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#19 JimLucas

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 04:27 PM

while looking at scandinavian folk-music resources on the web i came across a kickstarter for the two fiddlers whose music web site i've linked below.


Lydia and Andrea... fine musicians and fine folks.

 

they apparently went to a folk music school in sweden for one year...


Eric Sahlström was widely considered to be Sweden's best nyckelharpa spelman (keyed-fiddle folk musician) and the institute founded in his name is dedicated to Swedish traditional music... in particular the nyckelharpa, the fiddle, and (traditional Swedish) folk dance. It 's considered a great honor to be accepted for study there, and for two Americans to be accepted is impressive indeed.
 

it would be delish if they had the same program for accordion and concertina as well...


Well, Sweden doesn't (yet B)) have a concertina tradition. Accordions of various sorts are abundant, but (as far as I know) no single school is known as "the place to go" for study. Who knows, though, maybe someone will yet found an Arne Modén Institut;)
 

funded partly by a kickstarter effort whose donors received among other things a pledge to a tunebook of scandinavian folk learned during the year away, which tunebook is now for sale in a "regular" sense on their site, with an audio cd or tune download or something. i might grab it, along with one or two of the cds listed here as well. the samples are lovely...


You "might"? I will! :)
 

the tunebook is called "trip to tobo"


The Eric Sahlström Institute is located in the town of Tobo. :)

By the way, the word "fika", which is the title of the first CD on their recordings page, means "refreshments"... that's anything from just coffee to coffee with pastries to sandwiches, up to almost a full meal. It's something very important to Swedes. If a meeting is announced, many of the ones I know will ask what the fika will be (but not what the agenda will be) before deciding whether to attend. ;)

 

Back to nyckelharpa:  It's a wonderful instrument, and I've heard enough wonderful playing recently -- solo, in duet (one concert with fiddle, another with guitar), and in larger groups, especially open jamming at spelmansstämmor (folk musicians' gatherings) -- that I'm tempted to take it up myself.  Ah, if I only had more time!  :(



#20 SteveS

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 04:46 PM

Looks like super CDs and book - I'm ordering mine right now.....



#21 Chris Drinkwater

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 07:45 PM

The two tunes have been added now (even received e-mail notification for that); did you have to wait for approval too, Chris? I don't recall this having been the case with my contributing to another group some months ago.

 

Edit to add: I believe I've got it now, this is a "moderated" group (as opposed to the other one).

 

 

Yes, Wolf, I understand it is a moderated group.

 

Chris



#22 ceemonster

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 11:07 PM

well, i see that much swedish accordion tradition is in the gammeldans folk-dance-music sub-style, one in which the accordion has a bombastic, stentorian presence with much use of the low reed and loud bass chords, which would not be the way i'd choose to play nordic folk on either accordion or concertina. i'm more taken with the idea of playing it in this fiddle style, but on concertina and/or accordion, (the way rachel hall does, or like that "Troll Road" record by Mark Gilston), so i'm going to ignore gammeldans in favor of just learning fiddle tunes off of recordings or perhaps that Tobo tunebook...

 

if i remember correctly, the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers film "Fargo" has some very cool, darkly modal Swedish fiddle music on it...


Edited by ceemonster, 24 February 2014 - 11:10 PM.


#23 JimLucas

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 11:57 PM

well, i see that much swedish accordion tradition is in the gammeldans folk-dance-music sub-style, one in which the accordion has a bombastic, stentorian presence with much use of the low reed and loud bass chords, which would not be the way i'd choose to play nordic folk on either accordion or concertina. i'm more taken with the idea of playing it in this fiddle style, but on concertina and/or accordion, (the way rachel hall does, or like that "Troll Road" record by Mark Gilston), so i'm going to ignore gammeldans in favor of just learning fiddle tunes off of recordings or perhaps that Tobo tunebook..

 

Ignore gammeldans?  That means "old dance", and most of the Swedish traditional music, whether played on accordion, fiddle, nyckelharpa, various flutes, or other instruments is gammeldans music.  If you don't like the accordions you've heard (were they piano accordion, CBA, or melodeons?  Swedish has lots of all three), fair enough, but don't blame it on the dance.


