free Halloween jigs, reels, and a waltz

  1. harper
    harper
    Hi, All,

    I just wanted to let you know I have posted a small collection of 9 tunes I composed for Halloween contra dances on the "Celtic, U.K., Nordic, Quebecois, European Folk" Forum. They can be played as solos or as ensembles, as I also wrote descant and harmony parts.

    Pleas let me know what you think.

    Harper
  2. harper
    harper
    Here is Masquerade, a waltz in my Halloween book. I am playing it on accordion because my skills on mandolin don't quite measure up to the requirements for the tune.

  3. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Cool tunes, thanks for making them available. I am particularly fond of waltzes and your Masquerade is a great one. Here's my humble attempt:

  4. Marcelyn
    Marcelyn
    I like that waltz a lot, and it does have a nice spooky sound for the season. Great arrangement David.
  5. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Masquerade has a great Eastern European folk flavor to it -- maybe even Russian! Nice tune harper!

    David, as always, you take each tune and make it your own. Well done!
  6. harper
    harper
    Wow, David, I love what you've done with my tune. I'm going send the link to my band. Thanks for posting. If you would like more of my waltzes, feel free to pm me.
  7. Kay Kirkpatrick
    Kay Kirkpatrick
    Harper, thanks so much for offering these. After listening to Masquerade by you and David I just HAD to go try out some others: Three Trolls (I can see them slogging through mire) and Armadillo Dance. I'll try out the others this week. I like your compositions!
  8. Beanzy
    Beanzy
    I've just got around to trying these out now Evelyn. Just the once through so not ready to post anything yet. Thanks for sharing them here.
    I love the shift to major in the Masquerade, really gets the attention.
    I'm just figuring out the descant on my tenor guitar next then I may play about with the bass line on the cello.

    Which is your personal favourite?
  9. harper
    harper
    Beanzy,

    I'm not sure I have a favorite combination of instruments. I have played it with others in the following combinations:

    1. accordion or violin (melody), flute (high descant from treble score), C-clarinet (harmony) and guitar chords

    2. mandolin (melody), mandolin (descant from trio score which is one octave below flute), mandola (harmony), guitar chords

    I also have a wonderful cellist friend who has played the bottom line one time through and the melody the second time.

    I think the descant would also be effective in cello range. Here is a score with everything in bass clef so you can try it out.

  10. harper
    harper
    Beanzy, I can't seem to post the score here. I will post in on the Celtic Music Forum with the rest of the Halloween tunes.
  11. Beanzy
    Beanzy
    That's just so kind. Thank you.
    I'm all tied up today and won't get a chance to look until tonight but wanted to say a big thanks now.

    Eoin
  12. Loretta Callahan
    Loretta Callahan
    These are waaay cool! Thank you!
  13. peddyrmac
    peddyrmac
    on the subject of Halloween tunes. The session has the following discussion thread...

    http://www.thesession.org/discussions/display/11534

    Great tunes Harper. I hope to try Masquerade and some others myself.
  14. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    I've uploaded two (fairly rough) ensemble recordings we made at our rehearsal tonight to harper's thread in the Celtic section:

    Masquerade

    Goblins At Midnight

    Line-up for both pieces is two bowlback mandolins (my Embergher and a Suzuki), octave mandola and guitar.

    Martin
  15. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    After the rehearsal recording by our ensemble I posted in October, I have been meaning to do a solo recording of Masquerade at home for some time but have ony just got around to it. All instruments played by me and overdubbed: Embergher bowlback on melody and descant, tenor guitar on harmony and rhythm. Thanks again for the great tune, harper!



    Martin
  16. woodenfingers
    woodenfingers
    This tune came up on a recent discussion of waltzes on the General Mandolin threads. Written by Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni (Harper), a member of the Cafe. Harper kindly posted the sheet music, although I was unable to find that thread while typing this... I really like the tune and have been pushing myself on my timing so doing the melody and descant seemed a worthy project. As seen in the videos above, Harper is a wonderful accordionist and David and Martin really played the waltz wonderfully as well.

    This is my first use of a new sound system. I am now running a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 using a matched pair of Behringer C-4 microphones in stereo. The setup has made a huge difference on my end. Greater sensitivity and way better audio quality. I can really here the notes ring. Seems to emphasize my buzzed notes though... and not sure that it all translates to better audio on the video. Thanks to Almeriastrings for technical advice.

  17. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    You brought out the descant very well there. Can't comment on the stereo aspects of your setup as I am listening in mono but the sound balance between instruments seems excellent.
  18. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Very nice, Bob! Those microphones give a really good tone quality and it's well played. If I were recording the tune again I might decide to use less tremolo to allow the descant to be heard better.

