A random collection of unusual rhythms. Remember, traditional Balkan musicians didn’t count this way – they felt the beats intuitively, maybe thought to themselves quicks and slows, but didn’t assign numerical values. We westerners, who were raised with math-based musical notation, and are unused to irregular rhythms – this counting stuff is for our benefit.
First, let’s go to Armenia, where a fairly common rhythm is 10/8, counted 123,12,12,123, or slow, quick, quick, slow. Here’s 2 melodies, first Ooska Gookas, or Hooshig Mooshig.
And our old friend Mom Bar
Next, Macedonia. 11/8, traditionally counted 123,12,12,12,12.
However, some contemporary groups are accenting in a more interesting way: 123,123,1,12,12,
Finally, Rajasthan, home of the Roma (Gypsies). 14/8, counted 123,12,12,123,12,12,