Saturday, July 25, 2015

Nu hvilar hela jorden -- Paul Gerhardt's chorale "Nun ruhen alle Wälder," No. 442 in 1819 Svenska Psalmbok

D R A F T

Melody in 1819 psalmbook (text is No. 442)

Sifferskrift in Johan Dillner's Melodier

186 Nu vilar folk och länder -- 1986 års psalmbok som melodipsalmbok på nätet -- Upplagd av Andreas Holmberg http://svps1986.blogspot.com/2010/02/186-nu-vilar-folk-och-lander.html

Text: Paul Gerhardt 1653 (46 år) "Nun ruhen alle Wälder", sv. övers. Haqvin Spegel 1686 (41 år) "Nu vilar hela jorden", bearb. och nyövers. Britt G Hallqvist 1978 (64 år) Musik: Heinrich Isaac o 1500 (50 år) "Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen", jfr 1697 års koralbok nr 375 och 1820 års koralbok nr 433

[Av upphovsrättsliga skäl kan resten av texten inte publiceras här än]

Oscar Lövgren skriver (i Psalm- och sånglexikon, Gummessons 1964, sp. 231) att Gerhardts psalm är "vår bildrikaste och kanske mest berömda aftonpsalm." Det senare äger nog inte längre sin riktighet, men det förra stämmer nog, dels p.g.a. psalmens längd (hela nio verser) och dels p.g.a. att nästan varje vers innehåller en natur- eller kroppsbeskrivning följd av en andlig, bildlig tillämpning.

Psalmens längd har dock gjort att den i vår "bråttomtid" sällan sjungs (även om tiden det tar att sjunga den bara är en bråkdel av den tid det tar att följa en dokusåpa eller "Morden i Midsomer"). Mest berömd är den väl för att anslaget påståtts strida mot jordens klotformighet, varför också Britt G Hallvist i sin slutliga version av psalmen undvek påståendet att "alla skogar" eller "hela jorden" vilar. I hennes tidigare, mer originaltrogna, översättning började psalmen dock så här:

Nu vilar alla skogar,
djur, mänskor, fält och plogar,
all världen slumrar in.
Men du, min själ, skall börja
din andakt, du skall spörja
vad som behagar Skaparn din.

Man måste väl dock säga att versionen i 1986 års psalmbok känns mer lättflytande. Det har dock inte hjälpt upp psalmens popularitet nämnvärt. Man måste väl erkänna att den, som så många psalmer från den tid då psalmboken inte användes bara i kyrkan, verkar mer skriven för den enskilda kvällsandakten än för offentliga sammankomster ("Till sömn jag mig bereder, / tar av mig skor och kläder"), men jag har en känsla av att den inte heller i det privata sammanhanget längre har någon stark ställning. De fyra sista stroferna passar dock utmärkt väl att sjunga som avslutning på t.ex. kvällsmässor, och så trött är man nog sällan att man inte skulle orka be dem hemma inför sänggåendet ("när mina tankar domnar / och alla sinnen somnar").

Nu vilar hela jorden · Mats Bergström. Guitar. Julsånger utan ord. ℗ 2012 Naxos Sweden

Nu vilar hela jorden · Peter Mattei ℗ 2011 Ladybird Production Released on: 2011-04-01 Artist: Peter Mattei Conductor: Gustaf Sjokvist Orchestra: Stockholm Sinfonietta Composer: Heinrich Isaac Composer: Jan Sandstrom Auto-generated by YouTube. Music "Nu Vilar Hela Jorden (Arr. J. Sandstrom)" by Heinrich Isaac

186 Nu vilar folk och länder -- 1986 års psalmbok som melodipsalmbok på nätet

http://svps1986.blogspot.com/2010/02/186-nu-vilar-folk-och-lander.htmlhttp://svps1986.blogspot.com/2010/02/186-nu-vilar-folk-och-lander.html

* * *

Försök till Swensk Psalmhistoria Front Cover Johan Wilhelm Beckman P. A. Norstedt & Söner, 1845 https://books.google.com/books/about/F%C3%B6rs%C3%B6k_till_Swensk_Psalmhistoria.html?id=fy5HAAAAcAAJ

Thursday, July 23, 2015

"Over the Waterfall," an old-time fiddle tune in D (mixolydian?) for our next session at Clayville Historic Stagecoach Stop

Our next slow jam and song learning session of the Clayville Pioneer Academy of Music is from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 1, in the barn at Clayville Historic Site, Ill. 125, Pleasant Plains. One tune I want to feature is "Over the Waterfall." We used to play it, but we haven't been lately. It's too good a tune to lose, though, so I want to start Saturday's session by refreshing our memory -- and introducing it for the folks who have joined us recently.