    By coincidence, I pulled out harper's Halloween collection out this week as well and we played at our group rehearsal yesterday for the first time another of the tunes, "The Jester's Tale". That's a really pretty melody, too, and well worth looking at. We were playing it quite slowly, rather than at reel speed, and that felt right. Evelyn's descant was written for flute, I think, and it's too high for mandolin -- we'll write it down by an octave.

    Martin
  19. Marcelyn
    Marcelyn
    Wow, Bob, you've boosted the sound quality in your recordings by leaps and bounds with those new microphones. Really beautiful playing as well.
  20. woodenfingers
    woodenfingers
    Maudlin - Thanks for the comments. The stereo mics are mounted on a bar that came with the mics and the mics are only 6 inches apart so even I can't hear any real 'stereo' with them but my understanding is that by doing this you get a fuller bodied tone, sounds like describing wine, but I can't really be sure of the latter since I have not tried using just one mic yet. All I can really tell is that it is way better than my prior audio.

    Marcy - Thanks!

    I am pleased that the audio sounds better to everyone. Now I need to find a better movie program. I started trying to use videopad but it is way complicated. I have been using windows movie maker but it is a really old version and I can't update it because I run windows XP and microsoft won't update the XP movie programs...

    Martin - I have also been poking through Evelyn's other tunes and have also found the Jester's Tale to be one to do but I am probably going to try The Three Trolls first . I look forward to your Jester's Tale !! BTW: I am envious of your tremolo, I wish I could do that so I am practicing it.
  21. harper
    harper
    Woodenfingers, thank you very much for your kind comments and contemplative rendition of Masquerade.

    For those who would like "Jester's Tale" with the descant down one octave, I just posted in on the thread "Free Halloween Sheet music for contra dance." I composed this reel for contra dances in which there are balance & swings or petronella figures. It has faint echoes of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Yeoman of the Guard," in which my son played the jester Jack Point a few years ago.
  22. woodenfingers
    woodenfingers
    Here's my try at Harper's Three Trolls, played on mandolin and an electronic keyboard set on 'tuba'. I think the descant in my take needs a different voice from the melody as they intersect a bit and distract from each other so I buried the descant a bit further into the background. I tried playing the melody an octave higher but it sounded too high and I can't pick guitar fast enough for the descant so I was stuck with using mandolin for both parts. Seems like a good excuse to get an octave mandolin...

    Harper - I found the Jester's Tale score you posted yesterday, thanks! The descant is in the same octave as originally posted but the harmony is written in treble clef instead of bass clef which is a huge benefit for me since I can't read bass clef fast enough anymore. Do you have that score with the descant an octave lower? Wonderful tunes, I am having great fun with them. Do you have any audio track with you playing these tunes, other than the videos posted on the thread linked to below? I'd love to hear how they are meant to sound to you.

    Here's the LINK to Harper's thread where Harper posted the sheet music.

  23. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Bob,

    You may be looking at the wrong PDF -- the version of "The Jester's Tale" that harper posted yesterday does have the descant one octave lower than before. Here is the direct link to the PDF.

    Many thanks, Evelyn -- this will be very useful at our next rehearsal!

    Martin
  24. woodenfingers
    woodenfingers
    Hey Martin, I must be missing something somewhere. The PDF you linked to above is the same one I looked at earlier today and the descant is exactly the same as the descant posted in Harper's original complete set of tunes but the harmony is written in treble clef and not bass clef...

    Bob
  25. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Bob,

    There were two different PDFs in harper's original posting: one for mixed trio, with the harmony in bass clef (Link), and one with all three voices in treble clef (Link). We play the harmony on octave mandolin, so the second one is the version we've been using. It has the descant one octave higher than the mixed trio version and the new PDF. The latest one has the right combination of parts for our line-up.

    Martin
  26. woodenfingers
    woodenfingers
    Martin: OOOhhh duh!! I see it now! I didn't realize the original 2 pdfs were different. I just opened one and used it... Now I have to go back and see the differences between all the scores. Well, at least that will be fun! THANKS!
  27. woodenfingers
    woodenfingers
    I can hear John Denver singing "It's cold and getting colder"... 0F this morning and the wind is blowing 35 mph. I'm sick of winter already and it's not even February yet. So, here's my take on the Jester's Tale by Harper.

  28. Marcelyn
    Marcelyn
    Bob, I can't get over the sound quality of your mixes now. You're really sounding great.
  29. harper
    harper
    Bob,

    I know you asked me for an audio track several days ago. I will try to record one soon, though probably on accordion. My mandolin skills are still lacking.

    I love your rendition of Jester's Tale. I wrote it as a reel for contra dance and we play it at about 114 bpm. However, your interpretation, together with the fabulous images you selected, brings out a darker theme. Indeed, the Jack Point character that inspired the tune was a heartbroken man.

    I also love your Three Trolls video. The electronic tuba is great.

