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Jim Besser

Tune Of The Month, Jan. 2015: Halsway Carol Schottische

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Note: since we have a pretty clear winner this month, I'm posting this a few hours early so I can go celebrate New Year's Eve. After all, it's January already in Europe!

This should be a fun TOTM with an unusual twist.
Written in 2011 by the extraordinary hurdy gurdy player Nigel Eaton, the Halsway Carol Schottische - dubbed the 'ultimate international melody' - is the object of an experiment to see how many different versions can be collected from around the world. And now the concertina.net TOTM will be part of that experiment.
You can read about this intriguing international project, listen to more than 150 submitted recordings, get notation and even find lyrics written for the tune here.
Note what it says in the site's introduction:
This website is intended for musicians all over the world and is an invitation to study the melody and submit new versions of Halsway. A large and diverse musical collection has already been put together here which we hope will inspire you to play the melody in your own way and inspire others.
So as usual: listen to the different versions and find a way to make this tune your own.
by the composer.
Here is a nice, clean version by Anahata on melodeon.
And a cool, sort of jazzy version here.
It was also a Tune of the Month at Melodeon.net in December, 2013; I'd post a link, but the site appears to be down.
Go to the Halsway Web site, above, for the original notation.
Here are the ABCs, thanks to Tallship:
X: 0
T: Halsway Schottiche
T: Halsway Carol
C: Nigel Eaton
O: England
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K:D
A2GF EDEF | B2A2E2FG | B2A2 GFED | G2F2E4 |
A2GF EDEF |G2F2E2F2 | D2EF GFED | F2E2 D4 |
A2GF EDEF | B2A2E2FG | B2A2 GFED | G2F2E4 |
A2GF EDEF |GEF2E2FE | D2EF GFED | F2E2 D3 d|
cd A3 dcd | G2GA F2FG |E2FG AGFE | G2F2 E3d |
cd A2 ABcd | G2GA F2FG | E2FG AGFE | F2E2 D3d |
cdA3dcd |G2GA F3G| E2FG AGFE | G2F2E3d |
cdA2 ABcd | G2GA F2FG| E2FG AGFE | F2E2D4 |]
And attached: a PDF of same.
Have fun!

halsway.pdf

Edited by Jim Besser

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It's a very attractive tune and I'm looking forward to doing something with it.

 

I noticed on the project site there was notation in several keys so I had a look. On a CG Anglo, I found it fell very nicely under the fingers in G and was pretty good in F as well. Admittedly I play melody only but I suspect for those who add harmonies, G will work very well.

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The intension that the tune shall " inspire people to play the melody in their own way " is central to all truly creative music making. Therein surely lies the ultimate pleasure of it all. It is certainly central to what 'Jazz ' is all about. It is a tall order to single out any particular tune as the "ultimate international melody " .

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The intension that the tune shall " inspire people to play the melody in their own way " is central to all truly creative music making. Therein surely lies the ultimate pleasure of it all. It is certainly central to what 'Jazz ' is all about. It is a tall order to single out any particular tune as the "ultimate international melody " .

 

That got me thinking too... It's apparently meant to be in the linkage of "ultimate" and "international", but that leaves me still puzzled. I even wondered if it might be linked to a certain lack of distinct character (which would derive from one regional tradition then, wouldn't mind the blending of two or three either), so that simply everyone could to put his or her mark on it...

 

Whatever, I'm not too impressed so far, which may be accounted for by my general indifference to the genre of Schottische, but I might as well get hooked at some point as it had happened to me be before - and maybe some fellow concertinist will surprise me... :)

 

Best wishes for 2015 - Wolf

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The intension that the tune shall " inspire people to play the melody in their own way " is central to all truly creative music making. Therein surely lies the ultimate pleasure of it all. It is certainly central to what 'Jazz ' is all about. It is a tall order to single out any particular tune as the "ultimate international melody " .

 

That got me thinking too... It's apparently meant to be in the linkage of "ultimate" and "international", but that leaves me still puzzled. I even wondered if it might be linked to a certain lack of distinct character (which would derive from one regional tradition then, wouldn't mind the blending of two or three either), so that simply everyone could to put his or her mark on it...

