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Jim Besser

Tune Of The Month For November, 2014: Trollspolska

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November starts early here at the TOTM, since I'll be without Web access for a while.

 

This month's tune: the Swedish polska Trollspolska .

 

In the US, Trollspolska gets played a lot at contra dances for the hardy folks who enjoy dancing the occasional hambo, in large part because it's one of a very few hambo tunes most of us know. But that doesn't mean it isn't a fine tune; it has lots of oomph and is great fun to play, IMO.

 

Recently I asked several friends who play a lot of Scandinavian music about the tune's origins, but didn't learn much.

 

"Everybody just knows it," a Swedish fiddling friend said.

 

Hopefully one of our Scandi experts can shed a little more light on the subject.

 

Around here it's always played in Dm, and that's the notation I found, below. But in fooling around with the tune a little, I'm pretty sure I'm going to try it in Am on the C/G Anglo.

 

http://abcnotation.com/tunePage?a=www.thursdaycontra.com/~spuds/tunes/couple/allcouple/0102

http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/session-mandolin-tab/trollspolska_.htm

 

Here's a video showing a hambo danced to Trollspolska. It's a lovely dance, isn't it?

And thanks to Spindizzy, here's a gorgeous version on fiddle and nyckelharpa.

 

If you want to read more about hambos and polskas, check out this Wiki article.

 

But you don't have to play it like a dance tune; here's a really cool jazz interpretation.

 

Have fun!

Edited by Jim Besser

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Hmmm, pretty quiet here. Guess I'd better get to work on my version! (Just returned from 8 days on a bike and in a tent, so I have not been playing or monitoring this forum.)

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Hmmm, pretty quiet here. Guess I'd better get to work on my version!

 

I'm pretty much on my way with mine...

 

What a great tune with fantastic opportunities...!

Edited by blue eyed sailor

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I've been working on it.

F major isn't a key I normally play in so my

normally slow progress has been hindered somewhat.

On the bright side, there are some Christmas carrols in this

key that need learning.

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I've been working on it.

F major isn't a key I normally play in so my

normally slow progress has been hindered somewhat.

On the bright side, there are some Christmas carrols in this

key that need learning.

 

As I said, around here everybody plays it in Dm, but I'm gonna work it out in Am...think it will make it a little more interesting on the Anglo.

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Hmmm, pretty quiet here

 

Yeah. Well, for a week or so I was waiting for this announcement and also the one for November's Theme of the Month, but they never showed up in my "New Content" until someone replied (separately in each thread) to your initial posts. I was having other computer issues at the time, but I wouldn't expect them to have been related, so I wonder if anyone else had a similar experience.

 

Now I'm "settled" for a week or two, so I hope to be able to work up some contributions this time.

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Working on it. Got most of the notes. Just need to get them in the right order then start on the right time....

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Working on it. Got most of the notes. Just need to get them in the right order then start on the right time....

 

You take a chordally rich approach, which I think works well with this tune. Being an Anglo player, this will be harder for me to achieve, but it's the direction I'm heading.

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The second of two takes I did this evening:

 

 

Trollspolska

That approach has a lovely dark feel to it.

Very nice.

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In Sweden, Trollspolska is normally played as a Bodapolska which is not a regular 3/4 rhythm. The first beat is shortened and the second beat has a bit of a swoop to it. Occassionally it may be played as a hambo which has a very pronounced and very slightly elongated first beat, but it is best known as a Bodapolska. The rhythm is never even, however, which is the danger of trying to learn these ethnic tunes from sheet music.

Edited by Tradman

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Great tune .Is there a quick way (ie converter) to change the key from Dm to say Am ?I am always changing tunes by long hand method. Bob

Edited by KelTekgolow

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Great tune .Is there a quick way (ie converter) to change the key from Dm to say Am ?I am always changing tunes by long had methode. Bob

 

Yes, try f.i. easyABC (freeware)!

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Great tune .Is there a quick way (ie converter) to change the key from Dm to say Am ?I am always changing tunes by long hand method. Bob

 

Get the ABCs, go to a site like this, hit the 'up' or 'down' button to change keys, copy the resulting ABCs, paste the results into the c.net Convert - a - Matic.

 

Or look at the attached PDF, which I created that way!

trollspolskaAm.pdf

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slightly improved version

and thanks a lot Jim, Maki and Alex for attention and appreciation, I'm very glad my approach appears to be of interest for some...

 

Tradman, I can't and wouldn't aim for "ethnic" correctness; it's not that I would take informations and traditions not into my account, but I shan't convince myself that such tune, in 3/4, couldn't be played like this, in kind of a Mazurka style maybe? Whatever, it's the music that matters....

 

Best wishes - Wolf

Edited by blue eyed sailor

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slightly improved version

and thanks a lot Jim, Maki and Alex for attention and appreciation, I'm very glad my approach appears to be of interest for some...

 

Tradman, I can't and wouldn't aim for "ethnic" correctness; it's not that I would take informations and traditions not into my account, but I shan't convince myself that such tune, in 3/4, couldn't be played like this, in kind of a Mazurka style maybe? Whatever, it's the music that matters....

 

Best wishes - Wolf

 

Really nice job Wolf! I am still working on my submission . It is a hard key for me to play in .Thanks for the inspiration.

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slightly improved version

and thanks a lot Jim, Maki and Alex for attention and appreciation, I'm very glad my approach appears to be of interest for some...

 

Tradman, I can't and wouldn't aim for "ethnic" correctness; it's not that I would take informations and traditions not into my account, but I shan't convince myself that such tune, in 3/4, couldn't be played like this, in kind of a Mazurka style maybe? Whatever, it's the music that matters....

 

Best wishes - Wolf

 

Really nice job Wolf! I am still working on my submission . It is a hard key for me to play in .Thanks for the inspiration.

 

 

Don't feel compelled to play in any particular key! On your G/D, Trollspolska works very nicely in Am.

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