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(E) Balkan Melodies for Accordion - NEEDS SERIOUS EDITING
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  11/1/2005 | Letters to the Editors | Unrated
(E) Balkan Melodies for Accordion - NEEDS SERIOUS EDITING



In 2005 a booklet under the title
"Balkan Melodies for Accordion", 56 pp (42 songs),
was issued by Mel Bay Publications,  Inc. The author
of the book is Dr. Frances M. Irwin.

Description of the booklet can be seen at


This is a shallow and superficial book.
The author knows next to nothing about the subject.

First, it is strange that the book under the title
"Balkan Melodies..." has no songs from other Balkan
countries, like Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Montenegro,
Albania, and Turkey. This shows that the author is
ignorant about the meaning of the notion of the
"Balkans". The mentioned countries can rightfully be
dissatisfied for not being represented in the book.

Here are a few of ugly misrepresentations
concerning Croatian songs. A well known Croatian song
"Sve Pticice Iz Gore" is claimed to be Slovenian.
Another well known Croatian song - "Vehni fijolica",
is claimed to be a song from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
And let us not forget that there are also nice
Croatian songs from that country as well.

Eight songs are correctly grouped as Dalmatian songs
in the book, but as if they were not Croatian.
Altogether twelve songs in the book are indicated as
Croatian, but actually as many twenty two songs in the
book are Croatian, that is, more than a half of songs
listed in the book!

E-mail of Mel Bay is: by phone: 1-800-863-5229

We all know that the Mel Bay is a famous publisher.
It is strange that they issued such a low quality
musical edition. I myself had a great pleasure to
enjoy excellent previous editions of the Mel Bay,
published decades ago. Mel Bey has been for me a
symbol of high quality musical editions, until this
strange edition appeared in 2005.

It is possible that the Mel Bay will undertake
publishing a more reliable book dealing with Croatian
songs. If so, I can recommend them to contact Mr.
Nenad Bach (, Croatian composer
working in New York, and maybe even Dr. Katarina Livljanic, visiting professor
at the Harvard University.

Information about the two mentioned top professionals
can be found at my web page devoted to the history of
Croatian music:

Hoping that this e-mail might result in publishing of
a better product about Croatian music than the one we
have described, I send this e-mail to the Mel Bay
Publications Inc, and also to the the Croatian World
Network (, directed by Nenad
Bach, New York.

Darko Zubrinic, Zagreb

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  • Comment #1 (Posted by Mickey)

    Where is the Macedonian music?? No mention at all. The heart of the Balkans still flourishes with old, never-ending traditional music. For my opinion, Slovenia even does not belong to the Balkan countries. Thanx.
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