Bulgarian Singing

13-17th April 2018


Bulgarian music is well known for its complex vocal harmonies made famous by the album Mysteres des Voix Bulgares.  Palamartsa is one of several villages associated with Kapantsi culture and there are many village songs in this style, many of them passed down through generations.

This informal singing workshop will be held over three days with participants working together as a group. Your tutor, Stela is a patient teacher and will guide you through the session introducing one or two new songs each day.  Dimitar (Mitko) will always be there to accompany the group on the accordion. 

What to expect

Stela and Mitko are fun to work with and they always bond quickly with students. The songs will generally be taught by ear, with the words written out in both Cyrillic and Roman scripts.  When learning songs by ear, an audio recording device is always handy so it is a good idea to bring a digital camera or smartphone.  Written music can be provided if needed.

The course finishes with a wonderful evening of traditional music and Bulgarian food in the village centre.  The women's choir sings along with the workshop participants.  This is a heart warming event of cultural exchange.


Stela singing


2017 Workshop


Final night concert


Our village choir


The workshop is led by Stela Stoyanova and accordionist Dimitar Trifonov who are professional musicians and teachers.


Stela is a traditional singer, performer and teacher with a wonderful knowledge of traditional Bulgarian folk music.  She was trained in Kotel, one of Bulgaria's centres of traditional music.

As a member of several ensembles and village choirs, she tours all over Europe. She is a patient teacher and has a beautiful warm heart which students readily connect with.


Mitko will accompany Stela on the accordian.  He teaches accordion at the Popovo Music School but also acts as musical director for the Palamartsa folk ensemble, a renowned group who sing, dance and play music in the local Kapantsi tradition.

He has a deep knowledge of Bulgarian traditional music.  He played for many years in the Popovo orchestra and ran the orchestra for the famous Popovo traditional dancing school.  He has travelled all over Europe performing with his students. To see Mitko playing, click here.



Begins with evening meal on first night and finishes with breakfast on the final morning.  

The tuition sessions will be held in the mornings with your afternoons free to look around the village, go hiking in the surrounding countryside or visit some of the local archaeological sites. On one of the evenings we will show a Bulgarian film.

8.30 am Breakfast

9.15  Singing Tuition

1.30pm Lunch

2.30 Practice time

7.30 Dinner (& small concert on the final evening)

 The programme is flexible and the schedule may be adjusted to suit the needs of students and teachers.

What's included?

Cost: 500 Bg leva


  • 3 hours of music tuition per day
  • Breakfast, lunch & dinner
  • Help yourself to selection of teas through the day
  • Accommodation in Wild Thyme Eco Guesthouse
  • Small group of maximum 7 people

Please note that students should bring their own recording devices.


  • recording device
  • walking shoes for local walks
  • sun hat, sun cream & sunglasses

Non participating partners are welcome.

Not included:

  • Beverages
  • Flights & transport of musical instruments
  • Transport from airport. We can help arrange this.