Ostrava, A Black Star Above My Head

For all Czech accordion lovers, the inevitable has come at last… an article about the famous song Ostravo by an even more famous Czech singer, composer & accordionist Jarek Nohavica..

A brief confession: after tottering around at the music school and a subsequent teenage break, Nohavica’s songs brought me back to the accordion, taught me to sing and perceive music; thanks to them, I even dared to play to someone else. And playing songs, which are mostly accompanied on guitar, on the accordion – that was also an arrangement challenge! Not always perfect, probably, but I learned a lot from that. Somebody has their master of kung-fu, I have my master of songs. Now that I’m writing that, I think should try a few of those good old hits again…

… well, I got carried away a bit, let’s get back to Ostrava. Later, Nohavica took on the diatonic button accordion (“heligonka”) and started composing songs for this instrument. Just perfect for our purpose!

Scores fo the song itself aren’t difficult to find, no problem with that. But the great overture/intermezzo is in no book… Well, now it’s here! A truly hellish solo, learn it slowly and steadily, so that you don’t stumble when playing it at proper tempo. To make the learning easier, let the metronome beat at quavers (for the instructional recording, this would mean two times 80 bpm = 160 bpm).
The scores include not only the overture/intermezzo, but the whole song. Nohavica doesn’t play the melody, he just sings it. This means that the right hand is there for accompanying chords, to help the left hand rhythmically. Aren’t you sure how to do that? If there are more of you, baffled readers, write us, perhaps we could write an article about that.


Chords in these scores have been adapted, as the diatonic button accordion’s harmonic range is limited and different chords have to be used.

SCORES – PDF  MSCZ  VideoScore

instructional recording 80 bpm
Ostravo – overture – 80 bpm

the original tempo of the song is about 135 bpm

For diatonic button accordion players! Our friend Dalibor Halouzka has taken pity on you and sent us special scores for your instrument – PDF + table.



article sponsored by
 | Jiří Bednář
article, scores, instructional recording | Jindra Kelíšek
published on 21/09/2014