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Thread: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

  1. #1
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    I've been looking through the free tunebooks on the Lark In The Morning website (see discussion here). The one that stood out was a book of 52 English country dance tunes, mainly from Playford, and all arranged for four instruments (two trebles, one bass and chord symbols):

    http://www.larkinam.com/EnglishTunesHarmony.pdf

    These arrangements are all by our very own David M. Brown (DavidKOS on the forum): thanks, David!

    Very enjoyable parts, particularly the bass lines, which sit very nicely on mandocello.

    There are 52 tunes in the books, of which I have in the first instance recorded four old favourites of mine. All played as mandolin quartet of two mandolins, tenor guitar and mandocello:

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    1915 Luigi Embergher mandolin
    Ozark tenor guitar
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello

    On two tunes, the Embergher takes the lead, on the others the Mid-Mo.

    a) Mulberry Garden:



    b) Never Love Thee More:



    c) Mad Robin:



    d) Lovely Nancy:



    Martin

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    I may be old but I'm ugly billhay4's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Thanks, Martin,
    Lovely playing and lovely tunes.
    Bill
    IM(NS)HO

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Thanks Martin for making those arrangements sound so good!

    I wrote them a number of years ago, when I was playing with the local ECD band.

    Pretty playing indeed!

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Wow, not much interest in this thread! Oh well......

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    Registered User JH Murray's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    I've been enjoying going through the tune book. Martin's choices always inspire me to try new melodies. So thank you both for this.

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    Registered User stevenmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Much thanks , such a treasure trove of wonderful music to play Thanks you
    steven shelton

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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    I have passed this book onto the people I play parts with -apart from being overwhelmed with choice they're very pleased.

    Nice playing Martin, Lovely Nancy was my favorite, maybe because I have played before.

  13. #8
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Quote Originally Posted by derbex View Post
    I have passed this book onto the people I play parts with -apart from being overwhelmed with choice they're very pleased.
    You guys don't get that these arrangements were not always played - yet somehow still are- by the band I wrote them for.

    I love when anyone plays these charts....and yet I think I could write them better.

    My inspiration:



    And sorry for my own character.

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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Thanks for the ECD arrangements David and for the link to your videos Martin. I look forward to going through the arrangements. Next month I'll be joining an ECD group in Pittsburgh. Today I'm sending in my registration for Pitt's Fall Maggot (Oct. 9-11) with Joseph Pimentel and Goldcrest. The ECD weekend will include a musician's workshop with Goldcrest, including Paul Oorts on mandolin. Definitely looking forward to that!

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Thanks for the kind comments, and particularly to David.

    These four tunes were pretty much a random selection dipping into the middle of the book (they're all close to each other alphabetically), with the only one I had played before being "Never Love Thee More". There are a number of other free sources for Playford arrangement in a similar style (I have used the sites of Steve Hendricks and Michel Van Der Meiren quite a bit), but I like David's tune choices and the way he has treated them. I expect I'll root around and try some more shortly.

    David: what was the instrumentation intended for these arrangements? The bass lines sit nicely on mandocello, but I noticed they go below the range of the guitar (which most other arrangements don't).

    Martin

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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Lovely Nancy gets played at local sessions, sounds a bit different with the squeezebox chorus and a hurdy-gurdy.

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Jonas View Post

    David: what was the instrumentation intended for these arrangements? The bass lines sit nicely on mandocello, but I noticed they go below the range of the guitar (which most other arrangements don't).

    Martin
    The melody lines were conceived for violin or mandolin, adaptable to flute, oboe, recorder or clarinet. The bass lines were indeed intended for cello, so they lay pretty well on mandocello.

  21. #13
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Here are three more of my recordings of David's arrangements. These are a bit different from the previous batch in that none of the is a Playford tune: it's a Baroque gavotte adapted for country dancing, a traditional Welsh waltz and an English waltz from 1799.

    Instrumentation for all tunes:

    1915 Luigi Embergher mandolin
    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Ozark tenor guitar
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello

    1) Corelli's Maggot

    Based on Arcangelo Corelli: Gavotte from Violin Sonata in F, Op. 5, No. 10. Not sure how this became an English country dance, but as far as I can see it's a recent adaptation first danced in the US.



    2) Farewell Marian (Ffarwel I'r Marian)

    This is a waltz from Wales, known variously as "Ffarwel I'r Marian", "Ffarwel Marian", "Farewell Marian" or "Farewell to the Shore".



    3) Draper's Gardens, or The Margravine's Waltz

    English country dance from "Twenty four Country Dances for the Year 1799", by Thomas Preston



    Martin

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Thanks again Martin!

    As for the Corelli tune, that's also the melody of a whole set of variations....http://imslp.org/wiki/L'arte_del_arc...ini,_Giuseppe)

    Also variations by Kreisler.

    It seems the new ECD dancers and musicians use a wide variety of material - the obvious Playford material, less well known period music, Cecil Sharp stuff, Morris tunes, tunes from outside Britain, lots of new tunes, whatever.

