View Full Version : Style Musette

Martin Jonas
Jun-27-2016, 9:33am
André Verchuren (1920-2013): "Style Musette"

This is a famous musette waltz written in 1953 by "The King of Musette" ("Le roi du musette"), André Verchuren. It's normally played on accordion and in the key of D minor -- my recording on mandolin and tenor guitar is based on the E minor arrangement by hatao:


It's a fun tune to play on mandolin, and I think it suits our instrument well.

1890s Umberto Ceccherini mandolin
Vintage Viaten tenor guitar


Jun-27-2016, 9:42am
Beautiful. Another "famous" piece I never heard before.

I have four volumes of French Accordion tunes, that your post as inspired me to dig into. It was told to me that these books contain the standard tunes that any French accordionist should and probably knows. Not being familiar with the music I am sure to find lots to love.

Looking the music over it seems the entire piece can be played in first position. No shifting. Is that how you do it?

Martin Jonas
Jun-27-2016, 10:14am
Beautiful. Another "famous" piece I never heard before.
Looking the music over it seems the entire piece can be played in first position. No shifting. Is that how you do it?

Thanks, Jeff! Regarding the "famous tune" bit, I only learned about it by the nice recording posted by our member "Frankdolin" in the Classical/Italian forum last week (link (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?124905-A-couple-tunes-on-a-Morris)). When I searched for the sheet music, I found there are lots of online transcriptions and lots of accordion recordings on Youtube, so it's a famous tune at least among French accordionists.

I've indeed played it in all first position, although the fingering in bars 26/27 is a bit tricky -- I didn't play that phrase as cleanly as I would wish. It may fall better under the fingers in second or third position. Also, I think there's a mistake in bar 17 which should be the same phrase as in bar 1, i.e. ending on B instead of A sharp. First time I've used a G#dim chord!

For what it's worth, the original D minor accordion lead sheet from 1953 is here: Link (http://chaoticinsurrectionensemble.org/sites/default/files/scores/stylemusette.jpg)


Bruce Clausen
Jun-28-2016, 4:01pm
Nice job, Martin! Eventually a little quicker would be nice, but it's sounding good already.

I see the tune is in vol. 1 of the Beuscher series (probably the ed. Jeff is referring to?), in D minor and with double stops in the B section and the Trio. Well worth looking for: the six volumes give you a total of 660 musettes!

Martin Jonas
Jun-28-2016, 6:11pm
Thanks, Bruce. The version in the Beuscher book is presumably pretty much the same as the original 1953 Beuscher sheet music I linked in my previous post.

When I was looking for a suitable arrangement for mandolin, I first came across the hatao version in E minor and practiced that one as I'm already playing a lot of other hatao arrangements and like his approach to arrangement and editing. However, having now looked closer at the Beuscher edition in D minor, I think that may actually sit nicer on the mandolin, being a bit lower in the range. It also has some additional triplets in the B part which may liven it up, as well as an outlined harmony/bass line for about half the piece that can be expanded into a second guitar or mandolin part.

Tempo is always a tricky issue. This is pretty much as fast as I could play it cleanly after an hour of so of practicing. More practice and switching to D minor may get it a bit faster and smoother, but generally I am not a particularly fast player. A live version by Verchuren (much later in his life) is here (https://youtu.be/unk34w4-jEU) -- there is no way I can approach that speed on mandolin, at least for the A part. Accordion covers vary in speed considerably, and there are several very nice ones that are taken at a more leisurely tempo and are none the worse for it.