The Strudel Set (Cochonchine and Pas d’Été)

I made strudel and played some tunes.

These two tunes — #212 and #214 from the Bal Folk Tune Book — are both from the “others” section. They are their own sort of set dances, i.e., dances linked to a particular locale with a specific dance associated with them. And they seem like two of the “old fashioned” tunes. The kind of tunes that folks call “the good old old ones.” The dance for Pas d’Été can be seen here.

The dancing is always fun til someone loses an eye!

And the dance for Cochonchine can be seen here.

Sweet dance.

Pas d’Été has this fingering sequence on the second half that should be VERY easy, but I find it so challenging to stay in time with it. Essentially, sequences where you have quick (but not VERY quick) notes in the same direction, with a sort of repetitive arpeggio vibe … I have a hard time keeping an even pace. It’s very weird.

Chez la Mère Antoine

Two scottishes from the Bal Folk Tune Book (which you should buy), “Chez la Mère Antoine” (#20) and an unnamed tune (#15). They sound old, to me. Like bog norme, as one friend described it. “Tiny,” my organetto in A flat, has been out of commission for the humid months (sticking keys) and has recently returned to mid-season form. Even though it has two additional buttons, I still play it essentially as a one row. It really is a very fun little thing, and, as I say, it plays in A flat, which not many diatonic things do.

Three Polkas Piquée

In recordings from the 1930s polkas piquée are a type of very short polkas played very fast — really leaning into the strengths of the vielle à roue — and they’re played in groups of many, usually each tune is repeated only twice. There are a bunch of polkas piquée in the Bal Folk Tune Book, and none of them have names; they are just “polka piquée.” So here are #174, 173, 176, and 173 (reprise).

Also, I am debuting my one row Hohner in G — inspired by activity over on mel.net. The thing is a bear to play but I love the wet broad sound, and one rows have an inexplicable attraction for me.

Bourrée #63 (La Ricoise)

A humble tune from the Bal Folk Tune Book; it does not even have a name listed*. I’m wondering if anyone knows the name, and even if there is a lyric. This tune has everything I love about bourrées the streams of eighth notes, the odd melodic accents that make the 3/8 meter seem like a faux pas that is not actually faux. Dedicated to Brigid Chapin, as she begins her graduate program this week!

Thanks to -Y- over on mel.net I have discovered that this is a tune called “La Ricoise!” Check out these vids of others playing same:

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.”

Love on the IV Chord (Bal Folk #26, 131, 132, 140)

Something of a theme for this entry in the Bal Folk Tune Book Project. I noticed that a number of mazurkas I play have a characteristic of beginning the B section with the IV chord. It creates a lovely sense of levitation and, if the song were telling a story, I think that’s when you would know the two of them were really in love!

Mazurkas for love

It happens often enough in mazurkas that I am beginning to think this is a defining trait of a subset, but it doesn’t only happen in mazurkas. As I was recording the mazurkas, I remembered the tune, “Mominette” (by Maxou, in the tune book as untitled #26), which also goes to the IV chord at the B section and is quite lovely (especially as the A section has a ominous tone. Will things work out??? Yes, yes they will. You know because of the IV chord.)

Also, with the mazurkas, the first is a sans nom tune that I began to call “Hannibal’s Mazurka” some years ago (I was teaching the ancient Romans at the time). If anyone knows a different name, let me know. I can be taught!