"Over the Waterfall" is in Stephen Siefert's Join the Jam, with a lead sheet in standard musical notation, backup chords and tab for a dulcimer tuned in DAD ... all the more reason to go ahead and get Steve's book. You can order it on his website at http://www.stephenseifert.com/ (click on "Physical Store" in the ribbon at the left of his start page, and follow the links).

If you don't have Steve's book and want to play the melody on a mountain dulcimer, there's tab available on the Three Rivers Dulcimer Society website in Washington state at:

http://www.threeriversdulcimersociety.net/html/ourmusic.html

... but it doesn't indicate the chord changes.

However, there's a chord chart at http://folkguitar.us/chords/Over-Waterfall.htm.

You also need to take a look at this on the Kitchen Musician website.

I think the tune Mixolydian, but I've been accused of going overboard on the modes. Most people say D major. There's a C natural toward the end of the A part that gives the tune a slightly darker Mixolydian feel, just for a moment there, but the folks on the Session website, whom I consider authoritative on questions like this, classify the tune as D major.

A couple of YouTube clips:

  • Uploaded by YouTube user Jim Pankey, who writes: "Christie Burns, Jim Pankey and Roy Curry playing tunes on the porch! :)" I don't know who these people are, but I like the way they swing this tune!

  • A more traditional old-time string band arrangement by Redwing, of Eugene, Oregon. "Redwing is a five-piece string band, based in Eugene, Oregon. They play old time and Celtic tunes. This was filmed at Belknap Hot Springs Resort, on the McKenzie River in Oregon."

Andrew Kuntz has the following in Fiddlers Companion at http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/OP_OZ.htm (scroll down directory to "Over the Waterfall"):

OVER THE WATERFALL. AKA and see "The Fellow/Feller That Looks Like Me," "Punkin Head." Old‑Time, Breakdown. USA, Virginia. D Major. Standard tuning. AB (Silberberg): AABB (most versions). Originally from fiddler Henry Reed of Glen Lyn, Virginia, it was learned from directly from Reed and popularized in modern times by folklorist and fiddler Alan Jabbour. Reed himself may have learned it from hearing it emanating from a steam-driven calliope. "Over the Waterfall" is a melody that is fairly wide-spread throughout the British Isles and North America, explains Jabbour, and was used both for a well-known British-American song sometimes called "Eggs and Marrowbones" (AKA “Old Woman from Wexford,” “Old Woman in Dover,” “Wily Auld Carle” etc.) and as an instrumental tune. Comparison with “The Dark Girl Dressed in Blue [2]” in O’Neill’s Music of Ireland (1903) reveals a striking similarity between the two, and it is possible “Over the Waterfall” was adapted from an Irish source. Others have suggested that it may originally have been a composed piece from the turn of the century that was spread by travelling‑circus and riverboat musicians.

***

The earliest recorded version was by Al Hopkins and the Bucklebusters in the very last years of the 1920’s, who recorded it on a 78 RPM as “The Fellow that Looks Like Me” (Brunswick 184). “The Fellow that Looks Like Me” that was in the repertoire of Virginia fiddler Stuart Lundy (son of Galax fiddler Emmett Lundy) under that title, as well as the aforementioned Bucklebusters. Lundy died in the late 1970’s. The Hopkins family (Al is referenced above) was also originally from Galax. The Reed version of “Over the Waterfall” has become very common among old‑time fiddlers (indeed, it has become hackneyed), though is now usually regarded as a beginner's tune. Kentucky fiddler J.P. Fraley plays the tune, learned from the fiddling of his father, a somewhat more melodically complicated version. ...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Picture and poem about Lars Paul Esbjorn in Korsbanneret 1880

Korsbaneret: Kristlig Kalendar för 1880. [Banner of the Cross: Christian Calendar for 1880] Chicago: Enander & Bohmans Förlag, 1879. http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/011254985 Pix on page 44 and poem on page 45.

xxx

There is also a history of the church in Andover --

"Svenska Evangeliska Församlingen i Andover," Korsbaneret: Kristlig Kalendar för 1880 (Chicago: Enander & Bohmans Förlag), pp. 60-119.

---

pix of new (Augustana) church p. 87

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ett stev på Psalmodikon: Swedish nyckelharpa player Gunnar F. plays traditional melodies on the psalmodikon -- and blows my mind!

