Folk dance music with improvisations

Bedstefars Rheinlænderpolka nr ½5 

(Grandfather's Polka no ½5)

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)

Turning in a rheinlænder polka

Photo of this week: A rheinlænder polka  (= the dance of this week) is danced in the open air in a big circle around the musicians in the middle of this high ceiled ballroom. We are at the Technical University of Denmark with "Spillemandsdansen" ("Fiddlers' Dance") playing and dancing every tuesday night, as open house, now for 20 years. Nobody pays, nobody is paid. All for pleasure for everyone. You are welcome from all over the world. At the time of this photo we had a seldom nice warm evening in May, and as the sun then sets later than 9 pm in Denmark this gives some pleasant evenings.

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 5' dance.

A rheinlænder polka is for me with my background the most basic folk dance, and this melody is the rheinlænder on a general basis in Denmark. Otherwise the dance we have here is usually called a "fynbo" (= a person from the island of Funen) in Copenhagen and most places of Denmark today. My father and my area in Jutland said rheinlænder, while my mother coming from the island of Mors not so far away said fynbo. Rheinlænder means that the dance may have been said to have come from or passed the area of around the German river Rhine. The tune here is the typical rheinlænder melody from our piano lessons. For two years (when in high school) I was a pianist for women's gymnastics in my home town, and by special events like shows with also male teams, we might have a couple of songs and just a little folk dancing afterwards with me playing the piano. Then this here was the rheinlænder. (At bigger occasions a band would come).
Names of folk dances are often special and of unknown origin. But the name here is obvious: although the melodies were usually known by heart, a publisher in mid Jutland in the beginning of this century printed some music booklets named Grandfathers Playing Books. These were the only music books of the kind for us and highly estimated for note reading players. The number 5 in here was this melody, but twice as long. So when only the part shown here was played (as usually), it was called: half 5 = ½5. In Danish ½5 sounds like the time 4:30, and this is when the dance must stop in the early morning to go home and milk the cows. These dances until half 5 in the morning before milking were very happy hours of my mother's life when she as young earned her living as farm help on that lovely island of Mors. Then sitting there with your buzzing head still sounding merrily from that last rheinlænder no ½5 as you rest your forehead against the nice warm, soft and understanding cow, and with your arms almost dropping down into the milk bucket, feeling no feet, exhausted but happy, then you look forward to your noon nap.

Dance of the week, 1999, February 1:

Bedstefars Rheinlænderpolka nr ½5 

(English: "Grandfather's Polka no ½5", ½5 = half five).
Dance of couples, or a mixer 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 = 110 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 7); 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 n is a less constricted part, and tones from the melody are freely included
8 n2 .
9 n3 .
10 A' simplified A
11 B' simplified 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), 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

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 the 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).

Bottom of this page.