Folk dance music with improvisations

1000 tanker (1000 Thoughts) 

Sønderhoning (South ho dance)

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 on the wharf

Photo 1 of this week: Midsummer folk dancing on the wharf of a small fishing village north of Copenhagen (Tårbæk, now mostly a yacht harbour). It is almost 10 a clock a nice summer evening and still not dark. From the music stand we can see across the water to Sweden in the distance and here we play the nice Swedish melody Gärdeby Gånglåt.

Photo of midsummer bonfire on the water

Photo 2 of this week: Celebrating the Midsummer Night on The Sound (Øresund), the water between Copenhagen and Sweden, with bonfire on floats and firework and lanterns on 100s of sail boats and yachts, as viewed from our music stand on the wharf getting close to midnight.

A little story:

When I was in Perth in Australia in connection with a listeria congress and went on a cultural bus trip in the city I asked a (neutral) question about the interesting architectural style with having the original very beautiful historic buildings changed to kind of "porches" to new tall modern skyscrapers. "Political corruption" was one bombastic answer. (I got to really love Australia, and Perth, a nice clean city). I shall here tell a story of how local politics came into our midsummer dance.
Who should see to it, that we the people have a nice midsummer evening? The political party, like the tendency was when I was on a research visit in the Soviet Union? The state or local government paid by the taxpayers? Business paid by the consumers? Associations and groups of people? Or just people in private?
Our local government arranges a little midsummer entertainment in parks and at the wharf of the (previous) fishing village, Tårbæk. To a cost of $7,000, it was once. We from the Fiddlers' Dance were invited to play, and got then $350, the only yearly income and financial support in our group, where nobody pays and nobody is paid. We would with pleasure have played for nothing to such an interesting event. Sport associations get a substantial public financial support because they keep people from hanging around and commit crime. Our folk dancers do not commit crime so we get no support. The politicians giving the taxpayers' money to sports and other arrangements show by this initiative their importance for keeping the society well going. We in the Fiddlers' Dance just play and dance without the help of any politicians and the pay by the taxpayers. Except the midsummer night event at the wharf, where we played 9 times arranged with a binding contract months ahead with the local town administration. The task was demanding because it during the bonfire must include playing the beautiful Danish Midsummer song that changes time signature several times. The 10' year the local sport association shortly before midsummer suddenly had no place to have their not so old-fashioned ball, so "their politician" urged us to let them have "our" wharf, despite our long signed contract. I gave in of course, letting new groups have a chance. But they stopped after this one try, and then we were asked to come the following year and continue the tradition again. But though we liked it so very much this midsummer dance on the wharf, I did not want to participate in any sort of political entanglement, so now our midsummer dance is private.

Dance of the week, 1999, May 3:

1000 tanker. 

(English: "1000 Thoughts").
Couple dance.
Music and dance from Fanø, Denmark
Fanø is a small sand dune island off the west coast of southern Jutland. Long ago it was a centre for shipping, with sail boats. Here this very special music and dance developed. It is not easy to dance and play correct, but when learned it is a special enjoyment. Rather much special, because the music is in the time signature of 2/4 and the dance of 3/4.

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 played it 2 times here above, with the special ending, the special Fine, the 2' time. Below I have repeated phrase 2 in all parts, all voices, and then with the special south ho Fine ending). (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 = 100 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 n1 voice up and down (mostly) contra to the melody; it is also made from A and B
8 n2 n is a less constricted part, and tones from the melody are freely included
9 C1 octave up
10 C2 octave up
11 A octave down
12 blank . blank staff for making your own part according to the principles here

(The midi music is not repeated, except that phrase 2 is repeated to include the special ending, which is only used when the dance ends).
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, long uniform beats (not a short chord beat like in polka), and a rather uniform sound level through the beat without a too loud marked start of the beat).
Sønderhoning (south ho dance) can be played without a special ending, but it is often included to show the ending of the dance. As it can be seen from the music scores, the ending is made by altering the last 2 bars to 3 bars. The last 3 bars: bar 18, 19, and 20 are played with a kind of stopping up on bar 18 beat 2 and bar 19 beat 1 with those tones well marked (and non uniform). Use single bas + chord together on those 2 crotchet tones and on the 3 weaker finishing quavers. The 3 Fine bars are only played the very last time.

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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