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Theme Of The Month, June, 2014: Let's Polka!


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#19 chas

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 05:52 PM

 

...most likely the first minor key polka coming to my knowledge... ;)


But getting back to major, minor, and such... I just did a quick breakdown of those 101 polkas by "mode", and came up with the following:

  • Mixolydian: 0 (that surprised me; I'm sure there are some, even if not in that book)

 

I've just checked Mallinson's 100 Irish Polkas and found plenty of minors but just three and a half mixolydian (Plus a couple more that have the odd flat seventh).  Not dissimilar from your finding, Jim.

Could it be because they're relatively late arrivals into British traditions and often from the professional stage?  Mind you, traditional players must have been churning them out in Sliabh Luachra and elsewhere.  Maybe the mixolydian mode doesn't match the jauntiness of a polka???  I dunno.  Interesting!  Might try recording them tomorrow.



#20 chas

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 01:07 PM

Well the first of these is mixolydian all the way through and the other one goes into it halfway through:

 

https://soundcloud.c...ncy-all-the-way



#21 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 03:55 AM

Jim and Chas (you know, I'm so fond of the Mixolydian mode!), thanks a lot for the hints and nice recordings!

 

(and Jim, you definitely made me smile with your suggestion to get out more..., may very well be true... :) )

 

Jim, I found abc files for the first two of your minor polkas and will give all three of them a try, as well as the lovely mix polkas as posted by Chas! The Isle of Harris one is stunning in it's fake major start from the dots as well as in your recording Jim, but in fact may very well even be played that way (like I did with the Tip Top Polka in my recording as posted above just the other way round) when adding harmonies...

 

And as to the Lochrian mode, why doesn't the lack of such a polka surprise me at all?  B)

 

Best wishes - Wolf



#22 Jim Besser

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 02:34 PM

Things have been slow this month - and I've been slow. I was determined to learn and record the wonderful Mexican polka Jesusite de Chihuahua, which I've admired for years and never played.  The A, B and C parts work fine on my Anglo - but the D part is killing me.  Very fast runs with constant bellows reversals.  I've figured out alternative fingering to smooth some of that out, but it's messing with my brain, It's like I'm cruising down the highway and suddenly hit a patch of very rough road. So stay tuned; I'm still hoping to get it into my fingers by the end of the month

 

Meanwhile, so a not to be a TOTM slacker,  I recorded a polka I learned a long time ago from the playing of the UK's Bursledon Village Band.  Somewhere along the way I heard a version with different chords in the C part that I liked.  This is the folk process, after all. Played in G on a Lachenal/Dipper 30 button C/G Anglo. I've also played it in G on the G/D, which gives it a very different sound.

 

I learned it with the name Webb's Wonder, which a quick Google search tells me is a variety of lettuce. But I've been told that there are very similar tunes with different names. 

 

As an aside: I've played a lot of polkas over the years in bands, but found this month's exercise surprisingly difficult. It's a lot easier playing lively tunes like this in a group, when mistakes are covered up by bandmates!  For me, it's been a useful and sobering exercise, pulling out polkas I've played in groups and trying to clean them up for solo recording.


Edited by Jim Besser, 21 June 2014 - 02:41 PM.


#23 spindizzy

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 03:47 AM

Things have been slow this month - and I've been slow. I was determined to learn and record the wonderful Mexican polka Jesusite de Chihuahua, which I've admired for years and never played.  The A, B and C parts work fine on my Anglo - but the D part is killing me.  Very fast runs with constant bellows reversals.  I've figured out alternative fingering to smooth some of that out, but it's messing with my brain, It's like I'm cruising down the highway and suddenly hit a patch of very rough road. So stay tuned; I'm still hoping to get it into my fingers by the end of the month

 

Meanwhile, so a not to be a TOTM slacker,  I recorded a polka I learned a long time ago from the playing of the UK's Bursledon Village Band.  Somewhere along the way I heard a version with different chords in the C part that I liked.  This is the folk process, after all. Played in G on a Lachenal/Dipper 30 button C/G Anglo. I've also played it in G on the G/D, which gives it a very different sound.

