Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Misc. links -- (1) article on Luther's view of church and state; (2) geneological website on John Armstrong, mentioned in Edgar Lee Masters' "The Sangamon"


Portal on Andrews University Seminary Studies website (if URL for PDF doesn't take you anywhere): http://digitalcommons.andrews.edu/auss/vol8/iss2/2/.

Erwin R. Gane. "Luther's Views of Church and State," Andrews University Seminary Studies 8.2 (1970): 120-43 . https://www.andrews.edu/library/car/cardigital/Periodicals/AUSS/1970-2/1970-2-02.pdf

Picture of John Armstrong and unidentified woman (wife Caroline?) on Illinois Ancestors Presents Menard County website at http://www.illinoisancestors.org/menard/1872bios/pg55a.html -- -- It appears to be from a centennial history booklet called They Left Their Mark In Oakford, 1872 Also pictures of Oakford, including a Fourth of July celebration that Armstrong helped organize. Details at:


Jeanie Lowe, Illinois Ancestors Presents Menard County http://www.illinoisancestors.org/menard/: "My name is Jeanie Lowe and I'm your host for Menard County. Janine Crandell is the webmaster and performs the updates to the site. We're a volunteer organization whose mission is to provide free genealogical data for all researchers. ...

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Bowing a psalmodikon, Part 2: "Den blomstertid nu kommer"

Link here to Part 1: "Some videos on how to make, tune and bow a Swedish keyed psalmodikon, also an American psalmodikon by Music Makers of Stillwater, Minn." --

It's all in the bowin'. -- Don Pedi, mountain dulcimer player, Madison County, N.C.

Gisli Olsen plays "Den blomstertid nu kommer" on restored psalmodikon

More tips on bowing the psalmodikon --

A couple of days ago Gisli Olsen, a psalmodikon player and builder in Sweden, posted a video that showed him playing a psalmodikon duet in a comment on my Facebook feed. I was interested in the way he held the bow, and I asked him about it. He replied with a clip of "Den blomstertid nu kommer" (the time of flowers has come now) an old Swedish psalm that is now traditionally sung at the close of the school year and the beginning of summer. He said:

On this clip you can see how i hold the bow. I think most psalmodikon-player´s do so. Here i have a children´s bow, the lenght is 470 mm. I have recently done some repair´s on an old psalmodikon and on the clip I tested the sound. Maybe the first sound for a very long time for this old instrument. Here I am playing a well known old Swedish Hymn, lyrics by Israel Kolmodin 1694. Best regards to you all.

I'm reposting it here so I can watch it while I practice bowing my psalmodikon.

Link here for tutorial on American psalmodikon -- http://hogfiddle.blogspot.com/2016/04/bowing-keyed-psalmodikon.html. bowing from 1:10 to 3:35 -- also a demonstration by Gisli Olson of a keyed psalmodikon he made. Sort of like a nyckelharp, keyed diatonically.

The American psalmodikons are Norwegian style, with "transposition sticks" marking out diatonic scales on a chromatic fretboard. They're made by Musicmakers, a luthiers' in Stillwater, Minnesota, and one of the transposition sticks matches with a mountain dulcimer tuned to DAD. (More information on their website linked to the blogpost above.

Bowing the Icelandic langspil

Hildur Heimisdóttir, a cellist from Rekjavik, wrote a study Langspil and Icelandic Fiðla: The history, construction and function of the two Icelandic folk-instruments, for here candidate studies project in violincello at the Jyske Musikkonservatorium, Aarhus, Denmark. She had this to say about bowing:

The bow grip is different from what a cellist is used to, since the direction to stroke in is not the same. A cellist strokes the bow to the left and the right but while playing langspil, one has to stroke forward and back. Therefore, the langspil player has to hold the bow in a hand position that reminds of how people hold pencils. (17)

I'm not sure what she means by that, but I thought I'd better include it here.

Den blomstertid nu kommer

Abc notation (in C) here: http://abcnotation.com/tunePage?a=trillian.mit.edu/~jc/music/abc/mirror/musicaviva.com/denmark/den-blomstertid-nu-kommer/0000.

It was N:o 394 in Svenska Psalmboken of 1819, and I have it the 1892 Chicago edition, but it didn't get into the Augustana Synod's English-language hymnals. Singable English translation in Pierre Radulescu, "Den blomstertid nu kommer," UpdatesLive 18 Dec. 2010 http://updateslive.blogspot.fi/2010/12/den-blomstertid-nu-kommer.html.