Hat tip to Nordiska Psalmodikonförbundet (NPsF) and my sister-in-law Marian Edmund-Paulson for telling me about this guy. He plays the psalmodikon with some the drive and rhythm of Swedish folk music, and it reminds me of the Hardanger fiddles I first heard as a student in Oslo. --

A new member of Nordiska Psalmodikonförbundet, the Swedish psalmodikon players' association has posted a YouTube clip, a photo and a SoundCloud audio clip of a kvällsvisa (night song) and a stev (*a simple four-line melody -- see note below) on the psalmodikon to NpSF's Facebook page at:

https://www.facebook.com/npsalmodikonforbundet.

His name is Gunnar F, and he also plays the nyckelharpa or Swedish keyed fiddle (in fact it appears that it's his primary instrument). And his attack -- the way he hits the downbeat -- gives his playing a lilt, or rhythmic quality, that I'm not used to hearing on the psalmodikon.

It's fascinating, I love hearing it and I want to study it.

So, Gunnar F, if you ever happen to read this: I hope you post more psalmodikon videos to YouTube!

In the meantime, here's his Stev for Psalmodikon on YouTube:

Psalmodikon med Gunnar F. He writes: "Psalmodikon var ett instrument vi växte upp med. Men det var länge sedan …" (trans.: the psalmodikon was an instrument we grew up with. It was a long time ago).

Equally as interesting is a picture that Gunnar F sent the Psalmodikonförbundet. It shows a turn-of-the-century band with a psalmodikon from Jämtland, a district in north central Sweden next to the Norwegian border and not too far east of Trondheim.

It's quite a band! I see a cornet, an accordion, a fiddle, cymbals, what appears to be a small zither (a Finnish kantele, maybe?) and a psalmodikon that's unlike any I've seen before.

Folk psalmodikon with sympathetic strings?

The psalmodikon is held by the woman wearing a headscarf, third from the left in the back row of the picture at the right of the page below, which is a screen grab from NPsF's Facebook page. To enlarge it, go to NPsF's Facebook post and click on the picture. (While you're there, BTW, why don't you click on "Like?" They're doing a lot to revive interest in the psalmodikon.) It's the boxy instrument held by the woman in the back row, third from the left, and it's identified in the cutlines as a jämtländskt psalmodikon. It looks like she played it with a standard violin bow.

I'll leave it to the experts whether this Jämtland psalmodikon is technically a zither or a lute. (A zither is the word the experts use for any stringed instrument without a neck, and a lute is any instrument with a neck, including but not limited to lutes.). If I had to guess, I'd say it's some kind of hybrid. But I think it's clearly a folk instrument.

And it looks like it has sympathetic strings. The Swedes call them resonanssträngar, and I did a fair amount of research on them when I had my copy made of the Rev. Lars Paul Esbjörn's psalmodikon at the Jenny Lind Chapel museum in Andover. (Pictures are available on the Jenny Lind Chapel website -- click on "Flickr" link and open directory of Psalmodikon pictures.)

As near as I can tell, the psalmodikon in Gunnar F's picture has a melody string stretched from a tuning peg at the top of the neck to a bridge toward the bottom of the soundbox. The fretboard is marked with the same white- and dark-colored pattern of whole steps and half steps as other psalmodikons. I count 12 sympathetic strings or resonanssträngar, stretched over the soundbox. I don't think it would be possible to bow any of them, but if they were tuned to the 12 tones of a chromatic scale, they would vibrate sympathetically in unison with whatever note was being bowed on the melody string.

To sum it up in a word or two, the Jämtland psalmodikon in the picture is musically a sophisticated instrument. And look at the detail in the soundhole carved in the shape of a lyre! This is an instrument that clearly has developed considerably from the simple wooden monochord that Johann Dillner described. I think it became more elaborate, both musically and esthetically, by a folk process.

Tunes: Kvällsvisa and a stev on the Psalmodikon

Gunnar Fredelius' SoundCloud account has an audio file of an evening song (kvällsvisa) and a stev, a simple, ballad-like melody played on the psalmodikon (Kvällsvisa och ett stev på Psalmodikon). He writes:

When I was a kid, the psalmodikon was still a natural, common, instrument in some parts of the country, amongst elderly people. Since then it has almost disappeared and most swedes don´t even know what it is. I found out there is an association, Nordiska Psalmodikonförbundet www.npsalmodikonforbundet.se and through them I could buy me an instrument. The picture is of me and my mother.

The first one is not exactly as my mother wrote it. The other is a so called nystev from southern Norway.

