Nonesuch/Goddesses/The Glory of the West

  1. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    These are three of the most popular English country dances from the Dancing Master by John Playford, published in 17 editions from 1651 to 1728.

    (i) Nonesuch (or "None Such", or with minor variations "A La Mode De France")

    (ii) Goddesses (later used as the tune to the English folk song "The North Country Maid", as performed by The Watersons)

    (iii) The Glory of the West

    I have recorded these using arrangements for SATB instruments by Steven Hendricks from his SCA dance website:

    Instrumentation on all three tunes:

    Soprano: Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin (lead-in on Nonesuch)
    Alto: Luigi Embergher bowlback mandolin
    Tenor: Mid-Missouri M-111 octave mandolin (lead-in on Goddesses/Glory of the West)
    Bass: Troudabour Lionheart bouzouki (FCGD)

    These are fun arrangements -- I particularly like the way Steve hasn't just used a generic style for all his English country dances but has adapted them appropriate to the character of each tune. I've played a solo lead-in for each tune, with the full ensemble coming in after that.

    All three of these are still widely played, not only in specialist English country dance circles but also as session tunes and in concert by various folk bands. Nonesuch in particular is a very simple tune (so simple that it is the very first "proper" tune in Simon Mayor's Mandolin Tutor), but very catchy.

  2. cwboal
    Really nice Martin, I enjoyed that set.
  3. GKWilson
    Always enjoy your videos Martin.
  4. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    Great stuff Martin- you've certainly got the hang of these multi-part arrangements.
  5. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks a lot for the kind comments! I like English country dances from the Playford collection as they have a foot in both the folk genre (and particular folk dance/ceilidh music) and the early music (renaissance/baroque/classical) genre. So, these tunes sound much more like the type of fiddle tunes we usually have as our weekly SAW tune than the other early music arrangements I have played around with over the past few months.

    I'm also glad that I've found a way of adding bass lines on the retuned bouzouki. Up to now, I've been ignoring the bass lines in all of the four-part harmony arrangements I've been playing as I'm not a fluent bass clef reader. However, I had a sudden realisation last week that I can read bass clef as a transposing treble clef if I tune the zouk down by one full step to FCGD -- the F, C and G open strings sit on the bass clef in the same spaces as do the D, A and E open strings in treble clef. The lowest note is F (the space below the bottom line in bass clef), which is fine as very few SATB harmony arrangements go any lower. Scales in the key of C major on the bass clef are fingered the same as the D major scale on the treble clef, because of the retuning by one full step. With this realisation, it was suddenly very easy to read and play bass clef parts at speed, especially as they tend to be simpler than the lead melody parts. It's a bit of a crutch, but it works just fine for me and I feel that a world of bass music has just opened up without having to buy a mandocello or bass and without having to learn to sightread bass clef in 'cello or bass tuning. I can even play fairly easy piano/keyboard pieces straight from the piano score, splitting them up between mandolin and bouzouki bass.

  6. Gelsenbury
    I don't have a whole set or arrangement like Martin, but here's Goddesses. This was a lot of fun.

  7. Frithjof
    Quote: "This was a lot of fun."
  8. JL277z
    Cool video, Gelsenbury!
  9. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    I was waiting for others to post comments first because I had no idea how to respond.
    ...nope, still don’t know what to say!
    Very hot in those big hats. It actually is a nice tune, and I like the strangeness that you’ve put into the atmosphere.
  10. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    Martin:Your four part harmony arrangement sounds evcellent, even without the tenor guitar!
    Dennis: Nice combination of mandolin, octave mandola, whistles and a Schalke 04 flag!
  11. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Cool, that’s something else I’ve learned today, that Schalke 04 is a Fußballclub.
  12. phb256
    Thanks for the link to Hendricks' arrangements. That should come in handy. Brilliant performance / video editing by Gelsenbury.
  13. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Firthjof has just alerted me to the fact that we already had a thread for "Goddesses" -- apologies for starting a new one! Here is the new recording I have just posted.

    This is how we play the English dance tune "Goddesses" with our group, in a quartet arrangement by Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni, which she said was itself based on Paul Butler's setting of the tune (although there are considerable differences). From the first (1651) edition of Playford's English Dancing Master, and also previously in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (1609) as "Quodling's Delight".

    1898 Giuseppe Vinaccia mandolin (x2)
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello

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