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Jim Besser

Poll: Tune Of The Month For July, 2014

Poll: Tune of the Month, July 2014  

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Here in the Washington DC area, it’s too hot for outdoor activities. I'm betting it is where you are, too - which means it’s a great time to learn and practice new tunes.

 

Here’s a selection of tunes for July’s TOTM; pick the one you’d best like to learn and record.

 

English: Packington’s Pound

 

I believe this is a 16th century English dance tune. On YouTube, most versions are played on guitar or lute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZiiCu4GHw8 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbWzEA256fM&list=RDwbWzEA256fM

 

But there’s also a wonderful version on Anglo concertina by Andy Turner on the CD Anglo International. And this one, I believe, by a c.net member (please, identify yourself) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBUqn62rWzc

 

It has a real classical feel to it, and there's just a lot you can do with it on concertina.

 

Oldtime / Canadian / Scottish : Balkan Hills Schottische

 

I've heard this played by American oldtime fiddlers, but I've been told that it's actually French Canadian or Scottish in origin. It's definitely in the repertoire of Canadian fiddler Don Messer. Regardless of provenance, I like it a lot; it's one of those bouncy tunes that just feels so good to play.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcNvEOmUvkI

 

Irish: Sean Ryan’s Jig (The Castle)

 

This Irish jig turns up sometimes in American contra dances as well as Irish sessions; it's a great concertina tune that really takes advantage of those resonant low notes.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjsVt_9mAfU

 

Here it is real slow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsSb67wgJPQ

 

French: La Sansonette

 

I was all ready to reprise an American cakewalk tune from a previous poll when I remembered a friend playing this lovely schottische from central France, I believe. I particularly like the B part, with a kind of shuffley melody that will be a challenge to learn. Here are some samples:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SztqTaku5s (but it takes a while for them to stop talking and get to the music!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Flva0F-H8ZE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un0TXL4dZeg on melodeon

 

If you have Spotify, there's a gorgeous version by fiddler Alasdair Fraser and cellist Natalie Haas that has a totally different feel to it.

 

****

There you have it: hopefully, a nice summer selection that has something to tickle your fancy.
As always, send along your suggestions for future TOTM candidates.
Edited by Jim Besser

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Balkan Hills Schottische sounds like it's basically the same tune as the Scottish bagpipe tune, "Meeting of the Waters."

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Balkan Hills Schottische sounds like it's basically the same tune as the Scottish bagpipe tune, "Meeting of the Waters."

 

Hmmm. I see a little similarity, but they're different tunes. We sometimes play Meeting of the Waters for contra dances when the callers want a marchy set.

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But there’s also a wonderful version on Anglo concertina by Andy Turner on the CD Anglo International. And this one, I believe, by a c.net member (please, identify yourself) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBUqn62rWzc

 

 

That looks and sounds like Gary'Coover's Herrington Anglo.

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Here in the Washington DC area, it’s too hot for outdoor activities. I'm betting it is where you are, too - which means it’s a great time to learn and practice new tunes.

 

 

8 degrees C max today (46 F) and -5 C apparent temperature when the wind and humidity is taken into account. Still a good time to learn new tunes though.

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Balkan Hills Schottische sounds like it's basically the same tune as the Scottish bagpipe tune, "Meeting of the Waters."

Seems like the same or a similar chord progression but I agree with Jim that it is a different tune.

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A note about Packington's Pound: if you have Spotify, search for this tune. Amazing the variety of melody and tempo variations!

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Balkan Hills Schottische sounds like it's basically the same tune as the Scottish bagpipe tune, "Meeting of the Waters."

 

Hmmm. I see a little similarity, but they're different tunes. We sometimes play Meeting of the Waters for contra dances when the callers want a marchy set.

 

Seems like the same or a similar chord progression but I agree with Jim that it is a different tune.

 

Sorry for the delay, just back from a week at Pinewoods Camp (Early Music Week). I still think the similarities are too striking to be coincidence, and it's more than just chord progression. BHS has three parts and MotW has two, but the A part of BHS is analogous to the B part of MotW and the C part of BHS is analogous to the A part of MotW. And by "analogous," I mean that if you consider every four measure phrase in the tune, the 3rd and 4th measures are almost identical between the two tunes, and the 1st and 2nd measures of the two tunes have a similar shape, although not "almost identical."

 

As far as I can see, they must both be descended from the same tune.

 

Edited to add a word inadvertently omitted.

 

 

 

Edited by David Barnert

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