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SteveS

Svenska Låtar

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In response to a couple of requests on another thread, and to avoid thread creep, I've started this thread with some resources for Swedish folk music. I'll add more resources later, but the following should be enough to get anyone started in Swedish music:

 

"Svenska Låtar" - is a collection (ca. 24 volumes) of music collected early 20th century and contains music from most of the Swedish provinces. It has been out of print for many years, but recently has come back into print and can be had from Musikmuseet in Stockholm (amongst other places I guess). There are some great tunes here, and some songs. Some of the music is available at this link http://www.folkwiki.se/Notb%C3%B6cker/SvenskaL%C3%A5tar. Here's a link to the book shop at Musikmuseet http://www.musikmuseet.se/museibutik/items...amp;buti_open=1

 

"Folkwiki" - is a site dedicated to Swedish music and contains music from several collections - including collections from 18th & 19th centuries (usually collected by church organists since they were only ones who could read/write music). This site also includes ABC, midi & PDF formatted files - trouble is both ABC and midi don't really give the swing that is so important to the polska. Folkwiki is here http://www.folkwiki.se/

 

If you need any help with translations, then drop me a PM.

 

Steve

Edited by SteveS

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I can recommend Svenska Låtar. We actually bought Bert Lloyd's own set through the Buy&Sell pages on this very site. A superb resource.

 

Chris

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Here's some from the West coast area. :blink:

 

http://www.granquist.de/

 

Where i am. Just North of Goteborg. ;)

 

Go into the "Länker" tab and you will find other groups with even more music.

Edited by fidjit

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Is this music best played with English or Anglo concertina?

 

Yvonne

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Is this music best played with English or Anglo concertina?

 

Yvonne

 

Something is strange with the notation there.

The melody is there, the rhythm can be figured, but it's so simple, without any harmony, or suggested articulation.

Clearly one must know the material by heart to play it.

Are there any sources with arranged music?

It reminds those collections like "100 irish tunes", the tunes go forever and none is notated in any special way. Just the bare bone melody. The variations are minimal, if you learned one, you can improvise all the others.

Can anybody help poor EC player in his tuneless time? Just something that you don't need, some juicy arrangement of a catchy tune.

Thanks.

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Is this music best played with English or Anglo concertina?

Most people would say
fiddle
.
:)

It's rare to hear a Swede playing their tunes on concertina, but I've heard it done excellently on both anglo and English. Also on recorder and flute (two-part arrangements are lovely on two flutes). There are even a couple of fellows who play these tunes on soprano sax, and they're in great demand.

 

What's important is not the instrument, but the tune and the pulse. (I think that what I call the "pulse" is what SteveS calls the "swing". I wouldn't call it a "beat", because it's subtly more flexible than what's normally considered a "beat". See this old post, particularly the last three paragraphs.)

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As Jim says it's mostly fiddle. There would be one fiddle at least playing second fiddle notation (Which they'd arrange themselves)

 

Although they also use C/G melodens, nickleharp (Key harp you have to see one to believe it!) and Swedish säckpipe (Bag pipe). and HurdyGurdy's.

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What's important is not the instrument, but the tune and the pulse. (I think that what I call the "pulse" is what SteveS calls the "swing". I wouldn't call it a "beat", because it's subtly more flexible than what's normally considered a "beat". See this old post, particularly the last three paragraphs.)

 

I think as Jim said, "pulse" is much better description when playing, since that is what drives polska, and drives the "svikt" (or "swing") that dancers experience.

 

The musical notation for polska is an approximation, since the "pulse" can not accurately be written down.

I play polskas that can best be written as 3/4, 7/8 or 9/8, but its the interpretation that is important.

Nor is it possible to generalise either, with say the emphasis on 1st & 3rd beats of the bar - the amount of emphasis and relative length of the beats is dependent on the style of polska. All of these elements drive the "pulse" and dance.

