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MarkvN

Garden of Musical Delights

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Dear all,

Some time ago I started a website focussing on traditional music from the Netherlands and Flanders, the 'Lusthof der Muziek' ('Garden of Musical Delights'), in an attempt to make (some much neglected parts of) our musical heritage more readily available to musicians and other afficionados. The site consists of a gradually expanding collection of links to digitised works, mainly old manuscripts and books of traditional music, illustrated with relevant paintings and recordings.

 

A bit to my supprise, the site attracts quite some interest from abroad, receiving substantial numbers of foreign visitors (even though it's all in Dutch, I'm afraid). Therefore I thought it might be worthwhile to air its existence to people with similar passions. So, here it is: the Lusthof der Muziek.

With a musical greeting,

Mark

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Dear all,

Some time ago I started a website focussing on traditional music from the Netherlands and Flanders, the 'Lusthof der Muziek' ('Garden of Musical Delights'), in an attempt to make (some much neglected parts of) our musical heritage more readily available to musicians and other afficionados. The site consists of a gradually expanding collection of links to digitised works, mainly old manuscripts and books of traditional music, illustrated with relevant paintings and recordings.

 

A bit to my supprise, the site attracts quite some interest from abroad, receiving substantial numbers of foreign visitors (even though it's all in Dutch, I'm afraid). Therefore I thought it might be worthwhile to air its existence to people with similar passions. So, here it is: the Lusthof der Muziek.

With a musical greeting,

Mark

 

Mark,

 

That is a treasure trove! Thank you for posting this.

 

We lived in the Netherlands in the early 1990s, and I remember occasionally hearing small groups--perhaps playing accordion and a recorder or some such--playing near the water in towns along the Isselmeer. Some of the dance music clips remind me of them.

 

What dance music I have found on your site so far is from the pre-free reed era. Do you know of any collections of tunes (or recordings) of Dutch dance music from the middle to late nineteenth century....polkas, mazurkas, schottisches and waltzes?

 

By the way, the "translate" feature works very well.

 

Cheers,

Dan

Edited by Dan Worrall

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a lovely site thanks ! In 1950s i used to go sailing in Friesland and would meet musicians at local festivals and play my melodeon or guitar , this was a trip down memory lane

Edited by michael sam wild

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Dan and Sam,

Thank you for the kind words. There certainly exists material from the 'free-reed era', e.g. the second half of the 19th century and later. If you look at the index of the Lusthof (http://lusthof-der-m...om/p/index.html), one source is already being mentioned (e.g. Kiers). Most of modern day Dutch folk is actually being played on melodeon (and accordeon), but the more recent material is still copyrighted and therefore not digitally available. As inside information (hush!) I can tell you that, any time soon, several 19th century manuscripts (and earlier) will be made available digitally. There's actually much to come, but I'll return to that later. By the way, the Dutch repertoire has always had a very international character, so you'll probably recongnise more than one tune.

 

One of our best players is Frans Tromp, who is largely responsible for the revival of the melodeon tradition and who is one of the last to have met with 'real' folk musicians on the island of Terschelling and from the Achterhoek. I'd recommend his cd 'Op Goede Voet' (Syncoop 5751 CD 128) (http://www.harmonica..._goede_voet_cd/). The dots of this cd are available on the internet (in an English version even!): http://www.elschekor...t%20English.pdf.

 

And, if you're in for the real stuff, have a look (listen) here: http://www.fonos.nl/...an-terschelling .

 

Regards,

Mark

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Dan, there aren't many collections of music from the Netherlands.

 

Jaap Kunst's 'Terschellinger Volksleven' has a lot of songs but a few tunes that were taken down from accordeon and fiddle players. In the same vein there's Elsche H.E. Korf-Schroeder's 'Terschelling Danst' which contains mostly descriptions of the dances of the island but with a basic outline of the tunes given. There's also a collection 'Terschelling zingt!'

but that obviously only contains songs. There's a photograph of accordeon player Jan Bakker on the cover though.

 

Some manuscript collections from Friesland and Achterhoek as well as Brabant have been published but basically there just wasn't a lot in the way of instrumental music. Maybe the names of a few of these will come to me, can't think of them straight away. I do remember a study of two manuscript collections from Frieland by Joan Rimmer, the musicians who compiled the manuscripts were fiddle players and their repertoires were eclectic and international.

 

Most Dutch revival groups lean all too heavily on older collections like 'Oude en Nieuwe Hollantse Boerenlieties and Contredansen' and stuff collected in Flanders. They used to anyway, I have not heard anything recent.

 

 

Harrie Franken's 'Liederen and Dansen uit de Kempen' is probably worth mentioning too but again the number of instrumental tunes in it is limited. Worth a look though for the woodcuts and photographs (of accordeon players mostly) used to illustrate it alone.

Edited by Peter Laban

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Hi Mark and Peter,

 

Thank you! I've often wished to delve into Dutch dance tunes, and this material is perfect.

