Cover Arrangements of other people's tunes
Having played music at contra and country dances since the early 80's, there are a lot of tunes that I really like. You'll notice I'm particularly fond of things in 3/4 time.
All these tunes are a journey in learning to arrange music. I'm not trying to make popular hits. I'm searching for the music I want to hear.
Swinging Menuet in G - I'll be Bach...
The Salimonie Waltz -by Fred Weaver, a fiddler from Gas City IN
I learned this from a version by Rodney Miller on a CD called "Airplang".
The Salimonie Two Step -by Some Old Guy
The same tune as the waltz above with a bonus extra beat in every bar. This happened while walking my dog in 4/4 time.
Big Meadows Waltz (Pete Sutherland)
An unconventional tune that starts simple, gets busy, and returns to simple.
Golden Fiddle Waltz (Frankie Rogers) & Sadie's Waltz (Pete Sutherland)
I like these tunes because they start simple, then do things I didn't expect.
Kitty Tyrell -This Irish ballad’s lyrics were allegedly written by Charles Jefferys and the music was allegedly composed by C.W. Clover in 1852. I suspect it's been around longer with many different lyrics. It's the "folk process..."
Ookpik Waltz - This is a tune by Canadian fiddler Frankie Rogers. But I learned it in Virginia from 'old timey' fiddlers who had no idea what an ookpik was.
The first time through I play it 'straight' as it is played by Canadians. The rest of the piece is as I learned it - 'with swing' and a bunch of extra notes.
Meriwether - Imagine coming out of your tent on a sunny May morning in Virginia where the birds are singing and wildflowers blooming, to hear this tune played solo on a hammered dulcimer.
There are various spellings of the name, and it's usually played fast as an 'Old Timey' reel. You can find it on line as Merryweather and other variations of the spelling.
My digital instruments do NOT include hammered dulcimer, so I've made do with what I have. Everyone gets to play the tune...just for fun.
The Lark in the Clear Air (Trad.) & Jerusalem (Hubert Parry)T
Ashokan Farewell by Jay Ungar and Margaret's Waltz by Pat Shaw
These are popular 'last dance of the evening' tunes.
Ashokan Farewell was chosen by Ken Burns as the theme for his film "The Civil War" despite it not being from the Civil War. While it's often played as a waltz, Jay Ungar said it was composed as a slower lament on having to leave the Ashokan Dance camp at the end of summer.
Margaret's Waltz was written by Pat Shaw , a choreographer, musician, dancer, researcher and singer. The tune and it's dance are popular among English Country dancers.
Some Old Rags - Stones and Pig Ankle - Composers unknown. These are 'ragtime' tunes that 'swing'. Just for fun I used a harpsichord as the rhythm instrument.
The photo below is my grandfather in 1926.
Fifty Years Ago Waltz - I'm not sure who wrote this. I first heard it while waking up on a sofa in Virginia in the late 1980's. It captured me then and is still a lovely tune.
The photo below is a jeep in the woods in Johnson's Landing BC
Bare Necessities by Pat Shaw - This is and English Country Dance tune I particularly like because it starts minor and ends major.
The photo below is or Dorothy AB
Leona Tuttle by Larry Unger - This tune was written in 1986 to celebrate his grandmother's 90th birthday. I was trying to make this feel as relaxed and relaxing as possible.
This is the only tune (so far) that includes me playing live over the computer arrangement. What instrument am I playing? Correct answers will get 2 free cards, if you want them. Click here to send your answer.
Judy & Jim's Wedding by Larry Unger - Again. I really liked this tune, but I changed the key from D to G so it could be played on the fiddle in 2 octaves. Of course that doesn't matter because the computer is playing the fiddle and it can play the difficult AND the impossible.
As the season got dark in late 2019 I couldn't get these 3 slightly dark and gloomy tunes out of my head. So here's 10 minutes of what I called Down Two Rivers to the Dark Isle for Carolan's Welcome and up the Rivers again.
King of the Fairies - Traditional - Sometimes played as a hornpipe, and sometimes as a reel, I decided to do a bit of both.
The king of the fairies is not a friendly guy.