Ladies Pleasure (Fieldtown)

Here is the video and dots for Ladies Pleasure, a tune from the Fieldtown Morris tradition and one that changes meter from 6/8 to 2/4. The ‘2’ over the patterns in bar three (and elsewhere) indicate a duplet, so instead of each main beat dividing into three quavers as it would normally in 6/8, it divides into two quavers.

Here is the video:

Here are the dots – the structure would normally be ABCBCB.

Balance the Straw development

We are now finishing up the idea of creating a new tune based on an old one – we took Balance the Straw (Fieldtown) and first turned it from major to minor. We then identified some small melodic shapes and tried substituting one for another. This is a method you can use to create melodic variation, as well as using it to transform a tune. Everyone in the class volunteered a element of variation and I stitched them together to create a new tune. I referenced the dotted rhythm that was put into the B section in the A section to unify the two sections. The dots below show the original transposition, examples of the substitutions and the tweaked tune that is the final result (subject to class approval!).

Here’s what the new version sounds like:

The new version has been dubbed Drop the Grass (Acton), in reference to its original inspiration. Here are the suggested chords:

My Darling Asleep

Here is the tune from November 15th, another Irish tune to go in a set with Lilting Banshee. Look for the fidget shapes to add rolls (highlighted example in blue), and for the crotchet-quaver rhythm moving by step (highlighted in red) for adding turns. Some of the turns work better on the fiddle and others work better on wind instruments – try the notated version in the PDF and see which ones work for you.

Here are the dots:

Here is a PDF with some more ornaments written in:

Lilting Banshee

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’s the video demonstrating the tune:

Spring at Last

Here is the video from Beth’s class on Monday 18th October, with a link to Bandcamp where you can buy the tune book in which it features: https://mattbrookes.bandcamp.com/merch/the-tyranny-of-jigs?fbclid=IwAR3sru4bAlnCeGdK_lSCNziCCh1Q3G2KwETdsc66kCTZBnjFGRXnxmnUxpo

Here are the dots:

Try adding a walking bass line to the A music, as explored in our arrangements of Sir John Fenwick and Star Above the Garter!

Lass of Dallowgill Variations

The ideas used here are the same or similar to those used in Rattle in Cash. This is mostly because the tunes were chosen for their similar melodic shapes, so that they would be good companions – note the removed notes in bar 13 to mirror the same rhythmic feature in Rattle the Cash.

A ‘fidget’ is a note added in between repeated notes, either a step above/below the repeated notes, or a third above/below (a ‘skip’). The scale is a connecting note added in between notes that are a skip (or a third) apart. I’ve written an example below to demonstrate how these might be applied to this tune, averaging one variation per two bar phrase, but try out these ideas in other places to find what works for you.

The Lass of Dallowgill

Here is a jig to go with Rattle the Cash; The Lass of Dallowgill aka The North Skelton Sword Dance. Dallowgill is near Rippon in Yorkshire, and I’ve found references to the tune from around 1914, though it may go back further than that. Here are the dots:

And here is a run through of the tune, slowly at first and then at a more lively pace:

Rattle the Cash

Here is the tune from Monday 19th April. Rattle the Cash is a tune I know from Chris Bartram’s fantastic English Fiddle book.

We started with a skeleton version of the tune, to see the basic structure and repeated patterns of the melody.

We then filled in the melody with scale and arpeggio shapes and with ‘fidget’ shapes (as in the beginning of bar 2). We’ll explore these in more detail next week.

Here is a PDF of the tune:

Here’s a video of the tune, a slow version followed by a faster version:

Stingo

Our final tune of the term: Stingo can be found in the 1651 edition of Playford’s Dancing Master, with versions known as Cold and Raw, Oil of Barley and many other names. Here’s a video with demos on the viola this time, for the sake of variety and definitely not because that was the instrument I had out and I’m too lazy to switch.

Here are the dots:

We played with the idea of adding ‘fidgets’ in as melodic/rhythmic variations – where you have two notes the same, try adding a note in between, either going up or down a step. Here is a PDF with some examples in red, and underneath it the PDF of the original:

Finally here’s the fantastic Eliza Carthy version, turned from 6/8 to 4/4 (this whole album is amazing, give it a listen!):

Merry Christmas everyone!