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Guckulåt Efter Josefs Lars (continued)


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#1 Henk van Aalten

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 05:34 AM

After the posting of the tune by Henrik a lot of positive reactions were posted in this thread. I just quote some of them that were focussed on the key (or mode) of the tune:

Hey, that's pretty cool sounding! What key is it in? I want to figure that one out. It makes me think of a lone musician, sitting out on a dock, or a fog-covered hilltop, introspectively rolling off a tune.



I've just tried to play along to the tune - the chords are A major, G (major and minor?) and D minor. Very Swedish - the devil knows the key/mode it's in! ;)



It's in D minor, but it starts with A B(natural) C# D...


I tried to write the tune in ABC and ended up with this midi file (thanks to the wonderfull ABC converter on C.Net!). The (for me) amazing thing is that the tune exists of natural notes except for the C which is consequently subsituted by a C# !! Trying to imagine a drone, I think an A sounds better than a D with this tune. With this in mind I started a trial & error approach with this link.

Starting with scales of A, I could not find any match. With scales of D there is a match with D melodic minor (ascending), which is (as far as I know) quite different from plain Dminor.

So David is right, but it's a very special D minor ;)

Edited by Henk van Aalten, 21 December 2005 - 05:37 AM.


#2 JimLucas

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 08:19 AM

After the posting of the tune by Henrik a lot of positive reactions were posted in this thread. I just quote some of them that were focussed on the key (or mode) of the tune:

......... [snipped]

Starting with scales of A, I could not find any match. With scales of D there is a match with D melodic minor (ascending), which is (as far as I know) quite different from plain Dminor.

So David is right, but it's a very special D minor ;)

I think it's more accurate to say that this is just an example of a tune (in fact, a tradition) that cannot be accurately described by a terminology that was derived from traditions or musical examples which didn't include such "scales", "modes", or whatever. Even more "impossible" are Swedish tunes that consistently include both "major" and "minor" variants of a particular degree of the scale. A, B, (C, C#), D, E, F, G is a not-uncommon example.
Is it an 8-note "scale", rather than the usual Western 7-note "diatonic" scale? No, because the sequences C-C# and C#-C never occur. Some note sequences will include C# (usually with an A chord, if chords are used) and others will include C natural (with a C chord, not Am). But aside from the "harmonic minor" concept -- where the ascending and descending scales are different -- I don't think there's anything in standard "music theory" for describing a music in which different variants of a single degree of the scale are given equal weight. Always the one is "the" note of the scale, and the other is treated as an aberration, or "accidental".

I think that in such Swedish tunes a distinction should be made between the collection of notes used in the primary structure of the tune and the sub-collections of notes which may potentially be used in a single sequence. In standard music theory these are one and the same, and are known as the "scale", but not so in my above example. There both C and C# are fundamental, and one could potentially have either B-C-D or B-C#-D as a sequence... but never B-C-C#-D.

Does Sweden have it's own music-theory terminology for describing such tunes? I don't know. I guess I should ask some of my Swedish friends. I believe David Barnert once mentioned that klezmer musicians do have their own names for the various non-"Western" scales (the Western ones, too?) that they play, so maybe they have a name for the Guckulåt scale. But does even klezmer music have scales where major and minor intervals have equal status?

#3 David Barnert

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 10:59 AM

It's in D minor, but it starts with A B(natural) C# D...

...
Starting with scales of A, I could not find any match. With scales of D there is a match with D melodic minor (ascending), which is (as far as I know) quite different from plain Dminor.

So David is right, but it's a very special D minor ;)

I deliberately did not call it "D melodic minor" although I was thinking of it for some of the reasons Jim alludes to. The expression, "melodic minor" is, to me, a relic of the late 19th and early 20th centuries when classical musicians thought it was OK to assume that they played the only "real" music and that "folk" music could only be made respectable by "fixing" it (by adjusting appropriate accidentals) so that it could be easily described by terminology that they understood.

But as for the statement:

D melodic minor (ascending), which is (as far as I know) quite different from plain Dminor.

D minor is a key, and D melodic minor is a scale (actually two, one ascending and one descending). The tune is in D minor. It uses the notes of the D melodic minor scale.

#4 klaus guhl

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 11:46 AM

What a beautiful tune! I would like to have the notes. Is that possible?

#5 Henk van Aalten

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 01:34 PM

What a beautiful tune! I would like to have the notes. Is that possible?

