Deborah is a violinist and violist specialising in English folk music. She trained in viola and Baroque viola at Birmingham Conservatoire, before returning to her first love of traditional music, song and dance.
Deborah has developed a passion for playing for dancing since joining her first ceilidh band at age 13. She is a member of Stepling, a band performing English music, step-dance, song and percussion, and also plays with Folk Dance Remixed, a dance company combining traditional dance with hip hop and street dance styles, with whom she has performed as such events as Car Fest, the Southbank's Festival of Love and Glasgow's Commonwealth Games Festival.
Deborah records on a regular basis for a number of people, including The Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra, and for Laurel Swift's 'Travelling with Thomas' musical.
She teaches music, song and dance regularly for The English Folk Dance and Song Society, as well as on a freelance basis for various workshop series, festivals and music services. Deborah recently completed The Teaching Musician MA degree course at Trinity Laban, graduating with Distinction.
Here is the post for Monday 19th’s tune The Miller of Dee, an English tune/song from the Chester area in the 1700s. We tried various harmonisation options and chord voicings (see chord PDF), and added connecting notes and turns to the melody.
It’s almost the beginning of the new term, we’ll be starting up again on September 19th, at our usual venue of the WLTUC which has been repaired following the fire at the end of last term. We’ll be keeping the Zoom option for the foreseeable future, let me know if you would like a Zoom invite. The Term Dates page has been updated and I’m looking forward to seeing both new and familiar faces soon!
Here is the video and dots for Ladies Pleasure, a tune from the Fieldtown Morris tradition and one that changes meter from 6/8 to 2/4. The ‘2’ over the patterns in bar three (and elsewhere) indicate a duplet, so instead of each main beat dividing into three quavers as it would normally in 6/8, it divides into two quavers.
Here is the video:
Here are the dots – the structure would normally be ABCBCB.
Here is the complete tune from Monday, Ian Stephenson’s Farewell to Greenside. I have tweaked the chords a little! This tune has some tied notes/syncopation as a feature, so will compliment the rhythm work we’ve done in recent weeks.
Here is today’s tune, the first half of a fantastic tune by whistle player extraordinaire Brian Finnegan. Brian is a member of the band Flook – check out their live performance of this tune below! Their music can be found on Apple Music and Spotify, but if you enjoy their work then please consider supporting them by buying a CD or download.
Here are the dots to the first half of the tune – we will work on this next week and learn the second section. I’ve also included the groove rhythms with the 7/8 counting, complete with numbers and silly words (and no offence to any supermarkets reading these!).
We are now finishing up the idea of creating a new tune based on an old one – we took Balance the Straw (Fieldtown) and first turned it from major to minor. We then identified some small melodic shapes and tried substituting one for another. This is a method you can use to create melodic variation, as well as using it to transform a tune. Everyone in the class volunteered a element of variation and I stitched them together to create a new tune. I referenced the dotted rhythm that was put into the B section in the A section to unify the two sections. The dots below show the original transposition, examples of the substitutions and the tweaked tune that is the final result (subject to class approval!).
Here is the development of Uncle Bernard’s, transposing the tune down a minor third to the relative minor of E minor. Since the tune starts and finishes on the tonic (G in G major or E in E minor) and moves mostly in small intervals, we were able to move it down without making very many changes – we only tweaked bar 30 (middle of the B section), bringing the melody down to an E rather than sticking on the G. In the video below I have included the version notated and then a version without the adjustment.
This new version can be played as a complete tune in its own right, or added to the end of the major version as C and/or D sections.