Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Grateful Dead-Jefferson Airplane / 1969

09-06-69 Jefferson Airplane
Family Dog At The Great Highway
San Francisco, CA


9/6/69 - Grateful Dead & Jefferson Airplane
Family Dog At The Great Highway - San Francisco, CA.

Ampex C-90 Master Cassette Soundboard (No Dolby)->DAT->CD->EAC->SHN
CD->EAC->SHN Done By Joe Samaritano

Disk 1:
Doin' That Rag
He Was A Friend Of Mine
Big Boy Pete
Good Lovin'
All Over Now

Disk 2:
-Airplane Set-
Ballad Of You, Me & Pooneil
Good Shepherd
We Can Be Together
Somebody To Love
The Farm
Crown Of Creation
Come Back Baby

Disk 3:
-Airplane Set (Con't)-
Wooden Ships
Go Ride The Music

* w/Garcia And Hart

Thanks To sgrmag For The Source Disks!

Friday, December 25, 2009

WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour Podcast - Lexington, Ky.

Shows are one hour. All kinds of old-time string band, Celtic, blues, even a nyckelharpa player ... anything acoustic. Link here for the directory of podcasts (scroll down and click on "---hi.mp3" to launch Windows Media Player. The blurb from Wikipedia:
The WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour [1], hosted by folksinger Michael Johnathon is listened to by over 1 Million radio listeners on over 493 radio stations each week all over the world.[2] It is provided free of charge to public and community radio stations anywhere in the world. It is also available nationwide on XM-15 The Village on XM Satellite radio.[3] In 2007 selected programs became available throughout the U.S. as television programs to all PBS television stations, now in its 6th run of 13 week episodes. In 2008 mp4 podcastswere added to the already existing mp3 podcasts.
Produced by WUKY Lexington.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hallelujah Chorus performed by a pentecostal gospel choir from Atlanta

Atlanta West Pentecostal Church Sanctuary Choir of Lithia Springs, Ga., performs the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah on "Fox & Friends" in the style of a mass gospel choir treatment.

Link to the church's website for background on AWPC's music ministry, including video clips from this year's Verizon Wireless How Sweet the Sound™ Gospel Choir Competition, which the sanctuary choir won.

'We'll Camp a Little While in the Wilderness' - in N.C. country Baptist church ... and link to mp3 of Sheila Kay Adams

In description of Lusk Chapel Baptist Church in Madison County, N.C., west of Asheville, "This little country church is still very active in the Spring Creek community," according to geneologist Fred D. Price, now of Michigan. It is affiliated with the French Broad Baptist Association.
Doc Plemmons taught singing schools at Lusk Chapel, where a person would
learn the old "Shape Note" type of singing. In the early years Lusk Chapel
had no piano or organ and they would not allow string instruments of any
kind in the church. They would give the pitch with a tuning fork, and
would sing songs such as "Camp A Little While In The Wilderness", "Careless
Soul", "Look Away Beyond The Blue", "In The Sweet Bye And Bye", "Wayfaring
Stranger", "I Will Arise And Go To Jesus", "Beautiful Home Sweet Home",
"Away Over In The Promised Land", and "I Am A Pilgram Of Sorrow". Songs
were sang without accompaniment. Lusk Chapel like a lot of the other
little country churches would have "All Day Singings" and dinner on the
grounds. Choirs, quartets, trios, and so on and so forth would come from
miles around and start singing about 10:00am and sing till noon. They
would stop long enough to spread their dinners on the grounds or on tables,
and people would visit with each other while eating lunch. After eating
some would go to the cemetery and decorate the graves with flowers while
reflecting of the memories of their loved ones buried there. Most of the
people would go back in the church and the singers would sing until about
4:00pm that evening.
Source: Fred D. Price, "Lusk Chapel Baptist Church" Western NC Genealogy Resource Center for Madison County http://www.goldenbranches.com/nc-state/madison/lusk-chr.html.

