Slovenian-Australian accordionist · Learning material

Phillip Nadvesnik

Kategorija: Rhythm: Polka Page 1 of 6

Polka Express (J. Burnik) [Tutorial video]

This is a song by Jože Burnik, iconic Oberkrainer music composer and accordionist (Alpenoberkrainer, Heimatlandecho, Ansambel Jožeta Burnika). Thank you to Jože who provided his own original sheet music for me to use in this video. Here is a free playthrough video of this song 35bpm with Jože’s notation, in the original key of F, split into 3 parts.

Part A
Part B
Part C

Old Timers Polka – J. Pecon & Wishbone Polka – E. Habat [Sheet music]

This my transcription based on a performance by two prominent Cleveland-style (Slovenian-American style) figures; Walter Ostanek (Canada) and Eddie Habat (USA) at Lojze Slak’s 30th anniversary concert in Slovenia, 1994. They performed 2 shortened Cleveland-style polkas: ‘Old Timers Polka’ by Johnny Pecon and ‘Wishbone Polka’ by Eddie Habat. You may notice that the first part of ‘Old Timers Polka’ resembles a Slovene folk song (the name escapes me at the moment).

This arrangement is limited to the recorded performance and may not include all parts of the original songs which I have linked to below. I’ve tried to capture how it was played on this video, instead of the original recordings, including a few nice runs by Ostanek. The bass runs are also loosely based on Slak’s bassist Franci Sever as he played it in this video (below).

Sheet music:

📝 Sheet music pdf (F)

Recording of ‘Wishbone Polka’ – Eddie Habat on
Recording of ‘Old Timers Polka’ – Johnny Pecon on
Performance of these 2 songs in 1994 by Walter Ostanek and Eddie Habat with Lojze Slak’s bassist and guitarist Franci Sever and Milan Ferlež
How I tried to play this several years ago

Proti Kopru – Nach Koper (V. Muženič) [Sheet music] [Tutorial video]

This polka by Vito Muženič (Dobri Znanci, Ansambel Vita Muženiča, and clarinet player in Avsenik’s early 90s studio ensemble) translates to ‘To Koper’ (Koper is a port city in Slovenia, and its Italian name is Capodistria).

Preview tutorial video:

‘Learn to play’ package:

📝 Sheet music pdf (C) + 📹 slow tutorial video (C)

Sheet music only:

📝 Sheet music pdf (C)

Ansambel Vita Muženiča

Trije godci (R. Bardorfer) [Sheet music] [Handwritten scan]

Janez Goršič (Ansambel Rudija Bardorferja, Dobri Znanci, Ansambel Janeza Goršiča) from Slovenia was the final accordionist with Ansambel Rudija Bardorferja, after Rudi Bardorfer was exiled to Switzerland, and joined their album “Rodni Kraj” in 1973.

Janez was very kind to send me some scans of Bardorfer’s rare handwritten sheet music, and it is his wish to be shared with a wider community to enjoy.

This is a polka that I have never heard on any recording of Rudi Bardorfer’s ensemble, and am pleased to share with you Janez’s scan of this handwritten sheet. The title “Trije godci” translates to “Three musicians”.

Spet v Mengšu – Harmonikafreude (J. Burnik) [Sheet music] [Tutorial video]

This is a fun song by Jože Burnik (Slovenia) from around the 1980s which he recorded with Heimatlandecho (Austria). It particularly stands out as the original recording features 3 accordions. The Slovenian title translates to “Again in Mengeš” (name of a Slovenian town) and the German title translates to “Accordion joy”.


‘Learn to play’ package:

📝 Sheet music pdf (E♭)
📹 Slow tutorial video (E♭)

Sheet music:

📝 Sheet music pdf (E♭)

Solo arrangement
Jože Burnik with Heimatlandecho and 3 accordions

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