Four bourrées (#75, 71, 72, 76) à trois temps

I’ve been hanging out on page 16 of the Bal Folk Tune book and recorded these four bourrées in three. Played on my Castagnari Mory G/C, with a lot of the stops in. Trying to create a light sound. I notice I am a real push/pull player when it comes to bourrées, rather than crossing rows often. I don’t really know how that fits with the idiom, especially with its roots in the very legato Chromatic Button Accordion. I’ll think about this.

75 Para Lou Loup Petiote 71 Bourrée 72 Prends Garde au Loup 76 La Mourolliado

I notice as this project progresses that I tend to play tunes “straight,” i.e., as I imagine they would be for dancing. This is great, but with my group and in my stage performances I am more theatrical or cinematic (like, what’s the story that this tune is the background music for, what story is this tune telling). In fact, I’ve been accused of being Wagnerian. I am not sure how I will proceed, but I WILL proceed. Stay tuned.

P.S., I learn in the comments below that #71 is called “Lou Moridon Cotet”

L’Aurillacoise (Bal Folk #122)

I was wearing a great hat in this one. But then cropped it out so you could spend time with the trees.

Here’s a deep dive. This is a great one that I have in a number of sources, and have been playing for years. You may not hear, but the third note is a sharp 4th (E, in this case, because it’s played in Bflat), and it’s such a fleeting note, but so essential!

It’s part of the Bal Folk Tune Project. Here’s Jac Lavergne playing it, on his wonderful AMTA cassette.


And here’s Henri Momboisse, from back in the day. Much ornamentation. Chromatic Button Accordion. A swifter instrument for a swifter time.

Also, the tune has a lyric, and here’s the group Wazoo doing a fantastic arrangement.

Bourrée #54


I think I like this, numbering bourrées like they are mambos.  In the Bal Folk Tune book this is tune #54. I am working to track down the title and will report back if I am successful. For this one, I’m trying out new video editing software, and also, I think I need to relax a little. The camera adds an edge that is not always welcome. This is part of the Bal Folk Tune Book Project.



The Bal Folk Tune Book Project 2020

That’s one. Two hundred ten more to go!

My admiration for Bal Folk: Traditional Dance Music from Central France is well documented and knows no bounds, as is my appreciate for Dave Mallison, publisher of said volume. Released in 2010, the tunebook brought together the beloved (and obscure) “Pink Book” and “Blue Book” of Centre France music lore. I wrote about the book in 2011, and interviewed Mallinson about it shortly thereafter. It’s great and you should buy it.

Buy this book.

Today — just over a fortnight into our covid-19 confinement — I am taking on a project. I will record every one of the 211 tunes in the tune book on YouTube videos, similar to the videos I’ve been posting on my channel for years. I don’t know how long it will take, and I’m not setting a demanding pace for myself (adding stress is not my goal), but I have decided on a couple of procedural norms.

  1. I will not be posting the dots with the videos. You should order the book.
  2. I will not be doing these in order, but I will also not being doing them randomly. There might be a clump of scottishes followed by a clump of waltzes, then bourrées, etc. It is all according to my whim. (Bwa. Ha. Ha?)
  3. I will be recording on all of my accordions (one at a time, not in a bunch), so the keys may differ from the key in the book. Welcome to diato world!
  4. If I have already done a recording of a tune, I will not necessarily redo it for this project (though I might — since my channel dates back to 2008 and, presumable, I’ve improved since then). But I will include it in the page I am constructing for this project so that, ultimately, every tune in the book will be on that page.
  5. I may post links to others’ recordings of these tunes in addition to mine, but not to replace them. If others want to take it upon themselves to join me in this project I will happily highlight your recordings.

Thank you! And here’s another: unnamed scottish. Tune #2 in the book.