Sheila Kay Adams' version is included on the CD Old-Time Music on the Air, V. 2

Monday, December 21, 2009

'Sounds of Slavery' - downloads and excerpts

The Sounds of Slavery
by Shane White and Graham White
Beacon Press
© 2005 by Shane White and Graham White

Downloads are on the Beacon Press website at http://www.beacon.org/soundsofslavery/ ... tracks as follows:
1 "Arwhoolie" holler Thomas J. Marshall
2 Levee holler Enoch Brown
3 Field holler Roosevelt "Giant" Hudson
4 "Oh If Your House Catches Fire" levee camp holler Willie Henry Washington
5 "Roxie" Convicts, Mississippi
6 "New Buryin' Ground" John Brown and African American convicts
7 "Long Hot Summer Day" Clyde Hill and African American convicts
8 "Go Preach My Gospel" Deacon Harvey Williams and the New Zion Baptist Church congregation
9 "Jesus, My God, I Know His Name" Willie Henry Washington, Arthur Bell, Robert Lee Robertson, and Abraham Powell
10 "Go to Sleep" Florida Hampton
11 "The Buzzard and the Cooter" Demus Green
12 "Prayer" Rev. Henry Ward
13 "Run, Old Jeremiah" Joe Washington Brown and Austin Coleman
14 "Job, Job" Mandy Tartt, Sims Tartt, and Betty Atmore
15 "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" Clifford Reed, Johnny Mae Medlock, and Julia Griffin
16 "Have Mercy, Lord" Mary Tollman and the Rev. Henry Ward
17 "The Unusual Task of the Gospel Preacher" Rev. Harry Singleton
18 "The Man of Calvary" Sin-Killer Griffin
WNYC Radio has an excerpt from the introduction by Shane White and Graham White. The beginning:
At day’s end the slaves trudged home from their owners’ fields. Since sunup they had worked and sweated for the man. Now, for a few hours of darkness, the time was theirs, to the extent that slaves ever owned anything, and they could be something other than brute physical labor. Small groups gathered outside the slave cabins, listening to stories, talking out of earshot of the overseer.Maybe later, particularly if it happened to be a Saturday, there would be singing, and someone might accompany them on a banjo or a fiddle. At a distance, the quarters gave off an industrious hum, reassuring proof to those up in the Big House of the rightness of the plantation order, but from within what the slaves could hear were the invigorating sounds of the reclamation of their humanity. As she often did, Zora Neale Hurston put it best: this was the time of day when blacks “became lords of sounds.”1 There is something timeless about such a scene. It could be a Virginia tobacco plantation in the 1750s, a South Carolina rice plantation in the 1810s, or a cotton plantation in the Mississippi Delta in the 1850s. Indeed, replace the overseer with the boss man, allow that the blacks did legally own their own time, and this vignette could just as easily be set in the Florida of the 1910s or 1920s that Hurston knew so well. For nearly three centuries of African American history, much of what was distinctive about black culture was to be found in the realm of sound, a characteristic that was particularly clear in the hours in which slaves were not toiling for their owners.

Above all else, slave culture was made to be heard. That was apparent from the moment newly enslaved Africans first arrived in the New World. It is difficult to get at the experiences of the fresh arrivals as they struggled to comprehend their status as slaves in a new and bewildering land. Hardly surprisingly, they left scant records of those experiences; practically all we have are a few descriptions by uncomprehending whites, mostly couched in terms of the impenetrability of the behavior of their newly imported property.2 But occasionally the incidents whites describe are so striking, the behavior of blacks so apparently strange, that we are afforded some insight into the slaves’ reactions to what must have seemed a terrifying and almost impossibly alien world.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

YouTube clips of period arrangement of 'Roll Jordan' and a TV segment on 'Slave Songs' (1867), also a guy who does reproduction Civil War-era banjos

PBS segment on PBS History Detectives on "Slave Songs of the United States"

It runs 17 minutes. Here's the blurb:

The president of the Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum in Culver City, California [Avery Clayton], recently discovered an unusual book in his late mother's extraordinary collection of African-American artifacts. The small, cloth-bound book, titled Slave Songs of the United States, has a publication date of 1867 and contains a collection of 136 plantation songs. Could this be the first book of African-American spirituals ever published? HISTORY DETECTIVES host Wes Cowan visits a music historian in Los Angeles to explore the coded messages and the melodies that laid the foundation of modern blues, gospel and protest songs of future generations. He also meets with Washington, DC's Howard University Choir for a special concert of selections from Slave Songs sung in the traditional style of mid-1800s spirituals.

Instrumental adaptation of Roll, Jordan, Roll" as written and collected (No. 1, p. 1) in "Slave Songs of the United States"

[An audio snippet of the Fisk Jubilee Singers' concert arrangment of "Roll Jordan Roll" is available on the Smithsonian Folkways CD "Wade In The Water: African American Spirituals." Scroll down to blurb and link to song.]

