Here’s Small Coals and Little Money, a tune from the 1882 Northumbrian Minstrelsy manuscript. The A and B parts are almost identical so we created variation by varying the chord patterns and rhythms, taking out some notes in the melody, and trying out ornamentation.
Here are the dots:
For the PDF, click here.
In the chord part, we used a ‘chugging’ rhythm for the A part, and then a more relaxed rhythm in the B part.
Melody instruments created a groove for the A part by switching between A minor and G major notes (click here for the chart, the beats are minim beats, so 2 slow beats per bar).
Geraint has kindly passed on the link to his own recording of our end of night play-through, for some folk class realness: https://soundcloud.com/ger-evans/small-coals-and-little-money/s-olvae
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:
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.
Here’s the Whitehall Minuet, a tune in three from the Playford collection which dates from the early 1700s.
Here are the dots for the tune (PDFs here for the tune, and the tune with ornaments and phrasing):
In the chords, we alternated between a playing a straight three for two bars (1 & 2 & 3 &), and playing a syncopated rhythm for two bars (1 & 2 & 3 &), which looks a bit like this:
Technically we’re going from a 3/4 feel to a 6/8 feel, giving the tune a bit more movement and forward momentum, maybe verging on feeling a little like a jazz waltz. We kept it to two bar chunks for the sake of clarity and ensemble but you could experiment with changing the rhythm in different places at home. Here’s me noodling about with the rhythm:
Tunbridge Beauties is a tune from ‘The New Country Dancing Master’ collection by Walsh and Randall from 1711. It’s been recorded by Boldwood on their fantastic ‘Feet Don’t Fail Me Now’ album.
Here are the dots (PDF here), with a basic version and an ornamented, phrased copy.
Below are the basic dots for the groove (PDF here) that we created to accompany the tune.
Here are the videos from guest tutor Beth’s class, where she taught Epping Forest, a tune from the 4th edition of Playford’s ‘Dancing Master’ manuscript (1670). Huge thanks to Beth for covering the session! Here’s the tune:
And here’s the riff:
And here’s the riff for Lord Frog, the tune for which can be found on the old Ealing Session website here:
Here are the PDFs for the tune, the tune with bowing, the the tune with bowing and riff and the Riff, with the regular dots below.
Not to be confused with any of the Shetland tunes of the same name! I know this tune from playing in sessions and in trying track down it’s origins I’ve found it listed as ‘The New Rigged Ship no 2’ or ‘The Rigged Ship’ in England where its played as a jig, as ‘The Hills of Glenorchy’ in Scotland where it’s played as a march or quickstep, and as ‘The Wild Hills of Wannie’ in Northumberland where it’s played slowly as an air. There are numerous other titles for it, and variations of it, and it seems well travelled! Often a sign of a good tune….
The PDF of the tune, chords and bowing/ornaments variations is here, and the dots are below. We improvised in the B section by making up our own rhythms for alternating between Es and Bs in bars 9-10 and then between Ds and As in bars 11-12, and then back to to Es and Bs for bars 13-14 before picking up the tune again in the last two bars (aka at the ‘tail’). ‘Stab’ chords played every two bars helped punctuate the changes here.
This version of ‘Dear Tobacco’ is from the Anne Geddes Gilchrist collection, collected from William Docker in Westmorland, England. I can’t find a date for it, but John Offord (always a good source of knowledge) says it is “not a polka. Polkas came later in the 1840’s. It is a type of reel which is found in books from the 1700’s. These tunes, with patterns of 4 semi-quavers [written out here as quavers] were only played in Scotland or Northern England”. This version is also in Dave Townsend’s English Dance Music book, Volume 2.
Here are the dots for the tune:
I’ve written out a seperate chord chart below (with an extra Bm chord, apologies!) with an alternative, slightly crunchier version that doesn’t resolve at all.
I suggest we start with this tune and then go into the Duke of Perth’s reel . I’ve created a page called Tune Sets where I’ll add PDFs of sets, to make it easier to put everything together.