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Albania folk music

Penar Musaraj 20 Dec 99 - 09:04 AM
Big Mick 20 Dec 99 - 11:42 AM
Haruo 03 Apr 01 - 06:36 PM
Haruo 03 Apr 01 - 06:37 PM
Haruo 04 Apr 01 - 05:39 PM
SharonA 04 Dec 01 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,Philippa 15 Apr 03 - 05:06 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 15 Apr 03 - 05:57 AM
greg stephens 15 Apr 03 - 06:45 AM
Pied Piper 15 Apr 03 - 06:54 AM
greg stephens 15 Apr 03 - 07:06 AM
Pied Piper 15 Apr 03 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,Philippa 15 Apr 03 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,Philippa 15 Apr 03 - 12:28 PM
M.Ted 15 Apr 03 - 05:42 PM
Felipa 15 Apr 03 - 06:57 PM
M.Ted 16 Apr 03 - 01:52 PM
Felipa 16 Apr 03 - 05:07 PM
M.Ted 17 Apr 03 - 01:11 PM
Felipa 18 Apr 03 - 03:09 AM
GUEST 18 Apr 03 - 11:03 AM
M.Ted 18 Apr 03 - 12:59 PM
Felipa 05 May 03 - 04:51 PM
MMario 06 May 03 - 01:51 PM
M.Ted 06 May 03 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,Philippa 14 Nov 03 - 11:57 AM
M.Ted 14 Nov 03 - 04:38 PM
M.Ted 14 Nov 03 - 05:42 PM
M.Ted 18 Nov 03 - 05:58 PM
GUEST,Philippa 24 Nov 03 - 06:06 PM
M.Ted 25 Nov 03 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Philippa 20 Oct 04 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,alba_jona 04 Nov 04 - 05:15 PM
GUEST 08 Dec 04 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,Rajli Bicolli 04 Jan 11 - 10:19 PM
GUEST 03 Dec 11 - 06:35 AM
Jim Martin 03 Dec 11 - 07:59 AM
Jim Carroll 03 Dec 11 - 08:26 AM
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Subject: Albania folk music
From: Penar Musaraj
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 09:04 AM

Hello,


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: Big Mick
Date: 20 Dec 99 - 11:42 AM

Hello, Penar. Won't you please join us? We would love to have you be a part of our community. One of the best nights I ever had, my band was playing a local pub and a group of Albanian medical personnel who were doing a program at a local hospital came in. They loved the music, sang every song, danced,..............and after a bit came to the mic and did some beautiful Albanian folk music. A few weeks later, one of them presented the mandolin/bouzouki player in our band a gourd instrument that resembled an octave mandolin. ....

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Albania Christmas carols
From: Haruo
Date: 03 Apr 01 - 06:36 PM

Looking for Albanian (shqip) Christmas carols (either texts of versions of general Euro-American carols or specifically Albanian ones). Anybody got any or links or leads to any? I haven't checked the Silent Night site, but will shortly, so no need to mention that. But other than that, I have none and need some. Tosk or Gheg, Kosovar, whatever, doesn't matter.

Thanks,
Liland


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Subject: RE: Albania Christmas carols
From: Haruo
Date: 03 Apr 01 - 06:37 PM

Looking for Albanian (shqip) Christmas carols (either texts of versions of general Euro-American carols or specifically Albanian ones). Anybody got any or links or leads to any? I haven't checked the Silent Night site, but will shortly, so no need to mention that. But other than that, I have none and need some. Tosk or Gheg, Kosovar, whatever, doesn't matter. If indigenous Albanian originals, MIDIs or printed music would be nice, too.

Thanks,
Liland


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: Haruo
Date: 04 Apr 01 - 05:39 PM

Sure enough, there's a Silent Night version at that website. Still eager to find something else, though.



Liland


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: SharonA
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 02:31 PM

*refresh* A Christmas song request, unanswered! Can anyone help?


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Subject: Info wanted : SHTESHTE NXIRE VETULLA, Albanian
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 05:06 AM

SHTESHTE NXIRE VETULLA - ALBANIAN WEDDING SONG
I've been attending workshops in which we sing short songs in harmony. The songs come from different cultures and I'm sure our pronunciation of words in various languages rendered in phonetic spellings must be considerably distorted!