  24. #15
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    As for the Corelli tune, that's also the melody of a whole set of variations....http://imslp.org/wiki/L'arte_del_arc...ini,_Giuseppe)
    Thanks, David. I hadn't noticed it's the same melody, but we had an epic thread on those Tartini variations here on the Cafe a few years ago, with Victor providing detailed practice notes on how to play each of the 50 variations on mandolin:

    Link

    Martin

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post

    It seems the new ECD dancers and musicians use a wide variety of material - the obvious Playford material, less well known period music, Cecil Sharp stuff, Morris tunes, tunes from outside Britain, lots of new tunes, whatever.
    A friend of mine has composed many ECD tunes, some of them frequently used on both sides of the Atlantic. She recorded a CD, on which I played mandolin on four cuts. My first recording experience. Great fun.

    I have no financial interest but if anyone likes the music:

    https://store.cdss.org/audio/product...%20of%20spring
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

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  28. #17
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Mr Lane's Maggot

    I've just recorded another one of David's fine Playford arrangements. This one is "Mr Lane's Maggot", with the eponymous Mr Lane supposedly being a dancing master at the court of Charles II.

    I'm using my brand-new parlour-sized Viaten tenor guitar on this one, for the intro (unison with the mandolin) and the chords.

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    1915 Luigi Embergher mandolin
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello



    Martin

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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    lovely stuff, martin - complimenti. as we both appear to be interested in the same material at present, i can recommend the following - she plays solo fiddle with duo accompaniment on a variety of period instruments:

    http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/skleinerman

  31. #19
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    After a gap of a year or so, here are two more of my recordings of David's country dance arrangements:

    1) Lord Foppington:

    This tune is originally from the 11th Edition of Playford's Dancing Master (1701). There are two tunes with this name in Playford: this is the less well-known one. It was changed to "The New Lord Foppington" a few years later when a more famous tune was renamed "Lord Foppington" from its previous name "The Pilgrim".

    The name derives from a character in the highly successful restoration comedy "The Relapse, or Virtue In Danger" from 1696, five years before this tune was published.

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



    2) Long Odds

    This tune is originally from Thomas Preston's "Twenty-Four Country Dances of the Year" (1791). The tune has been revived in the 1970s by John Kirkpatrick (on three separate albums, including the seminal concept album "The Compleat Dancing Master") and by Simon Nicol. My version is somewhat slower than theirs.

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    1915 Luigi Embergher mandolin
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar



    Martin

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  33. #20
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    I really appreciate hearing your versions of these pieces.

    Thank you.

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  35. #21

    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Thanks Martin and David! Here's my try at one of the tunes, I just started learning it today so it's pretty rough (especially the melody), this is supposed to be "Sir Roger de Coverly", and the video incorrectly starts on the high part instead of the low part:


    (or direct link)

    It's four tracks: 1 mandolin track and 3 GDAEB guitar tracks (my usual electric stuff). Why 4 instead of 3? Because due to my ineptitude and not thinking far enough ahead as to my instrumentation, I ended up recording *two* bass tracks an octave apart from each other (one track using the 3rd and 4th strings, the other track an octave higher on the higher strings), and then after experimenting with turning off each track in Audacity to see which one of the two I should keep, I figured what the heck I'd just use *both* of 'em lol.

    Thanks again David for the excellent tunebook! By the way, I hope I did the credits right as far as the wording; if not, please advise and I can redo the text part if necessary.

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  37. #22

    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Lovely stuff, guys. Mostly it's fiddle these days but I'm still playing these early English dance tunes. If you're interested - and in addition to the "New New Nothing" CD mentioned earlier (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/skleinerman - Shulamit Kleinerman) - here's another toe-tapper from a french group:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tGi_lM4x60

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  39. #23
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Last week's tune on the Song-A-Week group was "Mount Hills", a country dance first published in the 11th Edition of Playford's "Dancing Master" in 1701.

    As the tune is included in David's great collections discussed in this thread, I have used his arrangement for my mandolin quartet recording (two mandolins, mandocello and tenor guitar).

    Thanks, David!

    1921 Gibson Ajr mandolin (x2)
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar
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    Martin

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  41. #24
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    It's been a while since I last recorded one of David's wonderful country dance settings, so here is another.

    Playford's Dancing Master (7th Edition, 1686): "Excuse Me"
    Arranged for instrumental quartet by David M. Brown


    This is a popular Englisch country dance tune, first published by Playford in 1686, but at least fifty years older. In a recent paper (1991), the tune has been attributed to John Dowland (1563-1626), as a variant of his "Earle of Essex Galliard" (1604). See here for more on the tune.

    I'm playing it as a mandolin quartet (two vintage bowlback mandolins, mandocello, tenor guitar). Thanks for the arrangement, David!

    1890s Umberto Ceccherini mandolin (x2)
    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello
    Vintage Viaten tenor guitar



    Martin

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: English Country Dance tunes (David M. Brown arrangements)

    Thanks, Martin! You and David make for a great pairing of sensibilities.

    I enjoy imagining you two sitting down together sometime to play.....

    Mick
    Ever tried, ever failed? No matter. Try again, fail again. Fail better.--Samuel Beckett
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