Here is the tune ‘The Mallard no 2’. It’s in Dave Townsend’s English Dance Tunes book but I can’t find it anywhere else – there are other tunes and songs that share the title but none with the same melody.
The PDF can be found here. Fiddle players might want to try double stopping with the open G string in the first two bars, then the D string in the next bar before going back to the G string for bars five and six. In the second section, you can double stop with the open G string for the first three bars.
Here are the video and dots for An Blew Treghy, with huge thanks to Beth Gifford for covering the class. An Blew Treghys is a Cornish Tune which Beth learned from the singing of Aimee Leonard and recorded by Aimee’s band Anam on their album Riptide.
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’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.
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:
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:
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.