Folk dance music with improvisations

Fætter Mikkel  (Cousin Mikkel)

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)

Guests from Africa dance Fætter Mikkel musician fiddler

Photo of this week: Guests from Africa dance the dance of this week in our home. Some of the colourful musicians.

A little story:

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

I always include this dance, Fætter Mikkel, when I am invited to some social event to come and play for half an hour to get people participate in dancing a little folk dance. This dance is reasonable easy to explain to people that don't know anything about folk dancing. And the group feel that they get together in solving a common task, with occasionally individual challenges. Children and adults participate equally enthusiastically. If they have been seated for a couple of hours until then they like this occasion to have their legs moved. When this dance is over as a surprising success, they are all ready for the next dance (which I usually select to be in a big circle with mixing people). After still a dance people without physical training may be exhausted, and it is time to stop for me. And that is all in many cases. At some places there may be another round with 2-5 dances. I did this for nothing but the fun several 100 times during some years. Folk dancers dance 30 dances an evening and feel nothing but more fit afterwards, and for me it is just relaxing to shortly explain the dances before the fun of playing them.

Folk dancing shall be a pleasure, as it historically always has been. And the dances must not be more complicated than it is a pleasure. The same dance was in the old time anyway danced a little different in the neighbouring regions.

Dance of the week, 1999, January 11:

Fætter Mikkel. 

(English: "Cousin Mikkel"). (The dance has also the name "Feder Mikkel")
Dance in lines, "countra dance" as it is called in USA.
Music and dance from Northern Jutland.
The dance is in polka tempo.

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 midi tunes below are without repetitions.
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 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 As simple A
11 Bs simple 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 octavo, up and down.
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.

It is better to choose a more simple part and play it well.
Parts can be made very simple. I did so with this one (among others), and with my 4 children (then young) we had a family band of 6, (and got a local music prize).

Accordion: beats per bar: 2+2

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).

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