Edited by JimLucas, 24 February 2014 - 11:58 PM.


#24 ceemonster

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 01:19 AM

okay, thanks for the correct--i understood that it means "old dance," but thought that particular accordion sound to be a hallmark of that style.  like, in cajun music you play a low-reed sound, not a middle-reed sound.  because every gammeldans accordion example that comes up has a big PA being played with a bassoon-reed going in this manner that i don't care for...i guess i should adjust that to, i'm going to ignore this style of playing gammeldans accordion, in favor of imitating the fiddles...


Edited by ceemonster, 25 February 2014 - 01:27 AM.


#25 JimLucas

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 04:31 AM

okay, thanks for the correct--i understood that it means "old dance," but thought that particular accordion sound to be a hallmark of that style.  ... every gammeldans accordion example that comes up has a big PA being played...


Ouch! First of all, there are at least as many CBAs as PAs among the folk musicians. Both those unisonoric types are known as dragspel.  But there are also plenty of bisonoric boxes (known as durspel), and they're mostly much simpler.  Probably the best-known exponent is/was Arne Modén.  (The ambiguity there is because I believe he's still alive, but destroyed by Alzheimers and completely unable to play.)  I believe that much of his one recording, an LP, is played on one or another one-row.
 
Arne played many tunes learned from local musicians (within about 10-20 miles of where I'm sitting at the moment), particularly one fiddler, but he also composed many tunes of his own.  His most famous tune is his Kyrklåt ("church tune"). It's a one-row tune, though in this video he's playing it (from about 0:55 to 2:39) on a 2-row. In this video it's played by two fiddles and a blockflöjt (recorder), while here's Arne again, playing for (one of the many forms of) gammeldans.
 
Basically, just about anything labeled pols, polska, slängpolska, vals, gånglåt, schottis, engelska, mazurka, polka, polkett, or often simply låt (which means "tune") is gammeldans.
 

...i guess i should adjust that to, i'm going to ignore this style of playing gammeldans accordion, in favor of imitating the fiddles...

 
Oh, don't limit yourself to fiddles. ;) Nyckelharpa, recorder, flute, clarinet, and bass are all common in Swedish traditional music. Less common, but still known in the tradition are harmonica, zither, and even (Swedish) bagpipes, trumpet, and cello.  :)



#26 wayman

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 06:52 PM

How timely! A few weeks ago I had the delightful opportunity to play (anglo) concertina in classes at the Eric Sahlström Institute. (Was I the first to play concertina in classes there, I wonder?...)

 

I was visiting my friend Hope Leary; she and I play often together, she on nyckelharpa and I on anglo, and she's at ESI for the year in the same program that lydia and Andrea were in the previous year. (And lydia and Andrea are friends of mine as well, and practically neighbors! So nice to see them mentioned here. Do buy their book and album -- great stuff!)

 

It was great fun learning and playing polskas on my concertina in class with about ten nyckelharpas and two fiddles and guest-teacher Kjell-Erik Eriksson, and later playing those tunes for the Swedish dance class at ESI and getting excellent feedback about our playing from the dancing masters.

 

The day is structured roughly: breakfast; warmups; class; fika; class; lunch; class; fika; class; dinner. Never more than an hour-and-a-half between food. So civilized!



#27 wayman

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 07:05 PM

Oh, and there's also a special temporary exhibit on Eric Sahlström at the Nordiska Museum in Stockholm, which is of course mostly about how he re-invented the nyckelharpa to make it a fully-chromatic instrument, and about his playing and teaching career. But ... they also have on display his two-row button accordion. (Who knew?! Not me, nor my friend at ESI.) The caption next to his accordion (an unassuming black 21 treble, 8 bass, Koch-Harmonica made in Germany) reads:

 

Eric spelade på ett tvåradigt dragspel liksom den stora dragspelmåstaren och idolen, men dragspelet gick sönder och ersattes sedan med fiol och nyckelharpa.

