Searching for those "special" folk tunes, especially from Eastern Europe
Sometimes I find a special folk tune, often from cultures I know little about. I have several polskas, for example, that I thoroughly enjoy arranging and playing.
Here is a tune from Armenia, Mom Bar, which I have arranged for fiddle and cello:
I plan to develop a bass quartet from this arrangement.
If you have special folk tunes, just the titles, or a link, or any other information, I would be pleased if you would share these with me. Thanks.
That's a wonderful arrangement, it gives the impression of being isorhythmic and despite the simplicity of the material continually challenges the listener. Alas, I can't point you to sources of more such tunes... though Bartok and Kodaly collected hundreds of tunes like that; I wonderful if their notebooks and recordings have been archived somewhere accessible.
Hi Katherine, Mom Bar is in 10/8, grouped 2,3,2,3.
Hi Graeme (and others who may be interested), may I recommend "Eastern European Fiddle Tunes", edited by Pete Cooper. It comprises 80 tunes for folk violin from Poland, Ukraine, Klezmer tradition, Hungary, Romania and the Balkans. The book includes several pages of detailed technical notes (tri-lingual) about the different genres, and a CD.
Several years ago I attended a gypsy violin workshop given by a Dutch violinist/teacher (targeted to children students so I was there to collect teaching ideas). There is a repertoire list on her website http://vioolles.info/gypsy-academy/repertoire/ and I think much of it was brought to her program by a German colleague, the white-haired gentleman in these videos:
I've got the Schott book. I've only glanced at it briefly. Possibly it's a little too wide-ranging - Polish music is very different from Balkan, and if you want Balkan, there's perhaps not enough of it in there, and the book could be divided and doubled in size into two books.
For other people who may wish to find some different "fiddle" music, here is one helpful site I have found.
Thanks, Ginger. I am very keen to find more gems of balkan and other traditional music.
Will do Graeme. The music is in storage. It will be sometime next week before I can get there. We live about an hour from town. I’ll email you then. Cheers
I have finished a version of the bass quartet for Mom Bar.
I would just throw in a little caveat into this discussion, as a person who plays music from several traditions. Prompted by this comment--"Sometimes I find a special folk tune, often from cultures I know little about"--I want to mention that it is probably worthwhile to know something more about these cultures before you appropriate their traditional music. It pays to be mindful of what these musical treasures can mean to the people who created them.
Good thought, thanks, Paul, and I wouldn't tinker too much with sacred music from other cultures. Only a large movement of "stylists" can re-culture sacred music (blues musicians come to mind, and "commercial gospel", etc).
"What possible objection could be uttered?" Well, that's why it's a good idea to do a little background research. You may think it's "all about fun," but my advice is to dig deeper than your assumptions.
Some other folk tunes that are fun to mess around with are Scandinavian (particularly Norse) hardanger fiddle tunes.
This is another gem, I think, from Greek folk traditions:
This about the island of Samos.
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