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Jim Besser

Theme Of The Month, Nov 2015: Surprise Us

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The March Theme of the Month over at Melodeon.net was 'Do the Unexpected, and as soon as I saw it, I said dang, why didn’t I think of that?


The idea : play something you wouldn’t ordinary play, or something you ordinarily play in a way you wouldn't ordinarily play it. Does that make sense?


It could be a genre of music unfamiliar to you, or a familiar tune done in an unfamiliar way. I remember a session at the Northeast Squeeze In a few years ago when all we did was play familiar reels as jigs. Play a Morris tune as a sweet, slow air, or a slow air as a fast dance tune. A band I heard once plays the French Canadian tune St. Anne's Reel as a waltz, and it sounded great.


Or play a major tune in a minor key, or vice versa.


This is a great opportunity to play a tune that just seems too silly to play in any other context. We're all friends here, there's nothing too ridiculous for this month's theme.


Let’s see what turns up, and have fun!

Edited by Jim Besser

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Whether or not this offering actually surprises you depends on whether you've followed the thread on songs of the WWI period in the "Videos and Music" sub-forum.

 

http://youtu.be/-w7NkFtDrXo

 

But since I've never heard anyone else play W.C. Handy on a concertina, it seems reasonable to cross-post the link here. For background, see:

 

http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=17935&page=6&do=findComment&comment=173565

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

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When playing the Bledington tune William and Nancy for my Morris side recently, it occurred to me that it might make a pretty waltz.

 

Here's a quick take. Normally I play it in G for maximum punch, but moved it to A because...well, I don't really know why, it just sounded like a good idea at the time.

Edited by Jim Besser

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Whether or not this offering actually surprises you depends on whether you've followed the thread on songs of the WWI period in the "Videos and Music" sub-forum.

 

http://youtu.be/-w7NkFtDrXo

 

But since I've never heard anyone else play W.C. Handy on a concertina, it seems reasonable to cross-post the link here. For background, see:

 

Not surprised, but happy to see it here.

 

Your thread has paralleled my growing interest in mining the Tin Pan Alley repertoire for tunes that work well on concertina. There are so many of them.

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When playing the Bledington tune William and Nancy for my Morris side recently, it occurred to me that it might make a pretty waltz.

 

Here's a quick take. Normally I play it in G for maximum punch, but moved it to A because...well, I don't really know why, it just sounded like a good idea at the time

A very pretty waltz. Nicely done.

 

As a non- Morris player, may I ask a supremely naive question- what do you mean when you say Bledington tune, or Headington tune, etc.- is that just referring to the region of England? (couldn't find the answer online:)

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When playing the Bledington tune William and Nancy for my Morris side recently, it occurred to me that it might make a pretty waltz.

 

Here's a quick take. Normally I play it in G for maximum punch, but moved it to A because...well, I don't really know why, it just sounded like a good idea at the time

A very pretty waltz. Nicely done.

 

As a non- Morris player, may I ask a supremely naive question- what do you mean when you say Bledington tune, or Headington tune, etc.- is that just referring to the region of England? (couldn't find the answer online:)

 

 

Morris dancers do dances native to specific villages or regions.

 

My current group does Bampton and Bledington - the styles specific to those geographic areas. My former group did Sherborne and Ilmington. (the naming convention does not apply to border and Northwest Morris, dance traditions from the northern part of England)

 

In some cases the tunes themselves are distinctive - there are different versions of Shepherd's Hey, for example. The fundamentals of the dance vary considerably by tradition - the stepping, the figures, etc.

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