The Bulgarian polka

Also known as The Belgian Tune, The Belgian.

There are 3 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Bulgarian has been added to 26 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Eight settings

X: 1
T: The Bulgarian
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
|:Ae ce|Ae ce|G>A Bc|dc BG|Ae ce|Ae ce|d>c BG|A2 E2:|
|:A>B cd|e/f/ e2 e|g c2 c|d4|e>f ed|c/B/ A2 c|de/d/ cB|A2 E2:|
ABC
X: 2
T: The Bulgarian
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
Am Ab(aug5)|C/G F#dim+7|G - |E - |Am Ab(aug5)|C/G F#dim+7|G - |Am E:||:Am - |Am - |C - |D - |Am - |F - |G - |Am E:|
ABC
X: 3
T: The Bulgarian
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
|:c>B|"Am"A>e c>e|"Am"A>e c>e|"G"G>A B>c|"G"d>c B>G|
"Am"A>e c>e|"Am"A>e c>e|"G"d>c B>G|"Am"A2:|
|:c>B|"Am"A>B c>d|"Am"e<f e>e|"C"g>c (3ccc|"G"d2 "E7"^d2|
"Am"e>f e>d|"F"c<A A>c|"G"d>c B>G|"Am"A2:|
ABC
X: 4
T: The Bulgarian
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|: G/F/ |EB GB | EB GB | D>E FG | A/B/A/G/ FD |
EB GB | E/G/B GB | AA/G/ FD | E2 E :|
|: G/F/ |E>F GA | Bc dc/d/ | eG GB/G/ | A2 ^A2 |
B>=c BA | GE- EG | AA/G/ FD | E2- E :|
ABC
X: 5
T: The Bulgarian
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|: ^D |EB GB | EB GB | D>E FG | AB/A/ G/A/G/F/ |
EB G2 | EB/G/ EB | A>A G/F/E/^D/ | E2- E :|
|: G/F/ |E2 G>A | A/B/^c d2 | eG- GB/G/ | A2 ^A2 |
B>^A Bc | B/c/B/A/ G/F/E | A/B/A/G/ F/E/D | E2- E :|
ABC
X: 6
T: The Bulgarian
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|: GF |EB GB | EB GB | DE FG | AG FD |
EB GB | EB GB | AG FD | E2 :|
|: GF |EF GA | Bc BB | dG GG | A2 ^A2 |
Bc BA | GE EG | AG FD | E2 :|
ABC
X: 7
T: The Bulgarian
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
|:c>B|"Am"A>e c>e|"Am"A>e c>e|"G"G>A B>c|"G"d>c B>G|
"Am"A>e c>e|"Am"A>e c>e|"G"d>c B>G|"Am"A2:|
|:c>B|"Am"A>B c>d|"Am"e<f e>e|"C"g>c (3ccc|"G"d2 "E7"^d2|
"Am"e>f e>d|"F"c<A A>c|"G"d>c B>G|"Am"A2:|
ABC
X: 8
T: The Bulgarian
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Amin
|: (3cdB |A>ec>e A2 c>e | G>AB>c d>cB>G |
A>ec>e A>ec<e | d>c (3BAG A2 :|
|: c>B |A>Bc>d e<f (3eee | g>c (3ccc d>cB>^d2 |
e>fe>d c<AA>c | d>cB<^G A2 :|
ABC

Thirty-nine comments

The Bulgarian Polka

This one’s really fun. I learnt it at Folkworks in 2004, and only just remembered that I knew it today. It’s short and sweet, but it has the coolest chords you’ve ever seen. ITM puritans, look away now:
Am Ab(aug5)|C/G F#dim+7|G - |E - |Am Ab(aug5)|C/G F#dim+7|G - |Am E:||:Am - |Am - |C - |D - |Am - |F - |G - |Am E:|

Btw, it’s from Co. Bulgaria, near Sliabh Luachra

Hmmmmmmm? County Bulgaria? More like great uncle Bulgaria…

Well damn Joe, it don’t sound like any Bulgarian music I’ve ever heard, not that I profess an unlimited knowledge there. So, seeing as the place is very geographically and culturally varied, what area or ‘tribe’ is this one from? Anglonisky? Americanishka? Is it recorded anywhere? I think, this being another ‘Folkworks’ number it might be someone’s fantasy of a composition failing miserably to sound like anything from that neck of the woods. But hey, you can always call it "Bulgarian" just to add a bit of that supposed mystique of origin, or excuse for this little flutter on the notes lottery?

Mind you, there’s so much British and American cross-exchange going on that it might even have been composed by someone from the big city of Sofija. It might even be a Slovenian invfluence, a bit of the ol’ Austro-Hungarian influence? :-/

Come on, tell us more… Confess up!

