Folk dance music with improvisations

Bitte mand i knibe (Little man in a fix)

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)

Spillemandsdansen i Lyngby (Fiddlers' Dance in its home town)

Photo of this week:  The folk music band and dancers "Spillemandsdansen" (="Fiddlers' Dance") are here playing and dancing in its home town Lyngby in the northern part of Copenhagen metropolis. Lyngby (= "Heather Town") here is called the King's Lyngby because there are several other small towns with the name Lyngby in Denmark We are dancing on a lawn in front of the old water mill, and on a small hill in the background we see the church. The dance here at this place is part of promoting our interest to the general public, by encouraging bypassing people to join in for a simple dance or two.

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 6' dance.

Spillemandsdansen celebrates its 20 years' anniversary this week, 20 years of open house every tuesday night in a nice ballroom at the Technical University of Denmark. Nobody pays, nobody is paid. The room is free of charge as long as we buy our coffee and soft water at the café in charge of the ballroom, and as long as we move out to another less convenient place the very few times the ballroom is needed for better customers. We have 20 years' anniversaries in many folk music groups at this time. Because a new fresh movement in folk music and folk dancing started all over in the Copenhagen area and in other places 20 years ago, as an alternative to the traditional and more formal folk dancing associations. New people with not the hereditary traditions and not confined by these traditions suddenly found interest in merry folk dancing and the simple music with its special style. With no dogmatic rules new dances and new music like the gånglåt (see week 4) could be included. My parents came all the way over here to Copenhagen to dance in my group one tuesday evening. After a splendid evening my father said that Spillemandsdansen was just the right continuation of the 170 years' family tradition. This is true when considering the frame basis: involvement of interest, not for money, and merrily dancing, more than emphasis on detailed correct dancing. But there is a difference: in my childhood in Northern Jutland the dances (in the last few declining groups) were characterized by the local tradition with only dances from other parts of the country gradually getting in. In the new groups in Copenhagen (without a folk dancing tradition) dances from the whole country were of equal interest. I hope that the many 20 years' anniversaries will show also to lead to 25 years' celebrations.

Dance of the week, 1999, February 8:

Bitte mand i knibe 

(English: "Little man in a fix").
Dance of 2 couples, with couple mixing.
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:

Usually I have 12 staves of music on a page. But this dance, Bitte mand i knibe, is usually in the modern music groups I have described in my little story above played alternate in G major and D major for the variation. So both music notes have to be on the same page. This leaves room for only 7 staves.
The music notes are written as a score of 7 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 7 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 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 6); 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 n1 less constricted part, and tones from the melody are freely included
7 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.

Music for dancing: the dance has running steps in the first part, a part (=  page 1), and waltz in the last part, b part (= page 2).
This should be reflected in the music, and there is a distinct difference in the melody from a to b. The simple ns voice is therefore made so that you should play with slur from beat 1 to beat 2 on page 2, and so that it is not possible to have this slur on page 1 (by having the first two beats as two identical notes).

Accordion: beats per bar: 1+2

When I was young we always played this melody in Bb major (this dance was one of my mother's favourite). But this "new movement" in folk dancing that I joined 20 years ago over here in Copenhagen (see my story above on this page), had the melody in G and D major as this is much easier to play for the fiddlers (they want "Bb-absent" music). Such a difference from major Bb to major G gives a difference in timbre (from the violins specially) that is not always easy for me to fully like right away for an old traditional tune.

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).

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