Romany songs and Mario Bihári

Romany music is beautiful, vigorous and full of unusual harmonies and approaches. Being handed over from one musician to another, in this respect it resembles folk tales, because Romany musicians don’t need any scores, they live and feel their music. It is therefore difficult to write it down, but – together with Mario Bihári – we can at least peep into it.

mario-bihariThe scores are mostly adapted for accordion, but other instruments can draw from it as well. Mastering the technique of the left hand can be difficult for those accordion players without experience with Romany harmony full of diminished chords (dim) and chromatic basses.

The songs can be simplified, of course, like we did with Šukar Lakha Jačha Hin and Phendžom Tuke Havelko. The scores are accompanied by live recordings of each song with ornaments and slow-paced instructional recordings.

It is helpful to realize how to use the diminished chords (dim) in the left hand: to cut it short, there aren’t so many of them (3 altogether) and it really isn’t necessary to jump the whole distance from F to F#dim (such as in the song Ara More below).

Cdim=Ebdim=F#dim=Adim, C#dim=Edim=Gdim=Bdim, Ddim=Fdim=Abdim=Hdim

It depends on what basses you have. In Ara More, for example, the F#dim chord is played like this:
bass F# in the complementary row with the 3rd finger, chord Cdim with the 2nd finger, bass C in the basic row with the 4th finger, and chord Cdim with the 2nd finger.


mama liga

mamaliga – instructional


Ara more

ara more

ara more – instructional


Šukar lačha jakha hin


šukar – instructional


NOTY – simplified chords – PDF

Phendžom tuke Havelko


phendžom – instructional


NOTY – simplified chords – PDF

Mário Bihári, a Romany accordionist, used to collaborate with the legendary Czech musician Zuzana Navarová and the music group Koa. He has his own Romany group Bachtale Apsa and takes part in many other musical projects.

scores and instructional recordings by Mário Bihári
Article by Jindra Kelíšek
Published on 18/7/2013