 

Whatever, I'm not too impressed so far, which may be accounted for by my general indifference to the genre of Schottische, but I might as well get hooked at some point as it had happened to me be before - and maybe some fellow concertinist will surprise me... :)

 

Best wishes for 2015 - Wolf

 

I find Schottisches interesting because they are found in several national styles.

 

Here in North East England, we tend to play them dotted and they will generally contain Scotch Snaps - almost like an Anglicised Strathspey. However they seem common in both Scandinavia and France where they are played more with straight quavers.

 

One of the polkas we play in our band came from a Northumbrian Fiddler friend and I found out later that it originated as a Swedish Schottische. I found a recording later on a Danish website and they played it with a definite lilt, but not dotted in the way we might.

 

A Northumbrian Schottische would fit well in the theme of the month which, although it says hornpipes, is asking for tunes played in a dotted style.

 

A happy 2015 to you, Wolf.

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Thanks - that link took me to the great version by Nigel himself with the exquisite singing of Julie Murphy, who's always been a favourite of mine. (She obviously likes singing to hurdy-gurdy - see the CD Whirling Pope Joan). Wolf, maybe a vocal rendition might turn you on to the tune.

 

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Thanks - that link took me to the great version by Nigel himself with the exquisite singing of Julie Murphy, who's always been a favourite of mine. (She obviously likes singing to hurdy-gurdy - see the CD Whirling Pope Joan). Wolf, maybe a vocal rendition might turn you on to the tune.

 

Thanks a lot Chas, I'm once again amazed at the amount of advice these social networks can and do provide! The track you mentioned sheds in fact an entirely different light on the tune (kind of lets it breathe), and might very well get me started here!

 

And Geoff, thank you for putting the dance aspect into a wider perspective too!

 

Best wishes - Wolf

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Here's a go on Anglo, with some backing tracks. I tried it on both my concertinas, and found that I much preferred it on the old (1890?) Lachenal. Maybe the noisier action evokes a hurdy-gurdy.

 

As for its being "the ultimate international melody," I can't even begin to wrap my head around what that might mean; unless I've been misusing both those adjectives all my life, the claim is as opaque as a Zen koan to me. But I did play it in my own way, since despite my best efforts I couldn't figure out how to do otherwise.

 

The tune doesn't need all that hyperbole, anyway: it stands perfectly well on its own.

 

http://youtu.be/qzocGlg2hmM

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

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Well done Bob. Very pleasant. All the better for being played at a nice gentle, comfortable volume. Delightful backing. Carry on playing ' in your own way '. !

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A very nice rendition of the tune, Bob. A joy to listen to. I think you have captured, for me, the essence of the tune.

 

Chris

 

Thanks to all for the kind words. This rendition actually came out a bit sluggish compared to the sprightly tune playing in my head (it's been very cold here). But it'll do as a first pass until something internationally ultimater comes along.

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

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Hmmm. I think I was trying to be too cute here.

 

Interesting Anglo fingering to smooth out the first phrase of the A part.

 

Played on a 30 button Jeffries G/D Anglo.

 

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/68325595/C.net%20Tune%20of%20the%20Month/Halsway_TOTM_Besser.MP3

Edited by Jim Besser

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Whatever, I'm not too impressed so far, which may be accounted for by my general indifference to the genre of Schottische, but I might as well get hooked at some point as it had happened to me be before :)

 

Best wishes for 2015 - Wolf

 

 

Wolf I'm shocked! Does this help? I'm sure it will make you aware of the beauty of the tune! Best wishes to you and yours for the coming year. :)

 

Halsway Carol

Edited by tallship

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Whatever, I'm not too impressed so far, which may be accounted for by my general indifference to the genre of Schottische, but I might as well get hooked at some point as it had happened to me be before :)

 

Best wishes for 2015 - Wolf

 

 

Wolf I'm shocked! Does this help? I'm sure it will make you aware of the beauty of the tune! Best wishes to you and yours for the coming year. :)

 

Halsway Carol

 

 

I was wondering when someone would come up with a sung version! Even if it is on a funny looking concertina.

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