[Another song, "No More Driver's Driving," with "Roll, Jordan" as a tagline or chorus is cited in "Slave Songs" p. 45 to H[enry] G[eorge] Spaulding, "Under the Palmetto," Continental Monthly 4 (1863): 188-203]

Vocal of "Early in the Morning"

"Walk 'em easy round the heaven (3x) / Till all living may join that band" (No. 58, p. 44)

Also: Interview with 19th century style banjo maker George Wunderlich from The Down Neck Gazette. Filmed in 2001.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

For Decatur gig ... Misc. Civil War songs w/ lyrics and MIDI files (and Hutchinson Family)


[tune: OLD ROSIN THE BOW arr. Henry Clay Work]

"When Sherman Marched Down to the Sea" (1865)
Words by Adjutant S. H. M. Byers
of the 5th Iowa Cavalry, at Columbia, S.C.
Music (arranged?) by Henry Clay Work, 1832-1884

Our campfires shone bright on the mountains,
That frown'd on the river below;
While we stood by our guns in the morning,
And eagerly watched for the foe;
When a horseman rode out of the darkness
That hung over mountain and tree,
And shouted "Boys! up and be ready,
For Sherman will march to the sea."

Then cheer upon cheer for bold Sherman
Went up from each valley and glen,
And the bugles re-echoed the music
That rose from the lips of the men--
For we knew that the stars in our banners
More bright in their splendor would be,
And the blessings from Northland would great us
When Sherman march'd down to the sea.



Wikipedia has background, cf. "Get Off the Track" and Buchanan campaign song.

Lyrics and mp3 file by Japher's "Original" SANDY RIVER MINSTRELS on
UVa minstrel shows website

"Old Dan Tucker"
Written and Arranged by "Dan. Tucker, Jr."
[Daniel D. Emmet]
New York: Atwill's, 1843

I come to town de udder night,
I hear de noise den saw de fight,
De watchman was a runnin roun,
Cryin Old Dan Tuckeer's come to town,
So get out de way! Get out de way!
Get out de way! Old Dan Tucker,
Your too late to come to supper.

Tucker on de wood pile--can't count 'lebben,
Put in a fedder bed--him gwine to hebben,
His nose so flat, his face so full,
De top ob his head like a bag ob wool,
Get out de way! Get out de way!
Get out de way! Old Dan Tucker,
Your too late to come to supper.


Source: An abolitionist songbook of the period - The Anti-Slavery Harp; A Collection of Songs for Anti-Slavery Meetings. Compiled by William W. Brown, A Fugitive Slave (Boston: Bela Marsh, 1848)

AIR — Dan Tucker

Ho! the car Emancipation
Rides majestic thro' our nation,
Bearing on its train the story,
Liberty! a nation's glory.
Roll it along, thro' the nation,
Freedom's car, Emancipation!

First of all the train, and greater,
Speeds the dauntless Liberator,
Onward cheered amid hosannas,
And the waving of free banners.
Roll it along! spread your banners,
While the people shout hosannas.

Men of various predilections,
Frightened, run in all directions;
Merchants, editors, physicians,
Lawyers, priests, and politicians.
Get out of the way! every station!
Clear the track of 'mancipation!

Let the ministers and churches
Leave behind sectarian lurches;
Jump on board the car of Freedom,
Ere it be too late to need them.
Sound the alarm! Pulpits thunder!
Ere too late you see your blunder!

Politicians gazed, astounded,
When, at first, our bell resounded;
Freight trains are coming, tell these foxes,
With our votes and ballot boxes.
Jump for your lives! politicians,
From your dangerous, false positions.

* * * [and so on at quite some length]

Hutchinson Family Singers. According to
Wikipedia article (accessed Dec. 20, 2009), "The Hutchinsons were a hit with both audiences and critics, and they toured the United States. They popularized closed four-part harmony. The group's material included controversial material promoting abolitionism, workers' rights, temperance, and women's rights." Money grafs:

In the 1830s, European intinerate entertainers such as the Austrian Tyrolese Minstrels and the Strassers toured the United States and whetted American appetites for groups who sang in four-part harmony.[1] John Hutchinson saw a Tyrolese Minstrels concert in either Boston or Lynn, Massachusetts, probably in 1840. He was impressed by what he heard, and he decided to teach the rest of his family to sing in the same style.[2] . . .