 

Mark, have you seen much in old photos etc of German concertinas being played in the late 19th century there? It looks like Dutch musicians moved solidly into the accordion camp at least by the early 20th c., which given their location on the continent is perhaps not surprising.

 

The Terschelling tunes are wonderful. Interesting echoes in Boer music of those old mazurkas. Does Boer music have any popular following in the Netherlands today? Like most everywhere else, I'm thinking the use of the German concertina in South Africa established itself independently on location there rather than coming with immigrating Dutch settlers--the timing is all off (the Dutch were already there far earlier), and we have good records of shops in Pretoria and Cape Town selling them by the mid nineteenth century or soon after....not different at all than Ireland or Australia etc. in that regard. So it would not be likely that a Dutch concertina repertoire--assuming it ever existed--ever came to South Africa. Ditto the ballroom style late 19th c dances....they arrived long after the settlers.

 

Cheers,

Dan

Edited by Dan Worrall

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Hi Dan,

I've never seen any pre-war pictures of Dutch concertina players, nor anything written. I think they all played melodeon or accordeon. (And that movement seems to have taken on only in the last decades of the 19th century. From the more pessimistic point of view, the pre-war melodeon tradition (as in 'handing over knowledge from one generation to the next') may have consisted of only two or three generations...).

 

The relation with South-African music still puzzles me a bit. As you say, the boer music now played in S-A is of a date when the Dutch settlers had already been there for a long time. Maybe it was nostalgia why they introduced the music 'from the homeland' at a much later date, or simply going along with European fashion. There certainly are clear connections with the Dutch repertoire of the period, which has gone completely out of fashion in the Netherlands.

 

During the apartheid regime, there was a strong movement in the Netherlands opposing it. Also the style of the boer music doesn't appeal here nowadays - it wouldn't be played a single note even if it was our own music. So, boer music doesn't have any following here... There is one South African tune book though (mid 20th c. I guess), that I keep finding in antiquarian book shops.

 

All the best,

Mark

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I forgot to mention one other website that should not be missed, especialy in relation to 19th and 20th century dance repertoire: De baviaen van Schurhoff.

 

This large and constantly growing collection is maintained by a fellow concertina player, Johan Verbeek, who is also the 'speelman' of a traditional dance group and dance house. You'll need to install the free Myriad plug-in to view, play or transpose the tunes.

 

The site contains older material, but also recently penned dance tunes, for example those by the afore mentioned Frans Tromp. And again, you'll find both originally Dutch material, and music that are familiar to other countries' traditions.

Cheers,

Mark

 

Edited to change 'Myriad player' to 'Myriad plug-in'

Edited by MarkvN

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One more link that I'll post on the Lusthof soon, but I guess will be appreciated here, is a historical recording of a traditional feast in the open air on the island of Terschelling. It's called 'Op'e rîd' ('Go for a ride'). The quality of the footage is not too good, but it shows several dances and some nice melodeon playing. It's the third movie clip on the page, titled 'Fragment 3: Van der Ven 1923' and lasts 12 minutes (!). Dutch viewers will recognise several children songs among the dances. http://www.elschekorf.nl/Terschelling1923.html.

 

Jaap Kunst, a researcher who invented the word 'ethnomusicology' and is famous for his research on gamalan music, was actually the one to 'discover' the rich tradition on Terschelling. He wrote several books about it.

Cheers,

Mark

 

Edit: The music was added later and is played by Piet de Jong, one of the last truly traditional players.

Edited by MarkvN

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...Maybe it was nostalgia why they introduced the music 'from the homeland' at a much later date, or simply going along with European fashion. There certainly are clear connections with the Dutch repertoire of the period, which has gone completely out of fashion in the Netherlands.

 

...

Mark

 

Hello Mark,

 

I think the dutch tunes were there from the beginning. Nostalgia kept a tradition alive but the tunes and the whole atmosphere of the music must be changed...

 

The name boerenmuziek though is referring to old Dutch music from farmers that started to emigrate from the late 17th century on. In sources from around 1700 I found tune titles referring to places in South Africa. Notice that the crew of the trade ships was quite international.

 

The dutch "boeren" dances from that time are stil played in contemporary south african folk dance music. People from SA*) told me that. They reacted on my old Dutch tunes on youtube.

 

Around 1700 music this was often played on violins - flutes - hobo (hautbois) and drum. To my idea these "boerenlieties" fit and anglo concertina well, it is like the anglo concertina has been made to play this music.

 

Same way in SA - the concertina came later than the music - and it came by boat which also carried in english people. And afterwards - a different style may develop. The name "Boermuziek" remains but the music style may go different ways. Couldn't this be how it went.

 

*) here SA is South Africa, not to be confused with Salvation Army.

Edited by marien

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I attach a copy of a photograph from Harry Franken's book. Plenty of reeds in it, but you won't find a concertina. (if anyone is keen there's a first edition copy of it for sale here for a measly €12 and it's worth it, if you're into that sort of thing).