And although some polskas may be written as 3/4, they are played at an even tempo - as in the "slaengpolska" - which is not immediately identifiable if just looking through a collection of tunes since it will usually be labelled just polska. Slaengpolskas are great on EC.

And every region, or even village, may have its own take on polska - for example there are big differences between polskas originating in neighbouring villages in central Dalarna (eg Boda, Raettvik, Orsa, Leksand).

 

The above is of course just scratching the surface, there's plenty of great music out there - and things can get really interesting with say polska/pols from western Sweden/eastern Norway - which by the way, work very well on EC.

 

An old friend of mine who taught me a lot about polska when I first went to Sweden insisted that before playing one needs to listen to lots of polska and to dance polska. He also impressed upon me the seemingly infinite variety of polska.

 

Enjoy

 

Steve

Edited by SteveS

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What's important is not the instrument, but the tune and the pulse. (I think that what I call the "pulse" is what SteveS calls the "swing". I wouldn't call it a "beat", because it's subtly more flexible than what's normally considered a "beat". See this old post, particularly the last three paragraphs.)

 

I think as Jim said, "pulse" is much better description when playing, since that is what drives polska, and drives the "svikt" (or "swing") that dancers experience.

 

The musical notation for polska is an approximation, since the "pulse" can not accurately be written down.

I play polskas that can best be written as 3/4, 7/8 or 9/8, but its the interpretation that is important.

Nor is it possible to generalise either, with say the emphasis on 1st & 3rd beats of the bar - the amount of emphasis and relative length of the beats is dependent on the style of polska. All of these elements drive the "pulse" and dance.

And although some polskas may be written as 3/4, they are played at an even tempo - as in the "slaengpolska" - which is not immediately identifiable if just looking through a collection of tunes since it will usually be labelled just polska. Slaengpolskas are great on EC.

And every region, or even village, may have its own take on polska - for example there are big differences between polskas originating in neighbouring villages in central Dalarna (eg Boda, Raettvik, Orsa, Leksand).

 

The above is of course just scratching the surface, there's plenty of great music out there - and things can get really interesting with say polska/pols from western Sweden/eastern Norway - which by the way, work very well on EC.

 

An old friend of mine who taught me a lot about polska when I first went to Sweden insisted that before playing one needs to listen to lots of polska and to dance polska. He also impressed upon me the seemingly infinite variety of polska.

 

Enjoy

 

Steve

 

The Polska is what I call, the "Dance with a limp". :lol:

 

It's a, one, two and three step and yet it gets confusing as to when the one starts. And the length of the one can vary.

You can get very giddy dancing this as it just goes round and round the same way all the time.

 

Might also be something lost in the translation from the Swedish to the English :unsure: too.

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The original manuscripts that were compiled for 'Svenska Låtar' can be studied online at: http://www.smus.se/earkiv/fmk/

 

There is quite a lot of shorthand notation but a very useful resource nevertheless.

 

Through this web presentation The Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research and The Swedish National Collections of Music gives access to the large volume of music in Folkmusikkommissionen’s collections, and the collection of music books at the Stockholm Music Museum. Parts of the material have been published as Svenska låtar (1922-1940) and Svenska folkliga koralmelodier från Gammalsvenskby och Estland (1945), which are still available in reprint from The Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research. Svenska låtar only presents a small part of this collection, and in many cases tunes and songs have been more or less heavily edited. Here you can now browse through the whole original material - about 45,000 pages of tunes and songs in the form they came to the collections of Folkmusikkommissionen and the Stockholm Music Museum.
Edited by Beezer

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The Polska is what I call, the "Dance with a limp". :lol:

 

It's a, one, two and three step and yet it gets confusing as to when the one starts. And the length of the one can vary.

You can get very giddy dancing this as it just goes round and round the same way all the time.

 

Might also be something lost in the translation from the Swedish to the English :unsure: too.

 

If you'd like to see some examples of polska dance take a look at these vids:

 

 

Enjoy

Steve

Edited by SteveS

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