Balkan Music Ensemble (MPF4227.01)

Joseph Alpar

Balkan music is fierce brass, complex harmonies, and mind-bending asymmetrical dances. It is spirited Serbian wedding music, dissonant village songs, devastating Bosnian love ballads, saucy songs of the Greek underworld, and heart-pounding Turkish rhythms. In the Bennington Balkan Ensemble, we will learn to perform a variety of traditional, urban, village, and popular music from Southeast Europe. Singing and playing indigenous, orchestral, and electronic instruments, we’ll explore repertoire from Albania, Greece, Bosnia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosova, Turkey, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia. Student, faculty and staff singers and instrumentalists of all types (strings, percussion, woodwinds, brass, etc.) are welcome in this ensemble.  Be prepared to sing, play, improvise, and dance.  Audition and instructor approval required.

Learning Outcomes:
Students will:
• Learn a diverse range of repertoire from Southeast Europe
• Sing in multiple languages from the region
• Learn compositions in a range of meters (7/8, 9/8, 11/8 etc)
• Play instrumental songs from the region
• Work independently and in rehearsals towards one or two final performances of our repertoire

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: An audition is required for this ensemble. All instruments and voice types are welcome. Students should have a working knowledge of music notation although proficient reading ability is not a requirement. Auditions will take place the week of November 17-22; email Joseph Alpar ( to schedule.
Corequisites: Participation in class performances. Attendance at any relevant special music events on campus.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 2
M 7:00PM - 8:50PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Fully In-Person , Performance , Two Credit
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