Monday, July 16, 2018

Master class in Traditional and World music

One of the things I love doing most is teaching and exposing others to the arts and different disciplines. I am being paid to teach a 40 minute presentation to a secondary school age group with a private institution on the music and instruments of the Traditional and World folk music genres. I did leave many of our instruments at home. Celtic Harp, Scandinavian Harp, Gothic Bray Harp, Bowed Psaltery, Kantele, Epinette, Horse Head Zither, Hopi Flute, Anasazi Flute, Xaio, Tenor Banjo, Mandolin, Hammer Dulcimer and many others.

The program for Wednesday July 18th is as follows.

1. Bransle de Chevaux by Thionot Arbeau 1588 Orch├ęsographie                    Soprano Recorder

2. Who would true Valor see - by John Bunyon 1640 (author of Pilgrims Progress) / Cutting the Fern a Scottish melody played as an air and then as a Strathspey / Hela'r Sgyfarnog or Hunting the Hare, a Welsh country dance.                                                                                      English Cittern

3. A Honkyoku improvisation - by David Sharp - a Japanese style Chokan Jinashi Shakuhachi end blown flute sometimes called Hocchiku by the Monks of the Zen Fuke' sect that used this instrument for sacred and meditational music.                                                                         2.4 Hocchiku

4. Hal an Tow a traditional May Day song from Cornwall England. This song dates back to the days of Elizabeth the first and refers to the Spanish Armada. The accompaniment is played on a frame drum from Ireland used to separate grain whose primary use became a drum .           Bodhran

5. Goin' across the Sea / The Iron Horse / Glenn's Ferry - A traditional song about a young man emigrating to America and asking a young women to marry and follow him there. The Iron Horse and Glenn's Ferry are dance reels composed by me in that style.                         Claw-hammer Banjo

6. Air in Am / O'Carolan's Welcome - Anonymous air and Turlough O'Carolan - 1670 to 1738 - Both Irish airs are usually played on the Celtic Harp with a continuo of some kind.    Alto Recorder

7. Banjo Bob - by David Sharp - A Ballad about a Banjo playing outlaw accompanied on the Spoons.

8. Danse de Hercules / Bransle / Dance Song / Hermit's Bransle - These are Renaissance dance pieces that fit the style of instruments from the period. Danse de Hercules is from Tielman Susato's Dansereye 1521. Bransle is a dance composed by Pierre Attaingnant 1494 to 1552, Dance Song is by Valentin Haussmann 1565 to 1614 and the Hermit's Bransle can be found in Arbeau's Orchesographie 1588. Very simple melodic ideas for dancing played by me on a Renaissance wind cap instrument with a double reed.                                                                          Alto Cortol

9. Come thou Font of Every Blessing - a Shaker Hymn in use by many religions these days. The instrument I play is called the Mountain Dulcimer from Appalachia. It's history goes back to early European instruments from the Medieval period. The music scales are set for Modal music of the medieval period. I tune my instrument DAD and play in the Ionian, Dorian, and Aeolian modes in D.

10. Danny Boy (Londonderry air) / The Peat Fire Flame - The melody for the song Danny Boy was Londonderry air and is a long time favorite with people of that heritage. The Peat Fire Flame is a slow reel from Scotland named after the coal like Peat bricks that were burned for heat around Britain and Ireland. Many traditional melodies have anonymous composers since often the melody is shaped in that local over many generations from one musician to the next.

11. Curlew Junction / Get my Whiskey from Rockingham - Old Time American dance tunes played on the fiddle. A caller would often call out the dance directions for these types of dances and the local people would respond with making the figures of the dance.                                          Fiddle

12. Native American Plains Flute demo - Although there are many compositions on this amazing instrument player would often improvise a small ways outside of the villages in order to attract a young women to the sound of their playing. It is said that the other members of the tribe could identify which young man it was on any particular evening.                               Native American Flute

13. Dajcovo - This is a dance tune I learned to play as a member of a Balkan band to accompany dancers. It is a Bulgarian melody in 9/8 time signature. So the count is 1,2 - 1,2 - 1,2 - 1,2,3 for a total of nine. The instrument I play is called a Dvoyanka, a type of double whistle with a drone in the tonic or starting note of the tune. Much like a Scottish Bag pipe tune.                               Dvoyanka
 14. Hawaiian improvisational melody - Pacific Islander Culture had a unique instrument in many of the cultures across the Pacific. Nose Flutes were the predominant melodic instrument before the coming of the White Man. It is said that the breath of your nostrils could not lie, so young courting couples would often play for one another the music of their feeling for one another. They were also used in magic rituals and for when the local King would awake. In Hawaii this instrument is called the Ohi Hano Ihu.                                                                                                   Ohi Hano Ihu

15. Demo - Native American Elk Drum, and Rattle, the heart beat rhythm.

16. Cerdd Wefus - a Welsh mouth music piece. When no instruments were to hand a village could make dance music by singing the melody.                                                                Song