Here are the videos and dots from Monday’s class – a remake/recycling of a Playford tune called Jamaica, that has been christened Remaica (thanks to Bob for that little bit of punning gold!). The idea of re-imagining a tune is something we’re going to look into over the next few weeks. This version is in D Dorian mode – the original can be found at the bottom of the post for comparison!
Here are the dots:
Here is a PDF of Remaica, and another of the original tune Jamaica:
Here is the rest of our March tune, The Witch of the Glen. We’ll cover the last section on March 14th. Here are the dots with a PDF and a video. The bowing/phrasing are just a suggestion but they indicate the groove that we’ll be using on Monday. We’ll also talk about ornamentation, applying the ornament variation that we looked at last week and trying out a few other options too.
Here is the first section of our new tune The Witch of the Glen, aka The Green Fields of Rossbeigh. This video goes through the first two phrases with ornamentation ideas:
Here are the dots so far! No PDF yet, I’ll put that up when we’re further through the tune, along with a chord chart. Again, I strongly recommend as always that you work from recordings rather than dots.
Here is the tune from November 8th, The Lilting Banshee. This is an Irish tune, with a few places to put our specific ornaments in: look for the ‘fidget’ shapes (example highlighted in blue) to add a roll, and for repeated notes in between main beats (example highlighted in red) for single cuts. These are fully notated in the PDF version.
Here is a tune that goes by many titles: Rainbow Schottische, Stephen Baldwin’s Schottische and Midnight Schottische. It appears in Kerr’s Merry Melodies book of 1870 and appears to have remained popular ever since in England, Scotland, Ireland and North America.
We added some turns and/ore triplets in places where the melody moves by step but otherwise kept ornamentation and variation to a minimum.
Here is a video with slower and faster versions of the tune:
This beautiful Scottish tune is somewhat of a curiosity – I first knew this tune from the Robin Williamson Fiddle Tunes book, pretty much as it’s written here, however this version appears to be a rewritten version of an jig by Pipe Major Alexander McKellar (1824-1895). Our version doesn’t show up in any tune books until the 1970s, and it’s not clear who is responsible for this rewriting! The title is also interesting: Williamson suggests that it refers to the English defeat of the Jacobite forces in the mid 1700s – it may be true that it does refer to this time but the tune is certainly not that old.
This tune works well as a march, or slower as an air.
We experimented with adding turns in places where the tune moves by step, and double cuts on the stronger beats of the bar (beat one and beat three).
Here is a video of a slow version (missing a B part I think, apologies!) and a faster version:
Major Malley’s Reel, aka Major Molle’s, is a Scottish tune by Andrew Gow first published in 1809 shortly after Gow’s death. Molle was an officer in the British army. The tune has since traveled to Canada and England, and we know it was still in use in the 1800s in England, as Thomas Hardy referenced the tune in his 1874 novel Far From the Madding Crowd.
Variations covered in class include adding turns to notes that are part of descending scales, and rhythmic variations in the B section.
Here is an example of how you might apply these ideas:
Here is our last tune of the term, Les Poules huppées which translates as the Crested Hens. It was written in 1983 by French hurdy gurdy player Gilles Chabenat but it has found its way into various traditions. I suggest that it follows Munster Cloak in a set – while Munster Cloak is a mazurka, Crested Hens is a bouree in 3 however I think they go well together, and especially in this order as the complexity of the rhythms builds through the whole set, giving it a sense of direction.
Here is a video of the tune played slowly and then a little faster:
Here are the basic dots, with PDF available to download. I’ve written out the tune in full rather than adding repeat marks, as this makes it easier to demonstrate different options in the development stage!
We discussed various ideas for varying the tune, including subdividing the longer notes, adding fidgets and using a pedal note. Here is an example of how some of these ideas might fit in this tune – please note this is not a definitive version or official alternative, but just something to give you some ideas!
In addition to the rhythmic variations we covered last week, there are some nice melodic variations available in this tune. Our first idea was to substitute existing melodic shapes for others in the tune, for example in bars 2, 4 and 8. The second involved substituting a figure that often comes up in 3/2 hornpipes. Have an experiment, try these and the rhythmic variations and find what works for you!
Here’s another 3/2 hornpipe to go with Rusty Gulley, known as ‘Adam Glen’ or ‘Pawkie Adam Glen’ – the word pawkie means ‘artfully shrewd’ and is still in use in Scotland and northern parts of England, from the English ‘pawk’, meaning trick.