This arrangment, by Swedish pop artists Lill Lindfors and Nils Landgren is a lot of fun:

"Den Blomstertid ..." i en underbar blues/soul version med Lill Lindfors & Nils Landgren

Thursday, May 19, 2016

"Jug of Punch"

"The Jug Of Punch," Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Altan

From a thread at http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=21562 on the indispensable Mudcat Cafe forum:

Mudcat Cafe thread at Subject: Lyr Add: THE JUG OF PUNCH
Date: 05 Nov 02 - 09:03 AM

For GUEST,guest of 4 Nov
The Jug Of Punch
As sung by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh on Island Angel by Altan

Bein' on the twenty-third of June, as I sat weaving all at my loom,
Bein' on the twenty-third of June, as I sat weaving all at my loom,
I heard a thrush, singing on yon bush, and the song she sang was the Jug of Punch.

What more pleasure can a boy desire, than sitting down beside the fire?
What more pleasure can a boy desire, than sitting down beside the fire?
And in his hand a jug of punch, and on his knee a tidy wench.

When I am dead and left in my mould, at my head and feet place a flowing bowl,
When I am dead and left in my mould, at my head and feet place a flowing bowl,
And every young man that passes by, he can have a drink and remember I.

According to the notes to the album "this version of the popular song is from the singing of Edward Quinn from Castlecaulfield, Co. Tyrone."

None of the lyrics available on line have attempted the lilting between verses>Even Mudcat has only this: "Has anyone sorted out the "nonsense" lyrics altan sings at the end of each verse[?] They start out something like / Pa da da da day."

* * *

Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music (https://mainlynorfolk.info/lloyd/songs/ajugofpunch.html) has lyrics from A.L. Lloyd and Martin Carthy, plus this background:

A.L. Lloyd sang A Jug of Punch in 1956 on the Riverside album English Drinking Songs. He wrote in the sleeve notes:

This is probably an Irish importation, brought to East Anglia by migrant potato-lifters. A brief song, it opens politely and proceeds on a rapid downhill slide into maudlin defiance, resembling a gent with sprigged waistcoat and churchwardens pipe striving to shore up his dignity while the world is slipping out of focus and into a happy haze.

And Martin Carthy and chorus sang Jug of Punch in a much happier tone on Songs from ABC Television's “Hallelujah”.

Mainly Norfolk website refers to catalog no. Roud 1808 in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House in London, which has sheet music and recordings from Ireland (several), Northern Ireland (Belfast [4] and Londonderry, several from 1960s-1990s in N. Ireland) chapbooks published in Newcastle, London [ Burdett's London Comic Songster for 1854-5 pp.10-11], New York [O'Conor, Irish Com-all-Ye's (1901) p.154; Six Hundred and Seventeen Irish Songs and Ballads [c1898] p.37; ], Michigan [Rickaby, Ballads & Songs of the Shanty-Boy (1926) pp.110-112].

Ballad Index, https://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/K278.html, Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle, Fresno State. Says it is found in Ireland and Canada (Maratime Provinces), cites a variant from Nova Scotia.

Fiddlers Companion has four reels and this:

JUG OF PUNCH [4]. Irish, Air (9/8 time). B Flat Major. Standard tuning. One part. “An air formed on that called Brigid astore” (Stanford/Petrie).
I spied a thrush on yonder bush,
And the song she samg was a jug of punch.
Stanford/Petrie (Complete Collection), 1905; No. 353, pg. 89.

At least two published sources:

  • Lyrics and music (in G) in Davidson's Universal Melodist: Consisting of the Music and Words of Popular, Standard, and Original Songs, &c. Arranged So as to be Equally Adapted for the Sight-singer, the Performer on the Flute, Cornopean, Accordion, Or Any Other Treble Instrument ed. George Henry Davidson. (London: G.H. Davidson, 1853) Google Books. p 426. Davidson has this note: "Sung by Mrs. Fitzwilliam, in Buckstone's Drama of the 'Green Bushes' -- Published by Buckstone."

    Says Wikipedia of Buckstone -- For the Adelphi, he wrote The Green Bushes and The Flowers of the Forest, both in 1847. And this: "According to director Nigel Everett and stagehands at the Haymarket Theatre, Buckstone's ghost has often been seen at the theatre, particularly during comedies and "when he appreciates things" playing there. In 2009, The Daily Telegraph reported that the actor Patrick Stewart saw the ghost standing in the wings during a performance of Waiting for Godot at the Haymarket."

