Here is the tune from Monday 29th June, the Sheriff’s Ride.
The Sheriff’s Ride is an English tune used in the Lichfield Morris tradition, in Staffordshire. The title refers to a unique tradition dating from Queen Mary’s Charter of 1553 in which Lichfield was separated from Staffordshire and made a ‘City and County’ with a right to appoint its own Sheriff. The Charter commanded the Sheriff to make a complete perambulation of the City to inspect the boundary each September. The oldest recorded collection of the tune as played for the Morris dance is from 1898 (Bacon, ‘A Handbook of Morris Dances’, The Morris Ring 1974) though it is probably older than this, most likely dating back to the mid-1800s, when polka-type tunes originated.
The Sheriff’s Ride shares parts of its melody with some versions of the song Raggle Taggle Gypsies, a song that became particularly popular in the broadsides in the early- to mid-1800s, telling the tale of a rich lady who runs away to join a group of gypsies.
The first video is a slow and a faster version of the tune, the second is a walkthrough:
Here is Old Adam was a Poacher, a tune collected from William Andrews of Devon by Sabine Baring Gould in 1892. The B part is very similar to versions of the jig Hunt the Squirrel as listed here https://www.folktunefinder.com/tunes/198732 however I’ve not been able to find out if this version of the tune is also from the South West of England. Chris Bartram speculates that the tune may have French origins, explaining the dual mode – it seems plausible but it’s almost important to remember that it’s speculation and not fact! Here’s the slower and faster versions:
This is a tune that came into being last week – I was looking at a tune called Chartley March, but my brain kept pushing me towards the tune I’ve covered here, which is pretty similar. Having played it down the phone to a number of friends, no one could work out what it was, but luckily the hive mind of the class (I think Bob cracked it!) managed to identify it as a jig version of Ievan’s Polkka, which we’ve renamed Ievan’s Upcycled Jig.
Here’s the slow and faster version to listen to before you try learning it:
And here’s the walk through:
Here are videos on ornamentation and on melodic variations:
And finally here are the dots with a PDF here , with a second PDF with possible jig rhythms for chords instruments or for fiddle shuffles (chord shapes are listed in the bonus post below this one).
I also did an Acapella arrangement, with fiddle shuffles and two melody lines to demonstrate the chord rhythms and to show how varying the ornaments and melody doesn’t necessarily create clashes – I tried to make the two parts as different as possible without going overboard, and I didn’t plan anything out before I started so it’s more an example of how the tune might sound in a session – for a concert performance or recording I would probably standardise things a little and definitely arrange the structure more.
Here are the videos from Monday 11th session, with apologies for the lateness! Idbury Hill is a Morris tune, from the Fieldtown tradition. The first video is a slow version of the tune – have a good listen before you start to learn or relearn it:
Here’s a walk through of the tune:
Once you’ve got the tune under your fingers, here are some videos on 1. ornamentation and 2. varying the tune:
Finally here’s a video with a play through including ornaments and variation, and a PDF with some of the ideas covered in the above videos.
Here are the dots – click here for a PDF, and a here for a PDF of the two chord sequences we tried.
Here is the Newtondale Hornpipe, a fantastic tune with trad roots which was adapted and reworked by fiddler extraordinaire Dave Shepherd. There’s a fantastic recording of the tune on the album Dave made with Becky Price, Ashburnham, which can be found here. I learned this tune recently from fiddler Nick Goode.
Here’s Black Nag, also from January 13th, a tune from the Playford collection (1657 edition). We learned the tune and then created a variation in the B section by substituting different melodic shapes for the argeggios in the original.
A delayed post from January 13th: Bacca Pipes is a tune and dance from the Cotswold Morris tradition and is danced over two crossed tobacco pipes, making it a form of sword dance of the kind found across Europe. It’s related to the tune Greensleeves and was collected by Cecil Sharp on August 30th 1909 from musician Thomas Delaney in Sevenhampton, Wiltshire.
Printed versions often have the last bar of each section printed the other way around, so as ‘crotchet crotchet minim’ – I’ve always played it this way and I can’t remember why! Apart from that I like it, and that seems as good a reason as any to me!
Here is the piece we learned on Monday 11th November, Carol of the Bells. This was arranged by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1914, based on a Ukrainian folk chant called ‘Shchedryk’. We divided the piece into four phrases – phrases one and two can be played simultaneouly and with the bass line. The structure is pretty free at the moment, with everyone following my hand signals, we might formalise it later.