The Beggar Boy

Here’s the video for Playford tune The Beggar Boy, from the 1651 manuscript – it was included in subsequent editions right through to the 7th in 1686, and Chappell (1859) notes that there are several ballads written to the tune, as tended to happen with popular tunes.

 

 

And here are the dots:

The Beggar Boy.png

Here are the dots, for those who want to print them out.

We created contrast between sections with drone-like minor chords in the A section and swifter changing major chords in the B section.  I’ve tagged the tune as both major and minor as it can be harmonised as either, giving a different character.

We created a groove for the A section by picking out notes from the D minor and C major triads.  Since Dm and C are neighbours, it’s possible to move between the chords in a scale pattern.  Here’s a link to a chart explaining this: for each of the main beats listed at the top, pick a note from the coloumn beneath. There is an example of how you could do this at the bottom, with notes highlighted in red.  You might want to print this sheet out and circle one note in each column to create your own part.

 

Schottische a Virmoux

Here is the video for Monday’s tune, Schottische a Virmoux (also listed as ‘Schottische Virmoux’ and ‘Schottische de Virmoux’) by Frederic Paris.

 

Our variations were pushing the G chord in the second bar, and tying the A over the bar line (there’s a version with these written in here.)

Here are the dots:

Schottische Virmoux.png

If you want to download or print this out, click here.

As promised, here’s a video with the strumming pattern for the chord players:

 

 

Serpentiner och Konfetti

Serpentiner och Konfetti (Streamers and Confetti) is a fantastic reijländer tune by Swedish melodeon player Mats Edén.  We’re not trying to play it in a particularly Swedish way, also I somehow only played the B section once on the video – apologies, it had been a long day!

 

Here are the dots for the tune:

Serpentiner och Konfetti.png

We varied the rhythm by anticipating (or ‘pushing’) some of the main beats in the melody and also in the chord sequence – dots can be found here.

 

Picking Up Sticks

Picking Up Sticks, or The Picking of Sticks, is a Playford tune and is in the earliest editions of the manucript from 1651, though only the A part is listed.  It’s not clear when the B part came along, though it’s in a rough and undated manuscript by Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924).

Here is the video for Picking Ups Sticks, with thanks as always to Mary D.

 

Here are the dots – we learned the tune, and named the melodic figures ‘runs’, ‘hills’ and ‘skips’ before paring the tune back to the bare bones and reordering the figures to create variations.

pickingupsticks

 

There is a PDF of the tune and chords here, for those who can’t print the graphics file.

Kit White’s no. 2

Here’s Kit White’s no. 2, a tune I know from various sessions.  I’ve had trouble tracking down who Kit White was or is – it’s not a good phrase to Google, though if you need a teeth whitening kit then I can tell you that have lots of options available, see also the drummer from the White Stripes and white football uniforms – and the Vaughn Williams Library archives (one of my ‘go to’ sources) doesn’t have any records of either the tune or the person.  I have however found him listed as performing melodeon on a recording of traditional music from Yorkshire made in 1950, so that’s a start!  My version differs slightly from some of the notated versions I’ve found, as so often happens in traditional music.  Here’s the video, with a slow version, a faster version with variations and the chord rhythm:

 

Here are the dots for the standard version of the tune:

 

Kit White's no 2.png

The variations we tried involved switching the rhythms around in the A and B parts, and using the chord rhythm:

kw2 chord rhythm

The notation for the variations is here.

The Girl With the Blue Dress On

‘The Girl With the Blue Dress On’ is a chirpy polka that turns up in English and American traditions as a ceilidh tune, contra tune and as a North-West Morris tune.

 

the girl with the blue dress on

 

There is a simplified version here, and a more decorated version written out in full with the ‘tumbles’ (embellishments at the end of phrases that connect up the different sections) and the alternative chord sequence here.

The New Rigged Ship no. 1

Welcome back!  Here’s the New Rigged Ship no. 1 in D major.  I have found this tune in several sources, the earliest of which is an 1800 edition of Thomas Hardy’s manuscript (from Dorset), it also pops up in an 1853 Scottish book ‘Hamilton’s Universal Tune Book no.2’ and there’s an 1908 version collected in Derbyshire titled ‘The Man Who Couldn’t Get Warm’.  There are both reels and jigs from the Shetland Isles called ‘Da New Rigged Ship’ or the ‘Da Full Rigged Ship’, however these do not seem to be related!

 

the new rigged ship in d

 

The warm ups and drills we started with are on a new page that you can find on the top menu – the main thing to note is that this tune contains lots of 3rds (that is to say a small jump of three notes), for instance in the D to F#s in the first two bars of the A section, and in bars 9 and 11 of the B section.  This is a really handy interval to listen out for – think ‘cuckoo!’ – and it gives us lots of scope for variation!

We started by filling some of these 3rds in with the ‘missing’ notes (see HERE for a written variation).

We then took a load of notes out to create more space, before adding some slightly different patterns back in (see HERE for the written variation).

Please note that these variations are designed as a starting point, recapping some of the ideas we covered in class, and are not supposed to be a perfect examples although I have tried to make them at least reasonably musical! Other possibilities for melodic variation could include playing down the octave, or varying the order of the notes in repetitive sections, for instance in bars 3 and 4 of the A section.