  • Lyrics in chapter titled "The Shebeen House" in Barney O'Rierdon, Or, the Adventures of an Irishman, by Samuel Lover. Philadelphia: Garrett, Dick & Fitzgerald, 1844 pp. 50-51.

    Wikipedia has this at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Lover:

    Lover was born at number 60 Grafton Street, Dublin and went to school at Samuel Whyte's at 79 Grafton Street, now home to Bewley's Café. By 1830 he was secretary of the Royal Hibernian Academy and lived at number 9 D'Olier Street. In 1835 he moved to London and began composing music for a series of comic stage works.[1] To some of them, like the operetta Il Paddy Whack in Italia (1841), he contributed both words and music, for others he merely contributed a few songs.

    Lover produced a number of Irish songs, of which several – including The Angel's Whisper, Molly Bawn, and The Four-leaved Shamrock – attained great popularity. He also wrote novels, of which Rory O'Moore (in its first form a ballad), and Handy Andy are the best known, and short Irish sketches which, with his songs, he combined into a popular entertainment called Irish Nights or Irish Evenings. With the latter, he toured North America during 1846-8. He joined with Charles Dickens in founding Bentley's Magazine.

    "When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen." — Samuel Lover

    Lover's grandson was composer Victor Herbert whose mother was Lover's daughter Fanny. Irish-born and German-raised, Herbert is best known for his many successful musicals and operettas that premiered on Broadway. As a child he stayed with the Lovers in a musical environment following the death of his father.

  • Irish Folk Songs: The Words by Alfred Perceval Graves, the Airs Arranged by Charles Wood. London: Boosey & Co., 1897. Google Books. p. 120- "The words and air of this old Song were supplied to us by Dr. Joyce. Samuel Lover has a version of his own, but it seemed to us that both the old ballad and Folk-tune needed fresh treatment." AIR: The Robber 121. 120-26.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Key signatures for Dorian, Mixolydian and minor modes in the most common trad Irish fiddle keys

This chart is from the Small Circle Tune Learning Session's old website. The SCTLS, a slow jam that formerly met in Colorado, had some excellent material on trad Irish music -- almost every bit of which also applied to old-time American string bands -- but they stopped meeting and their website went dark several years ago.

I have copied parts of it in the past to Hogfiddle (links below) for non-profit educational purposes. Here is their explanation of the modes most often encountered in trad Irish music.

[I don't have the rest of my printout of the old webpage, with Jason Amini's chart. It had the same signatures for the same modes, however.]

Other excerpts on Hogfiddle. They overlap, but the context is a little different:

Also parked here, so I won't lose the link and the cite:

Ron Powers, Mark Twain, on Google Books -- Old Woman of Our Town

Monday, May 16, 2016

German chorale melody (?) on a Pennsylvania German folk zither


What may be a Mennonite hymn "Ubermal der Tag Verslossen" played on a Pennsylvania zither to a variant of a melody by Joachim Neander (at least it sounds like a vernacular chorale variant) ... this YouTube clip was shared on the Nordiska Psalmodikonförbundet's Facebook feed the other day. Like the psalmodikon, the instrument called a "scheitholt" here is played on one string.

Förbundet members, who are knowledgeable about the history of the Swedish instrument, were fascinated with the construction of the Pennsylvania Dutch instrument. (The discussion is in Swedish, but you can get the gist of it by clicking on "Translate All" under the comments.) And there was just enough information about the hymn to whet my interest.

"Ubermal der Tag Verslossen" on Scheitholt Pennsylvania folk zither

Published at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkOynD9q38yJJ5x0OAxt0Sg on Aug. 23, 2013, by YouTube user wherligig. He also has a clip of an Icelandic langspil. This note says:

The scheitholt, a member of the zither family, was brought over to the fledgling United States by German immigrants in the 1700s. Used primarily by the Pennsylvania Germans, the scheitholt soon traveled with them down the East Coast wagon trails as the settlers moved further south and west. That which went into the mountains as a scheitholt later came out as an Appalachian dulcimer through cross-cultural contact between the Germans and Scottish and Irish settlers to the New World.

The instrument in the video is a replica of a scheitholt made by the Mennonite teacher Henry Lapp sometime in the 1870s. (Replica made in 2012 by Ken Koons.) Lapp, who taught English and German in Bucks County, PA, played his scheitholt for classes called "spelling bees" during the day. At night he accompanied himself singing German hymns. His original instrument currently exists in the collection of the Mercer Museum (mercermuseum.org). In the early 1900s, the museums founder, Henry Mercer, interviewed Henry Lapp's son, who remembers his father singing the hymn "Spar Dein Buse Nicht" among others. A convoluted trail led to the melody played in this video. It was fairly common practice to mix and match hymn melodies with hymn texts; the hymn that Lapp played in the 1800s combined the melody here (composed by von Neander in 1680) with the alternative text, "Spar dein Buse Nicht." This performance uses the original hymn text, "Ubermal der Tag Verslossen."