Klaus,
I had the intention to enter this tune in the Tune-O-Tron at this C.Net site, but I have some trouble with authorization. However I entered the ABC in the "ABC Convert-A-Matic" and thus obtained the PDF file that I attached to this message. To be complete, the ABC notation is shown below. Due to the restrictions of ABC and/or the ABC Convert-A-Matic I antered the tune as a D major with natural F.

X: 1
T: Guckulåt efter Josefs Lars
C: J. Lars?
O: Sweden
N: As played by Henrik Müller
R: Guckulåt?
Z: Henk van Aalten - 20051221
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
Q:1/8=250
K: D
AB cd|e2 e<=f|d2 d2|c2 (3cBc|AB c<d|e2 e=f|(3gag eg|a4|
AB cd|e2 e<=f|d2 d2|c2 (3cBc|AB c<e|ag ec|de dc|d4:|
ag e<=f|g2 g2|a=f d<e|=f2 =f2|ec Ac|ec Ac|d<e =fg|a2 a2|
ag e<=f|g2 g2|a=f d<e|=f2 =f2|ec Ac|ec Ac|d<e dc|d4:|

Attached File  Guckul_t_efter_Josefs_Lars.pdf   40.57KB   273 downloads

Have fun (and thanks to Henrik!)

#6 Henrik Müller

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 01:45 PM

What a beautiful tune! I would like to have the notes. Is that possible?

I am happy to see that the tune created such interest. I will have to learn some more over Christmas. I was going so say that I could try to force my wife to write it down, but as I write this, I see Henk's answer. Phew - thanks, Henk - less danger for me :D .

/Henrik

#7 David Barnert

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 03:54 PM

I suspect I'll come off sounding like the ideologues I was criticizing in my last message in this thread, but I would have notated it in 4/4 and in D minor:
X: 1

T: Guckulåt efter Josefs Lars

C: J. Lars?

O: Sweden

N: As played by Henrik Müller

R: Guckulåt?

Z: Henk van Aalten - 20051221

M: C

L: 1/8

Q:1/8=250

K: Dm

A=B ^cd e2 e<f|d2 d2 ^c2 (3c=Bc|A=B ^c<d e2 ef|(3gag eg  a4|

A=B ^cd e2 e<f|d2 d2 ^c2 (3c=Bc|A=B ^c<e ag ec|de  d^c  d4:|

ag  e<f g2  g2|af d<e f2   f2  |e^c Ac   ec Ac|d<e fg a2 a2|

ag  e<f g2  g2|af d<e f2   f2  |e^c Ac   ec Ac|d<e d^c  d4:|


#8 Henk van Aalten

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 02:10 AM

I suspect I'll come off sounding like the ideologues I was criticizing in my last message in this thread, but I would have notated it in 4/4 and in D minor:

X: 1
T: Guckulåt efter Josefs Lars
C: J. Lars?
O: Sweden
N: As played by Henrik Müller
R: Guckulåt?
Z: Henk van Aalten - 20051221
M: C
L: 1/8
Q:1/8=250
K: Dm
A=B ^cd e2 e<f|d2 d2 ^c2 (3c=Bc|A=B ^c<d e2 ef|(3gag eg  a4|
A=B ^cd e2 e<f|d2 d2 ^c2 (3c=Bc|A=B ^c<e ag ec|de  d^c  d4:|
ag  e<f g2  g2|af d<e f2   f2  |e^c Ac   ec Ac|d<e fg a2 a2|
ag  e<f g2  g2|af d<e f2   f2  |e^c Ac   ec Ac|d<e d^c  d4:|


David,
By reading your messages in (or is it on?) this forum I'm convinced that you have a deep knowledge of music theory, while I am only scratching at the surface of it.
As a primitive reader of notes I always get my information at the beginning of the piece about which notes I should play sharp or flat. I was therefore rather unhappy with my own notation (every F# was corrected). Your notation makes me in this respect unhappier :( .

swedish.jpg

I understand (at the beginning of the notation) to play Bb instead of B and a natural C, but in the piece every Bb is corrected to B and every C to C#!

About 4/4 or 2/4: I discovered that whistling or humming this tune while walking, sounds very good to me. The tune fits very well in a walking rhythm and so (as I have two legs) I suggested 2/4 :)

Am I now completely lost for theory or is there still hope :unsure: :unsure:
Please let me know.

edited to insert the notes

Edited by Henk van Aalten, 22 December 2005 - 02:15 AM.


