Folk dance music with improvisations

Jänta å ja (The Girl and Me)

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 1, näcken plays his fiddle in the stream

Photo 1 of this week: Midsummer in Scandinavia, so be careful by the water streams: then näcken or nøkken will play his most enchanting spelling music from the stream, which specially at night is so fascinated compelling that you have to follow näcken down into the stream, away form this everyday world, down into his enchanted underworld, leaving your family here in sorrow over the loss of you. Unless you can break the spell. I could only break my spell by concentrating on climbing up and taking this picture. Because the two näckar, Åke and Hasse, sitting in the (cold) water close to the water mill in Degeberga in Scania (South Sweden) play the most wonderful underworld Swedish folk music you can ever think of. Thank you to Åke and Hasse for many such brave performances. This was absolutely top class folk music from Sweden.
Photo 2, nøkken plays her fiddle Photo 2 of this week: Nøkken plays her enchanting music in the stream somewhere out there in the Scandinavian nature.
If you are wandering in the unblemished nature, deep into the forest away from the motorized civilization, out in the excited mystery with proximity of fauns and elves and further back troll kids puzzling behind every boulder and tree, and are you then lucky to come by also nøkken, then stop up in quietude at some distance and enjoy the fantastic spell that will catch your soul with this combination of folk music and the murmuring water and forest orchestration in the lofty fresh nature.

Photo 3, on the dansbana in Sweden
Photo 3 of this week: Dance in Sweden on "lövad dansbana", = outdoor dance place decorated with green leaves. We (Fiddlers' Dance from Copenhagen) play to a Danish line dance (dance 2), at a summer festival in Degeberga (in South Sweden).

A little story:

Algot, our oldest member of Spillemandsdansen (Fiddler's Dance) died a week ago 93 years old. He played his fiddle in our band until 2 months ago. Algot was just the nice common person like everybody else in our folk dance, (those persons that folk dance is meant for). Algot was Swedish Danish, as he was born and grew up in the region not far from Degeberga in Sweden where the above photos are from. Algot's father was the local tailor, and from him Algot learned the profession. But there was no tailor job for Algot in east Scania, so he went west to Malmoe to look for a job - and found employment in Copenhagen. Algot learned to play the fiddle from the good local fiddler, who himself carefully wrote all the music notes of the good old Swedish tunes that Algot had to learn. At Christmas 1998 Algot and his 96 years old fiddler friend in another band there played their usual duets of old tunes. Algot was always a merry member of our group, and he liked to greet the ladies with a kiss. We will miss him.

We will also miss Hasse (= Hans Melin) who died earlier this year 45 years old. We will miss his brave näcken play (see photo 1 above), and other even more courageous events, and we will  miss his organizing talent. Hans Melin was probably the most prominent folk musician of South Sweden to day, and organized getting much public attention and support to folk music and music in general.

Dance of the week, 1999, april 19:

Jänta å ja. 

(English: "The Girl and Me").
Dance of couples, hambo.
Music and dance from Sweden. Traditionally the same music (with a Danish title) would be played in Denmark as a mazurka.

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 = 130 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 .
10 n1 .
11 B .
12 blank . blank staff for making your own part according to the principles here

(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: 1+1, on beat 1 and beat 3, nothing on beat 2.
(It is not a waltz). It is important to have beat 3 (besides beat 1) well marked. The melody introduces the marked beat 3 in bar 1 and 2 and the important marked beat 2 in every played 8th bar (end of phrase 1 and end of phrase 2).
I have made a ns part that should promote the marked beat 3, and with tones of the same pitch on beat 1 and 2 to disable the waltz slur from beat 1 to 2. Specially for not so experienced bands an accordion can be a good "dance motor" in hambo etc. because of its left hand bass.

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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