One song we've been singing is entitled "Shteshte Nxire Vetulla", or as we sing it "shesten ze-ra vetula". Said to be an Albanian wedding song.

I'd like to hear the real thing. I do have some recordings of music from that part of the world. Can anyone suggest recordings of this particular song?

Any information about what the words mean and what place the song has in wedding ceremony, would also be appreciated. Other singers in our group have commented that it sounds sad to them.

Our instructor, Karen Henry, got a lot of her material from Frankie Armstrong (directly and indirectly), if that's any help in locating further information. Another song I'd like to find out more about, and recordings of, is an African song (Kenyan we think) "Fan Ban ny ay".


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 05:57 AM

Philippa, I would love to know more about these workshops you're attending! Sounds right up my alley!


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: greg stephens
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 06:45 AM

I know absolutely zilch on the subject of the Albanian language but I have revcently been involved in recording music with some young Albanians in Stoke...so I'll try and find out if anyone knows this song: and ask them to record it if they dont mind. Where is your singing group, Philippa? I'd like to put you in touch with Kate Barfield who helps to run a similar group in Stoke, and likewise has problems with foreign language songs which have come at secon or third hand and doubtless started to fray round the edges a bit! PM me if you'ld like to talk further.


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: Pied Piper
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 06:54 AM

Hi Greg.
You seem to have a fantastic opportunity to get a concert or recording together featuring all these musicians from other countries, I for one would be interested in coming to see them from Manchester, If you could organise it.

All the best PP


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: greg stephens
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 07:06 AM

PP: I am working on this, getting possibilities for the public to hear all these wonders. I will definitely publicise any such opportunties here(I did recently do a trial run by taking some of the Zimbabwean singers to a joint gig with my own band to Sanbach Folk Club). I am also trying to persuade the council to make sure any of their "Fun Day in the Park" type events have a good cross-section of local music for people to hear. We shall see how things develop. And thanks very much for your interest, it is desperately hard work trying to do all this with inadequate or no funding, and expressions of interest do help me to keep going!
   I just wish more clubs and festivals were a bit more interested in this kind or real folk music, even if hasn't made it to the cover of Folk Roots yet.


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: Pied Piper
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 07:57 AM

Good luck Greg.
Can I suggest that you try to get them on your local TV or Radio. About ten years ago a fellow musician friend found some Tuvan Humi singers busking in Chorlton Manchester. She invited them round to the home local musician famous for his open house to players, where they performed.
I got there at about 12pm and we all swapped Music into the early hours.
The next day she phoned up Granada reports and in the evening they were on the telly. To cut along story short Peter Gabriel heard about them and booked them for WOMAD. They went on to record with lots of people including Frank Zapper.

All the best PP


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 12:24 PM

y we're getting off-topic
I'm in Ireland
found a listing: http://seki.mcs.csuhayward.edu/~troby/Aboxes.txt
(http://seki.mcs.csuhayward.edu/ is the home page of Tom Roby, maths dept., Calif. state uni. at Hayward)- at least confirming the title
SHTESHTE NXIRE VETULLA of the song I'm looking for info on/ recordings of
thanks for the offer of assistance, Greg

web search for +Albanina +wedding +song comes up with several entries, including a book by Jane Sugarman
interesting looking "audio-essay" on immigration
unreleased Randy Newman track!, trombone solo!,
http://pub18.ezboard.com/fbalkansfrm41.showMessage?topicID=104.topic - albanian movie stars
etc etc


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 12:28 PM

http://www.muspe.unibo.it/period/ma/index/number2/rom/rom3nup.htm on wedding rituals in the area looks interesting. Just marking it before I depart library


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: M.Ted
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 05:42 PM

Especially if it is a wedding song, it may have been collected fairly recently(by someone who is still actively collecting) and may not be familar to anyone from outside the area where it was collected, and the only recording may be the one that the collector made--(Eastern European folk music is still being actively collected, and a surprising amount of material is better known to Western Int'l Folkie types--Academics, collectors, folkdancers and ethnic music performers, than it is to folks from the country of origin)--

Of course, another possibility is that some song that we Western types think is some obscure, mysterious sort of ethnic relic, is in fact a recent pop hit from the country of origin--

