Folk dance music with improvisations

Smedens 1' skottis (= Tisse-skottis) 

(Blacksmith's no 1 Schottische (= Pee Schottische))

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

Old tune 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 dancing Swedish schottische

Photo of this week: Schottische danced by Spillemandsdansen (Fiddlers' Dance) at the Technical University. But this is Swedish schottische, which is danced much more today in Denmark than the Danish schottische described this week.

A little story:

In 1853 Copenhagen had an epidemic of cholera, because of bad drinking water systems and disposal systems. This came to affect my family at far away Mejlhede in Han Herred in North Jutland. The people of Copenhagen could not (or would not) take care of the problems themselves with the many ill and dead people, so they commanded people from the countryside to do this unpleasant and dangerous work, by enrolling them as soldiers. Denmark had changed from absolute monarchy to democracy 4 years earlier, so this was the first taste of democratic freedom at Mejlhede. My great great grand father, Niels Mejlhede Jensen was conscripted to do service in the cholera plagued Copenhagen, because there were eventually too few poor people left in the city to do this work, and the rich did not feel sure that they could keep control of the cholera haunted mass. Niels had a wife and 2 small children. They lived in a very small house on the moor and Niels had to earn for their livings by working for a manor, (where he was well liked). Niels and another from the district were now forced to travel the long way to Copenhagen, a trip of several days by ship. Having the possibility to see the King's city could be the highlight experience of your life - for those better off. But for Niels it meant going to a "foreign" culture, coming to a language he could not speak and not so well understand (this is before the radio), and coming to a place where he was ridiculed as a stupid peasant. He now had only one person in life to be comfort with: the other man from his neighbourhood. Niels had to leave his dear wife and two children to uncertainty, now without his earnings at the manor, so Niels's wife had to leave her two children and walk around to the farms and ask if she could help with sewing, what she was good at, or maybe other types of work. She wanted to sew for money, but money was very scarce among farmers, so she could only get food in return. But money was needed to have a letter written and sent to her husband in Copenhagen. Her two children was a problem. She tried to take the baby along with her for some time, but the oldest one she had to give up, and he was taken over by Niels's poor mother who was already burdened by another "left over" child. In Copenhagen Niels's friend was deadly scared of the cholera gost, so Niels took over his friends most scaring night jobs. But despite that it was not Niels but his friend that died of cholera. Now Niels was all alone, for an uncertain long time, decided by somebody in Copenhagen that would never himself walk in the cholera slum area. But one day the cholera came to an end and Niels could return home. The oldest child did never move back to his mother and father and the second child was ever unrestful. They both later emigrated to USA. Niels and his children did not continue the family tradition of playing folk music as they did not get the means for an instrument.
For me it is natural when having an interest for folk dances and music then also to have an interest for genealogy, so I have written 4 booklets of my children's ancestors, of their roots as long back as I have found them in the archives and in the family papers.

Dance of the week, 1999, March 22:

Smedens 1' skottis (= Tisse-skottis) (=Skøjterløber-skottis). 

(English: "Blacksmith's no 1 Schottische (= Pee Schottische) (= Skaters' Schottische").
Couple dance.
Music and dance from Denmark

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).

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 = 160 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 octave
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; 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 n is a less constricted part, and tones from the melody are freely included
9 C1 in octave
10 n1 in octave
11 B in octave
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)

(The midi music is not repeated, except for 1' and 2' voltas).
Use also octave, up and down.
Where wanted, notes can be changed according to the principles (use a colour pencil), e.g. to improve the B part  with some notes from A.
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.

It is better to choose a more simple part and play it well.

Accordion: beats per bar: 2+2. Beat 1 is most marked. Beat 2 is light short and marked.

The melody here is in 4/4; most schottisches are written in 2/4, but still with 1 full schottische step per bar.
It is important to play schottische as schottische, and not as slow polka or anything else. The old tune here is much schottische like for this dance. But in an attempt to facilitate this important "second beat", the "after-beat" (= beat 2 and beat 4) I have made the ns part, the possible "motor voice" with dotted quaver + semiquaver on beat 2 and beat 4.

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 the note sheet to come back to this page, or just close the 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).

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