John Hutchinson and three of his brothers (Asa, Jesse, and Judson) dubbed themselves the Hutchinson Family Singers and gave their first concert in Milford, New Hampshire, in 1840. They performed again in Lynn the following year.[2] The group sang mostly European songs, such as those by Henry Russell or the Tyrolese Rainers,[3] but Jesse Hutchinson soon quit to write original material and to manage the group's affairs. The remaining three members eventually adopted the name Aeolian Singers. Twelve-year-old Abby Hutchinson, a high tenor, took Jesse Hutchinson's place to complete the quartet.[2]

When a member of the group wrote a new song, each of the four singers individually decided his or her own part to create the harmony.[2] John Hutchinson later recalled,

Judson had a naturally high voice, a pure tenor. My voice was a baritone, though I sang falsetto easily, and Asa had a deep bass. Abby had an old-fashioned "counter" or contralto voice. The result was an effect like that of a male quartet. Abby's part being the first tenor, Judson's second tenor, mine first and Asa's second bass, respectively. But we practiced an interchange of parts as we sang, and the blending of the voices was so perfect that it seemed quite impossible for the audience to distinguish the several parts.[4]

Citations are to Gage Averill, "Four Parts, No Waiting: A Social History of American Barbershop Harmony" and Hutchison quote in Charles Hamm, "Yesterdays." See also: Hutchinson Family Singers in the 1840s -


Lyrics and MIDI file at Civil War Era Lyrics and Tunes [from Arkansas - home page Has a MIDI file of "I'm a Good Old Rebel" playing in the background!]. Project Gutenberg has sheet music The Good Old Songs We Used to Sing — ’61 to ’65 (1902). Click on "Notation" under picture of title page. In C for Piano and voice.

article by Bob Waltz "Remembering the Old Songs: When This Cruel War is Over" originally published in Inside Bluegrass, June 2004, has background and a link to a PDF file of sheet music in G.


Stephen C. Foster - lyrics in PDMusic.orgwebsite. Sheet music for piano and voice in D at http://www.free-scores.com/download-sheet-music.php?pdf=5391 ... click on PDF logo.

"Old Folks at Home" (1851)
Ethiopian Melody
As Sung by
Christy's Minstrels
Written and Composed
(Words and Music) by
Stephen Collins Foster, 1826-1864

Way down upon de Swanee ribber,
Far, far away,
Dere's wha my heart is turning ebber,
Dere's wha de old folks stay.
All up down de whole creation,
Sadly I roam,
Still longing for de old plantation,
And for de old folks at home.

CHORUS 2 times
All de world am sad and dreary,
Eb'ry where I roam,
Oh! darkeys how my heart grows weary,
Far from de old folks at home.


Lyrics in directory of Henry Clay Work in PD Music website
"Kingdom Coming" (26 Sept. 1862)
(The Year of Jubilo)
by Henry Clay Work, 1832-1884
No. 10

Say, darkeys, hab you seen de massa,
Wid de muffstash on his face,
Go long de road some time dis mornin',
Like he gwine to leag de place?
He seen a smoke, way up de ribber,
Whar de Linkum gumboats lay;
He took his hat, an' lef berry sudden,
An' I spec he's run away!

De massa run? ha, ha!
De darkey stay? ho, ho!
It mus' be now de kingdom comin',
An' de year of Jubilo!

* * *
Background and lyrics - with translation into modern standard English - in Wikipedia

Sheet music of the modern fiddle tune in D on Hope Grietzler's Happy Hollow Music website, along with mp3 file played by fiddle. Note to self: Some nice ornamentation on "Spotted Pony" worth checking out, too. Project Gutenberg has a transcription of the original sheet music for piano-forte and voice with four-part harmony on the chorus, in C (Chicago: Root & Cady, 1862).