I learned a wonderful Albanian tune at a Balkan music workshop, and later asked an albanian exile friend about it, he informed me that rather than having been collected from some mountain village(as was claimed bythe teacher) it was a widely known and recorded song, and that the transcriber obviously didn't know her Albanian, as the words were all screwed up--He wrote them out in proper Albanian for me, which got me into trouble with another Balkanophile friend who insisted that the "teacher" walked on water--but I digress--

The above mentioned Jane Sugarman is a much respected expert in folk music, dance, and customs Albanian, and has done a bit of writing on wedding customs as well, if you can find her, she probably be able to help you to find out more about this song--


As per Albanian Christmas music, keep in mind that most Albanians are Muslims--still there are some Orthodox and RC Albanians in the US--there is a good sized orthodox congregation in Philly, on 17th Street, I think--you could probably look them up and give a call, an active church with many friendly folks, as I recall--


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: Felipa
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 06:57 PM

"it was a widely known and recorded song, and that the transcriber obviously didn't know her Albanian, as the words were all screwed up" -

I would expect this is true of SHTESHTE NXIRE VETULLA as we sing it
- and that is one reason I want to get better information and recording, though you're right that one needs a tutor for the pronunciation

I shouldn't think it is terribly obscure or so recently collected if it has made it to a singing group in Ireland (via Karen via Bev via Frankie Armstrong), though it is true that maybe in Albania it is/was only sung in a particular place


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 01:52 PM

Can you post or PM the lyrics to me? I've just called someone that I know of in New York who is about as well connected in the world of traditional music and dance as a person could be, and she has offered to help out with this--


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: Felipa
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 05:07 PM

there aren't many more words to the song, as I know it ... you have the most of it already in the title which is also the first words of the verse


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 01:11 PM

Does this mean that you basically repeat the one line over and over, or is there another line as well? Even an extra word or two may help in identifying this--remember, three more words would give us 100% more words than we now have!


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: Felipa
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 03:09 AM

shesten ze-ra ve-tu--la-ti ne(y) de(y) de(y)
shesten ze-ra ve-tu--la-ti ah de(y) de(y)moy

that's not the real spelling, but that's on our song sheet. I added the y as we sing "day"


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 11:03 AM

A gorgeous recording of Albanian (mostly a capella) singing is: "XHEVHIR" by the group TIRANA on Iris 3001 824
- Ellen Kushner


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 12:59 PM

I will send these on--I am kind of curious about it myself--


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Subject: RE: origins/translation SHTESHTE NXIRE VETULLA
From: Felipa
Date: 05 May 03 - 04:51 PM

M Ted and Greg Stephens, I'm still waiting to hear more from you.
and I might try getting access to Dr Sugarman's book and/or writing to her


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: MMario
Date: 06 May 03 - 01:51 PM

X:1
T:Shteshte Nxire Vetulla / Albanian Wedding Song
I:abc2nwc
M:4/4
L:1/8
K:C
D G G G (A/2 B/2 G) G2|(F D) (F D) D C C3z|(D3C) C2C2-|
w:Shes-ten ze-ra ve__-tu-la_ ti_-ned-eh may ahi_-deh deh_
C zD G G G (A/2 B/2 G)|G2(F D) (F D) D C|C3z(D3C)|C2C3z3|
w:Shes-ten ze-ra ve__-tu-la_ ti_-ned-eh may ahi_-deh may
D G G G (A/2 B/2 G) G2|(F D) (F A) (A G) (G/2 A/2 G)|(G/2 F/2 D-)D2z2|
w:Shes-ten ze-ra ve__-tu-la_ ti_-ned_-eh__ may___
((5GAGFG A2 (3GAG|F2)(E D) (D C) C2|z2D G G G (A/2 B/2 G)|
w: ahi____-deh_ deh_ may Shes-ten ze-ra ve__
G2(F D) (F A) (A G)|(G/2 A/2 G) (G/2 F/2 D-) D2z2|
w:-tu-la_ ti_-ned_-eh__ may___
((5GAGFG A2 (3GAG|F2)(E D) (D C) (3(CA,G,|C2D2)z2
w:ahi____-deh_ deh_ may____


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: M.Ted
Date: 06 May 03 - 02:17 PM

Sorry, my person seems to have left town for a while--I will be in touch as soon as I hear from her.