 

I learned it with the name Webb's Wonder, which a quick Google search tells me is a variety of lettuce. But I've been told that there are very similar tunes with different names. 

 

As an aside: I've played a lot of polkas over the years in bands, but found this month's exercise surprisingly difficult. It's a lot easier playing lively tunes like this in a group, when mistakes are covered up by bandmates!  For me, it's been a useful and sobering exercise, pulling out polkas I've played in groups and trying to clean them up for solo recording.

 

I know this one from Irish Sessions as the Knocknaboul Polka ( http://thesession.org/tunes/3023 )



#24 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 04:29 AM

Things have been slow this month...

 

... at least if you're skipping the (#2, #4) first-week contributions....

 

(once again, couldn't refrain from just saying)

 

:wacko:



#25 JimLucas

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 04:44 AM

Things have been slow this month.....

 

Are you referring to this polka thread, or to something else?

 

I count 11 contributed recordings so far -- several including more than one tune, -- which I think isn't bad, though there's still more polka variety out there waiting to be displayed here.  :)

 

Edited to add:  And five* individuals contributing those 11 recordings.  Is that more or fewer than usual?

 

* And at least six musicians, since Randy plays with Jim B. on one recording, and another has uke accompaniment (double track, or another person?).


Edited by JimLucas, 22 June 2014 - 04:55 AM.


#26 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 05:30 AM

... though there's still more polka variety out there waiting to be displayed here.  :)

 

It certainly is (minor, mixolydian as to me, thanks to the valued suggestions by Chas and Jim!), and might already have been in a slightly more conducive climate...

 

(there are always lots of projects for learning, recording etc. in the cue (and little time), and TOTM had been a pretty good prompter for doing things which hadn't already been on the schedule, and doing them right now)

 

IMO, TOTM lives, and can only live, on common and shared enthusiasm!

 

Don't mean to offend but rather promote this meritorious project!

Best wishes to all - Wolf


Edited by blue eyed sailor, 22 June 2014 - 05:31 AM.


#27 Jim Besser

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 07:20 AM

 

Things have been slow this month.....

 

Are you referring to this polka thread, or to something else?

 

I count 11 contributed recordings so far -- several including more than one tune, -- which I think isn't bad, though there's still more polka variety out there waiting to be displayed here.  :)

 

Edited to add:  And five* individuals contributing those 11 recordings.  Is that more or fewer than usual?

 

* And at least six musicians, since Randy plays with Jim B. on one recording, and another has uke accompaniment (double track, or another person?).

 

 

MOstly I mean I was slow this month.  Soon to be corrected - I figured out I was playing Jesucita on the wrong concertina. Switching from the C/G to the G/D made the fast run much easier!



#28 Jim Besser

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 07:21 AM

 

Things have been slow this month - and I've been slow. I was determined to learn and record the wonderful Mexican polka Jesusite de Chihuahua, which I've admired for years and never played.  The A, B and C parts work fine on my Anglo - but the D part is killing me.  Very fast runs with constant bellows reversals.  I've figured out alternative fingering to smooth some of that out, but it's messing with my brain, It's like I'm cruising down the highway and suddenly hit a patch of very rough road. So stay tuned; I'm still hoping to get it into my fingers by the end of the month

 

Meanwhile, so a not to be a TOTM slacker,  I recorded a polka I learned a long time ago from the playing of the UK's Bursledon Village Band.  Somewhere along the way I heard a version with different chords in the C part that I liked.  This is the folk process, after all. Played in G on a Lachenal/Dipper 30 button C/G Anglo. I've also played it in G on the G/D, which gives it a very different sound.

 

I learned it with the name Webb's Wonder, which a quick Google search tells me is a variety of lettuce. But I've been told that there are very similar tunes with different names. 

 

As an aside: I've played a lot of polkas over the years in bands, but found this month's exercise surprisingly difficult. It's a lot easier playing lively tunes like this in a group, when mistakes are covered up by bandmates!  For me, it's been a useful and sobering exercise, pulling out polkas I've played in groups and trying to clean them up for solo recording.