 

... which translates roughly to "Eric played the two-row accordion (and a larger accordion too), but the accordion broke and he replaced it with fiddle and nyckelharpa."

 

Yes, if he hadn't been so passionate about accordion that he wore out his instrument, he might never have switched to nyckelharpa!



#28 ceemonster

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 10:51 PM

my ownswedish folk playing adventures won't be running to diatonic, though certainly listening to the diatonic swedish maestros will be illuminating.  i'm not really cavilling about the type of accordion used. it's how. and i guess i've just encountered too many examples with a big, overwhelming bassoon-y voice with the low reeds in the mix, plus heavy bass chords (yes, they were PA examples, though PAs do not have to arrange or sound like this).  this is also how the swedish folk dance accordion players in my u.s. west-coast megalopolis sound.  they are very good musicians, just don't like the reed mix they're using or the arranging style...  but thanks for the tip on the other melody instruments, will definitely enjoy having a look-see at clarinet, et. al....



#29 ceemonster

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 10:55 PM

[How timely! A few weeks ago I had the delightful opportunity to play (anglo) concertina in classes at the Eric Sahlström Institute. (Was I the first to play concertina in classes there, I wonder?...)

 

It was great fun learning and playing polskas on my concertina in class with about ten nyckelharpas and two fiddles and guest-teacher Kjell-Erik Eriksson, and later playing those tunes for the Swedish dance class at ESI and getting excellent feedback about our playing from the dancing masters.]

 

wow!   :rolleyes: ...perhaps the ES Institute will get the idea and widen for other instruments. or rather than going that far, perhaps they might expressly open some of their "tunes" classes to other instruments. 



#30 MatthewVanitas

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 10:36 AM

I claim no great concertina nor Nordic skills, but I do have a handful of Swedish tunes I play on Hayden, most of which are tunes I learned through playing Swedish bagpipes.

This page by piper Olle Gällmo has a number of "säckpipa tunes", mostly in Am. As I understand it, these aren't provably "old pipe tunes", but since the instrument went extinct in the 1930s or so they've reconstructed some assumed repertoire by combing through the recorded fiddle tunes and finding ones that have a suspiciously limited compass (an octave or 9th), suit well the säckpipa's drone arrangement, etc. I should challenge myself to learn all the basic tunes on this page.

http://olle.gallmo.s...nes.php?lang=en


For context, the Swedish pipe has a chanter that goes E-e (optionally with a D bell-note), in an A minor scale which starts in the middle of the chanter. Traditional säckpipa only ever had one drone, matching the E of the chanter. So when I play these tunes I try to work in some of that drone sound without being too oppressive with it.

Edited by MatthewVanitas, 28 February 2014 - 10:38 AM.


#31 ceemonster

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 11:28 PM

my copy of the "Fika" cd which includes tunebook material just landed today, and lovely it is.



#32 MarkvN

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 02:55 AM

Speaking of other instruments that can be a source of inspiration, how about these two fabulous players on the reed organ:

 

Juuri & Juuri (Finland) - Polkat

https://www.youtube....h?v=CWbRs6betCE

 

and the same guy, Eero Grundström, playing solo on his travel harmonium (you have to see this!)

https://www.youtube....h?v=Go13zRC2qPA

 

Lisa Rydberg & Gunnar Idenstam from Sweden

https://www.youtube....h?v=RAjpAY7As4Q

 

By the way, I'm no real expert on the matter, but as far as I understand, 'gammeldans', although it means 'old dance', actually refers to the music from the 1900's - walzes, polkas, schottisch - and not to the older, modal polskas.

 

Two-row melodeon player Erik Pekkari is one of the important figures in the 're-invention' of the genre:

https://www.youtube....h?v=Hcymj6_6VxA

 

Mark


Edited by MarkvN, 12 March 2014 - 02:56 AM.


#33 ceemonster

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 05:50 PM

[By the way, I'm no real expert on the matter, but as far as I understand, 'gammeldans', although it means 'old dance', actually refers to the music from the 1900's - walzes, polkas, schottisch - and not to the older, modal polskas.]

