Slovenian-Australian accordionist

Phillip Nadvesnik

Category: Historical

Slovenian popular folk ‘Oberkrainer’ vs. American-Slovenian ‘Cleveland style’

Reading Time: 10 minutes

If you’re new to Slovenian popular folk music (from Slovenia) or American-Slovenian style polkas (from North America), you might get confused between the two (I sure did), so in this post I try to clear it up with the sort of information I’d love to have had available several years ago.

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Slavko Avsenik performing with Frankie Yankovic on one of Avsenik’s visits to USA (image from Simon Golobič ‘s archive)

The best books on Slovenian popular folk music and Oberkrainer music

Reading Time: 7 minutes

There are some great books I’ve been reading (albeit slowly in Slovene) that I’d like to share with you, about Slovenian popular folk music, and more specifically Slavko and Vilko Avsenik who started and shaped the entire genre of ‘narodnozabavna glasba’ (Slovene for popular folk music) or ‘Oberkrainer’ (German name of the genre derived from the German name for the Gorenjska region in Slovenia). This extends to other influential figures who further shaped and pioneered the music such as Lojze Slak, and I’ve included 3 accordion and guitar technique books at the end of the list as well. I’ve also outlined where these books can be bought, and whether they have translations available.

Boris Frank – Ali že igraš #9 [Book scan]

In the 1960s-1970s several editions of sheet music books with Boris Frank’s compositions with lyrics were published under the title “Ali že igraš”. One of the few that I have in my possession is a 9th edition which contain the songs “V zidanici“, “Ura“, “Vencek narodnih št. 1” (Slovenian folk songs arranged by Boris Frank), “Ne bom te prosil“. All songs were released onto albums by Boris Frank s Svojimi Kranjci (Boris Frank und seine Fidelen Oberkrainer).

Accordions played by Slavko Avsenik

Reading Time: 5 minutes

The sound of Slavko and Vilko Avsenik’s ensemble (Slo: Ansambel bratov Avsenik, Ger: Slavko Avsenik und seine Original Oberkrainer) had many moving parts that contributed to the legendary sound which evolved throughout their career spanning from the 1950s to the 1990s. Technique, band members, advancements in sound engineering, arrangements by Vilko Avsenik and combinations of instruments evolved with each album and each decade. This includes the evolution of each accordion that Slavko Avsenik recorded and performed with.

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