As the directory at https://soundcloud.com/gunnar-fredelius makes clear, Gunnar F is an accomplished nyckelharpa player with a deep interest in the older strains of Scandinavian traditional music. What I've heard of his music is modal and rhythmic, and it reminds me of the traditional Norwegian music I enjoyed so much when I heard it played on the Hardanger fiddle in summer school at the University of Oslo. I suspect that some of the pietist Swedish-American pastors I'm writing about now might not appreciate his music, but I plan to keep coming back to it -- there's a lot I can learn by listening to him.

So, Gunnar F, if you're reading this, please keep posting your music to the internet.

__________

* Footnote. A stev, according to Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stev, is a simple "folk song consisting of four line lyric stanzas." It's similar to English ballad measure, or the Common Meter of traditional Anglo-American hymnody. I'm most familiar with them in Norwegian folk music, where they're associated with simple melodies called kvedar. Link here for an arrangement of Kirsten Bråten Berg's Min Kvedarlund (my grove, or garden, of kvedar), the title song from her 1993 album of that name), along with some more background on Norwegian stev melodies and kvedar.

According to Setesdalswiki at http://www.setesdalswiki.no/wiki/Min_kvedarlund, "Min Kvedarlund" is a compilation of "bånsullar [lullabies] og småviser [little songs] etter T. Liestøl, Ingebjørg Liestøl, Jorunn Nomeland, Svein Hovden og Gro Faremo." Setesdalwiki is a local crowd-sourced website for the Setesdal region on the southern coast of Norway.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Shakin' up the Illinois State Museum -- add 1

Text of a letter I just submitted to the Hon. Bruce Rauner, governor of Illinois:

Recently I wrote urging you not to close the Illinois State Museum, and I got this message back: “I appreciate you taking the time to reach out to my office about bobcat hunting in Illinois. … Please know I value your opinion and thank you for sharing it with me. Hearing from people in Illinois gives me a better idea of what is impacting local communities across the state. Knowing those opinions helps me make decisions for you in Springfield.”

I guess it’s nice to hear you say you value my opinion and it helps you make decisions about my local community, but I wasn’t talking about bobcat hunting. I wrote to tell you that closing the State Museum will damage our reputation in the international scientific community.

So, since apparently no one on your staff bothered to read my first letter, I will try again: DO NOT, repeat NOT, CLOSE the ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM, repeat ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM. If you do, it will make further research on artifacts in the museum collection, including a juvenile bobcat skeleton found in a Hopewell culture burial site, inaccessible to scientists worldwide, including the anthropologist at the Max Planck Institute in Germany whom I referenced in my first letter. If you close the museum, it will look like a CHEAP POLITICAL STUNT, repeat CHEAP POLITICAL STUNT, retaliating against a community that voted against you in last year’s Republican gubernatorial primary. And I know you wouldn’t want to give anybody that impression.

For background, including my original letter and a screen grab of Governor Rauner's full response, see post immediately below dated July 15 --

permalink http://hogfiddle.blogspot.com/2015/07/shakin-up-springfield-one-constituent.html.

I suspect that the original, in which I discussed the bobcat skeleton at some length (for such a short letter), was run through word recognition software in the governor's office and the form letter for the bobcat bill was assigned to me on the basis of a word frequency count. Hence my repetitions in the second message.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Shakin' up Springfield, one constituent letter at a time

Just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside to know how much your opinion is valued!

Last week I wrote Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner in opposition to his plans to close the Illinois State Museum. Today I got back this message:

That puzzled me at first, but then I looked up the letter -- a form that I sent to the governor's office and members of the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, who review plans to close state facilities. It said:

According to a July 2 article on the Daily News website of Science magazine, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Angela Perri, zooarchaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, hypothesizes that animal bones from a Hopewell burial site now housed at the State Museum in Springfield belonged to young bobcat which was buried with a shell bead necklace around its neck. “This is the closest you can get to finding taming in the archaeological record,” she told David Grimm, online editor of the AAAS magazine. Perri suggests that the necklace may have been a collar, and the animal may have been “a cherished pet” that was orphaned, adopted by human beings and nurtured as a small kitten. If this hypothesis can be proven, it would be important evidence of how wild animals were domesticated. However, Governor Rauner’s budget threatens that possibility.

“Unfortunately, further work on the bobcat may not be possible,” said Grimm of the AAAS. “The museum where the bones are housed is facing a shutdown due to state budget cuts, and Perri says she can no longer access the samples.”