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Subject: Lyr add: Sh't'eshte nxire vetulla
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 14 Nov 03 - 11:57 AM

I finally wrote to Dr Sugarman and she replied very quickly. Unfortunately, although Dr Sugarman discussed the song in Engendering Song: Singing and Subjectivity at Prespa Albanian Weddings (University of Chicago Press, 1997), it is not included on the CD which comes with the book. The book does include guidelines for pronouncing Albanian. I am not surprised to read that I have learned a "pretty garbled version of the original" lyrics.

Here are the lyrics written in Albanian.

Sh't'ėshtė nxirė vetulla

Sh't'ėshtė nxirė vetulla tynė (ajde dhe moj--[repeated each time])?
Mos ia ke shtėnė mazinė?
Jo e jo pėr perėndinė
ashtu ē'e kam bukurinė.
Bandilli nė qytet tė huaj
mollėnė nė xhep ia ruaj.
Ē'u kalp molla, ē'u gėris xhepi.

translation and explanation from Jane C Sugarman:

[addressing bride:]
How is it that your eyebrows are so dark?
Is it that you've put on makeup?
No, no, in God's name,
that's just the beauty that I have.
The young man in a foreign city
keeps the apple in his pocket.
The apple rots, the pocket tears.

"[interpretation of last lines: The groom leaves his bride to go to work abroad, and takes the apple with him as a gift from her. The last line means something like, out of sight, out of mind.]

"This is a song that women sing at weddings. Either the bride's or the groom's relatives can sing it to the bride. The basic point is to tell her what a beautiful bride she is. The groom's name might be sung in place of 'Bandilli'."


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 Nov 03 - 04:38 PM

Sorry I couldn't help more--my contact never got back to me, and after I while, I forgot to follow up. You got to the right person, at least. And got the right words. From the translation, it seems like a pretty depressing song, for a wedding song, at least, but that isn't surprising. I missed MMario's ABC posting, and have just played it--it sounds vaguely familar--perhaps I have heard some

Does she, or someone she knows teach the song? Perhaps they have a tape that they can send you--Seems to me that she used to teach a few Albanian songs at Balkan Music Camp--


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: M.Ted
Date: 14 Nov 03 - 05:42 PM

For a good recording of this song, check the album "Borderland" by the Libana, which is a Balkan women's singing emsemble from Boston. Amazon has it, complete with a short snippet of the song--however, they want 17.00 for the CD. It is a dollar cheaper here Borderland from CDBaby , but they have no sample of the Albanian song--if the link doesn't work, go to www.cdbaby.com and do their search.


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Nov 03 - 05:58 PM

Are you still around, Phillipa/Felipa? If I wasn't clear, there is real, listenable soundfile of the song at Amazon--which is nearly nothing like the ABC file--


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 24 Nov 03 - 06:06 PM

thanks MTed for the info. on Libana (btw, tell us more about the song you learned at a workshop, which you mentioned in April - ?)
You didn't give a link to the sound sample, but it was easy enough to search for and locate. I couldn't listen to it, however, because all the library's headphones were already in use.

Libana are an American group who perform eastern European music. I understand they are quite good at what they do. But for a more genuine recording of Albanian and Macedonian music, there are the field recordings done by Jane Sugarman (the CD accompanying her book, mentioned above - my message 14 Nov) and by Bob Liebman.

The CD recorded by Bob Leibman(a reissue of an LP released 30
years ago - with two additional songs) costs $15 plus $1 for postage (in U.S.) Bob sent me the following information, and permission to cite on Mudcat:

"It consists of 5 men's songs, 4 women's (including Sh't'ėshtė Nxirė
Vetulla) all recorded in s.Krani (Prespa) in 1972. There are also 6
instrumental pieces, 5 by "Dule" Islami. They include Beraēe, Nesho, and Devolliēe, dances which I have taught over the years.

"My LP was Jane Sugarman's intro to this music - though I really only had a few contacts with it. I don't speak Albanian, just Macedonian.