Folkworks
http://www.thesagegateshead.org/folkworks/index.aspx

Great Uncle Bulgaria ~ & his March 8-)
http://members.tripod.com/~MattWells/realuncleb.htm

But ~ I’ve no intention of stopping yours or anyone else’s fun with it…especially with those chords… ;-)

Don’t they teach you how to credit your source at Folkworks? Just saying "Folkworks" isn’t enough. There are a lot of people involved in Folkworks, especially if you count in all the students. Are there any real live Bulgarians on the course?

OK, I don’t know whether it’s actually Bulgarian, or somebody wrote it and thought "Bulgarian" sounded cool. Quite possibly the latter. I learnt it from Joey Oliver, and the chords from Ian Stephenson (or at least, he taught the guitarists, and what I wrote here is what I think it sounded like). And I’ve no idea who wrote it.
Happy now?

Sorry if I don’t have an infinite well of tune-origin knowledge like your good selves, there’s other things in life you know…

Yeah I’m happy now :-)

Please tell me what these "other things in life" are other than tunes. I hope you don’t mean songs…

8-)

Confession is good for the soul Joe…

Hey, what makes you think we don’t partake in all those other things too? Dow and I are ‘well-rounded’… No, I don’t mean rotund, in either sense of that word…

We’re happy and can now take our medicine and have a nap…

I swear the chords you taught me were different…
Or maybe they just look more complicated written down.
I can’t be bothered to decode them.

The above is my attempt at naming the chords I showed you. I’d take them with a pinch of salt, if I were you.
And thinking back, I think it might actually have been the Belgian Polka, not Bulgarian…
Damn.

But it’s a cool tune anyway!

And the weird-looking chords do look more complicated written down. If you work them out, you’ll see that it’s an Am chord, then the same chord, but starting on a G#, then starting on a G, then F#.
It sounds good, trust me!

Brilliant little polka(?) I learned a while back - does anyone know the name?! It should be played dotted, but the music looks tider without the dots I think.

Gan Ainm

Snowyowl, it is very difficult to play a polka from written music without showing the dotted notes, because of their simplicity. How ‘tidy’ they look on paper is irrelevant. Could you possibly put the full version of the ABC’s in the comments?

OC? :-/ ~ a minor or A Dorian?

Who did you learn it from, where ~ what’s the story morning glory? It feels like one of those American (New England) contra dance polkas…or…another one of those that regularly pop out at that Durham gathering ~ ‘Folkworks’… Here it is in E Dorian, with some other possibilities ~

X: 1
T: Gan Ainm
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
K: Edor
|: G/F/ |\
EB GB | EB GB | D>E FG | A/B/A/G/ FD |
EB GB | E/G/B GB | AA/G/ FD | E2 E :|
|: G/F/ |\
E>F GA | Bc dc/d/ | eG GB/G/ | A2 ^A2 |
B>=c BA | GE- EG | AA/G/ FD | E2- E :|

I keep hearing a tuba, so it might be English, a la ‘Folkworks’… 8-)

T: ‘name’ & C: ‘composer’

Maybe both will be revealed somewhere down the line, eh?

B-part ~ more fun

|: G/F/ |\
E2 G>A | Bc d2 | eG- GB/G/ | A2 ^A2 |
B>^A B=c | B/=c/B/A/ G/F/E | A/B/A/G/ F/E/D | E2- E :|

Your transcription, unchanged except by key ~ in e minor

X: 1
T: Gan Ainm
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
K: Emin
|: GF |\
EB GB | EB GB | DE FG | AG FD |
EB GB | EB GB | AG FD | E2 :|
|: GF |\
EF GA | Bc BB | dG GG | A2 ^A2 |
Bc BA | GE EG | AG FD | E2 :|

I’d love to put the dotted version - but alas my ABC skills don’t extend that far, and I’ve always been taught to write dotted tunes out straight and just add that they’re dotted. Sorry. Blame my A level composition :-(

I did learn it at Folkworks - all my friends who went there don’t know its name either, so you all now know as much as I do!