#9 Henk van Aalten

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 02:20 AM

I was going so say that I could try to force my wife to write it down, but as I write this, I see Henk's answer. Phew - thanks, Henk - less danger for me :D .

/Henrik

Sounds as if I saved a marriage or even saved your wife or you from domestic violence :lol: :lol:
How merry my Christmas will be!!

#10 Henrik Müller

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 03:09 AM

I was going so say that I could try to force my wife to write it down, but as I write this, I see Henk's answer. Phew - thanks, Henk - less danger for me :D .

/Henrik

Sounds as if I saved a marriage or even saved your wife or you from domestic violence :lol: :lol:
How merry my Christmas will be!!

Naah - it's not really like that - it's more that it would probably have taken a long time.

I took the first step to learning more Swedish tunes last night - I digitized the backpipe record that I got the tune from. There were a couple more that caught my ear.

/Henrik

#11 klaus guhl

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 05:43 AM

Thank you for the notes. Swedish tunes sounds good on concertina. I enjoied to play the swedish walz in Betram Levy´s tutor and there is "Ganglat fra Appelbo" which is very common in north germany.

Is there a story behind this tune? For exc. what means "Guckulåt"?

Do you have some more tune or the URL of the bagpipe page?

Merry Christmas

#12 Henk van Aalten

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 06:59 AM

Is there a story behind this tune? For exc. what means "Guckulåt"?

I did not hear anything about a story, but you better ask Henrik about it. In another thread there were some messages about the title of this tune.

#13 David Barnert

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Posted 22 December 2005 - 05:37 PM

David,
By reading your messages in (or is it on?) this forum I'm convinced that you have a deep knowledge of music theory, while I am only scratching at the surface of it.

Indeed, my musical education began with classical lessons on the cello as a child. I went on to college where I studied music theory with respected composers for six semesters. I find it very satisfying, although (as this discussion illustrates) it can be counterintuitive at times. But there is method in the madness. Read on.

As a primitive reader of notes I always get my information at the beginning of the piece about which notes I should play sharp or flat. I was therefore rather unhappy with my own notation (every F# was corrected). Your notation makes me in this respect unhappier :( .

I understand (at the beginning of the notation) to play Bb instead of B and a natural C, but in the piece every Bb is corrected to B and every C to C#!

I look to the key signature not to tell me which accidentals to play but to help give me a flavor of where the music lies, what kinds of chords might harmonize it, which notes might be found in stress points of the tune, etc. Of course, this information is not unambiguous: F major would have the same key signature as I used for this tune. But the point is not to minimize written accidentals. It is to communicate the key of D minor and all that that implies.

About 4/4 or 2/4: I discovered that whistling or humming this tune while walking, sounds very good to me. The tune fits very well in a walking rhythm and so (as I have two legs) I suggested 2/4 :)

I play a lot for traditioal dance forms. This tune reminds me of Swedish Schottisches which have a step-step-step-hop progression and are usually written in 4/4. Putting it in 2/2 doesn't change the relationships of the note values (my computer played your midi file correctly) but I feel the grouping in 4 helps organize the rhythm.

I hope this helps. It may not all be clear immedeately, but at least I hope it shows how the organization of music is sometimes a little more complicated than it appears on the surface.

#14 Henk van Aalten

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 09:33 AM

David

Thanks for replying and spending your time to bring "some method in the madness". I gives me stuff to think about!

Have a Merry Christmas :)

#15 David Barnert

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Posted 24 December 2005 - 08:19 PM

You're welcome. Happy Holidays yourself. And remember that the point of music is not just knowing which notes to play and when. My computer can do that. Our job as live musicians is to make the music tell a story.

#16 Henrik Müller

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Posted 25 December 2005 - 07:52 AM

Thank you for the notes. Swedish tunes sounds good on concertina. I enjoied to play the swedish walz in Betram Levy´s tutor and there is "Ganglat fra Appelbo" which is very common in north germany.

Is there a story behind this tune? For exc. what means "Guckulåt"?

Do you have some more tune or the URL of the bagpipe page?

Merry Christmas

Hello, Klaus -

I have just now digitized the LP ("Per Gudmundson, Säckpipa", Giga GLP-8, 1983) and I found a couple of nice tunes that I'd like to play. Eventually, they will end up on Henk's great page.

Here is a literal translation of the sleeve notes for the tune:

"7. Guckulåt efter Joseks Lars 2:27
Mats Rehnberg writes "Even in Nås have several pipers existed. Some of them are known to their name. The foremost is without doubt Gucku Olof Olsson with the soldier name Svedman. The brother was a soldier with the name Sommar and like the father, Gucku Anders, a fiddler. He often played with his sons. In general, it was often pointed out in Nås, that the bagpipe was best heard in combination with the fiddle". (Per säckpipa, Ola fiddle)".


