The Great Bulgarian Masters


1. Theodosii Spassov - Igra s kaval
2. Nedyalko Nedyalkov - Bavna melodia
3. Nedyalko Nedyalkov - Trakiyska rachenitsa
4. Dancho Radulov - Bavna melodia
5. Dancho Radulov - Varnensko horo
6. Dancho Radulov - Gebedjiysko nastroenie
7. Stoyan Alexandrov - Bavna melodia
8. Stoyan Alexandrov - Shumensko horo
9. Matyo Dobrev - Jensko horo
10. Matyo Dobrev - Bavna melodia
11. Nikola Toskov - Bavna melodia
12. Nikola Toskov - Nenovsko horo
13. Nenko Tsachev - Bavna melodia
14. Nenko Tsachev - Kotlensko horo
The Kaval is a wooden pipe that comprises three parts. The uppermost part of the Kaval has no finger- holes. There is a special ring made either of antler or of bull horn which is fitted there and from where the sound itself is produced. The middle part has eight apertures, seven on the front part and one on the back. Musicians use only these eight holes. The third part has only four holes. The uppermost hole sets the basic tone and the remaining three are resonant. Without them the Kaval cannot produce sounds in the lower register. 
Kaval & Duduk

Kaval is the father of our contemporary flute. Scientific researches so far have proved that the descent of this unique wind instrument is from Ancient Persia. Thereafter this flute was transferred by proto-Bulgarians into Eastern Europe it was spread and widely used as a solo and accompanying instrument in ensembles for folksongs and dances. May be our Lord had blessed some Bulgarian master-musicians and they managed to approve the acoustic qualities of this flute, as they have also developed a new model. They turned the Kaval into a work of art by wood-carving, inlay, engraving with ornaments from Bulgarian folklore and this did not change its tone qualities.

The kaval (Turkish pronunciation: [kaˈvaɫ]) is a chromatic end-blown flute traditionally played throughout Azerbaijan, Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Kosova, southern Serbia (кавал), northern Greece (καβάλι or τζαμάρα), Romania (caval), and Armenia (Բլուլ or blul). The kaval is primarily associated with mountain shepherds throughout the Balkans and Anatolia.
Unlike the transverse flute, the kaval is fully open at both ends, and is played by blowing on the sharpened edge of one end. The kaval has 8 playing holes (7 in front and 1 in the back for the thumb) and usually 4 more near the bottom of the kaval. As a wooden rim-blown flute, Kaval is similar to the Ney of the Arab world. The name "Kaval" may once have been referred to various Balkan duct and rim-blown flutes, accounting for the present day diversity of the term’s usage.
 Bulgarian Kaval
The kaval that is most common in Bulgaria is the one in middle (D) register. The kaval in lower (C) register is also not uncommon for this country. What is characteristic for the Bulgarian style of kaval performance is the incredible diversity of sound shades and techniques. According to the pitch there are 4 different registers that can be achieved with the Bulgarian kaval. What controls which register the performer works in is mostly the air flow and to some extent the position of the mouth and the lips on the end of the kaval. A very characteristic sound of kaval is achieved in the lowest register. It could sound very mild and gentle if blown lightly while by changing the air stream a deeper (flageolet like) sound is achieved. This sound is so outstanding that some consider it another register that they call - kaba. It is also very interesting to notice that the technique of circular breathing is successfully utilized while playing the kaval. This technique lets the performer play without interrupting the air flow, while taking a breath through the nose. In the past it has been considered an extraordinary skill while nowadays it is used by more and more young performers. 


Barron said...

What a lovely group of posts!

Thank you very much.

Miguel said...

thank you :)

and yes and they came naturally...
like a nice breeze...

marcel said...

Link does not work. Please send me the album Kaval. The Great Bulgarian Masters email: tambura@o2.pl. Thank you...

Miguel said...

link works again...

sorry you had to wait quite a while...

: )