    Thanks so much,
    Evelyn
  30. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Nice recording of The Jester's Tale. We've also played it at our rehearsal last week, with the tune finding general approval. I realise (as Evelyn has now confirmed) that this is intended as a much faster reel, but we've played it at much the same speed as Bob and it suits the melody.

    Martin
  31. woodenfingers
    woodenfingers
    Marcy - I'm also very pleased with the sound quality now. It even comes through on the videos. Thanks !

    Harper - I'd be pleased to hear your accordion!! I still have the accordion I learnt to play as a kid although I certainly confess to being way too slow on it these days. I couldn't even play it fast enough for Jesters Tale so I resorted to simple progressions instead of following your harmony section. If you say Halloween Tunes to me I automatically think scary, especially in a minor key, not dancing (except maybe for lumbering, galumphing trolls). I recently meant to ask the Irish/Scots groups if there was a set speed for jigs and reels. Are reels normally played at around 114 bpm? A trio I play in, fiddle, mandolin (me) and guitar, did Masquerade the other day with fiddle and mando trading off on melody and descant and it came out very nice. I'll record it when I stop making too many mistakes...

    Martin - Thanks for the comments. Get a recording of your group giving it a go, I'd love to hear it.

    Bob
  32. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    I've just recorded another on of Evelyn's (harper's) tunes: "La Vie".

    This is a brief but elegant vignette in waltz time written by harper in 2012 as a duet for treble instrument and cello. I have recorded it on Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin and my new Suzuki MC-815 mandocello. Both instruments are in the mix at their natural volumes, i.e. the balance is exactly as it would be when played as a live unamplified duet.

    Evelyn's notes for this tune are:

    "La Vie paints two perspectives of the same remembered place and time. The melody is languid and bittersweet with the colors of a French musette, while the descant sketches a more broken, restless line. The two perspectives interact hesitantly until they blend wistfully at measure 27."

    Thanks for the tune, Evelyn -- I really like it a lot!

    [MP3=1]http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=115134&d=1393805922[/MP3]



    Martin
  33. woodenfingers
    woodenfingers
    Martin - another fine rendition of a great tune!!
  34. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Here is another of Evelyn's tunes: "Concurso".

    This is a very atmospheric waltz in D minor, reminiscent of spaghetti western soundtracks. Think Ennio Morricone. Thanks, Evelyn!

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Gibson Ajr mandolin
    Ozark tenor guitar
    Mid-Missouri M-111 octave mandolin
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello

    [MP3=2]http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=116765&d=1394919224[/MP3]



    Martin
  35. harper
    harper
    Martin, I love your video of Concurso. The word is Spanish for contest. This tuned was named by my daughter, who said, [It] makes me think of a contest of sorts, and suspense: a saloon in the old west. A cowboy (or sheriff) swaggers into the saloon. He sees a woman across the room, perhaps a local (or it could be the buxom barmaid). She looks up and their eyes meet. She dismisses him with a flick of her head; she knows his type and has no desire to parlez with the likes of him. He saunters over and they exchange a few verbal slings. Then he whisks her onto the floor and begins to dance with her in a Tango-ish contest of wills.

    I will try to make a video on accordion and post it.

    Evelyn
  36. woodenfingers
    woodenfingers
    Martin - another great tune done very well. I also liked the video presentation.

    Martin/Harper - can you point me to the score? Our trio might like that one too.
  37. harper
    harper
    Woodenfingers,

    Please pm me with your email address and I will gladly send you the score.

    Regards,
    Evelyn (harper)
  38. woodenfingers
    woodenfingers
    Our Art IN Hand String Band trio got together tonight and we played Concurso. I must say we really enjoyed playing the tune!! Sitting around a table and recorded on an iphone. Thanks to Harper for the score and Martin for bringing it to our attention.

    Instead of a tempestuous meeting in a bar, I went for a rising and abating storm:

  39. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Here is another one of Evelyn's waltzes: this one is the "Eleganzia Waltz". Evelyn says the tune came to her while watching the London Olympics on TV, and I've chosen some elegant artwork of Olympic sports to go with the tune. To my ears, this waltz is reminiscent of early 20th century American-Italian waltzes, so I've recorded it in that style on two vintage Italian bowlback mandolins.

    Thanks to Evelyn for the fine tune!

    1890s Umberto Ceccherini mandolin
    1915 Luigi Embergher mandolin
    Ozark tenor guitar
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello

    [MP3=3]http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=118373&d=1398203841[/MP3]



    Martin
  40. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    I've recorded yet another of Evelyn's great waltzes yesterday. This one is called "Hall Of Mirrors", and Evelyn's note says that the tune "describes non-linear paths, diversions, and intriguing nonconformities".

    The images I've used for the video are from the greatest movie representation of a hall of mirrors: the showdown at the end of Orson Welles' "The Lady From Shanghai", with Rita Hayworth.

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Gibson Ajr mandolin
    Ozark tenor guitar
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello



    Martin
Results 1 to 40 of 40