 

I know this one from Irish Sessions as the Knocknaboul Polka ( http://thesession.org/tunes/3023 )

 

 

Ah yes, thanks. I actually first heard the more interesting B part on a recording labeled Knockabout Polka.



#29 Robert Fisher

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 09:15 PM

Talk about slow. I think my brakes are stuck on this month, but here is a tune for the thread:

 

https://soundcloud.com/7wheels-1/polka

 

I don't usually play by ear... in fact almost never. I have no idea what I'm playing so this time I had to play by ear. In school we regularly did dance classes and this polka was a perennial favourite. I've talked to friends from around Australia and they all know this tune from school so it is probably education department approved. I segue at the end into another tune that we always danced the polka to too.



#30 Wolf Molkentin

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 12:27 AM

Well Robert, from the middle section I recognize the famous "Galop Infernal " from Mr Jaques Offenbach's "Orphée aux Enfers" (Orpheus in the Underworld) opéra/operetta, the dance being called a "Can Can"...

Good that you were recalling this one from old school days Robert, the picture of polkaing here gives me a big smile... :)

#31 JimLucas

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 03:29 AM

...here is a tune for the thread:
 
https://soundcloud.com/7wheels-1/polka
 
... I have no idea what I'm playing.... In school we regularly did dance classes and this polka was a perennial favourite.

 
The first tune is Little Brown Jug, a perennially popular American tune/song first published in 1869. It was a popular children's song when I was a kid, though with simpler lyrics (but different from those on the Wikipedia link), and back then I didn't understand that it was supposed to be about alcoholic beverages. B)



#32 Robert Fisher

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 07:53 PM

 

...here is a tune for the thread:
 
https://soundcloud.com/7wheels-1/polka
 
... I have no idea what I'm playing.... In school we regularly did dance classes and this polka was a perennial favourite.

 
The first tune is Little Brown Jug, a perennially popular American tune/song first published in 1869. It was a popular children's song when I was a kid, though with simpler lyrics (but different from those on the Wikipedia link), and back then I didn't understand that it was supposed to be about alcoholic beverages. B)

 

 

Thanks. Its good to know that it has a name. I just listened to a big-band swing version of Little Brown Jug on youtube - compared to the guitar, fiddle and lagaphone version from my childhood its from a different planet!



#33 Tootler

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 05:40 AM

 

Things have been slow this month.....

 

<snip>

... another has uke accompaniment (double track, or another person?).

 

 

Just me, I'm afraid. Double tracked.



#34 tona

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 04:09 PM

Hi all,

 

here is an old recording of Irish polkas played with one of my band who is in stand-by for the moment  because everybody has moved since the creation of the band...

 

https://soundcloud.c...-cnet-june-2014

 

And because it is not exactly the rules of the totm , here is a very quick recording of traditional polka from Auvergne (Center France...)

 

https://soundcloud.c...-totm-june-2014

 

Have a great summer (northern hemisphere...) and great festivals!...

 

 



#35 Jim Besser

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 04:47 PM

Hi all,

 

here is an old recording of Irish polkas played with one of my band who is in stand-by for the moment  because everybody has moved since the creation of the band...

 

https://soundcloud.c...-cnet-june-2014

 

And because it is not exactly the rules of the totm , here is a very quick recording of traditional polka from Auvergne (Center France...)

 

https://soundcloud.c...-totm-june-2014

 

Have a great summer (northern hemisphere...) and great festivals!...

 

 

 

Wonderful - I was hoping you'd post something this month.

 

The IRish set - my band uses Tripping to the Well frequently as a sound check tune.  The middle tune in the set - is that all improvisation?  Nicely done.

 

The Auvergne polka - do you have notation for it? Great tune.  Thanks.



#36 tona

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 05:10 PM

Thanks Jim! Here is a score of "polka de l'ase" in G and D. It was a transposition for a frenchpipe "20 inches". I didn't find the original score in C and G in my computer...

 

http://pdf.lu/6A3u






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