"I do not currently have the texts with the CD, but am hoping to get with Jane to do this. I only reissued this now because I can cut my own CDs (as opposed to having someone make a pressing of a 1000 LPs) and because Jane and I were both invited to a banquet of Prespare in America held in Chicago this past April.

"I have now been able to give or send copies to those with whom I worked.

"I don't know about other versions - folklore is not static and changes with performer and performance - but this is what they sang for me that day.(They came to the local school building, sat at a table and sang.)

"If you want the record, please send the money to me at:

Bob Leibman
6000 Mount Bonnell Cove
Austin, Tx. 78731-3515

and send me the address to which I should send the CD."

I believe the singers are of an Albanian community resident in Macedonia.

Regarding where to purchase Libana CDs, I see notices on this site that Mudcat can supply most recordings that are available from Amazon, with a commission going to Mudcat. So if you are in the US and wish to support Mudcat, that's a good idea.


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: M.Ted
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 03:32 PM

Bob Liebman helped me out a lot when I started playing Balkan music in earnest, though it has been so many years that he probably doesn't remember me--he was leaving U of Penn in Philly as I was moving there, and helped me to connect with the Serbian and Romania communities there, and with many musicians that I played with and dancers that I played forth--

It should have occurred to me that your song was probably on his album, since it really is a standard reference for Albanian folk music --but I lost my copy of it years ago, and for some reason, it didn't come to mind--

We used to play Nesho a lot in Philly and we got a lot of requests for Beraēe, but I only would do it if there was a drummer around who could hold the beat down--the rhythm is the impossible to explain, let alone play, and it needs to to be spot on for dancers to manage--

For what it is worth, Albanian music is pretty difficult for non-Albanian musicians to cut, even assuming that you can get passed the language--

Anyway, thanks for letting me know about the CD--it is something I really ought to have--


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Subject: RIP Anita Bitri Prapaniku, Albanian singer
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 20 Oct 04 - 06:24 AM

RIP Anita Bitri Prapaniku, Albanian singer

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/20/nyregion/20dead.html
Published: October 20, 2004 in the New York Times newspaper

"Weeks Before Detectors Become Law, Fumes Kill Singer and Family"
By SHAILA K. DEWAN

well-known Albanian singer, her 7-year-old daughter and her mother were found dead in their home on Staten Island yesterday morning, victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, the authorities said.

Their deaths came as New Yorkers fired up their heaters against the season's first chill, and less than two weeks before a city law requiring carbon monoxide detectors in residences will go into effect. The house, where mother and child slept in the dormered attic bedroom, had a very high level of carbon monoxide, a Fire Department spokesman said - four or five times the amount that would prompt firefighters to order an evacuation.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Buildings said that the exact cause of the carbon monoxide buildup was still under investigation, but that it appeared to be related to a new patio that friends said had been poured in recent months. The vents for the basement furnace had been covered with plastic bags to keep the wet concrete out, said the spokeswoman, Ilyse Fink.

The new law will require detectors for carbon monoxide - a deadly, odorless gas - in virtually all residences beginning Nov. 1, with exceptions for the few that do not use fossil-fuel-burning heaters. Before yesterday, there had been four accidental carbon monoxide deaths in the city this year.

Neighbors and friends gathered outside the family's pink stucco house on Ocean Avenue in the cold drizzle yesterday, many of them trying to comprehend the magnitude of the loss, some already planning how to raise money to send the bodies of the singer, Anita Bitri Prapaniku, 36, her daughter, Sibora Nini, and her mother, Hasbije Bitri, 60, to Albania to be buried. The singer had lost her husband to cancer only a few months earlier, friends said.

Many in the crowd were Albanian musicians who often accompanied Ms. Bitri (she was best known by her maiden name). Their children had played with her daughter, a second grader at a nearby public school.

They said that Ms. Bitri came to the United States eight years ago for a gig at a New York club, and had decided to stay. "In Tirana, I knew her only as an idol," said Vait Hajdaraj, who eventually became part of her band, and who also decided to stay in the States after the gig. He said Albanian-Americans welcomed her here. "When we first came, the big place where we were performing was packed," he said.

At home, she had been well known, performing every December at the national music festival. "She won a prize so many times," said Edmond Xhani, a guitarist. "First place, second place..."