Tracing this hymn melody proved difficult, and we are very grateful to musicologist Mitchell Morris for his help in tracking it down. We are also very grateful to historian Ralph Lee Smith, who has been responsible for piecing together the story of the scheitholt in the United States.

Recorded Aug. 22, 2013 at the World Community Productions Studios. Recording Copyright (C) 2013 Ken Koons and Ryan Koons.

Another webpage with a clip of the same video, titled "The Scheitholt: An Early Pennsylvania German Instrument," by Mark Hagenbuch on a Hagenbuch family history & genealogy website, says Henry Lapp was a Mennonite. His zither is in the Henry Mercer Museum and is mentioned in Dr. Mercer's 1923 article (for a download, link to http://www.zither.us/?q=zithers.pennsylvania.germans or do a keyword search on the citation: Henry Mercer, "The Zithers of The Pennsylvania Germans" Bucks County Historical Society, 1923).

Mark Hagenbuch has another webpage:

"Music of Andreas Hagenbuch’s Time"

Posted Dec. 2, 2014 on Hagenbuch's website: "Music of Andreas Hagenbuch’s Time" -- speculative, since there is no information about music the family actually listened to in the 1700s, but very informative, with YouTube clips of music of the period. Andreas, 1711-1785, was born in Lomersheim, in in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and settled in Berks County, Pa.

Some excerpts:

Andreas Hagenbuch and his family were Lutherans, as were many Germans in that region [in Baden-Württemberg] after the Reformation. They undoubtedly attended church and were exposed to a vast repertoire of sacred music.

Paul Gerhardt (1607-1676) was a prolific writer of Lutheran hymns. “Put Thou Thy Trust in God” (Befiehl du deine Wege) can be found in a German 1759 hymnal published in Germantown, Pennsylvania. It is likely that the Hagenbuch family heard and sang hymns such as this.

[click here for video embedded in original]

And this:

Once the Hagenbuch family left the city [Philly] for the wilderness of Berks County, they would have been in frontier areas primarily populated by Germans. We know very little about the music from here during the early 18th century. Though, Rufus Grider gives us some tantalizing insights from the nearby town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania which was founded in 1741 by Moravian missionaries from Germany.

According to Grider, an attack by American Indians in 1755 was averted by playing a dirge on trombones. Grider also notes that the first organ was installed in a Bethlehem church in 1751. Benjamin Franklin wrote to his wife that “he heard very fine music in the church; that flutes, oboes, French horns, and trumpets, accompanied the organ.”

New Bethel Church – where the Hagenbuchs attended in Albany Township, Berks County – likely began as a log structure and lacked an organ for many decades. As was common during that time, hymns would have been sung without accompaniment.

Additionally, Andreas Hagenbuch’s 1785 will makes no mention of any instruments. Given the value of something like a violin, it is reasonable to assume that if the family owned something like this it would have been listed.

Yet, we know that frontier families had instruments in their possession. Grider describes that Bethlehem farmers as far back as 1746 “…never failed to carry along besides (sic) their sickles, also their flutes (dauces,) and French horns, drums, cymbals, &c.” Even if the Hagenbuch family was without these instruments, they certainly knew people who owned and played them.


* * *
Scheitholt or zitter?

The vernacular German box zither from which the Appalachian dulcimer developed has been called the "scheitholt," which means block of wood, since the early 17th century. But the reference is literary, dating to a catalog of instruments compiled in 1618 by the court and church musician Michael Praetorius, and American mountain dulcimer players beg to differ. See, for example, the discussion at:


Consensus in the Appalachian dulcimer community is that the folk instrument in Pennsylvania should be called a "zitter," which is the Pennsylvania Dutch word for a zither.

A 23-minute audio file on the Koons brothers is available on the Hearts of the Dulcimer website at http://dulcimuse.com/podcast/resource/003.html

Friday, May 13, 2016

Contemporary service -- Pentecost -- Peace Lutheran Church

Holy and Anointed One+Be lifted high(Praise)+Hunter Thompson+Bethel Church

[According to Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethel_Church_(Redding,_California), "Bethel Church is a non-denominational charismatic church that was established in Redding, California, as an Assemblies of God congregation in 1954 and broke with the AofG in 2006. The Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry was founded by the church in 1998." They have an extensive TV ministry.]

