This course will focus on the clarinet in Greek and Balkan music. We will study the modal structures of this region, particularly makam, as well as some pentatonic systems. We will observe other instruments from the Balkan and Greek traditions (zourna, violin, voice) and attempt to emulate them on clarinet. We will devote considerable attention to technique, starting with developing a proper embouchure and finger positioning. We will also focus on vibrato, types of glissandi, and smoothing out intervals.
We will look at the socio-historical context of these styles, examining how Western and Eastern styles meet and influence each other, interactions among neighboring cultures, and look specifically at Romani influence on these styles. This course will also focus on improvisation (taksim), examining different styles in Greece and the Balkans. We will learn songs from the Greek, Balkan and Turkish repertoires, giving attention to specific rhythms and noting the significance of particular dance styles.
The course is for clarinet players who are comfortable with their instrument, and have some knowledge of the regional styles and repertoire of Greece and/or the Balkans. This course is also open to other instrumentalists and vocalists who are interested in Greek and Balkan music. Students who participated in the previous course are encouraged to join and learn a new repertoire - we will not repeat songs. Of course, new students are equally welcome.