She went to Albania several months ago in preparation for the release of her new CD, which she had planned to promote there. "No one should think that in America opportunities are easily available," she told an Albanian interviewer, according www.parajsa.com, a Web site. They are "even more difficult when living alone like myself. The only thing that's kept me going here has been my profession.''

She returned to the United States after only a day, her friends said, when she learned that her husband had died. "Albania miss her," Mr. Hajdaraj said. "You would see her every night on TV, like here you see Madonna, Britney Spears, you know."

Here, Ms. Bitri's life was far more modest. She had regular work at weddings and parties, helped her daughter with her schoolwork, and worked on her CD's and three promotional videos to be shown in Albania. Her husband, Luan Prapaniku, had owned a house painting business before he got sick, friends said.

"Her life was very simple," Mr. Hajdaraj said. "It's not like she's going out in public and bragging herself, 'I'm this and I'm that.' ''

Her mother was "like grandmas are," said Maksim Vathi, another musician. "Very loving, helping, caring."

Matthew Iacovelli, 26, a neighbor, also stood outside. "The little girl, she didn't even get a chance to do anything," he said. "She didn't even get a chance to live her life."

Like her mother, Sibora had musical talents and had been learning to play the piano. Her name means "like snow," Mr. Vathi said. "And she was like snow, very beautiful. She had a clear face," he said.

If Ms. Prapaniku's life was an almost suburban routine, on stage she was a dynamic presence who was very much in demand at weddings, parties and festivals. She favored white dresses and heels, and knew pop numbers as well as traditional Albanian dances like the shota and the napolon.

She was staking her dreams on her new CD, for which she wrote the words and music, her friends said. She was considering the title, "Nothing is Impossible."

One of the tracks on the CD was a duet with Sibora. "The song was saying, "When I grow up, I would like to sing like you," Mr. Vathi said.


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Subject: re:i love alba
From: GUEST,alba_jona
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 05:15 PM

ska kun si kenga shkodrane!!!!! :) :)
love ya'll


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Dec 04 - 11:54 AM


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: GUEST,Rajli Bicolli
Date: 04 Jan 11 - 10:19 PM

Hi everyone,
I just wanted to give what I think is a better translation to this simple and beautiful song "Sh't'ėshtė nxirė vetulla". The translation found in the posts above is quite accurate except for the penultimate line. I am a native albanian speaker, (and I also happen to be a musician), and that line to an albanian has a different meaning from what Jane C Sugarman had provided.

Sh't'ėshtė nxirė vetulla (The correct way to write the title is actually "Ē'tė ėshtė nxirė vetulla", but the first one makes sense from a dialect point of view.

Sh't'ėshtė nxirė vetulla tynė (ajde dhe moj--[repeated each time])?
Mos ia ke shtėnė mazinė?
Jo e jo pėr perėndinė
ashtu ē'e kam bukurinė.
Bandilli nė qytet tė huaj
mollėnė nė xhep ia ruaj.
Ē'u kalp molla, ē'u gėris xhepi.

(English translation)
How is it that your eyebrows are so dark?
Is it that you've put on makeup?
No, no, in God's name,
that's just the beauty that I have.
The young man in a foreign city
I keep his apple in my pocket.
The apple rots, the pocket tears.


So the general meaning of the song also changes a bit, and it is all becasue of the words 'ia ruaj', at the end of that line, which in english roughly translate to 'for him I keep'. After the girl gets complimented on her beautiful eyebrows, she says that it is only her natural beauty. Then she adds that the her young man is far away, and that she always keeps an apple ready in her pocket for when he returns, but he has been gone so long that the apple begins to rot and drip from her pocket.

This kind of sad subject matter is very common in Albanian wedding music and songs.


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Dec 11 - 06:35 AM

cd someone recommend an Albanian Christmas carol?


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: Jim Martin
Date: 03 Dec 11 - 07:59 AM

Whereabouts in Ireland are you Philippa, as I'm into Balkan music and have been thinking for some time about organising a concert/workshop in Co.Clare (hopefully at 'Glor')?


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Subject: RE: Albania folk music
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 03 Dec 11 - 08:26 AM

Hi Jim
Talk to me sometime
Jim Carroll


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