There's a Sound Among the Forest Trees (Rallying Song and Chorus) / Miss Fanny Jane Crosby [aka Mrs. Francis Van Alstyne, 1820-1915] / William Batchelder Bradbury, 1816-1868. MIDI file at http://www.pdmusic.org/civilwar2.html ... scroll down to 1864, click on There's a Sound Among the Forest Trees (Rallying Song and Chorus)

1. There’s a sound among the forest trees, away, boys,
Away to the battlefield, Hurrah!
Hear its thunders from the mountains, no delay, boys,
We’ll gird on the sword and shield.
Shall we falter on the threshold of our fame, boys?
The light of the morn appears, Hurrah,
Quick to duty, “Up and at them,” once again, boys,
Hurrah for our Volunteers.
They are coming from the North, they are coming from the West,
Where the mighty river flows,
From New England’s hallowed soil,
Where our Pilgrim Fathers rest,
And the Star of Freedom rolls.

FULL CHORUS [sung after each verse]
There’s a sound among the forest trees, away, boys,
Away to the battle field, Hurrah!
Quick to duty, “Up and at them,” once again, boys,
Hurrah for our Volunteers.
Pdf file of a broadsheet available on line in lyrics "Poignant Songs and Poems Took the Civil War to the Home Front" by Georgia B. Barnhill, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts, American Antiquarian Society (scroll down and click on thumbnail). Library of Congress has the sheet music (3 pages in PDF format) in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia. MIDI file


More in Civil War directory on PD Music website


Dixie for the Union (for Quartette or Chorus) [c1860] / Francis Jane Crosby, 1820-1915 / Melody by Daniel Decatur Emmett, 1815-1904; [Piano Arr. by W. L. Hobbs]; Quartet Arr. by S. Lasar


Hold On Abraham! / William Batchelder Bradbury, 1816-1868 / William Batchelder Bradbury, 1816-1868


Three Hundred Thousand More! / William Cullen Bryant, 1794-1878 / George R. Poulton, 1828-1867


City of Alton Schottisch / none / Richard S. Poppen


"Dixie for the Union" (1860) [1861]
Words by Francis J[ane]. Crosby (1820-1915)
[aka Mrs. Francis "Fanny" Jane (Crosby) Van Alstyne]
Melody by Dan[iel]. D[ecatur]. Emmett (1815-1904)
[Piano arranged by W. L. Hobbs]
Quartet [or Chorus] arranged by S. Lasar

New York: Firth, Pond & Co., 547 Broadway
[Source: 087/117@Levy]

1. Oh! ye patriots to the battle,
Hear Fort Moultrie’s cannon rattle;
Then away, then away, then away to the fight!
Go meet those Southern Traitors,
With iron will,
And should your courage falter, boy,
Remember Bunkey Hill,

[REFRAIN (sung after each VERSE]
Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!
The Stars and Stripes forever!
Hurrah! Hurrah!
Our Union shall not sever!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Trio Mio - clips on YouTube and MySpace

Trio Mio (or 2/3 of them) playing two polskas (traditional dances in 3/4 time) with Swedish composer and clarinet player Dan Gisen Malmquist at the 2009 Sommarscen festival in Malmö ...

Gisen mixes Swedish and Balkan influences, according to a bio at CD Roots. He got interested in Balkan traditions because "few Swedish clarinet players ... had had their music recorded on vinyl. He therefore turned to Balkan and Greek folk music where the clarinet played a more prominent role."

Trio Mio Kristine Heebøll, Jens Ulvsand and Nikolaj Busk website has http://www.triomio.dk/index_e.html

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Along with all the Grateful Dead downloads, the Internet Archive has full text of John Horton, 'Scandinavian Music: A Short History' (1963)

Available on the Internet Archive website ... it's not just Grateful Dead downloads!

Horton's Scandinavian Music (1963) is one of 1,817,401 texts available. Also: 451,106 recordings, 236,842 movies, 451,106 recordings and, in the live music archive, 71,839 concerts, including 7,195 of the Dead. Here are the details:

Scandinavian Music:
A Short History



First American Edition 1963
Printed in Great Britain


KANSAS CITY, MO PUBLIC LIBRARY        54- IOC 12     "o.?tor.  

70.94o K82s 64-IC012

Hor ton 07*50
Scandinavian nu'sic; a short

kansas city public library

. Books will be issued only

on presentation of library card.
Please report lost cards and

; change of residence promptly.
Card holders are responsible for

all books, records, films, pictures
or other library materials ,
checked out on their cards.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Blå tonar, i.e. 'blue tones' in traditional Scandinavian music

Heard on the Nov. 14 Multe Music podcast "November Blues" out of Northfield, Minn. ... according to program host Ruth Marie Sylte, some halftones are known as "blå tonar" in traditional music ... mostly Norwegian (?) but a couple of tracks by Swedish and Danish musicians. Most accessible example: "Blå tonar frå Lom" by Hans W. Brimi & Pernille Anker on the Nordisk Sang compilation disc.

Most of these sound modal to my ear, but some interesting influence of African American music - a lot of jazz and some blues - on some of the groups she features. Not to be missed: "Forårslængslens Bluespolsk" featuring Kristine Heebøl (and I'm sure I hear Nikolaj Busk on keyboard) from the Trio Mio CD.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas songs in Landstad's Norwegian Psalmebog

From my copy of M.B. Landstad's Kirkesalmebog (Minneapolis: Forlagt af Frikirkens Boghandel, 1905) ... selections for Christmas Eve (Juleaften) and Christmas Day (Første Juledag):

Click on picture to enlarge

The verse "Ære være Gud i det høyeste! of Fred paa Jorden ..." is the Gloria in excelsis deo from Luke 2:14.

In their notes to a CD called Stjerneklang, Norwegian singer Sinikka Langeland and organist Andreas Liebig find deep connections between Christmas music from Norway, Johann Sebastian Bach and the old German chorales, in their words "between St. Thomas’s Church and the [medieval Norwegian] Stave Church." They say:
The old Advent and Christmas hymns have migrated northwards to Norway from continental Europe. ... These hymns gradually became a vital part of folk culture during generations of use, and have made their way into the hearts of the people. The translations of Magnus Brostrup Landstad (1802-1880) for his collection in Kirkesalmebog (Church Hymnal) in 1869 have played an important role in this respect.
Several of these hymns are on YouTube and other websites:

Kimer, i Klokker. "Ring, O ye bells." Danish and Norwegian carol. Words by 19th-century Danish pastor and composer Nikolai F. S. Grundtvig, 1856. Melody in Danske Salmebog by Henrik Rung, 1857. According to the Hymns and Carols of Christmas website, it was also set by F. Melius Christiansen of Minnesota's St. Olaf College to Joachim Neander's "Praise to the Lord" and published in the Concordia Hymnal. YouTube has amateur footage of a church choir's concert at Christianskirken in Lyngby, Denmark. Also a Christian contemporary-sounding version by Danish rock and pop artist Kim Larsen and Grundtvig's words sung to Neander's melody onNorwegian pop and club band Dizzie Tunes' vinyl album Glade Jul released in 1977. (Footnote: According to Wikipedia, their producer was named Jørg Fredrik Ellertsen.)

Et lidet Barn saa lystelig. "A little child so joyfully." Landstad's psalmbook says it is a German song from the Middle Ages. YouTube has a medley of "Et lidet Barn saa lystelig" and "I denne søde Juletid" by the Norwegian roots band Bukkene Bruse, vocal by Arve Moen Bergset, performing songs from their Christmas CD, released in the U.S. by NorthSide records of Minneapolis. According to their liner notes on the song, they perform three versions of the melody, one from Brita Bratland and Ellen Nordstoga, one from Sunnmøre and one from Nordmøre. In an online essay ("In the Beginning Was the Song - The Old Christmas Hymns"), Sinikka Langeland says Kingo's psalm book of 1699 directed that it was to be sung “three times during the holy days of Christmas, before the Gospel for Christmas Day [and] read from the pulpit. People who did not attend church services during Christmas performed the same ritual at home, and it is therefore quite understandable that this song is found in so many different versions."

Du være lovet, Jesu Krist [German: Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ]. "Praise to Thee, Jesus Christ." A medieval German carol that was reworked by Martin Luther and became one of the important Reformation chorale melodies. Aryeh Oron's Bach Cantatas Website has a history of the melody in the 16th and 17th centuries in his discussion of Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works. It is the basis of Cantata 91, which can be heard in audio on Oron's website at http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Mus/BWV91-Mus.htm (click on C-4, Complete Cantata [ram]). YouTube has numerous clips of Bach's chorale prelude, and a clavicord setting by Dieterich Buxtehude. A German church (St. Gumbert, below) has a very nice - but unidentified - choral version.

I denne søde Juletid. Follows "Et lidet barn saa lystelig" in the YouTube clip from Bukkene Bruse's show on Norwegian television linked above.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

12-page PDF file on Swedish folk music

Ronström Owe, "Swedish Folk Music: Originally written for Encyclopaedia of World Music." PDF file at owe.ompom.se/data/pdf/075%20Swedish%20folk%20music.pdf

ment. psalmodikon, but not religious music ... good on modes, history from Middle Ages onward -- the following perspective:
In the construction of the "Swedish national folk music tradition", the
importance of the collectors and researchers often rather narrow
preconceptions of what an "original, authentic, national folk music" is
and should sound like, cannot be overemphasised. From the first articles
published in the early 19th century up to today, the most common
approach to folk music has been a combination of two different
perspectives, the historical and the geographical. The historical
perspective is often a paradoxical combination of evolutionary and
devolutionary ideas: on the one hand folk music is understood to be
constantly developing from simple to complex, from primitive to
cultivated; on the other it is also understood to be constantly corrupted,
distorted, step by step vanishing, through the influence of modernisation
and urbanisation.

From the geographical perspective Sweden is treated either as a single
homogenous unit, or as consisting of several enclosed units, "landskap".
The "landskap", a medieval administrative unit, was reintroduced as a
symbolic "imagined community" in the second half of the 19th century.
Since then it has become firmly established in folk taxonomy, as the main
organising unit of folk traditions.

The historical-geographical perspective was seriously challenged in the
mid 20th century, by the introduction of structural-functionalist ideas,
which underlined forms, functions and social origins of folk music. ...
Owe clearly belongs to the latter group.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

New Salem: Re workshops on period music

Our next session at New Salem will be at 10 a.m. this Saturday, Dec. 5, in the basement of the museum store. (If you're not familiar with the historic village, I'll leave directions at the desk in the Visitors Center. Since the last session, I've been asked if we can come up with some fairly simple pieces we can play or sing in the village, i.e. that are easy to play and appropriate to our period. Especially pieces that can be played on an Appalachian dulcimer tuned to DAA and/or DAD. Here are a couple for starters.

Tablature is available on line for several good pieces that fit our period. Check the Everything Dulcimer website at http://everythingdulcimer.com/ ... The name's appropriate. It has, well, everything about dulcimers on the site. To find the tablature, pull down the "Files" menu and click on "Tab." You'll find a lengthy directory (654 tunes). The songs I'd recommend for starters are "Froggie Went A Courtin’," "Lincoln and Liberty" and "Shenandoah."

(If you're really, really bored, here's something else you can do on the EverythingDulcimer.com. You can also click on "ED Articles" while you're in the files menu, and scroll down to my article "Drones, picks and Popsicle sticks." It has a little bit about New Salem and a lot about the old-timey ways of playing.)

Some notes on the songs:
  • "Frog Went a-Courting." There's only one version in EverythingDulcimer.com, but in one form or another, it dates back to a ballad called "Of a most strange wedding of a frog and mouse" printed in 1584. It's tabbed out for DAD and DAA, which confuses a lot of people. Choose the tuning you want - DAD if you're playing with the Monday night or Thursday night groups who stick to that tuning - and use a yellow highlighter so your part (the D string in DAD or A string in DAA) stands out. But look at the tab for both tunings and notice how they're related to each other. Lyrics: A webpage by music-lover David Highland collects different versions going all the way back to the 1500s. And Bob Dylan (of all people) has a singable set of lyrics that's true to the original or at least versions that would have been heard in the lower Midwest during the 1830s.
  • "Lincoln and Liberty" ("Rosin the Bow"). "Lincoln and Liberty" doesn't fit our period, of course, but it's about our guy. And "Rosin the Bow" derives from a family of Irish and English fiddle tunes dating from the 1600s and 1700s. Citing Samuel Bayard's authoritative collection of early Pennsylvania fiddle and fife tunes, Andrew Kuntz in the Fiddler's Companion says, "the air was known to most fiddlers, fifers, and singers in Pennsylvania, as in many parts of the country." The lyrics to "Rosin the Bow" were published as sheet music in the late 1830s, so it's fair game for our period. Again, the tab is for DAA and DAD both. What does that tell you about playing songs in D?
  • "Shenandoah." An old and very, very widespread song, but one that may have origins as a boatmans' song in the Mississippi Valley during our period. There are fascinating, although inconclusive, threads in Mudcat Cafe on its origins and history with links to yet other threads. A Bruce Springsteen tribute page has the lyrics in a version from the Pete Seeger Sessions that's very faithful to the original.