PDA

View Full Version : The Yellow Mazurka



Martin Jonas
Jan-11-2016, 7:28pm
This is a lively mazurka in D minor by the Sheffield-based musician Robin Garside. The score is at his website:

http://www.robingarside.co.uk/pdf/YellowMazurka.pdf

Although this is an modern English fiddle tune, to my ears it has an Eastern European/Klezmer tinge to it. Together with the "Yellow" in the title, it made me think of Chagall's paintings.

Played as a mandolin quartet on two antique Italian mandolins, mandola and tenor guitar.

1890s Umberto Ceccherini mandolin
1915 Luigi Embergher mandolin
Mid-Missouri M-111 octave mandolin
Vintage Viaten tenor guitar



Martin

Gelsenbury
Jan-12-2016, 5:21pm
Very nice, Martin. I wonder about the difference between mazurkas and waltzes. Could you perhaps explain on the example of this recording?

PH-Mando
Jan-12-2016, 9:51pm
That was lovely. Thanks for posting.

Martin Jonas
Jan-13-2016, 6:24am
Very nice, Martin. I wonder about the difference between mazurkas and waltzes. Could you perhaps explain on the example of this recording?

Thanks a lot!

There is a long and a short answer to your question. A good detailed answer is here (https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100815003425AAI2r03), giving details of the three Polish folk dances that are subsumed in the generic "marzuka" name.

The finer points of this, however, really only apply to genuine Polish mazurkas. For non-Polish mazurkas, e.g. Irish session tunes or English ones like the one above, a much shorter answer applies: waltzes have a strong emphasis on the first beat of each bar (ONE-two-three) whereas mazurkas have the emphasis on either the second or third beat (one-TWO-three or one-two-THREE). That pattern may be consistent throughout the tune or shift irregularly from bar to bar. Some tunes in their written form are pretty neutral and may be played as either waltz or mazurka depending on where the player places the emphasis, other tunes push you pretty firmly towards the stress being on particular parts of each phrase, so that they automatically come out as mazurkas when played intuitively.

In the case of the Yellow Mazurka, the emphasis is mainly on the second beat with some irregular shifts inherent in the phrasing -- you can tell it isn't a waltz if you're trying to dance to it!

Martin

Gelsenbury
Jan-13-2016, 5:48pm
Thank you, Martin. I had previously had correct but incomplete information about the emphasis on the second beat. The shifts in emphasis were the missing link.

I thought about the Yellow Mazurka that it sometimes sounded like a waltz and sometimes not. Now I can make sense of it, and of the (few) other mazurkas I know.