This week's email from Michelle:

Greetings, team!

I hope you are all doing well. Here is the music that is planned for this weekend. Pastor Paul begins his interim ministry with us this weekend, and it is Pentecost.

Gathering/Call to Worship: "God With Us" (Adam)

Worship Set:

Creed: "Because We Believe" (our old one)

"Lord's Prayer"

Sending Song: "You Are Good" -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uR_i1M5gfi4

Donald Duck discovers Pythagoras, the monochord and the diatonic scale (and you can too by watching this 1959 educational video)

Donald mathjam.png
Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4391277

It's all there in the first seven minutes of Donald in Mathmagic Land, a 27-minute film released June 26, 1959. According to Wikipedia, "The film was made available to schools and became one of the most popular educational films ever made by Disney" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_in_Mathmagic_Land). It transports Donald Duck back to ancient Greece, explains Pythagoras' contribution to math and even features Donald jamming with ancient Greek cartoon musicians, as shown above.

You can watch it on YouTube by clicking here:


I wish they'd had it out when I was struggling with math in elementary school!

Hat tip, BTW, to Göran Carlström of the Nordiska Psalmodikonförbundet in Sweden for getting me off on this tangent by referring to the psalmodikon as the "oldest musical instrument" on Facebook. The psalmodikon, a one-stringed Swedish box zither, is a type of monochord -- and Pythagoras is credited with inventing the monochord. From FB, I Googled the monochord and found a reference to the Disney film.

The rest, as they say, is history. Or math.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Links and background -- joint Lutheran-Catholic commemoration of the Reformation in Lund, Sweden, in November 2016

Something for the futures file? (If so, it better be in the pretty @##%! near future, considering the lead time for an article.) But it might pair up nicely with some of my notes from the Augustana Synod founders' day last year in Andover and that Reformation Cantata that Ernst Olson wrote at Augie in 1917 --

The Lutheran World Federation has a at press release up on Facebook today with a statement by the presiding bishop of the National Bishop Susan C. Johnson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), the Canadian counterpart to ELCA, and -- more importantly? -- links to background on the upcoming Joint Ecumenical Commemoration of the Reformation co-hosted by LWF, the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Sweden in November 2016 in the Swedish cathedral city of Lund.

First, today's press release:

Canadian National Bishop Susan C. Johnson says the October 2016 joint Lutheran - Catholic commemoration of the Reformation “is a wonderful sign of the work of the Holy Spirit… calling us into the unity of the Church.” The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Vice-President for North America spoke to Lutheran World Information about the church’s commitment to sponsor 500 refugees, provide 500 scholarships to schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, plant 500,000 trees, and raise CAD 500,000 [Canadian dollars] for the LWF Endowment Fund in marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.

It's part of the build-up to this year's commemoration of the 499th (!) anniversary of Martin Luther's posting the 95 Theses to the cathedral door in Wittenberg Oct. 31, 1517, which, of course, is in turn part of the build-up to the 500th next year. Most important, to my purposes, it has links to background on the festivities in Lund.

Portal is on the LWF website at https://www.lutheranworld.org/lund2016 under the headline "Event: Joint Ecumenical Commemoration of the Reformation to be held in Lund." LWF's overview:

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Roman Catholic Church will jointly hold an ecumenical commemoration of the Reformation on 31 October 2016 in Lund, Sweden.

Co-hosted by the Church of Sweden, the event will highlight the solid ecumenical developments between Catholics and Lutherans and the joint gifts received through dialogue, particularly in anticipation of the 500th Reformation anniversary in 2017. It will include a symposium and communal liturgy based on the Lutheran-Catholic dialogue report From Conflict to Communion - Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017.

The liturgical guide, also known as the "Common Prayer" for the ecumenical commemoration, is the latest outcome of a long dialogue process, and it is now available in English and Spanish. Versions in German and French will become available shortly.

The Lutheran - Catholic dialogue has yielded ecumenical milestone outcomes of which most notably is the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ), which was signed by the LWF and Pontifical Council on Christian Unity (PCPCU) in 1999. The JDDJ, affirms the consensus in basic truths of the doctrine of justification.

Another milestone was the 2013 Lutheran-Catholic publication From Conflict to Communion – which is the first attempt by both dialogue partners to describe together at international level the history of the Reformation.

* * *

Links abound, both in the text quoted above [they have been omitted on Hogfiddle] and in several directories below on the LWF page.