Tose is a twenty-something Macedonian pop singer who held a concert in Sarajevo when I lived there. Every morning walking on the streets, I saw this big poster feature a hip youngster holding out the popular orange soda Fanta bottle. I always thought the ad was ridiculous. One day, my roommate Ta. told me to go to the concert of a popular singer from Macedonia: “He’s young but he has a good voice.” I became slightly interested. If Ta. said so, it must be so. Ta. was a music major, one of those who had “weird” taste in music, despising stupid contemporary music and dig songs with hard-listening lyrics and melody. So for her to compliment Tose, he should be worth the praise.

I visited Ta. and family in the city Z. and listened to a duet by Tose and the Queen of Roma music from Macedonia, Esma Redzepova. She is a renowned gypsy musician/singer known not only for her music but also for her humanitarian; one of which is fostering some 50 boys. From a young age, I’ve always had this strange attraction to the Roma culture. So I paid more attention to Esma and her song, hoping to catch any melody or rhythm typical of Roma music. As dumb as I was about music, I could not tell which from which. In this duet “Magija”, according to Ta., played the most typical and famous Macedonian 7-beat rhythm, something like “123 12 12.” With much enthusiasm, she tapped her hands on her lap and table to demonstrate to me and teach me. “When you meet some Macedonians, show them this, and they willl be really impressed. It’s really famous.” I was able to remember and follow her lead only with one hand. I’m not musical inclined, so this the best I can explain to you. If you learn and know music, probably you can figure out what I’m talking about by listening to the song.

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