Doggie’s Breakfast (A dive into Greek Dance Music for kids)
This week we have a Greek song! There are two major characteristics of “Doggie’s Breakfast” that make this song so identifiably Greek.
1. The bouzouki:
The bouzouki is a Greek string instrument that looks somewhat similar to a guitar or banjo. Watch THIS and then play “Doggie’s Breakfast” below to see if you can pick out the sound of the bouzouki!
2. The 7/8 mixed meter:
This is our focus today! It's a super common meter for traditional Greek music and dance. In 7/8 you can count the meter by counting to seven. Play “Doggie’s Breakfast” and try to see if you can count along with the recording, “One-two-three-four-five-six-seven. One-two-three-four-five-six-seven.” It’s hard right?! It goes by so fast! It’s actually much easier to count if you break it up. Try counting, “One-two-three, one-two, one-two. One-two-three, one-two, one-two.” You’ll hear a tambourine on each “one,” which also makes this easier to count. Can you do it?! Try!!
*For a more detailed explanation about what mixed meter is, why it’s so tricky, and why it’s so important to teach our kids while they’re young, click HERE for the “Go Mommy” blog post!
OK, now that you’re a pro at counting the meter of “Doggie’s Breakfast,” let’s watch some amazing Greek music and dance videos to practice counting more beats!
4/4 time: Let’s start with the easiest meter to count. The top number of this meter is four, so we count it “One-two-three-four. One-two-three-four.” This video is the MOST INCREDIBLE version of “Zorba's Dance,” an iconic Greek song that gets faster and faster and the dancing gets more and more athletic as the song goes on!! See if you can keep counting to four along with the music as it gets faster! This is an example of the “Sirtaki” style of Greek dance.
7/8 time: Here’s our meter from “Doggie’s Breakfast!” This is the “Kalamatiano” style of Greek dance from the city of Kalamata where all of your favorite olives are grown. Count along with the dancers, “One-two-three, one-two, one-two” just like you did with “Doggie’s Breakfast.” One of the men in the middle is clapping on each “one,” so follow along with him!
Annnnnd this blog is getting way too long. There are just so many styles of amazing Greek music in different meters! Here are more examples if you want to continue on this Greek dancing adventure! 🕺
3/4 time: Count to three! This is the “Tsamiko” Greek dance. Everyone is clapping on the "one" and the "two" in this video, and pausing for the "three." You can count along by imagining the "three" when they don't clap! Click HERE!
5/4 time: Count to Five! This is the “Tsakonikos” Greek dance. I couldn’t resist this video that seems like it’s from a retirement community. It’s so adorable and completely doable if you want to try dancing with them! Click HERE!
9/8 time: Count to NINE! This is definitely the most difficult meter to hear and count along with. Count slowly, each time you hear the audience clap. This is the “Zeibekiko” Greek dance. Click HERE!