 

thank you---i really had the impression from my own reading and listening that gammdeldans denoted a specific sub-type, or specific way or arranging/playing,  the swedish dance-derived instrumental music....the music i'm encountering which is described as gammeldans is very different from the modal stuff i have on numerous swedish recordings and the music we've discussed by players like lydia/andrea or mark gilston...it's kind of like ceili band music....


Edited by ceemonster, 12 March 2014 - 05:52 PM.


#34 SteveS

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 07:29 PM

[By the way, I'm no real expert on the matter, but as far as I understand, 'gammeldans', although it means 'old dance', actually refers to the music from the 1900's - walzes, polkas, schottisch - and not to the older, modal polskas.]

 

thank you---i really had the impression from my own reading and listening that gammdeldans denoted a specific sub-type, or specific way or arranging/playing,  the swedish dance-derived instrumental music....the music i'm encountering which is described as gammeldans is very different from the modal stuff i have on numerous swedish recordings and the music we've discussed by players like lydia/andrea or mark gilston...it's kind of like ceili band music....

gammal dans - means old dance - this would to refer to any old dance where gammal is an adjective meaning old
gammaldans - is a compound noun - this is the form of dance that can be best described as popular dances - includes polka, waltz (vals), mazurka, schottish, hambo

bygdedans, folkdans - this is more the traditional polska dance, often based on older styles of music, and in some regions apparently influenced by baroque and other musical styles - not as popular as gammaldans and has a following of specialists, both musicians and dancers - (the best translation for bygd might be settlement or district)

polska - is a member of a family of 3-time music - this includes the following slängpolska, polonäs, pols, springlek, springer

polska is used as an adjective and noun meaning Polish.

 

Musical line-ups:

 

gammaldans - frequently accordion (dragspel), bass (bas), keyboard, guitar (gitarr)

bygdedans, folkdans - traditionally fiddle (fiol) - now frequently fiddle (fiol), nyckelharpa, melodeon (durspel), bagpipes (säckpipa)

 

If you listen to the recordings on my Soundcloud group (which was the original subject of this topic) you will hear folkmusik to which bygdedanser or folkdanser are danced.  This is not gammaldansmusik.

 

Hope this helps to clarify.

 

Interesting aside #1: gammaldans is often performed and danced to in many of the open air parks around Sweden all year round - frequently on Saturdays (lördag), and sometimes on Wednesdays (onsdag).

Interesting aside #2: many old manuscripts have been discovered in recent years, from which great many previously unknown tunes are seeing the light of day.  I myself play many tunes from some old manscripts.


Edited by SteveS, 12 March 2014 - 08:01 PM.


#35 ceemonster

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 10:52 PM

[bygdedans, folkdans - traditionally fiddle (fiol) - now frequently fiddle (fiol), nyckelharpa, melodeon (durspel), bagpipes (säckpipa)]

 

ah, thanks for this term.   it is this strain which i have on several wonderful records and am  interested in playing on concertina, or even accordion...not wild about the way the accordion sounds in the other style...



#36 SteveS

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 05:11 AM

[bygdedans, folkdans - traditionally fiddle (fiol) - now frequently fiddle (fiol), nyckelharpa, melodeon (durspel), bagpipes (säckpipa)]

 

ah, thanks for this term.   it is this strain which i have on several wonderful records and am  interested in playing on concertina, or even accordion...not wild about the way the accordion sounds in the other style...

Most people would say folkdans as a term that includes polska (all varieties as listied above), polka, schottis, vals, hambo.  It is these dances that are danced at say a spelmansstämma (fiddlers' gathering) or a folk festival.

 

Bygdedans is more specialised and refers to dances specific to certain towns and villages, and is sometimes used by more specialised dancers - eg. bodapolska, rättvikspolska, orsapolska.

 

They are not necessarily interchangeable.


Edited by SteveS, 13 March 2014 - 12:46 PM.





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