Folk dance music with improvisations

Sjijnmyravalsen (Sjijn Bog Waltz)

Niels Mejlhede Jensen, Bøgeløvsvej 4, 2830 Virum, Denmark. e-mail (web master)

Old tunes used for folk dancing in Denmark 1999 arranged with improvisations

Link to index to other dances.

CONTENTS: (remember: you can use Ctrl Home in usual browsers to get to the top of this page, to the links here)

Photo of this week: My wife Annette

Photo of this week: My wife Annette, who is born on the island Bornholm where the dance of this week is from

A little story:

I plan to place a dance from my music book *117* here on this homepage, maybe once a week. This is the first dance.

I grew up with folk dancing and playing music, and so did my parents, and those before them. Almost 200 years ago a poor peasant, Niels, lived on the small moor, Mejlhede, in Northern Jutland. He lived with his wife and children in one end of the small house, and with his old parents in the other end. Further he had one cow (not big) in the house. The cow gave some milk and, not to forget, some heat. Niels had a passion there far out in the countryside, which many knew about but no official wrote about: he was the fiddler for folk dancing in his region. At his time it was illegal to play music except for the few musicians in town appointed by the king. Niels died one year before the music was given free in 1830. Then his son Jens took over the fiddle and became the liked musician of the region (as can be seen in church documents). With the obtained freedom for the music Denmark got its "golden age" for folk dancing music 1830-1860 with country side music suddenly flourishing in open all over Denmark. But as you see, Jens did not suddenly get his good music out of nothing.
I have my two first names after my mothers father who has his fist two names after ...etc. I have Jensen from my fathers side, and some other time I may tell about a different type of fiddler here, less sober but skilful though (also named Niels).
I had the luck to continue the heritage in folk dancing by being the leader of music and of folk dance for 13 delightful years for "Spillemandsdansen" ("Fiddlers' Dance"), where everybody can meet every tuesday night and play and dance at the Technical University of Denmark in a big ballroom.

Dance of the week, 1999, January 4:


(Waltz from Sjijnmyra, a bog named Sjijnmyra on the island Bornholm to the east in the Baltic Sea).
Dance for couples.
Music and dance from Bornholm.
The melody can be heard in midi on computer piano in my tempo (if you have a sound card). (The melody will loop here until you stop it. In the table below it will play once). (I have not played the tunes here with the "drive" I want for dance music).
The dance is just a little slower than ordinary old time waltz, because of the figuring.

Music description:

The music notes are written as a score of 12 staves on one A3 page = two A4 pages side by side (= an open A4 book).
Place the two note sheets side by side. Then staff 1 (= melody) on the left page continues as staff 1 on the right page.
The 12 staves:
1 melody the traditional good dancing melody, polished through generations of use on the fiddle
. chord
Midi metronome = 140.  simple (folk music) chords, natural for playing the accordion;
these chords are used to make the other parts or voices in triad harmony;
there should be no tension from dissonance anywhere including in octavo
2 A (Above), parallel part nearest above in third or little more above
3 B (Below), parallel part nearest below in third or little more below
4 ns simple n part (see 8); often with the tonic feeling and often with the basic dance rhythm ("motor part")
5 C1 C parts are made from A and B parts, and so they are two parts to the melody
6 C2 C2 is less simple than C1
7 mod = 
contra part
voice up and down (mostly) contra to the melody; it is also made from A and B
8 n1 less constricted part, and tones from the melody are freely included
9 n2 9-11: more n parts or C parts above, or parts in octavo
10 n3 .
11 C2 parts selected to be written in octavo depend on the ambits and will be different for the different scores for the different instruments
12 blank . blank staff for making your own part according to the principles here
Try also to listen to: Midi music arrangement for this dance music (new page, in a new window, with this window behind)

Where wanted, notes can be changed according to the principles (use a colour pencil).
The music is aimed at dancing, so part of the orchestra can be the underlying "motor" when another instrument group is playing its "solo" part (improvisation) as one of the many repetitions.
The double bass may play its usual notes, because of its low pitch.

Bar 1-8 is waltz, bar 9-12 is running steps with a touch of waltz, and bar 13-16 is very much waltz.
Specially ns part is made with this in mind, to be a "motor". In waltz with a bar of 3, note 1 is much emphasized and 1 and 2 are tied and 3 is light. Bar 9-12 is played more portato (without ties) for the running steps, but I find it OK for the accordions to play waltz also here when the rest of the orchestra plays different. With a good motor from most of the orchestra I find it fine with solo instruments that concentrate on the melodic in their part.

Accordion: beats per bar: 1+2

Bornholm, the lovely island there south of Sweden, has nice music, that I feel should not be played too bombastic. They have songs to their dance melodies ("Come here to me, and tell to me, if I may dance this with thee", Sjijnmyra begins), songs in Bornholm dialect, (so most Danes understand English much better). There is a very good record with these dance songs.

Music scores:

Each score consists of 2 pages: page left and page right. They are given on separate pages with links on the top of this page (use Ctrl Home to go to the top). The links are repeated here:
(c1, c2), (a1, a2), (b1, b2), (e1, e2), (f1, f2), (bass1, bass2)
When you click a link the music note sheet will (should) open as a new page on top of this main page, so that you can easily return to this main page. And you can easily open 2 windows of note pages to have both the left and right page in smaller windows, the right below the left.

(Help coming back from that note sheet: CLICK note sheet to come back to this page, or just close note window.
Remember: the note sheet opens in a new separate window, and that may cover the whole screen. The back button in the tools bar does probably not work because the window is new, with no history. All you see on the page are notes because I have placed no link back here for not disturbing easy submitting to the printer. Close the note window with a click at the top or with Alt F4, or minimize or reduce the window, or ..., and you are back to the main page that was there behind all the time).

The music scores are made with the Encore computer program and printed to file (anyone may come and use it at Herlev Public Library). These postscript files are changed to internet use with the help of the GhostView program (free ware). There is a little loss in quality by this changing process. I learned about GhostView from Søren, see his nice folk dance music on (easy to remember in Danish).

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