Dr. Perry is not the only scientist who has made use of the State Musuem. Rainer Schreg, professor of pre- and early history (Ur- und Frühgeschichte) at Heidelberg University in Germany, visited an archaeological dig in Pike County in 2010 and presented a paper on his work in Germany while he was here. Dr. Schreg said recently, the museum “makes an important and multi-faceted public contribution, which is closely linked to research that is fundamental to the understanding of history and landscape in the Midwest. It is nonsense [Blödsinn] to cancel something like this." (My translation.) Science depends on the free exchange of information among scholars worldwide, and closing this museum at this time would cut off an avenue for our archaeologists and historians to exchange ideas with their peers. It would also, as Dr. Schreg suggests, damage our reputation worldwide.

We have heard plenty about the State Museum’s economic impact and its educational value, both for family groups who visit during school vacations and for students who tour Springfield during the spring. And it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of these things. But the museum’s value for scholarly and scientific research is also considerable, and it is placed in jeopardy by any effort to close the facility, even temporarily.

So, in all fairness, I guess they did read the letter. They just didn't read it with comprehension. They must have skimmed through it till they saw the word "bobcat," and sent out the bobcat letter without any further ado.

Link (not lynx) here to Facebook. When I posted Rauner's letter to Facebook, I got back some classic comments. Follow this link to see them.

Friday, July 10, 2015

"Come ye sinners, poor and needy" and BEACH SPRING -- a shape-note folk hymn and Anglo-Celtic pentatonic tune for this week's Prairieland Strings session

Last week Jim Harris, who facilitated the Prairieland Strings when we met on the Springfield College-Ursuline Academy campus, dropped by our session and taught us -- playing by ear, no less! -- a shape-note melody called BEACH SPRING. It's one of those haunting pentatonic Anglo-American melodies, and it's been around since 1844, when Benjamin Franklin White included it in the first edition of his Sacred Harp with a hymn text that begins "Come ye sinners, poor and needy." White is regarded as the composer of the tune, although he probably heard it in oral tradition.

(Tangent: I'm not shouting when I capitalize the name of the tune, by the way. It's a convention that people sometimes use when writing about hymns -- names of tunes go in caps, like BEACH SPRING, and names of hymn texts or first lines go in quotation marks, like "Come ye sinners ..." I'm going to follow the convention here because the tune shows up with so many different texts.)

The tune

According to http://www.hymnary.org/tune/beach_spring, BEACH SPRING has been published in 113 different hymnals. For a long time, we closed our sessions at Ursula Hall playing a copyrighted version of it called the "Servant Song."

So I went home and Googled it. Turns out I found a lead sheet with chords and dulcimer tablature on Tull Glazner's website. Glazner notes that BEACH SPRING appeared in several shape-note tunebooks of the early 1800s:

The most well known of these from "The Sacred Harp" is called "Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy", whose lyrics were written by Joseph Hart in 1759. A related hymn is called "Jesus is Willing". Over the years, many other hymns have been set to this melody, including "Jesus At Your Holy Table", "Come All Christians Be Committed", "Lord Whose Love in Humble Service", and "Healing River of the Spirit". The tune was featured as the theme song for the Ken Burns 1997 PBS documentary about the Lewis and Clark expedition.

And he links to two YouTube videos: (1) of a montage of shape note singing photos set to a background track of "Come Ye Sinners" from the 1991 edition of the Sacred Harp recorded at a shape-note singing convention held in Flora, Ind.; and (2) another version of BEACH SPRING being played on mandola with perfect tempo and dynamics.

A couple of others:

  • Beech Spring (The Corps of Discovery), Soundtrack to Lewis & Clark TV series.

  • Mountain dulcimer duet by Doc Gardner and Carolyn Marlett

  • Beach Spring Hymn tune played on guitar by Brad Sondahl

The text

In its most common form (although not in the Sacred Harp), the hymn text is a composite of a religious text written in 1759 by a Calvinist minister in England named Joseph Hart and an unrelated "floating verse" from American folk tradition.

Hart's verse is:

Come ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love, and pow'r.

And the floating verse, which is treated like a chorus, is:

I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms;
In the arms of my dear Savior,
O there are ten thousand charms.

Somehow it all fits together. Lyrics a composite from Hymnary.org.

PLEASE NOTE: There is another American folk hymn melody to which Hart's text is often sung together with the camp meeting chorus. It is a minor-key (or Aeolian modal) tune called RESTORATION, and it was collected -- or composed -- by B.F. White's brother-in-law William Walker in Southern Harmony. Here it is, as sung by the Galkin Evangelistic Team: