Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lapskaus recipes

DECORAH -- After eating the lapskaus at the Dayton House, 516 W. Water St. (next door to Vesterheim), we made a note to get a recipe. Here, surfed up on the Web, are a couple:

Some really good recipes for laqpskaus, fruktsuppe, kjøttkaker, etc., from an old Daughters of Norway cookbook from the 1950s. Several meatball recipes with allspice, ginger and other spices.

A recipe (and much more) from Lapskaus Avenue -- 8th Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New Salem

Copied from bulletin board in the employees' break room at Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site:

The underlying purpose of the restoration of New Salem, Lincoln's early home, is not to make a show place but to provide a lesson to the people in the common virtues and true principles of life.

-- Illinois State Journal, May 9, 1926

Monday, July 20, 2009

'On Jordan's Stormy Banks' / THE PROMISED LAND

Peggy Brayfield of Charleston, Ill., videotaped three versions in the Sacred Harp of the text by Samuel Stennett. The first is THE PROMISED LAND ... the others are SWEET PROSPECT and NEW JORDAN ...

Zipping along even faster than the Sacred Harp singers, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir proves you're not immune to "bluegrassing it" even when you're backed by an orchestra. Arrangement by Mack Wilberg.

First verse and chorus, sung right by the Clara Ward Singers ...

A nice. up-tempo Southern gospel piano version by Keith Hinson of Alabama ...

A credible version, a little slower and backed by guitar and banjo, by a West Virginia band called Appalachian Tradition ...

Also, maybe the best of the bunch although the tune is different, Christian rock band Jars of Clay, of Greenville, Ill., plays the song at a tempo I think is suitable to the text ... their lyrics, which are basically Stennett's, are available on line.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"'Twill Nebber Do to Gib It Up So" - Dan Emmett

... as sung by the Virginia Minstrels. Music and Words by Old Dan D. Emmett. Boston: C.H. Keith [1843]. Score in A.

For piano and voice. On line in Johns Hopkins' JScholarship Library collection -- two pages in JEPG format

Source: Johns Hopkins University, Levy Sheet Music Collection, Box 020, Item 180

[There are three JPEGs, but page 3 appears to be a duplicate of page 2.]

Also alphabetized as "Old Jim River" in Clark Kimberling's collection of Americana to 1865 (Collection 4). Transposed to C and D.

Sound clips: There's a 30-second sample on the album "Tooth and Nail" by the Camptown Shakers, a collection of Civil War and minstrel tunes.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

'Fanteguten' - catchy Norwegian dance tune

I first heard "Fanteguten" on Kirsten Braaten Berg's "Min Kvedarlund" album ...

A YouTube clip from Studentspelmanslags-VM 2006. It's a competition in Sweden for student groups that seem to operate sort of like an open slow jam that's associated with a school. Playing are Anonyma folkmusiker of Norrköping, a Swedish group (notice the nyckelharpa players):

More at Mostly in Swedish, but there's a one-page English summary.

The Norwegian folk-rock band Folque had a version on their album "Vardøger" in 1977. The song is popular in Norway and "har også vært kjent i resten av Norden, Tyskland og Holland." Text was written in 1840s by M.B. Landstad:
Som fanteguten kom seg rians til gård,
skjøn jomfrua stod ute og kjemmer sitt hår.

Så bau ho no drengjen inn på eit glas vin,
så skulle han telle opp rikdommen sin.

Eg heve no meg ein adelsgård
med åtte tjug' kyr og fire hundre får.

Så fylgde ho drengjen uti grønan eng.
Der lyster ho å sjå seg ikring.

Og hårre æ no din adelsgård
med åtte tjug' kyr og fire hundre får.

Aller hev eg hatt nokon adelsgård.
Aller hev eg ått så mykje som et får.

Og fanteguten lyfter på fillehetta si,
her ser du heile herligheta mi.

Hommel/hummel played on YouTube

A Belgian high school teacher, sheep farmer and musician -- screen name jostilley -- plays his composition, "Hoera! Nieuw Leven! - Three Cheers for Each New Life!," on the Flemish hommel. Gives a good sense of how the instrument is played.

Also on jostilly's YouTube site: Several clips of hommel and Appalachian dulcimer music, including what appears to be a jam session for of medieval and modern folk instruments at the Volksmuziekschool in Gooik, a town in Belgium.

W. Ulrich aus Norden (Ostfriesland) has his YouTube directory at ... on one, demonstrating his reconstruction of a Saxon instrument of the 1840s, he plays with a noter and goose feather. He even has a "Hummel blues."

Doesn't belong here, but linked so I can find it later. A clip of German folksinger Jan Rolph von Heidweiler singing "Die Fahrt ins Heu" at the historical event "Waldorf - Bi et wor en is 2006". Sounds like "Det var en gode gamle bondeman."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Praetorius' scheitholt pix in Syntagma Musicum

Copyright-free images in Wikimedia Commons -- search keywords "Syntagma Musicum"

Deutsch: Das Syntagma musicum gehört zu den musikwissenschaftlichen Schriften des Michael Praetorius. Es ist eines der bedeutendsten Werke historisch-musiktheoretischer Literatur und umfasst 3 Bände. (1620)

English: The Syntagma Musicum by Michael Praetorius is a work in three volumes published in 1620. It is one of the most significant documents regarding the history of musical instruments.

Title page

In Wikimedia Commons -- search Syntagma Musicum in

Praetorius' picture of the scheitholt is on pages 19-20 ... it's on page 20, the small instrument (no. 8) on a diagonal beheath the three viols in the upper right of the picture.

Description: Syntagma12.png

Syntagma Musicum Theatrum Instrumentorum seu Sciagraphia Wolfenbüttel 1620

Date: Wolfenbüttel 1620

Source: Syntagma Musicum

Author: Michael Praetorius

Permission: (Reusing this image) Author died more than 70 years ago - public domain)

Saturday, July 11, 2009 / cyber school for music

The cyber school for music is a target="_blank">music theory website by Joe Craig, a musician and teacher of Anchorage, Alaska. Lots of good stuff on modes and modal harmonies in jazz. Craig says:
About the name. It was about ten years ago on a bus to Boston, that I was lucky to get a seat next to a very smart lass from the West Coast named Audrey. And after a bit of introductions we asked each other about our respective work. After a brief description of what I was doing Audrey quipped ... "why your building a cyber school Joe." And when I asked Audrey what a cyber school was, she replied after a pause, "well ... just what you are creating right now." And with a firm look and a smile from Audrey, we left it at that. I never really got an answer from Audrey as to whether the West Coast already had cyber schools ... but I figured they must.
He adds:
Course outline: This introductory music theory course is designed to create a lifelong intellectual framework for gaining and retaining musical knowledge within the learner. We achieve this by creating a combined theoretical and historical overview of our American and European music. Moving through ten sequenced chapters, this course starts with the origins of our present day, tuned musical pitch from natural sound as discovered by the ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras. Upon this Pythagorean system, each succeeding chapter gradually reshapes this pitch resource into the essential musical components of scales, arpeggios, chords and rhythms we have used to create all of the combined American and European music we enjoy. With separate chapters for composing and practice techniques, this combined curriculum provides the fundamental music theory elements with practical performance and creative applications, all within a historical context. Each chapter contains a printable list of ten vocabulary terms and a ten question knowledge measure of chapter concepts. Musical examples include sound playback. A second semester, advanced course to continue this study of music theory is available.

Grateful Dead, Winterland, June 17, 1975

A classic. Notes on the show at ... including this, by "Deaddad" who attended 26 shows between 1974 and 1978. He recalls:
This was one of those Keith and Donna, Kingfish and Jerry Garcia Band shows that actually turned into a Dead show during their '75 hiatus. Mickey Hart's first appearance in three years. A sold out show. We brought a buddy who didn't have a ticket. I think the gate was $10, max. We got him a ticket for $15, a half-pint of Cuervo Gold and two fat joints of killer weed. ...
Very nice guitar on "Peggy-O" ... second set opened with a 23-minute jam on "Blues for Allah."

Set 1

Crazy Fingers
Beat It On Down The Line
Big River
Me And My Uncle
Help On The Way ->
Slipknot! ->
Franklin's Tower

Set 2

Blues For Allah ->
Stronger Than Dirt Or Milkin' The Turkey ->
Drums ->
Stronger Than Dirt Or Milkin' The Turkey ->
Blues For Allah
Sugar Magnolia

U.S. Blues

HUM 223: Duke Ellington - links

"Model of Leadership" - short (5:51) documentary on Duke Ellington, on British sax player John Harle's website:

A movie of Duke Ellington and other artists on "C Jam Blues" (1942). The movie, a three-minute R.C.M. Productions short, was produced by Sam Coslow and directed by Josef Byrne about the same time. It attempts to recreate a Harlem jam session.

A couple of performances :

"It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" (movie, 1943)

"Take the A Train" (in concert in Berlin, 1969)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

'Coleman's March' - some YouTube clips worth studying

An old fiddle tune in D with a lot of history ... and a one with a perfect tempo and lilt to try out Don Pedi's idea "it's all in the bowin' (his way of describing the interplay of fretting and strumming)." It's also one of those songs with a story about a fiddler who was about to be hanged (see below for a couple of accounts, one of which Don picked up from Bruce Greene). I've also been told that in past years on the last day of classes at schools in the Virginia highlands, the children would march in a procession around the schoolyard, often to a tune played by a local fiddler, as part of their commencement exercises. "Coleman's March" would have been one of those tunes.

I first heard it as played in North Carolina, at the Swannanoa Gathering in 2001 or 2002 by a performer, whose name I don't recall, who had learned a lot (although probably not this tune) from Dorsey Williams ... and then an awesome version at slower tempo with a lot more ornamentation on a CD by Ben and Becky Seymour. I fell in love with it, and found downloadable DAD tab (no longer available) on the North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association I used to teach it to the first Thursday dulcimer group in Springfield.

"Coleman's March," as the name suggests, is a march and not a dance tune. It needs a strong march rhythm (IMHO), or else it's unbearably schamaltzy. Play it at bluegrass tempo and it dies. Play it without a pretty strong lilt and it dies a second death. May be two ways of saying the same thing, but I think it's important.

Andrew Kuntz in the Fiddler's Companion has two separate entries. I think they're variants in the same family of tunes, but a lot of the time these tune families are in the eye (ear?) of the beholder.

COLEMAN'S MARCH [1]. AKA - "Joe Coleman's March." AKA and see "Chapel Hill March," "Green Willis [1]," "Jackson's March," "Joe Dobbins," "The New Rigged Ship [1]," "Old Hickory," "The Raw Recruit." Old-Time, March (cut time). USA, south-central Kentucky. D Major. DDad tuning. AA'BB. D. K. Wilgus, in his article "The Hanged Fiddler Legend in Anglo-American Tradition," has extensively researched this tune and legend, a variant of the hanged-fiddler legend of "MacPherson's Farewell." Joe Coleman, a shoemaker, was accused of stabbing his wife to death near the town of Slate Fork, Adair County, Kentucky, as recorded in the Burkesville Herald Almanac for 1899. Convicted on circumstantial evidence and the testimony of his sister-in-law who was living with them at the time, Coleman was tried in nearby Cumberland County and sentenced to death. While being driven to the place of execution in a two-wheeled ox cart, Coleman sat on his coffin and played a tune that has come down as "Coleman's March." Coleman protested his innocence to the last, and there several stories exist of a man confessing, or of "an old lady confessing on her death-bed she had killed Coleman's wife." One account (in the Burkesville Almanac) gives that Coleman's relatives quickly recovered the body, somehow managed to revive him and put him on a steamboat down the Cumberland River to Nashville, from which point he disappeared into the West. Also attached to the tune is the legend that before Coleman was hanged he offered his fiddle to anyone who could play the tune as well as he, and at least one source identified a Kentucky fiddler named Franz Prewitt as the recipient. Prewitt's descendants remembered him as having been indeed a fine fiddler, although they did not remember any tales connected with his receiving a fiddle. Bruce Greene introduced the tune to old-time “revival” fiddlers in the 1970’s, according to Seattle old-time music expert Kerry Blech who gives that Greene had the tune from an old Kentucky fiddler by the name of Gene Conner, who was recorded in January 1962 in Bowling Green, KY, probably by Lynwood Montell and Wilgus. Connor and played the tune in standard tuning, although Greene and Vermont fiddler Pete Sutherland play it in cross tuning (DDad). Sutherland’s version has been particularly influential in popularizing the tune in modern times. Greene told Blech the tune was played both ways in western Kentucky. Source for notated version: poularized by Pete Sutherland (Vt.) [Phillips]. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 2, 1995; pg. 32. BGR 1003, Don Pedi – “Mountain Magic: Fiddle Favorites for (Mountain) Dulcimer” (1990). Mary Custy & Eoin O'Neill - "With a lot of help from their friends." Marimac 9031, Pete Sutherland – “Eight Miles from Town.”
In addition to his own abc, Kuntz links to a transcription by John Lamancusa at that is basically a version of what I learned in North Carolina with different ornamentation. The second version listed in Fiddler's Companion looks to me like a variant of the same tune.

COLEMAN'S MARCH [2]. AKA and see "The Bonnie Blue Flag," "The Jaunting Car." Old-Time, March (6/8 time). USA, Kentucky. The melody was played by fiddler Pat Kingery (1912-1976), born in Glasgow, Warren County, Kentucky, a remote region, and was also in the repertoire of Sammy Walker; it was recorded by Red Belcher (on Page Records, c. 1947). D.K. Wilgus and Jim Nelson state it was pretty a common fiddle tune in Warren, Metcalfe, and Monroe Counties in south-central Kentucky. The melody is cognate with the Confederate anthem “The Bonny Blue Flag,” especially as played by Hoyt Ming (see Homestead 103, “New Hot Times”). Wilgus stated that “Bonny Blue Flag” was derived from an Irish song in 6/8 time called “The Jaunting Car,” but many fail to see the connection. The original linking of “Jaunting Car” and “Bonnie Blue Flag” may have come from Sigmund Spaeth’s History of Popular Music in America.
Some YouTube renditions worth listening to:

As performed by Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, on the CD "BANJO TALKIN." An interesting take on the tune by two clawhammer banjo players at a relaxed tempo. Some nice slides that would lend themselves to a lap dulcimer. Definitely worth studying.

Erich Schroeder has a very nice clawhammer version on the website that he learned from one of Cathy Fink and Marci Marxer's recordings.

On the YoppyKyabetsu YouTube site, Yopp vs Yopp Duet No. 3, aAnother banjo duet. A little faster, but still measured enough to work in most of the ornamentation. Worth a listen.

Gold Tone Instruments of Titusville, Fla. "Coleman's March" featuring Wayne Rogers and Bob Carlin on banjo and Robyn Rogers, guitar. Very nice arrangement. Same march tempo. Sounds like they cranked the bass a little too much on the recording, which isn't high tech to begin with, but lots of texture (even without the phone ringing at the end of the take) and nice interplay of the instruments in different registers. And lots of really nice little riffs throughout. Definitely worth studying!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

HUM 223: Madrigals ...

Harry Belafonte says without the influence of African American musicians, "When the Saints Go Marching In" would have sounded like an old English madrigal. Maybe, maybe not. But the popular music that Englishmen brought to America didn't sound anything like today's. Let's get a taste of what they sounded like ...

We'll listen to two madrigals from a 1984 television series by the British Broadcasting Corp. (apparently from a rerun with Italian subtitles) called the "Madrigal History Tour," narrated and sung by the King's Singers, a popular group of English classical musicians. Both were written about the same time the British colonies in Virginia and Massachusetts were established. A madrigal is simply the name we give to a type of secular song that was popular in England, as well as continental Europe, during the 1500s and 1600s. While they sound very "classical" to 21st-century ears, some of them were obviously targeted to appeal to young men studying at Oxford, Cambridge or the Inns of Court (women were not allowed to attend the universities or to study law). Songs like this were the forerunners of today's popular music.

The first deals with the alleged glories of tobacco, first brought back to England from Virginia and other colonies in the early 1600s. Smoking tobacco was a huge fad, and it was controversial. The song was set to music by Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623), who was a serious composer of choral music, organist of Winchester College and Chichester Cathedral, although he was also "noted and famed for a comon drunckard and notorious swearer & blasphemer." It's called "Come, sirrah, Jack, ho ..." which means something like, "come here, servant Jack." They are singing in an old-fashioned English pub, like those of the 1600s.

The words are:
Come sirrah Jack ho,
Fill some tobacco,
Bring a wire and some fire,
Haste haste away,
quick I say,
do not stay,
shun delay,
for I drank none good today.

I swear that this tobacco
Is perfect Trinidad-o;
By the very very Mass,
never never was
better gear
than is here,
by the rood,
for the blood,
it is very very good,
'tis very good.
"Sirrah" was a form of address used with servants, kind of like "hey waiter!" Trinidad was a type of tobacco grown in the West Indies, and the "rood" was an old English word for the cross. By the 1600s, swearing by the cross was considered a mild oath like "damn it" or "darn it."

The second song is called "Fair Phyllis," by John Farmer (1570–1605), who was Organist and Master of Children at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin and also, at the same time, organist of St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. As one of the King's Singers points out in the video, it revolves around a mild "double entendre" or double meaning. (It's a French word, and he pronounces it like DOO-bluh an-TAHN-druh.) In other words, it's a dirty joke. It's worth knowing that people told dirty jokes in the time of Shakespeare, and it's also worth knowing they weren't always very funny. Some things never change; or, to use some more French, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

The words are:
Fair Phyllis I saw sitting all alone
Feeding her flock near to the mountain side.
The shepherds knew not,
they knew not whither she was gone,
But after her lover Amyntas hied,
Up and down he wandered
whilst she was missing;
When he found her,
O then they fell a-kissing.
Keep all this background in mind later this semester, when we study how Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones and other British musicians of the 1960s and 70s came under the influence of American blues artists.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

String Cheese Incident, Denver, June 24

( Audio Archive > Live Music Archive > String Cheese Incident > String Cheese Incident Live at Ogden Theater on 2009-06-24

Set I
1. Crowd/Howdy Friends
2. Lonesome Fiddle Blues
3. Lost >
4. Rhum n' Zouc
5. Just One Story
6. Panama Red
7. Whiskey Before Breakfast
8. Jellyfish >
9. Birdland >
10. Johnny Cash >
11. Birdland

Set II
1. Rivertrance
2. Piece of Mine
3. MLT (w/ Chameleon & Drums teases)
4. Sometimes a River
5. Barstool
6. Black & White
7. Lands End
8. Search >Drums >Search
9. E1: It Is What It Is
10. Banter/Group Hoot
11. E2: I Know You Rider

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Re: Illinois state budget FY '10

"Are you not a robber, you who consider your own that which has been given you solely to distribute to others? This bread which you have set aside is the bread of the hungry; this garment you have locked away is the clothing of the naked; those shoes which you let rot are the shoes of him who is barefoot; those riches you have hoarded are the riches of the poor."
-- St. Basil the Great (ca. 329-379)