Usually we can here one voice singing by groups of female singers /rarely male groups/. In a few certain regions of the country people are singing on two voices and this is interesting manner that has its own rules and specific sound. The songs are usually performed acapella, but sometimes we can hear them with an instrumental accompaniment. If we talk about instrumental music – the ensemble performing is not typical, because as I mentioned before, our folklore is mostly homophonic. In the authentic folk music, you may find one main solo instrument with a drum that is keeping a rhythmic base. That instrument may have a solo performing /“Бавна мелодия на кавал” – Илия Петров/, or a dance to be played on its music /ансамбъл “Гайдуница” – Подем/. It may also play a slow unmeasured melody. In our folklore tradition, we have different instruments and the most popular and often used are: gaida /bagpipe/, kaval /flute/; gadulka /rebec/ and tamboura /mandolin/. I am writing the Bulgarian titles and also the translation, because it may sound clear to you, but it’s important to notice that these Bulgarian instruments has different shape and sound. (If you are interested, you may check for some more information in the net and we may post some articles about them here on BFMNM.) A few ensembles that perform authentic folklore on scene are existing in Bulgaria. Their production usually combines playing, singing and dancing, showing some ancient rituals and most of all it has a ceremonial character. /Folklore ensemble Gaidunica Podem, Bulgaria in Zakopane, Poland 2013 6 of 6/. These groups are very impressive, because nowadays is hard to find this way of performing the folk tradition. In some of the next articles, I will tell you more about the best ensemble for authentic folk art in Bulgaria.
- “Wedding” folk music
This is a particular style that has been affirmed in the second half of the last century and may be performed by traditional Bulgarian folk instruments /most commonly used are kaval (flute) and gaida (bagpipe)/ and also with classic instruments as: clarinet /most of all/, saxophone, trumpet, accordion and violin. This is a group type of playing. Except the leading solo instruments the band has also a rhythm section – drums and bass /drum kit and electric bass guitar/. Solo /electric/ guitar or synthesizer keeps the harmonic base.
These groups are playing in a wide spaces /often outdoor/ in front of a large audience so a sound equipment is required. Especially when we talk about electric instruments.
The most popular performer that affirms that style is the clarinet player Ivo Papazov – bandleader of “Tracia” orchestra (Ivo Papazov – “Илийково хоро” /”Iliykovo horo”/; 2008 Ivo Papsov & his Wedding Band – Festival Rio Loco a Toulouse). I will prepare a particular article with more specific information about him and his music. For now, all you have to know is that “Wedding” folk music still stays the most popular style of performing traditional Bulgarian music. Of course, it takes some changes and outer influences in time but this style is basically kept stable.
- Contemporary music with ethno elements
Many new styles are affirmed in the world music industry, combining not only separate main genres, but elements of different ethno cultures too. BFM also takes its place on the world music scene. You can hear it in many various music projects and it is quite logically in most of them to find some Bulgarian participation. Let us see some examples:
- Classic music – an arrangements of a folk songs and melodies for classic instruments (Александър Владигеров – “Дилмано, Дилберо” /”Dilmano Dilbero”/), choirs (Choir “Бодра смяна” – “Димянинка”), and orchestras (Теодосий Спасов – “Концерт за кавал, кларинет и симфоничен оркестър”;
- Modern styles like: jazz, hip-hop, pop, funk, electronic music and other (Теодосий Спасов и Инфюжън /Theodosii Spasov and Infusion/; Мартин Любенов/Martin Lyubenov project). You can find more examples in the article “The uniqueness of Bulgarian Folk Music and its spreading around the world“.
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