 

I had a few thoughts about Terschelling having a 'rich' musical tradition but that is probably beyond the scope of the forum.

 

 

 

Edited by Peter Laban

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Marien,

You may be right; some of the Dutch tunes that were brought to South Africa in the early days will have survived there, others seem to root in later European developments.

I guess we should hope for one of the South African members of C-net to pop in and clarify things.

Cheers,

Mark

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Marien,

You may be right; some of the Dutch tunes that were brought to South Africa in the early days will have survived there, others seem to root in later European developments.

 

Interesting. If it is boeremusiek that we are speaking of, it consists mainly of dance tunes of four principal types: waltzes, polkas, schottisches (settees) and mazurkas...pretty much the same ballroom dances that were all the rage in other concertina countries during the German concertina's (and the ballroom dances') late nineteenth century heyday. My reference on such matters is Wilhelm Schultz's history of Boer music. He reports that other dances were also known in SA: quadrilles, cotillons and contradances. The cotillon was the 18th century ancestor (of sorts) of the quadrille and contradance...and so would trace back to the time of Dutch migration to South Africa. With this information in hand, my untutored guess would be that any surviving Dutch dance music in SA would likely either be cotillons or old dance tunes that had been rhythmically or otherwise modified to fit the newer ballroom dances.

 

Thread creeping, I suppose, but ballroom dance tunes are remarkable in that the tune associated with the earliest version of each new dance type tends to be global. For example, the archtypical Varsovienne tune is known in folk cultures in Ireland, Australia, England, and South Africa as, variously, Put your little foot, shave the donkey, kick your leg up Sal Brown, etc. Even today in our largely non-dancing society, most people in all these countries can hum this same tune from deep parts of their/our shared memory. Once a new dance style was established in each environ, new tunes tend to be locally composed. Hence Irish polka tunes are usually different than German or Australian or Boer polka tunes. Australia in particular took a fancy to the varsovienne, and lots of local ones are known there. In our own time, the introduction of the early R&R Twist in the 1960s was global, and the tunes to its early versions tends to be globally known by people of a certain age, at least in the developed world. Then garage R&R bands took over, giving lots of local variations before that dance was replaced....by the Swim or the Monkey or whatever (my memory is dim on that!). Ballroom dances (polkas, schottisches, waltzes etc) are pretty much just the nineteenth century's global predecessor to today's global pop music.

 

I suspect that the same might also be said of some older music....reels, jigs, etc...although the record is less clear. They too originated (say most) on the Continent, a century and more earlier that the polka, and were perhaps remembered longer in Ireland and Britain. I think I mentioned in my books that polkas are usually much easier to play than reels, even if played at a similar rate of speed, mainly because the German concertina (and single row button accordions and harmonicas) played a huge role in the composition of polka tunes, while reels were mostly composed by fiddle and flute and pipe players. I'll quit before my post 'thread creeps' any farther!

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I've just remebered one tune I played with local musicians in the 50s when I was 16 . To me it was like The Indian Maid or Charlie Chaplin both had songs from about the First World War and they were common amongst kids when I was growing up. Do you know the one I mean? i've since seen it used for a dance at a festival in te 80s somewhere

 

maybe someone has ABC notation?

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I've just remebered one tune I played with local musicians in the 50s when I was 16 . To me it was like The Indian Maid or Charlie Chaplin both had songs from about the First World War and they were common amongst kids when I was growing up. Do you know the one I mean? i've since seen it used for a dance at a festival in te 80s somewhere

 

maybe someone has ABC notation?

The tune is Redwing, and it goes with the song Indian Maid. Both were written by Kerry Mills in the US, 1907. At the Lewes Favorite site, their pdf of it has the Charlie Chaplin lyrics, which are a (probably British) satirical modification of the original chorus: http://www.lewesarmsfolkclub.org/LAFC/LFTunes.html

 

Good example of late Victorian (early Edwardian?) global pop music.

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Dear Dan,

I find your reading of how new dance types spread interesting and convincing. When you think about it: the tune that gets a new type of dance really going must, by default, be a catchy one. And that's why it's likely to travel the world, along with the fashionable dance, and become known everywhere. Subsequently, the more isolated a place, the longer the time between two arrivals of new material from abroad and thus the time to develop more tunes in the same vein as the new one (or set of new ones) that the whole town loves to dance to so much. One particular Dutch example, from the northern province of Friesland, is the substantial number of 'schotsen' or 'skotsen' , e.g. schottisches (although I don't know the tune(s) that started it off).

 

Only, in the opening of your post, you write that the popular dances in South Africa were "pretty much the same ballroom dances that were all the rage in other concertina countries during the German concertina's (and the ballroom dances') late nineteenth century heyday". I think it would be a long strech to suggest that this music was actually spread by concertina players in specific - but then that's probably not what you meant?

Thanks,

Mark

 

Ahemmm - Edited to add 'not' in the last sentence.

Edited by MarkvN

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