Sunshine on the Water: a new mazurka

All images from close to home

(Sheet music below!)

This a mazurka written in honor of my new wife, Sunshine, who I married on March 12 of this year. It’s musical inception happened when fiddler Lissa Schneckenburger asked, on Facebook, what are your favorite chord changes. I offered mine (Am F G Am) and then started thinking of a tune — this tune — which ultimately did not use those changes. I’m not entirely sure what key it is in. Probably A minor, but it’s got a lot of F major-centric business going on there, and that chord sequence of Bb, Dmin, F is just me climbing the triad with the same melodic chunk underneath. It’s an effect I love — building on the Breton repetition-to-trance method. Not that mazurkas are especially (or even marginally) Breton. Even with all that Hullaballoo, it sits perfectly on my Castagnari Mory G/C. You don’t need the half row, but I do use the Bb and Dm bass/chord (you could substitute F and D no third, if you wanted to). Here’s the sheet music.

Mazurka Sainte Colombe and Friend

Two mazurkas for you. Mazurka Sainte Colombe (#123) and Tiro l’Auto (varsovienne) (#130). I’m not sure what the varsovienne thing is — there are a number of tunes with that appellation, and they have a rhythmic similarity, but I don’t know if it’s a particular dance or if it’s just supposed to indicate its provenance coming as a waltz from Vienna (even though it’s a mazurka). So there.

Lo Cruzado (#62)

The band, Le Bon Truc, got together for the first time in four months and played on the porch. Steve (clarinet) was a little more socially distant that Barb and I because his is a wind instrument, but we sounded great and had fun and actually (*weepy*) shared space together. This 3 beat bourrée is one of our favorite tunes. This was literally the first tune of the afternoon for us. It’s tune #62 in the Bal Folk Tune Book.

Three-beat bourrées (#34 and 44)

Three-beat bourrées from the Bal Folk Tune Book (#34 and 44) played on my Castagnari Mori with all but one reed stopped, and the bass and third reeds stopped on the left hand. Photos of Auvergne harvested from the web. Part of the Bal Folk Tune Book Project. The tunes are “J’avais une bonne amie” and “Derrière Chez Nous.”

J’ai un Petit Voyage à Faire (Valse)

Proven: wearing a mask will NOT impede your ability to play a French waltz! Also, if you want to play accordion, be pandemic safe, AND fight crime, I think I’m onto something. This is #112 in the Bal Folk Tune Book. One of those tunes you pick at while going through the book figuring out what to play next. Then you get to the end and it washes over you, “That was delightful!”

Sunshine’s Bourrée Set

Two bourrées in honor of the impending four month mensiversary (#notamadeupword) of my marriage to Sunshine! The two bourrées are La Bourrée des Dindes (#166) La Bourrée á Six de Briantes (#164) from the Bal Folk Tune Book.

And if the second tune sounds familiar, it’s because de Briantes is identical to one of the Youp Nanettes. Yes, the identical tune (in a different key) is in the book twice.

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