Still doesn't explain what "Gucku" means. A name - a nickname? My wife shook her head when I asked what a "guckulåt" was - "Some tune from Dalarna".

I feel something tugging my sleeve - there is actually a course in Swedish bagpipe for absolute beginners in this very town this week! I should probably have joined...

/Henrik

#17 keeper

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 07:34 AM

I have just found this thread and I think that it provides an example of the benefit of a formal musical training which was widely debated in the thread that I began on this topic in Teaching and Learning.

This tune resolves to the pitch 'A'. In other words, 'A' is the implicit note on which the melody is expected to end. I know that it is not the actual note on which this one iteration ends but, if you use the technique of trying to hold the 'tonic' note in your head throughout this piece, I believe that 'A' is the only viable pitch-class that can claim to be the tonic (or, better 'key-note', as 'tonic' is a classical term for classical scales). I feel that the ending on 'D' is unsatisfactory at a psychological level and I wonder if some structure of repeats would offer a different ending note?

In a modern scale of 'A' the dominant, (i.e., next note in importance), would be an 'E'. But, in this case, the dominant is a 'D'. In the few scales left in traditional western music, the dominant is always the fifth of the scale. But this is not the case in pre-classical music. Where the fourth note of the 'scale' acts as the second most important focus of the melody, the fourth note acts as dominant. There is a whole set of such scales (actually, 'modes'), called 'plagal' modes. This emphasis on the fourth note as the second most important structural note still gives rise to plagal cadences at the end of phrases in modern hymn music. (The 'plagal' cadence that survived into the classic period is the one to which the word 'Amen', can be sung at the end of a hymn, i.e., the progression IV-I in harmonic terms).

In the case of this particular tune, the appropriate medieval mode is hypodorian*, represented by all the white notes on a piano 'from 'A' to 'A'.

'So, where does the C# come in?' I hear you ask.

Well, that is the leading note that defines 'D' as the dominant in this particular mode, in the same way that 'D#s' would lead to 'E' as the usual dominant in more recent, western music. In other words, it is permitted for accidentals to lead us into keys of temporary importance, before their correction leads us back to the 'home' note. (Please spot that I am not talking about harmony here; these theories work for melodies first and harmonies then arise in support of the existing, melodic logic).

None of this theory makes the tune any more or less beautiful but it will intrigue many to know that the dominant of a scale ('mode', actually) could be other than the fifth. It asks us to revisit a modern, but nevertheless deeply subconscious set of expectations when we hear such a melody. But these modern expectations were not 'givens' to the medieval ear and they would not be 'givens' to our modern ears but for the overwhelming prevalence of the three remaining scales (major, melodic minor and harmonic minor). I believe that the older, richer range of 'scales' provides a refreshing corpus of sounds to be rediscovered and assimilated.

*For reference, please see 'A History of Western Music' (Grout and Palisca, London, 1988) p. 76.

#18 Henk van Aalten

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Posted 29 December 2005 - 09:16 AM

This tune resolves to the pitch 'A'. In other words, 'A' is the implicit note on which the melody is expected to end. I know that it is not the actual note on which this one iteration ends but, if you use the technique of trying to hold the 'tonic' note in your head throughout this piece, I believe that 'A' is the only viable pitch-class that can claim to be the tonic (or, better 'key-note', as 'tonic' is a classical term for classical scales).

Thanks for all this theory Doug. So after all my first guess about the "A drone" was not so wrong:

The (for me) amazing thing is that the tune exists of natural notes except for the C which is consequently subsituted by a C# !! Trying to imagine a drone, I think an A sounds better than a D with this tune.


I finally ended up with "some" Dminor, but wrote it down as Dmajor correcting the F# to F. David Barnert suggested to write it down as Dminor correcting Bb to B and C to C#. Maybe you suggest Ador, correcting C to C#??
Anyway I agree with your next remark:

None of this theory makes the tune any more or less beautiful...

And therefore I took my Anglo C/G and started practicing..... and decided to make a recording. To be honest I increased the tempo about 15% to match it with Henrik's playing.

So here is Guckulåt efter Josefs Lars played on a Marcus C/G Anglo.

Edited by Henk van Aalten, 29 December 2005 - 09:17 AM.





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