Don’t blame A level music ~ dotted notes are a ‘standard’. Either you misunderstood or the person teaching it was doing a bad job of it… ‘Straight’, no dotted notes, that’s just plain silly. Maybe they were only referring to swung tunes, like hornpipes? ~ to try and give them the benefit of the doubt… I don’t think Mozart, Gershwin or Padraig O’Keeffe would put up with anyone laying down such an idiotic rule… I refuse to believe that British music education has become so lame… Well, maybe… 8-)

Snowyowl, here’s a link that should be of help.
http://www.walshaw.plus.com/abc/
When I learned abc I found it useful to find the abc for a similar tune here on the database that you know has a similar movement. For example almost all polkas will have doted notes. This > points to the note you want to shorten, so > means the first note is longer and < means the first note is shorter

:-p

So, basically, they don’t believe in semi-quavers/sixteenth notes either? :-/ Only semi-breves, minims, crotchets and quavers are allowed? ~ and absolutely no dotted notes? PISHAW!!!

bogman, she knows more than she’s letting on… Unless for some unknown reason she’s regressed since last she contributed to this site…

http://www.lesession.co.uk/abc/abc_notation.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abc_notation

More to jog your memory dear snowy… Or, and I hope this isn’t the case, are you blaming your A-level music course and instructor to distract us from the truth ~ the laziness behind sloppy notation? Notate it as YOU play it, and to hell with any fantasy with regards to what you think you shouldn’t do. If you really to play it that straight and plodding ~ BLEWCH!!! :-p

Prove to us it is ‘brilliant’ ~ give us your take on it here in the comments…

The occassional dotted note or fully swung? :-/

Just a thought ~ yes, another one ~ were you saying this is ‘dotted’ and meaning ‘fully swung’? ~ like for a fling or hornpipe?

Why thanks - and no I’m not blaming anyone, the only thing I blame is my ignorance. I’ll attempt to write it as I play it - but having already tried to do that in traditional dots and found it difficult, the ABC could be rather interesting. IMO, it’s very difficult to emphasise the subtlety of individual style in dots or ABC, and that isn’t just an excuse :-) . For now though, the best way to describe how I play it would be; dig on the main beats of each bar - make the first quaver of each pair slightly longer and in the 3rd bar of the B part, turn the last 2 C’s into a triplet. I also really emphasise the D D# run in the bar after that, then go back to playing it dotted. The easiest way to demonstrate would be record it for you all though…

I wasn’t blaming my music course for me not knowing about dotted notes - I know about them, I just don’t know how to write them in ABC in case anyone misunderstood…

Howdy Snowy, good to see you are still active… It sounds like it is fully swung, almost like a highland fling rather than a polka. If I had an MP3 of you playing it once through I’d transcribe it for you, in a ‘basic’ form, but with dots if played that way. I could also convert dots to ABCs. Drop me a line… ;-)

Dotty ABC

X: 1
T: Gan Ainm
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: polka
K: Amin
|:c>B|"Am"A>e c>e|"Am"A>e c>e|"G"G>A B>c|"G"d>c B>G|
"Am"A>e c>e|"Am"A>e c>e|"G"d>c B>G|"Am"A2:|
|:c>B|"Am"A>B c>d|"Am"e<f e>e|"C"g>c (3ccc|"G"d2 "E7"^d2|
"Am"e>f e>d|"F"c<A A>c|"G"d>c B>G|"Am"A2:|

with thanks to ceolachan :-)

Weird, now this is really starting to sound like a fling

X: 1
T: Gan Ainm
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
R: highland fling
K: Amin
|: (3cdB |\
A>ec>e A2 c>e | G>AB>c d>cB>G |
A>ec>e A>ec>e | d>c (3BAG A2 :|
|: c>B |\
A>Bc>d e<f (3eee | g>c (3ccc d>cB>^d2 |
e>fe>d c<AA>c | d>cB>^G A2 :|

But whadda they know about music at Folkworks eh? ;-)

“A” Levels Dumbed Down?

Snowy - either you weren’t listening to your music teacher, or it’s true what they say - "A" levels have been "dumbed down". And to think that I’ve had an inferiority complex all these years because I haven’t got an "O" level in music, never mind an "A" level! In fact, no formal music education at all. But even I know about dots.

As Ceolachan says, the only time that you might omit dots would be when writing hornpipe scores. In hornpipes, the first note in a quaver (quarter note) pair is only actually played about 120%-125% longer, rather than 150% longer that would be indicated by a dot. So whether you include the dots, or omit them, the music score won’t accurately reflect what you actually play. So may folks write hornpipe scores without them, and that’s accepted. In all other cases, you need those dots!

accepted - so there is a dotty version

Hmmmmm? There are definitely a slew of dotty folks on this site…myself exempted, of course… :-P

of course :-P

I know this as…

… The Belgian Tune :-)

Downy snowyowl, they say owls have only a bird-size brain: Their eyes are so huge, they take all the room in the skull! But if you had kept your big amber eyes open and well nictitated you’d’ve seen this tune was already submitted ;-) :
http://www.thesession.org/tunes/7318

That submission, #9017, has flown the coup…