When I think back to when I first heard Bal Folk accordion, one of the things that I loved was that there was nothing ironic or world weary about. It was anti-misanthropic. This tune is exactly the kind of tune that gave me that feeling. It’s number 23 in the Bal Folk Tune Book.
Tune 17 in the Bal Folk Tune Book, this scottish has a nice harmonic ambiguity. A lot of different choices could have been made. In the end, for the A section, I went with Amin-F-Dmin-Bb. All the thirds in the chords are off, so the major/minorness is just implied. The B section is Amin and then G (with a smattering of D thrown in).
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A mazurka by the great Stephane Delicq called Septembre, but played as part of the December 2020 melodeon.net tune-of-the-month. Also happens to be the first day of snow in Maine. I learned this tune from Catherine Piron-Paira around 2006 when she and Sylvain Piron visited us in Maine, and I heard her playing it on a bowed psaltry. For years I thought it was a medieval tune. It’s true that it is very characteristic of Delicq, but one of those characteristics is timelessness.
Numbers 104 and 105 in the Bal Folk Tune Book. Played quietly to suit the day.
A scary polka for the season. “Could it be … oh, I don’t know … SATAN!”
Of course not. Despite the dramatic title, this is a really cracking polka, ecumenically suitable for musicians and dancers of all faiths and ages.
Tune #180 in the Bal Folk Tune Book!
A mazurka and then a 2 beat bourrée because why not? These are tunes 169 and 133 in the Bal Folk Tune Book.
Tune 97 of the Bal Folk Tune Book Project is a waltz by Trevor Upham.
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.
And the dance for Cochonchine can be seen here.
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.
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:
One of my very favorite waltzes, by Roger Tallroth of Väsen. I learned it from the version by Dervish, which is very winsome and almost sentimental — but goddammit it always gets me the third time through when drum kicks up! Very inspiring. This is specifically NOT a sentimental version. Trying something different. A straight-ish French waltz at French-waltz pace.